For the last 9 years, students of the International Master in Management have been able to do their final business project within the ACCIO MAP (Market Assessment Program), a collaboration programme between EADA and ACCIÓ, a government-sponsored agency promoting competition between businesses in the region.
The main goal of the programme is to help launch technology-based companies that are in their initial stages of development onto the market, helping to develop local technology and innovation companies.
With this in mind, ACCIÓ and EADA put the entrepreneurs and EADA students in contact and EADA participants become consultants of an entrepreneur initiative for their business Project. The students, accompanied by a tutor who is a senior consultant, design a roadmap for the development and launch of the product/service together with an initial business plan.
We interviewed a group of MiM students 2018-2019, their tutor and the leaders of the Project to learn more about the experience of working together.
Miguel Ángel Mañanas Villanueva and Mislav Jordanić are researchers from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya who have developed MyoSleeve, a wearable device for rehabilitation of tennis elbow which monitors muscular activation and fatigue, information that “medical doctors consider critical for personalized rehabilitation”, the researchers affirm.
How was your experience with EADA students during the MAP programme?
The MAP programme has helped us understand that a good research Project does not necessarily translate to a good innovation Project. Excellent science is not enough- there must also be a clear need in the market as well as a sustainable business model. MAP helped us identify the objective values of our business and how to exploit them in the business plan.
What are the next steps for this Project after the MAP programme?
The next steps are to execute the business plan developed during the program, and use the skills obtained to constantly challenge it’s validity and improve it as necessary.
The students who participated in the Project with MyoSleeve were Milad Rezazad (Iran), Maria Ramos (Portugal), Brenda Odari (Kenya), Pinky Yadav (India) and Cristina Perez (Venezuela).
What has been your role as a team throughout the project? What challenges did you face?
First of all, we did market research in the form of interviews and questionnaires to find the best possible target group for the product. Afterwards, we developed a business plan with a focus on the internal operations and external operations of Myosleeve.
Market research and data validation were definitely a challenge- There is so much data that makes it hard to identify what is right.
What do you value the most from this experience?
What we value the most is that this is a real project – real world experience – working with a startup, making decisions regarding the future of this company, and developing a viable business plan in order to enter the market.
We used the databases available at the Knowledge and Information center, and the Marketing, Finance and Strategy courses have been very helpful for the Project.
Apart from the tools provided by EADA, the students also counted on the help of EADA’s professor Bart Huisken, who was their tutor and senior consultant of the Project.
What is the impact of this project the EADA participant’s learning process?
Because it is a real case of a new company (university spinoff) in the process of being launched, the EADA participants can see first hand how the process of writing a business plan works.
What are the benefits for this Project to collaborate with business school participants?
The entrepreneurs learn to a systematic approach to entrepreneurship and also learn how to make a convincing business plan.
The most challenging part was the fact that, whilst the entrepreneurs were doing customer discovery through interviews, most of the plan was changing and the participants needed to adapt to new information and structure this new information into a coherent and consistent business plan.