News and events Tilburg University

Jan Peter van den Toren appointed as Professor of Practice in ‘Entrepreneurship in Ecosystems’

Published: 22nd May 2018 Last updated: 30th April 2019

PRESS RELEASE 22 May 2018 - Tilburg University has appointed Jan Peter van den Toren as Professor of Practice in ‘Entrepreneurship in Ecosystems’, effective May 1, 2018. Van den Toren will bring his personal entrepreneurship and his expertise in the field of stimulating entrepreneurship to bear on the education and research at the Tilburg School of Economics and Management. Van den Toren is a partner and managing director of Birch Consultants BV.

Professor of Practice

Van den Toren is the second Professor of Practice appointed by our university. The first Professor of Practice is Ronald de Jong, Chief Human Resources Officer and member of the Philips Executive Committee. The Professor of Practice is an innovative business leader or entrepreneur working in an internationally oriented company. In this way, Tilburg University wants to reinforce its impact on society and strengthen its ties with practice.

Contribution to education

The university wants to educate students to become enterprising employees (intrapreneurs) and managers (entrepreneurs) that can play a significant role in society. Entrepreneurs do not operate in isolation but are part of ecosystems. Jan Peter van den Toren will contribute to the scholarly field of Ecosystems of Entrepreneurship. By means of applied research, he will provide students, staff, and stakeholders with knowledge of the phenomenon of entrepreneurship-in-ecosystems and the way in which entrepreneurs, their organizations, and policy makers apply it. He will contribute to the links between the university and its own ecosystem. Given his work in a practical context, Professor of Practice Van der Toren will be an inspiring role model for his students. He has been appointed for one day a week.

Jan Peter van den Toren is a partner at and managing director of Birch Consultants BV. He helps sectors, companies, government bodies, and knowledge institutions design their policies, strategies, and business development. He supports clients in fostering ecosystems conducive to entrepreneurship. Birch helps starting (often graduated) entrepreneurs to market their ideas.
Van den Toren trained as an economist (Erasmus University Rotterdam) and has maintained his ties with academia, among other things, through his PhD at Leiden University and a position as an endowed professor at the University of Amsterdam. Van den Toren has worked as a researcher and as a negotiator in the trade union movement, later as a senior managing consultant at Berenschot and as a council adviser on strategy at the Ministry of General Affairs. He was also responsible for the Innovation Platform and the establishment of the Amsterdam Economic Board.


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