EMBA Fribourg soaks up Boston’s entrepreneurial spirit
After their study week in Burlington, Vermont, the Executive MBA class from the School of Management in Fribourg visited Boston for two and a half days in order to experience the entrepreneurial spirit in one of the biggest innovation hubs worldwide. The very busy schedule allowed the students to connect with Swiss and US entrepreneurs and to learn how to start a business in a highly competitive environment where world class universities and entrepreneurial aggregation lead to great innovation.
Ankush Chopra gave the class a nice introduction on how to craft a high impact innovation strategy on their first day. After these very intense two hours, the group made a guided tour through the Harvard University and learned not only about the history of the university but also about the very different education system compared to Switzerland. In the afternoon, after enjoying food from the swissbäkers, Cris de Luca continued talking about innovation in Boston. Following this talk, the class filled two mini buses and drove out to Westborough to visit Patrick Ballmer, a Swiss citizen and chairman of the Boston chapter of the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce, and his company “sotax”. The tour was highly rated by the students resulting in a discussion of more than an hour after the tour.
Kim Blair from Sports Innovation @ MIT and Cooper Perkins opened the second day with a talk about innovation in academia and industry. Following this talk, five lawyers from Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C. gave a very deep insight into the laws and regulations of how to enter the US market as a European company or start-up. Before heading to the Cambridge Innovation Center in the afternoon, the group made a short guided tour through the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and enjoyed a nice dinner at the Legal Sea Foods Restaurant at Kendall Square. The afternoon at the CIC started with a presentation of Patrick Anquetil, who gave an overview of his career growing up in France, studying at ETH, doing a PhD at MIT, making an MBA at Harvard before starting as a successful entrepreneur currently bringing his second start-up into business. The people from the CIC warmly welcomed the group and gave them a tour through the CIC, before they could participate at the Venture Café that takes place every Thursday and gives a great opportunity to mingle with other entrepreneurs.
The last morning consisted of two talks about Intercultural Management. Marion Estienne and Jos Scheffelaar were both talking about their own experience and shared their expertise in the business with the students. Professor Eric Decosterd and his class traveled home with many new insights, experiences and impressions.