A real learning startup opportunity that delivers real impact for MBA participants, and in particular this team.

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”

That’s especially true when it comes to the start-up world.

Joining IMD we all came from very different backgrounds: ethnicity, culture, languages, career paths, etc. The one thing we had in common was sky-high expectations for “Real Learning. Real Impact.”

Two months into the program, and IMD has managed to deliver, and some may argue even exceed, these expectations. One of the key elements of the IMD MBA program is the start-up project, through which groups of 4-5 participants get the opportunity to work with a real start-up company and help them realize their plans.

Abhay Goyal, Mohammad Barghouthy, Dmitry Koval, John Sutton, Frederic Poncin

The MBA cohort has some entrepreneurs and many others who had already taken few courses related to entrepreneurship, prior to coming to IMD. These earlier courses typically had case studies, guest speakers, and strategies on how to write the “perfect” business plan. However, while very beneficial in theory, these courses failed to capture the essence of how the start-up world really is: unpredictable and chaotic.

Here things are a bit different. In addition to well-written case studies with detailed back stories, insightful discussions, and different guest speakers, we get to experience it first-hand. Working with an actual start-up helps us apply the things we learn and provides a somewhat controlled environment for us to deal with the uncertainty of the real world. In our introductory Entrepreneurship class, we remember Professor Benoit Leleux saying: “I’m sure you’ve learned many tools thus far to analyze balance sheets, forecast sales, and evaluate companies. This is the course where these tools will…not help you much.”

Working with GlobalM is providing a unique, immersive learning experience with real risk and impact. GlobalM is a company founded by industry experts, Lance Newhart and Paul Calleja, with great ideas, unlimited ambition, and true passion. However, building a successful business requires more than that. You need to find the opportunity for a market, realize how to capture it, focus your efforts and structure your approach, and most importantly know how to sell it. Then, work very hard and hope for the right amount of luck…

Start-up meeting

Exploring uncharted territory is always tricky. Our project coach Salvatore Cantale is guiding us through this and making sure that we can both “learn” and make an “impact” which is what IMD Business School stands for. We’re excited, motivated, and hopeful to deliver on this challenge and get the most out of it.

Mohammad (Author), Abhay, Dmitry, Frederic, and John

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