50 ESADE MBA students.
17 startups and venture capital companies.
5 days of excitement.
The ESADE MBA Berlin study tour for Class of 2018 didn’t put students sitting in a university classroom, but kept us moving from one company’s office to another, with a 7-day Berlin AB zone metro ticket.
In the pleasant breeze of Northern Germany’s month of June, we arrived in Berlin, which was once the greatest city of the world, and was seriously destroyed in WWII. Berlin bears mixed memories of pain and loss, but today it is vibrant and new again, and is recognized as one of the best startup hubs of Europe.
Right after one week’s intensive course of Business Simulation of an established corporate business, it was a swift change of mind to dive into a startup and high-growth world. To help students “switch over”, we took a soft landing on the first day. Our beloved professor Jan Brinckmann guided us into preliminary research of our chosen companies, and we spent the next day studying their current situation in markets, finance, operations and such. Some companies were so new, that we had to phone them to ask for more information. The tasks weren’t easy, but ESADE MBA students love challenging the unknowns!
After the initial studies, we presented the results to each other and started our company tours on Wednesday afternoon. The landing process helped everybody understand the business ideas and business models, as well as the core financial numbers. We arrived in the startups and venture capital companies with questions. All of the hosts were open and honest, and we have had incredible learnings. We were soaked in the world of innovation, and fully enjoyed the hands-on spirit of the entrepreneurs, and the amazing connections of the startup circle in Berlin.
Besides the company visit, ESADE has also arranged an alumni event for us to expand our network. We had amazing food and free drinks at the Ahoy! cowork space and some of the companies’ founders, HRs and employees also joined us.
We closed the study tour with a bonus visit to HelloFresh and students were so amazed by their business, that we suggested the next year study tour’s closing lunch should be placed in HelloFresh’s company kitchen.
Many students have considered this study tour one of the highlights of the MBA program. The Berlin study tour matches a following course on VC&PE perfectly, showcasing the capability of coordination between different subjects at the ESADE MBA.