For our Innovation and Leadership Lab, we went to MassChallenge, the startup accelerator founded in 2009 to help startups grow and attract investors. At the start of the week, Julia Binder, Professor of Sustainable Innovation and Business Transformation, gave us the task of coming up with options for how MassChallenge can integrate sustainability into its processes to become the most climate-responsible startup accelerator.
At IMD, we learn while working in teams and once again the cohort got divided into two main groups and four subgroups to work on different parts of the problem. Mixing up the groups pushed us out of our comfort zones, but also gave us the chance to work with new people and learn from their different working styles.
The week was hectic but exciting and included guest lectures with startups and corporates and hands-on workshops to provide us with practical tools like design thinking to come up with solutions for MassChallenge. We put our newly acquired innovation techniques to the test to brainstorm potential solutions and drafted our presentations during late-night sessions. One of the memorable moments from the week was watching a recording of the Deep Purple song “Smoke on the Water” at the Montreux Jazz café at EPFL.
Just as important as coming up with innovative ideas was crafting our proposals into an impactful presentation. International keynote speaker Laura Penn, founder of The Leadership Speaking School, helped us hone our speaking and pitching skills during a masterclass.
We ended the week pitching our proposals to a jury of five entrepreneurs, board members and sustainability experts.
As excited as we were to win the barbeque voucher, we were equally humbled by the experience and generosity provided by MassChallenge’s team.
Jyoti and Juan