The Bee Team

Today’s guest entry is written by Manu Gupta, who is part of the BeeHelpful startup team. Other members of his team are: Sophie Auchapt, Mads Ring Damgaard, Giovanni Gazzale, Xiaomei Gu and Schuyler Weiss.

Imagine a common breakfast – an English muffin with jam, fruits on the side, almonds as a snack, and a coffee to get a quick jolt for the day. Now imagine that not only could you not have this breakfast, but also, that it no longer existed. The production of these food items, and many others, all rely on the hardworking, but threatened, population of bees. For thousands of years bees have played a critical role in the world’s ecosystem, pollinating the world’s crops and flowers. These efforts have provided a base for the world’s species to have a sustainable food source and for the ecosystem to remain in balance. Albert Einstein put it simply, “If the Bee Disappeared Off the Face of the Earth, Man Would Only Have Four Years Left To Live.”

You may be asking yourself, why is this blog post about bees and not about IMD MBA? Shouldn’t this blog cover topics like finance, industrial analysis, accounting, marketing, entrepreneurship, operations, and/or leadership? Yes, and No.

As part of IMD’s entrepreneurship stream we are split up into groups of six and paired with a real life startup here in Switzerland. Our group was lucky enough to be paired with “BeeHelpful”, a startup that is developing a hive designed to save the declining bee population. Some may question how the skills we are learning at IMD may apply to a startup like ours. How does a discounted cash flow analysis, break even analysis, or segment analysis factor in to making beehives and savings bees? The answer – a lot. BeeHelpful faces many problems common among startups and the tools and learnings provided by IMD have be instrumental in addressing each problem in a structured way. The combination of the IMD learnings and the BeeHelpful employees’ engineering capabilities have laid the groundwork for a strong product introduction.

Over the past ten years the BeeHelpful co-founders have researched, developed, and refined their flagship product. The result – an innovative beehive that drastically decreases the mortality rate of bees. And though the bee crisis has been treated as a niche concern, increasing food prices and supply concerns are starting to take shape. Our work on this project will help BeeHelpful effectively position itself in the market so that mankind can pre-empt these shocks.

We call ourselves “The BeEffective Team” and we are helping a socially conscious startup transform itself into a sustainable, revolutionary business. Although there is an awareness of the problem, little is being done about it. We are doing something about it and we believe our work has the ability to change the world. We want to thank IMD for making this opportunity possible and the BeeHelpful team for dedicating themselves to such an important cause.

Until soon,

The Bee Team

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Reflections after first month

It has been a little over one month for all of us here in IMD. It certainly feels longer than that to be honest. As Mo mentioned in his earlier post, classes have begun for few major courses – Finance, Operations & supply chain, Economics, Industry analysis, Accounting, Leadership, Entrepreneurship and finally Marketing. For someone like me with a very silo-ed work experience, learning all these concepts has been eye-opening. It is a cliché, but I only wish i had more than 24 hours in a day!

As far as projects, our industry analysis project and startup projects have also begun. You may have read a series of posts on this blog from classmates on their respective startup projects. All in, we have some exhilarating startups this year. I am working for an innovative FinTech startup based in Zürich. We visited their office in Zurich and learned about their company few weeks ago. We are now working non-stop on delivering actionable value to the startup. Given my experience in financial services industry, the exposure to the booming FinTech space is all I wanted in the early stage of the MBA.

We are also working on the other big project of the season – industry analysis. My team got “Automation” as the industry. Such a vast topic! watch this space for more updates on our industry analysis and predictions for the future:)

I think the readers of the blog would like to know that we have also begun working on career exercises. We had “100 jobs exercise” facilitated by an IMD alumni. We found the exercise to be a great starting point if you are exploring what your next move should be. I wont say anymore and spoil the fun for the next year students. The takeaway is, IMD has gotten us working on our career as early as February!

Last week in particular was all about soft skills development. We had Mr.Porot spending a day with us sharing tips and tricks on everything from cover letter to CVs to salary negotiation. For the uninitiated, Mr.Porot is one of Europe’s best career consultants. We also had sessions on handling difficult meetings and presentation skills. We had a rather interesting session on story-boarding. All in, it has been an action packed month!

Signing off,

Sath

Inspirational ideas wanted, come to Lausanne

Today’s guest entry is written by MBA participant, Alessio Orlando, from Italy. Other members of his startup team are: Mohammad Alsele (Jordanian), Abhijat Chahal (Indian), Martina Heyse (Brazilian/Italian), Qin Li (German), and Zhe Yuan (Chinese).

When you start classes at IMD, if you still do not know that Lausanne is a hub for start-ups, IMD and Entrepreneurship Professor Benoit Leleux will make sure you are fully aware very quickly. Continue reading “Inspirational ideas wanted, come to Lausanne”

New website launch

We are happy to announce that the full-time IMD MBA Progam has a new website that has just gone live! We hope you’ll like the new structure and content as you explore our program, and look forward to hearing your feedback.

While the website is a great starting place, we are always happy to welcome you to the campus so that you can discover the atmosphere for yourself and talk about your profile and options.

This month, our official Campus Visit will take place on Monday, 27th February, 10h – 17h30

This visit is a chance to get a tour of the campus, attend a program presentation and Q&A session, have lunch with our MBAs and observe a Startup class in the afternoon.

However, if visiting Lausanne is not an option, we would also be happy to welcome you online for a virtual visit on Thursday, 23rd February at 15h or Tuesday, 7th March at 12h.

Registration for any of these events is available here.

Hope to have the chance to meet you,

Suzy