Following eight years in business, Shai moved into an academic career through an MBA and PhD at Cranfield School of Management. In his dissertation of 1987, one of his conclusions on how Management education could be more socially relevant, he concluded that Business Schools should provide entrepreneurship education in more coherent ways. He took his own recommendation seriously and has been working in various forms of enterprise education ever since.
He has pioneered education “For” entrepreneurship, distinct from “About” entrepreneurship. This, he has done at Cambridge University and at Reading, now Cranfield and numerous other Institutions of Higher Education. As a result of the pioneering approach he has taken the lessons learnt into his own teaching and coaching roles with large companies. Shai has established three Centres, two at Nottingham Business School focused on Research and one at University of Cambridge focused on Teaching. His current role is as Director of the Bettany Centre for entrepreneurship at Cranfield School of Management.
In order to remain in touch with his work Shai has regularly advised policy makers on the basis of his research. Most recently his co-authored report was used by the World Economic Forum as part of the Education Initiative. He has taught and facilitated entrepreneurs on programmes in several countries, has delivered keynote speeches and also helped design new programmes, most recently in Austria.
The focus of his work is to enable managers and owners of businesses to unlock hidden value in their ideas, turn them into business proposals and have the confidence and self-belief to take their ideas forward.
Shai’s research interests are in the human journey in entrepreneurship, new business models and innovations needed in venture creation particularly in science and technology enabled innovation. He has published several books and papers and while he continues his academic interests in research and innovative teaching he has also had an extensive entrepreneurial career as founder, director and as business angel investor. He is also Trustee of a charity and continues to be passionate about entrepreneurship.