In early August of 2000, betahausX was presented with the challenge of taking 100 of IMD University's MBA students on an immersive tour that would open the door to Berlin's business ecosystem and provide them with hands-on learning and networking experience.
The main challenge was not so much guiding 100 students through tight scheduling as it was finding ways to keep everyone safe during a sensitive time and in line with the corona pandemic official safety guidelines.
We succeeded in that part of the challenge by implementing contact tracing apps and breaking down the group into smaller groups while ensuring that every student received a meaningful set of interactions and experiences.
All three groups visited the betahaus coworking space in Kreuzberg at a different time to meet Max, the company's cofounder. Max talked about the ways in which a coworking space can create an entire business ecosystem that empowers emerging companies and entrepreneurs.
The students met with nine entrepreneurs and representatives of startups and scaleups from the ecosystem, based on their stated preference (??). The three panel discussions, which we titled Ignite Talks, exposed each group to the development and survival dynamic of new and maturing businesses, their successes and shortcomings, present challenges and the implementation of professional networks.
For some students this was an opportunity to talk about their own ideas and connect with professionals based in Berlin. While theoretical knowledge and student-teacher collaborations are fundamental parts of the learning curve, having the opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs who are on the proving grounds, constitutes an invaluable experience.
While absorbing the insights delivered by the exceptional individuals from the betahaus Berlin ecosystem, the students were able to trace out the fundamentals of purposeful networking and expand their own list of professional contacts.
Three additional events completed a full day's schedule of activities for the future leaders from IMD University’s MBA school.
Nicolas Reitmeier, entrepreneur and strategy consultant, talked from his experience as a product developer for large corporations looking for high-tech solutions. Nicolas made mention of developing business models, strategies, prototypes, raising operational funds, attracting investors and more.
The topic of leadership was covered by Rebecca Weisl, founder of the Institute of Tech Life Balance and an expert in change management, leadership and innovation. Rebecca reflected on the changing nature of leadership through history ending with a contemplative coverage on the core precepts that comprise good leadership today and what is expected of business leaders.
The day concluded with an engaging workshop that was developed and facilitated by Lutz Haase who is all about helping people and businesses grow - by sharing his own experience, knowledge and network.
Lutz invited the participants to develop their own business prototypes by deploying their imagination and business acumen through the use of Lego blocks. The "innovations" were presented to the audience, but not before they were assessed for shortcomings and improvements.
The prototyping workshop enabled IMD's students of management and leadership to own their product and “sell it” in a way that is convincing and backed by deep knowledge of its inner workings.
betahausX made a significant contribution to GermanTech’s immersive Berlin experience for the students of IMD University by connecting them with exceptional individuals who have succeeded in completing the transition of harboring an ambition to realizing their entrepreneurial potential. The Ignite Talks and the networking it had availed was one part of the hands-on experience for the students. This experience was expanded on with two talking events featuring young business leaders who gave both a theoretical and factual account on the subjects of leadership and business development. In summary, we at betahausX delivered our best on the promise of providing these future business leaders and entrepreneurs with the best immersive experience in Berlin’s exciting business ecosystem.
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