Hult Prize 2016 – “The Year of the App”

[Written by Serik Sharipov]

The Hult Prize case challenge for 2017 is out. Why should you participate?

It is safe to say that the Hult Prize competition was one of the highlights of my first MBA year at ESADE. It gave me a chance to explore a largely unknown to me area of social entrepreneurship. It helped me hone my skills during preparation and the pitching rounds of the contest. It provided a great opportunity to network with ambitious bright students from all over the world at the regional meet in London. Most importantly, it was a fun project to work on with my friends and classmates, Betsy, Moni, and Lauren (Team Tuyyo!).

It is for all these reasons that I can say now that, given the chance, I would do it again, and I encourage everybody to try their luck this year. (I know I am thinking about it!)

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Hult Prize is a global competition to select six teams from different regions to go to a start-up accelerator for social entrepreneurship in the United States, after which the finalists present their ideas one last time to a panel of judges in New York City. The competition is sponsored by the Clinton Global Initiative, so President Clinton is usually on that panel. The grand prize is USD 1,000,000 of seed capital to help you get your idea off the ground. ESADE has reached this stage several years in a row, which is a great achievement in itself, but, I believe, it also grants great credibility and visibility to any team from our business school that competes at the regional and global levels. Our team saw this in London, where everybody tried to talk to us and sit in on our pitch. We felt so famous!

Last year’s challenge – to double the incomes of 10 million people living in crowded urban areas by 2022 – was unlike anything I had been asked to solve before. I come from a career in development finance, where I worked for a multilateral institution with global reach, but even for me the target was very ambitious.

This is what Hult Prize is about – go big or go home!

We developed an idea of a two-sided platform that would bring service seekers and service providers together, where the latter would come from lower-income areas. Access was to be ensured through a website and an app, with the service starting in Lima, Peru, as its testing ground, and then quickly expanding into other cities and countries in Latin America, South-East Asia, and Eastern Europe. What struck me in London was how many teams, independently of each other, came up with similar ideas, which, to me, only proved the point that there was an identifiable need and market for a service like Tuyyo. In the end, one of the finalists at the regional meet was an app like ours, so despite not progressing further, I felt like our app, in its better formulation, lived on to compete with equally interesting start-up ideas.

On the road to London I learned a few things.

First, you have to leverage your network and available resources to constantly improve your pitch. Having won the Hult Prize @ ESADE round, we were generously offered time and advice by several professors and non-academic staff on campus. We pitched repeatedly, answered questions, all the while improving and tweaking our story board and key assumptions. I will always be thankful for the harshest critiques because those were the most eye-opening (and adrenaline jolting) ones of all!

Secondly, it is important to challenge yourself to think laterally and to try to come up with a unique solution to the year’s problem. Don’t forget there will be hundreds of teams competing globally for a seat among the six Finalists. Yours has to stand out. For instance, one of the final pitches in London that impressed me the most was about a technology that combined open source software with biometric hardware (fingerprinting tools) to create personal records for people who lack proper identification and, therefore, are not fully integrated in the economy. This idea, SimPrints, eventually reached the grand final.

Last but not least, the team is the most important thing for this type of competitions. Your idea may be a rough draft of your final pitch, but you cannot work to improve it if you don’t enjoy spending hours (and days) with your teammates. In the run-up to our trip to the UK, sponsored by ESADE, my team dropped everything else we were doing and we holed up for hours together, working to perfect the deck and the presentation. It may sound intense, but we had lots of laughs and fun moments during this time! I guess, battlefield camaraderie does exist.

All in all, I loved the experience. I love talking about it, I have very fond memories of the competition and its challenges, and it made me more aware of alternative professional opportunities that exist out there.

So what are you waiting for? Put together a team and get to work!

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Asian Business Club : Review of Events

How quickly, the MBA year flies by! For us at the Asian, Business Club, it has been a very fruitful year. For those thinking to join us, this is a timeline of events we organized and helped achieve.

Feb 2016: The year of the Fire Monkey
While millions of people across China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and other countries ushered in the year of the fire monkey on their own terms – Esadeans celebrated the festivities at Pato Peking, alongside Barceloneta beach. The Asian Business Club organized the annual Lunar New year party, which had a fantastic turnout of more than 200 people. It was a great opportunity to showcase and share one element of the Asian tradition to our peers. The night was filled with merry making with wines from different Asian countries as well as a spontaneous karoake session. The year of the fire monkey has brought curiousity, wit and fun banter for all of us present. We hope to continue this fine tradition into the next year as well which will be the year of the fire Rooster.


Apr 2016: Denso Company Visit
In April of 2016, the Asia Business Cub had the great opportunity to visit Denso, a Fortune 500 company, thanks to a Co17 classmate.

Denso is headquarted in Japan and has 220 Group companies worldwide, including Barcelona. It generates US$40.2 billion in annual revenue. Denso is a main manufacturer for Toyota and practices the Toyoto Production System (TPS), based on just-in-time and Kaizen, which is taught in the first year of core clases during the second term. It was a perfect opportunity to put academics into practice!

We would like to thank Josep Manuel Gimenez, Alex Miralles and Alejandro Valencia at Denso for the visit and organization! We hope to continue such company visits for 2017 as well.

Oct-Nov: Singapore trek

This is probably our best achievement so far as a club. We will be heading down to the sunshine city of Singapore for about a week to visit 4 companies: Google, Linkedin, Naiise (a local start up) as well as Spotify. The itinerary for the trek was intended to balance visiting corporate as well as the spirit of smaller local start ups. A short cultural tour has also been included – so watch this space for an update! Leveraging and building on synergies between East and West is what the club strives for constantly. We sincerely hope that the next batch will be able to continue and better our work.

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Bertelsmann´s Corporate Entrepreneur Program presentation

The Entrepreneurship Club kicked off his activities for this school´s year with a presentation from the Bertelsmann group, the biggest media conglomerate of Europe. This presentation was made following the club´s objective of promoting corporate entrepreneurs, also know as intrapreneurs: people that have the drive and desire to to build a project within a company.

The event was a major success, attracting almost 60 students from both the first and second year. During the presentation, Pamela Taylor – our guest – talked about Bertelsmann´s divisions, vision and programs. Given the big number of first year student, first she talked about internship opportunities, and later she proceeded to talk about the CE program.

The Corporate Entrepreneur Program, is an 18 months’ rotational program, very flexible and international, as it allows participant to rotate between departments and countries. It only admits 3 or 4 people a year – the competition to get it in is important – and it gives students the opportunity to develop projects on any of the divisions of Bertelsmann.

Bertelsmann is looking for people that have entrepreneurial drive and that at the same time, that can adapt to a big corporation. Participants can choose their industry of interest, and build their own projects, creating new business ideas with a lot of freedom and support

These corporate entrepreneurs receive all the information they need about each of the departments, and they also get the sponsorship of people on the executive board. And freedom is given in order for students to explore and experiment.

Entrepreneurial experience is preferred but not mandatory, What Bertelsmann is looking id for people that don´t fear taking risks and that are very passionate about industries related to the group: media, print, education, etc.

If you are interested in applying to the program, our speaker recommended doing so during October. For more information on the program, you can download the brochure at

The event finished with a networking event, where students could interact one on one with Pamela, and learn more about other opportunities in Bertelsmann.


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Visit to the Idealab Conference-Germany October 2016

A Team of 5 ESADE MBAs travelled to Germany from the 6th to the 8th of October 2016 to visit the Idealab Conference in Vallendar( The conference has been around for its 16th anniversary and boosted high profile speakers from the European and US startup ecosystem.

WHU is one of the few private Business Schools in Germany . According to CrunchBase, over 60 startups from the university have raised venture capital. The keynote speech was delivered by Oliver Samwer, CEO of Rocket Internet. The most prominent alumni in the startup ecosystem of the university explained to founders that they should dream big, focus on their product and build a complementary team based on skills, not friendships.

The event was greatly organised and it was very easy to interact with WHU students as the overnight stays were organised within their university accommodation. On top, only 40% of the audience consisted of students. 30% of the participants were actually young founders trying to pitch their startup and it was possible for them to interact with venture capitalist from Index Ventures, Project-A, Partech, Gruner+Jahr, Point9 Capital as well as some Business Angel networks to secure funding for their venture.

The ESADE Entrepreneurship Club would like to thank WHU for the invitation and great organisation, it was very easy to forget that this is a purely student run event. If you are interested in Entrepreneurship, this event should be on your calendar as it is more intimate than regular summits or conferences as it feels very easy to interact with other participants.

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Futury Accelerator Presentation

On October 4th, 2016 Futury, an early-stage accelerator visited the EGarage. The company builder had previously worked with teams from ESADE during the summer and the presentation attracted a lot of interest especially from the new class of 2018.

Futury’s concept focusses on enabling entrepreneurs at a very early stage to realize and refine their ideas as well as on connecting them with investors and corporate partners. Previous teams from ESADE worked on innovative fuel cell as well as blockchain technology. Futury encourages applications from leading business schools and teams can apply for several intakes each year.

After an interesting presentation followed by questions about the technologies and projects that Futury and its partners invest in, all participants got a chance for a more informal chat. As several business ideas were being discussed, the event sparked excitement to become active as an entrepreneur early on and to consider the many options that exist in addition to a regular internship.

For more information and application check out:

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Welcome to ESADE Class of 2018!!! We’re so glad to have you here.

The Esade family is like no other, I know I’m not alone when I say that some of my most important learnings in 1st year were from my classmates. Everyone is your class has something good to share, so look, listen and take it all in. I gathered advice from my class for the women of Co 2018, here’s what we think you should know : ) Read the rest of this entry »

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ESADE E&E Club – Networking event with KIC InnoEnergy

On Tuesday, may 31st, we assisted to a Networking event, organized by KiC Innoenergy, at one of Barcelona Activa’s premises.

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Entrepreneurship Club: Review and Outlook 2016

Written by Johannes Burgard

ESADE cultivates a very collaborative culture on campus and in class room. Team work and social competencies are very important to us and we carry this spirit on to the extracurricular activities. Read the rest of this entry »

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End of 1st year Beach Party! Class of 2017

Written by Ediana Ramírez


What better way to celebrate the culmination of the first year in The ESADE MBA than having a Beach Party!

Over 150 students of the ESADE MBA Class of 2017 gathered in the beautiful beach of Gava, Read the rest of this entry »

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Entrepreneurship Club London Trek 2016

The EClub visited the British Capital this year and had the great honor to dive into an exciting entrepreneurship ecosystem in London. During our four trek days in town, we met many professionals from both sides of the “entrepreneurship coin”. Read the rest of this entry »

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A session with Keegan Pierce

The Sports Business Club was delighted to host on campus Keegan Pierce, a senior consultant at Lagardère Sports and fellow ESADE MBA Alumni. Read the rest of this entry »
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TheESADEmba rocking MBAT

Written by Stephan Droste

With 113 ESADEans, our school was represented stronger than ever before in Europe’s most prestigious sports tournament hosted by HEC from May 5 to 8 in Paris.

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Training to enter the world of consulting

One of the goal of the Consulting Club is to provide its members with the skills required to enter the world of consulting. In order to do so we have provided 3 workshops this year to better prepare students: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Family Business Management Class

Written by Diego Espinoza 

It is an amazing thing to have the opportunity to chose different classes in addition to the core set of classes predetermined by the ESADE FT MBA Program. Read the rest of this entry »

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ESADE is full of Talent!

Written by Sara López

Another small piece of information about what is going on in Esade, things which have, for us, become normal but when you think about it is pretty amazing. Read the rest of this entry »

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International Women’s day

In many countries this day is celebrated with flowers and chocolates, at Esade we celebrate in a different way.

This is the day to spread the awareness of gender inequality in many ways such as: women’s economic power, women’s political participation and leadership, women’s safety. Read the rest of this entry »

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ESADE E&E Club Trek to Amsterdam

The 2016 E&E Trek took place in Amsterdam, during April. We went together with the Marketing Club, which meant that ESADE had over 45 people wandering around the Venice of the North. Read the rest of this entry »

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ESADE Consulting Club Trek to Dubai

The ESADE Consulting Club traveled last week for 5 days to Dubai to build lasting relationships between ESADE and some of the finest consulting companies in the Middle East – and give its members a first exposure to the dynamic world of consulting in Dubai. Read the rest of this entry »

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Amsterdam Trek | ESADE Marketing Club

The Marketing Club traveled to Amsterdam to visit top companies in the area to learn further about their marketing practices! Together with the E&E Club, fifty ESADE MBA student embarked on this trip.  Read the rest of this entry »

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The ESADE Luxury and Retail Club TREK

In February, 2016 the ESADE Luxury and Retail club went to the fashion capital of Paris for their first Trek! We participated in the Luxury and Retail Career Forum, a career event hosted for the first time in Paris! Participating schools included London Business School, HEC Paris, INSEAD Business School, SDA Bocconi, Rotterdam School of Management, and IESE Business School. Read the rest of this entry »

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