By Hanna Evron, current International MBA student

Our group of technology passionate April IMBA students attended the TechCrunch Disrupt Europe conference in October to gain deeper insights about startup and venture capital opportunities in the upcoming months. The conference included speakers such as Uri Levine (Waze), Justin Kan (Y Combinator) and the team representing the newly launched Google Ventures EU, which discussed valuable lessons in entrepreneurship, and bringing new ideas to life within Europe.  Hearing from unicorn founders, well known investors and regulators helped provide us with a new perspective into the crossroads between our learnings in Entrepreneurship, Technology, Marketing, Finance and Government as well as hear incredible real life examples of both the good and bad that await in the dynamic startup space.  

The conference also included networking opportunities with newly launched as well as established ventures in the technology space across Europe, proving that one does not have to go to Silicon Valley to start a successful business and Madrid is without a doubt fertile ground to do so. Over 100 startups presented their concepts in various stages throughout the event and offered an opportunity to have a first look at exciting new technologies currently under development. It was incredible to hear pitches from bright entrepreneurs launching innovative new products within the frameworks we have studied and help them consider different areas of their business as they grow. Watching startups pitch in front of a global audience at the Startup Battlefield was an incredible experience as we continue to learn what makes a good pitch and what types of questions to anticipate from investors evaluating the opportunity on it’s financial merits. As much as we loved some of the concepts, it was here that we learned a good idea is simply not enough when competing against other equally strong products in the market.  

In the incredibly diverse London environment and the newly emerging Silicon Roundabout atmosphere it was truly eye opening to see the opportunities for entrepreneurship and technology here in Europe. The connections made will be valuable as some of us prepare to build businesses in Venture Lab and others consider employment in this growing segment in the months to come. The trip was a terrific opportunity to implement our MBA education in real life and time well spent bonding with fellow IMBA friends.