Fred’s testimony on a start-up project: Lighter. Better. Faster. Smaller. 

When designing aircraft components, weight and size matter.  On your last flight, you might have noticed flaps moving up and down on the wings.  And hopefully at some point prior to hitting the runway, the landing gear was extended.  What makes these critical parts move are actuators, which take information from control systems and provide the required force that acts on the part.  Everything matters in an aircraft; a reduction in weight directly impacts fuel efficiency and a reduction in size can allow for more design flexibility.  The need for a lightweight actuator in this field inspired Komp-Act, a local Swiss startup firm, to design a new solution.

By the time Komp-Act CEO Salvatore DeBenedictis teamed up with my IMD MBA Startup Project team, he had a prototype and a strategy to take his new proprietary technology to the market, starting with owners of industrial machines, for which their use is ubiquitous.

I am on a team with five other IMD MBA students.  We are privileged to work with Komp-Act.  We are diverse, representing six countries on four continents.  Our professional backgrounds include law, finance, engineering, and consulting.

Komp_Act Photo 1
From left to right: Martina, Chuan, Rafael, Marcel Jufer (Komp-Act co-founder), Carol, Fred, Shalin

The task is to perform both data-driven and hands-on market research and analysis, among other things, based on which Komp-Act will directly take action and benefit.  The process has been fun, challenging, and a great learning experience.  We have been adding value to Komp-Act by bringing insights from experienced executives of the largest companies in the market. Yet the job involves much more, and the end-goal is to translate the insights into an actionable and pragmatic go-to-market plan, create tools to support the companies in further ventures and, perhaps, help the team in commercial prospects.

Komp_Act Photo 2
IMD MBA Startup Team with Salvatore Debenedictis (Komp-Act CEO)

Dedication to this project has its perks, most notably, a visit to the electric motors laboratory at EPFL, the astute research institute whose high-tech Lausanne campus includes a concentration of varied knowledge, employs a “latest thinking” approach, and is an incubator for successful companies. There, we met the esteemed Prof. Marcel Jufer, inventor of a Swiss hyperloop technology development.  He is a co-founder and an active member of Komp-Act’s development and management teams.

Komp-Act has recently filed for their patent on the technology.  We look forward to continuing our work with the firm through May to help them take off full-throttle!

Fred Farella on behalf of Group 9

LinkedIn

More about the Swiss hyperloop project can be found here: https://hyperloop.epfl.ch/team.html

#Inspired and #inspire

Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day here at IMD. Beside several events running at campus, online discussion with faculty, dedicated articles by experts on new technology, gender and the future of work and our week long series of Instagram posts dedicated to achievements of women in our class, this day turns our full attention to gender parity and equality. Continue reading “#Inspired and #inspire”

And then Sakshi said: There is always going to be sunshine in the dungeons..

This week, I am taking over the rally-baton from Parth and inspired by his authentic style, I add some personal testimonies to the usual insight into the MBA Class of 2018.

Walking home on a cold winter evening, severe wind stings my cheeks. I am reflecting on the last weeks and contemplating about the stage we have reached on our MBA journey. Continue reading “And then Sakshi said: There is always going to be sunshine in the dungeons..”

3, 2, 1, go!

My name is Martina Skodova and I come from the Czech Republic. I lived or studied in London, Vancouver and Munich and travelled 19 countries (so far). After more than six years of working experience in business development in financial services industry, I come to IMD to reinforce leadership, to explore new roles and industries and to nurture my entrepreneurship. Along with Neharika and Parth, I will be posting insights on the IMD MBA journey in 2018. Continue reading “3, 2, 1, go!”