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Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation: Participants Commence Active Project Work and Tour Munich Area Start-Ups

The new class of our Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation kicked off their team projects on 18 May after participants had spent April immersing themselves in focus areas such as values, team experiences and opportunity recognition.

As an introduction, the group completed a two-day course in Entrepreneurial Behavior and Teams by Prof. Nicola Breugst (TUM). Charting the course for future project work, the group divided into teams for business projects on the night of 18 May at a dinner session over pizza and beer. They received support from two business coaches using the Gallup Strengthsfinders Method to identify each team member’s individual strengths and allocate responsibilities accordingly.

On 20 May it was time to commence the active project work: As a starting point, each team defined an underlying business problem for its project and made first assumptions regarding possible target groups. During the Empathy Lab with Dora Panayotova, teams learned to identify the problem context and stakeholders. As the next step, 21 May was dedicated to market research in the field with qualitative interviews. The teams approached interview partners on campus and at locations like the airport in order to validate their hypotheses.

In support of these insights, the groups conducted qualitative and quantitative market research in order to perform estimates regarding customer demand and market size for their business projects. On 22 May, the first course segment wrapped up with a vernissage in which the entire class provided feedback on the current state of progress.

During the second course segment from 1 – 4 June, the main focus was on finding solutions for the specific problem scenarios each team is facing. An ideation session further helped identifying initial problem-solving strategies and was supported by coaches in sketching first prototypes. During a storytelling workshop on Sunday afternoon with filmmaker Albert Bozesan the teams had a chance to elaborate on their value proposition and get insights on how to sell their stories to relevant stakeholders.

On 3 June, project work in teams continued with full focus, supported by Katja Bossert from Bossert Associates and nine business coaches. For their personal development, participants were assigned a tandem partner to provide peer-to-peer coaching and constant feedback beyond that day.

Concluding the course segment, the group had the opportunity to embark on a start-up tour in the Munich area and obtain lessons from successful founders and entrepreneurs. During a visit at fos4x headquarters, founder Lars Hoffmann placed special emphasis on dealing with team conflicts. At the UnternehmerTUM start-up incubator XPRENEURS in the Atlas Werksviertel business park, the teams received a glimpse into how an initial business idea started as a team project can become reality and move forward.

Next up, the tour visited the headquarters of RECUP, where founder Fabian Eckert outlined the company’s go-to market strategy and explored the role of transparency and values in organizational design. Afterwards, Tarek Ouertani introduced the start-up proGlove while especially highlighting elements of the company pitch with great narrative elements, thereby bringing the class full-circle to the earlier storytelling workshop.

Rounding out an eventful day, more than 25 alumni of the Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation stopped by the proGlove offices to share their business experiences with the new class. We are looking forward to seeing the next stage of these promising team projects.

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