From 14th to 16th February, participants of EADA’s International Master in Management took part in the MiM Innovation Challenge. Over 3 days, they had the opportunity to live an experience as if they were in a real start-up to practice the disruptive innovation principles. This Challenge is like a boot camp, a short time period where all participants challenge themselves by working in teams, under pressure to choose the best possible solution to the problem and applying the disruptive innovation framework.
On the first day, participants received the first input, Jordi Diaz (EADA’s Dean) and James Haigh gave them the introduction and framework. During the second day, in the morning, participants had the opportunity to listen to three different inspiring stories from innovators: Anna-Sophia Kouparanis (Germany), Co-Founder Bloomwell Group; Judit Giró (Spain), Co-Founder and CEO The Blue Box; and Stephanie Hoyle (Perú), Venture CEO Farmauna. In the afternoon, they had to work on their projects and for this, they counted on the help of three mentors: Mike Reiffers (Master in Management Class of 2013-14), who is the Founder & Managing Partner at skeeled; David Vives Colilles (Master in Management Class of 2019-20), who is the Co-Founder & Executive Director at Tennders; and Ricard Tapias i Guillén (Master in Management Class of 2016-17), who is the Co-Founder & CEO of DeWocracy. On the last day, three finalists were chosen to present their projects in front all the participants in the challenge.
You Matter is this year’s winning project, the solution Giulio Ferreti, Candelaria Nordahl Olsen, David Rausell and Vasco Pereira (MiM Participants of the winning team) found for the difficulties young adults have to access mental health therapy. They propose an affordable, accessible and approachable platform where young adults can get real support and help and care for their mental health.
We interviewed the winning group representative, Giulio Ferreti, and asked him about their project and their experience during the MiM Innovation Challenge.
1. Can you explain to us what your project consisted of?
Sure, we started off by thinking about the problem of accessibility to emotional and mental health support, it’s hard to find it and very expensive. So we started from there, and we realized there were a lot of people, a big number of people who have this need, do not seek or do not reach support. So we tried to find a way to make it as cheap as possible for the people, so make it as accessible as possible with low cost and most of the benefits of therapy without being therapy necessarily. So, a commitment with similar rewards for people who have any kind of mental problems that are mild and not severe.
2. Who came up with the idea? And why did you decide to focus on this problem?
Honestly, Vasco Pereira came up with this idea while brainstorming at the beginning of this project. Then by talking about it, as I had previous experience in psychology, we started analyzing a bit more, and the more we thought about it and the more we talked about it, the more it seemed a good idea. So we went ahead.
3. What has been the most challenging part of the three days of competition?
Well, the fact that it wasn’t three days. Theoretically it was over three days but it was actually less than 48 hours probably. So a lot of work in not enough time, we had to make compromises, we had to try to give the best research analysis as possible with the problem and come up with the best fitting solution for this problem in such a short time. We were only four people to actually work and it was challenging. So I think the time pressure was the biggest obstacle.
4. How has the experience been of working like a real start-up? How did you feel?
Yes, for sure it felt like it was real. I mean not just coming up with the idea, I think the pressure was good to actually make it productive and make everyone in the group more committed to delivering the best thing we could deliver. But also the pitch, it was very unique and very similar to an experience that could be a real pitch in a real life situation. So, a lot of pressure, and a lot of good and difficult questions, which was very helpful for everybody I think.
5. What are the main lessons that you have learned during these three days and that can help you in the future for your career?
Listening to everyone involved trying to find compromises and keeping an open mind by not focusing on one solution specifically and making that the end result, but trying to come up with the best solution to the problem you’re looking for and not getting attached to anyone in particular. The lesson is just find the best thing you can deliver, the best value you can deliver to the customers and the people you’re reaching.
6. Do you have any reflection about the inspirational stories you heard on the second day of The MiM Innovation Challenge?
It was nice that it was a very crosscultural. Three people, very different backgrounds, very different cultures, very different ideas as well. So it gives hope to know that even though a lot of people are working on a lot of projects there’s always space for a new idea, there is always space for a new thing to discover, to work on to make happen. I think that’s the most inspirational thing about the morning session yesterday.