Karlsruhe Business Masters Challenge 2009: Part I

This week’s blog entry is about seizing an opportunity and against all odds making it into a reality, which for me was entering the Karlsruhe Business Masters Challenge 2009. I will be providing you with a small anecdote of my experience. I suppose it’s best to begin at how I managed to get a team together for the competition. When I received the email that advertised the competition, I had not yet started my Master’s at EBS and hence knew nobody there.

The pre-case was really interesting; a team of three was required to develop a sustainable entrepreneurial business start-up concept that addressed one of the problems outlined in the case. The case in short was about a figurative city “Eco-city” which was holding a world sports event in 2012, was in the southern hemisphere, had a low average per capita income, high unemployment and the city itself had problems with air pollution, transportation and energy capacity and supply. Really a challenging and fairly realistic scenario was outlined in the case and the challenge of producing a pre-case solution stared me in the face.

I went into problem solving mode, the first hurdle and quite a significant one was my lack of team. It just so happened that I had begun correspondence with another incoming Masters student, DS. So I had another look at the pre-case which had to be prepared and spontaneously dropped an email to DS asking him if he was interested in participating and forming a team for the challenge. Thankfully he was keen and he had an idea for a third member too, which he managed to secure, MT. We now had a team of three members and were able to register to enter the competition.

DS and MT knew each other; I on the other hand had not met either of these characters in person. So through a good few Skype calls and many, many emails we got to know each other and prepared our pre-case solution. The challenging thing was that our submission was to consist, according to the rules of the contest, of only a five slide PowerPoint presentation, which had to convey our idea and business plan. Moreover we would never give the presentation, so we had to strike a fine balance between crowding too much information onto the slides and not putting enough on them. After working on the project for a few weeks on and off, the deadline quickly approached and the urgency and concentration increased significantly, and about 15 minutes before the deadline we completed our presentation and submitted it. Final touches always take a lot longer than one thinks! Next we continued with our lives while we waited and waited…

In next week’s blog I will tell you what happened…

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