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Mirjam van Praag new president vu executive board

ACE’s first director & founder has been appointed the position with effect from 1 March ’18. 

Van Praag is a prominent econometrician who earned her stripes both at home and abroad. At present she is professor of entrepreneurship at the Copenhagen Business School where she occupies the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller chair. Before that, she was professor of entrepreneurship and organisation at the UvA. In 2006, van Praag was the first director and driving force behind the Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship (ACE).

History of ACE

The Faculty of Economics and Business of the UvA started a new research center for organization and entrepreneurship in 2006. Led by prof. dr. Mirjam van Praag, the center developed into a place where scientific entrepreneurship research and education were the main points of focus. As education in entrepreneurship started to become more popular among students,  in 2008 UvA joined forces with VU, HvA and Inholland to improve  the entrepreneurship climate in Amsterdam by connecting academic education with business. The partnership between the universities officially merged into the Amsterdam Center for Entrepreneurship in 2010. Supported by the municipality of Amsterdam, the Ministry of Economics, and several new business partners, ACE grew towards a leading center of entrepreneurship in the following years.

Invest in Skills

In 2011, ACE was the first Dutch organization to win the European Enterprise Award in the category ‘Invest in Skills’ for their unique example of multidisciplinary education in entrepreneurship. That same year, ACE initiated Venture Lab: a hatchery for promising science-based startups that opened its doors at Amsterdam Science Park in 2013. Currently, ACE is solely focused on incubation activities and no longer consists of a formal collaboration between the universities. However, as part of the Amsterdam Venture Studios, an exchange of knowledge and networks between the institutes remains intact.

A leading scientist

Mirjam van Praag’s appointment will take effect on 1 March 2018 because she still has a number of obligations that she must complete before she can start working at the VU. Wim Kuijken, chair of the VU Supervisory Board, says about her appointment: “As a leading scientist with a broad scientific and administrative network and with an international orientation, we are convinced she will be a fine president of the Executive Board of the VU. Mirjam van Praag endorses the inclusive nature, diversity and social involvement of the VU and will actively communicate the identity of the VU as a president.”

We wish to congratulate Mirjam on her appointment and look forward to her return to Amsterdam.

Photo: Mirjam van Praag at the opening of Amsterdam Venture Studios, by Bastiaan Aalbersberg.   

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