Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation: TUM Delegation Completes International Study Trip Visiting San Francisco Bay Area

Direct insights into business practice in one of the world’s leading innovation hotbeds. This was the formula for our Executive MBA in Innovation & Business Creation international study trip to the San Francisco Bay Area from 25 August – 4 September 2019.

Starting off the itinerary, the TUM School of Management delegation participated in a welcome dinner with a chance to network, which turned out an important side effect of this study trip. During the five-day course program at UC Berkeley, the participants completed courses and workshops on entrepreneurship, corporate innovation and venture capital. They were supported by long-time TUM liaisons and UC Berkeley faculty Prof. Jerome Engel und Dr. David Charron.

As the foundation for these practice-oriented courses, participants shared their team projects as live cases for discussing market segmentation and product-market-fit. Furthermore, the teams faced an important moment in the genesis of their projects: They presented their ideas in a pitch round in front of a panel of seasoned investors, which elicited valuable feedback.

Rounding out the course curriculum at UC Berkeley, a number of successful start-up founders shared insights and business lessons with the group, including: Chris Baker (co-founder of Terabase), Mauricio Prieto (co-founder of eDreams), and Scott Kucirek (founder of Ocho).

The group embarked on a company tour around the San Francisco Bay Area. Destinations included Munich Re at Plug and Play Tech Center, where our participants experienced models of cooperation between established corporations and rising start-ups. The visits provided insights into the formation of companies such as the venture capital-financed biotech start-up MissionBio, the web-based free TV platform as well as the global venture capital fund 500 Startups. A visit at Uber ATG provided a glimpse into the company’s evolution into a holistic mobility platform.

To conclude the trip, the group participated in a pitch event hosted by the German American Business Association and EIT Digital. This setting also provided another welcome chance to network with company founders, investors, as well as politicians. The participants are currently distilling their impressions from abroad into a reflection paper comparing both innovation hubs – Munich and Silicon Valley.

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