As the MBA prepares to join the ESADE Creapolis campus, it’s worth commenting on all the activities related to entrepeneurship and innovation that are happening in the program. These activities, as a collective, allow ESADE to position itself as “the Innovation MBA”– a unique space with many schools eager to be seen as the Finance MBA, the Marketing MBA, or the Accounting MBA for established companies. While MBA students may not be the most likely to start a company from scratch, there is definitely a need for the MBA profile in small companies looking to reach profitability, solidify their brand, or expand internationally.
With that said, here’s a brief run-down of the resources available at the MBA to educate students about entrepreneurship and help them execute their business idea.
- The Entrepeneurship module within the MBA. Working in small groups, students prepare a business plan and conduct a feasibility study. The course is conducted over several terms to allow for robust study and implementation. Beabloo (a CRM platform) and Offset Options (a carbon offset consultancy) are two examples of flourishing startups that began in this course.
- TEDxESADE, an annual conference which contributes to the social debate on innovation and entrepreneurship. It will be held this year on April 13th. Speakers include ESADE faculty, alumni and staff who are respected in their various fields of expertise.
- Esade Qwest for Talent, a yearly event where startups hold workshops to generate ideas. Many also recruit MBA interns and employees. This year’s edition was held last month and featured over 100 students and 23 companies. Standout corporate participants include AirBnB (2012), Odigeo (2012), and Groupon (2011).
- The ESADE Entrepeneurship Institute, which produces academic research on best practices in entrepeneurship. ESADE faculty like Eugenia Bieto and Francesc Lamolla often publish in peer-reviewed journals about entrepreneurship.
- E-Garage, a workspace for entrepreneurs in Creapolis. Student entrepreneurs bounce ideas off one another and interact with entrepreneurs-in-residence from more established companies.
Given the increasing acceptance of the idea of MBAs as entrepreneurs (see this article in The Economist), as well as the growing uncertainty of traditional career paths, it is exciting to see ESADE offer so many resources for would-be entrepreneurs.