Leonardo the Entrepreneur
Omar Khalifa, CEO, iAccelerate
The arts and entrepreneurship are seldom found discussed together and are rarely featured side by side in incubators and accelerators – or in the educational or funding programs that support them.
We often look to the sciences and research as the wealth-spring of entrepreneurship but Leonardo da Vinci demonstrated that this approach risks us missing out on the development of many great innovations and entrepreneurs.
Leonardo da Vinci would represent the very embodiment of this fusion as he created masterful artworks and breakthrough innovations in equal measure and often straddling the two. It could be argued that his greatest, lifelong challenge was not coming up with new ideas but to finding ways to have them backed and allowed to come alive. For this he sought out and found resonance with those that appreciated and profited from his mastery of so many skills and insights. All of his efforts didn’t always enrich him financially but his legacy ultimately enriched us all.
While few entrepreneurs may have the breadth and depth of skill of Leonardo da Vinci, there is a lot to be learned from his approach and ability to see a world where art and innovation were constant companions and invigorated one another. Today, in some leading businesses and some urban precincts we do see the revival of what is possible when we foster or catalyse the interaction. What we desperately need now is for educational institutions, incubators and investors to rethink their current stove-pipe approach to fostering innovation and whether they would indeed even recognise and support the next Leonardo da Vinci.
This article by Simon Brushfield thoughtfully lays out how Leonardo has much to teach entrepreneurs and those that guide them. These lessons have never been more important than today as we seek new, bolder and more inclusive approaches to broaden the impact of entrepreneurship and for it to bring on create a new dynamic that flows much more readily between the arts and the sciences.
Please share great examples of how or where you see this this fusion happening today.