Have you ever had a business idea that you feel is worth pursuing? Or maybe you are on your way up the corporate ladder and aim for higher goals? One way or the other, I am glad to share with you the learnings I had during the past months in the Executive MBA at Frankfurt School, which are helping me to shape my entrepreneurship project now.
At first, I will give you a glimpse of the German SMEs and the keys to their success, then I will talk about the elective module I chose with a special focus on startups. Enjoy my insights!
As part of an SME of the manufacturing sector, I knew about these companies’ relevance in their contribution to a nation’s GDP, their long-term orientation, and their succession conundrum; briefly, I had questions, pains, and doubts concerning this topic. As a foreigner who relocated to Germany, I wondered how the SME’s in this country face the challenges I previously mentioned and the key to their success.
In the module “Hidden Champions” we deep-dove in different study cases and had many CEOs as guest speakers in the Executive talks. One of them leads one of the oldest companies in Germany. Founded in 1756, this company really caught my attention because it was established even before the United States foundation. This CEO shared his insights on strategy and the transformation he is leading to help the company stay at the top of the game.
Another guest speaker, from the building sector, explained how innovation and globalization drive his business to grow. Topics such as the challenges of performance culture, succession planning, digitalization, and sustainability were also on the agenda. This was a definitely a one of a kind experience.
Let aside the faculty’s fantastic work to carefully pull this module together after the COVID spring lockdown; the motivation, knowledge, and experiences my colleagues shared during this elective module made it a remarkable one in my journey.
Wondering how to start your business in today’s environment and minimize the risks of failure? Or are you an intrapreneur bringing innovation to your company? These are some of the questions I had that lead my decision to take the elective module “New Venture Creation” in Tel Aviv, or how we like to call it, the startup module.
This module is developed together with one of the leading institutes for startups worldwide and home to a thriving startup ecosystem. The module turned out to be a well-rounded hands-on experience of the processes that are disrupting industries and bringing fabulous products to our lives.
The professors guided us through the agile world of startups. We ran experiments to verify our hypothesis and iterated our business model. It was great to go from ideation to minimum viable product to finalize and presenting the pitch within a week.
My takeaways for future ventures are, that entrepreneurship is more interesting when you do it with a team, agility is a must and its possible to minimize the risk of failure through validated learning.
In conclusion, my road in the Executive MBA has been one of personal growth, discovery, and perspectives’ shift. Therefore, I want to encourage those interested that right now navigate through uncertain ideas, to find answers, challenge themselves and improve one’s decision-making and leadership skills by increasing their knowledge, tool kits, and experiences with a group of interesting classmates that will help you to develop the best version of yourself.