The Master in Management Disruptive Innovation Challenge 2023 took place at EADA’s campus from the 28th to 30th of March, and it was an exciting event that brought together participants from different backgrounds and cultures, who are currently studying at EADA, to work collaboratively and unleash their creativity. Led by EADA’s Dean, Jordi Díaz, and Professor James Haigh, the Challenge aimed to encourage innovative thinking and provide a platform for participants to develop disruptive business ideas in just three days.
The teams of participants were tasked with building their own disruptive innovations using the three principles of innovative disruption: making the impossible possible, the exclusive inclusive, and accessible the inaccessible. These principles challenged the participants to think beyond traditional boundaries and come up with bold and unconventional ideas to address real-world problems.
Throughout the challenge, the participants had the opportunity to hear from inspiring innovators and mentors, who were all EADA Alumni. Among the mentors were Sana Khouja Laout, CEO and Founder of Drink Zeena and Salua García Fakih, CEO and Founder of Symplifica, alumni of the International MBA and International Master in Leadership program respectively. Additionally, the participants were supported by three alumni from the Master in Management program who acted as mentors: Ricard Tapias i Guillén, Co-Founder and CEO of DeWocracy and Implementation Manager at Psquared, David Vives Colilles, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Tennders, and Mike Reiffers, Founder and Managing Partner of skeeled.
The winning project for this year’s Master in Management Disruptive Innovation Challenge was Straw Mate, which exemplified the principle that innovation is not just about invention but also about addressing challenges in business models, value networks, and go-to-market strategies. The team members, Sophia Gil White (Venezuela), Timofey Titov (Kazakhstan), Kshemendra Gourav (India), Mario Ricardo Rodríguez Aguirre (Mexico) and Eduardo Veiga de Macedo (Portugal), tackled a real and growing problem by focusing on a solution that has already been “invented” but has not been successfully brought to the people who need it. The team’s approach showcased their understanding of the practical aspects of innovation, and their ability to turn a great idea into a viable business.
We got in touch with the participants of the winning team and asked them to share their experience and feelings after winning this challenge.
Sophia told us that what she enjoyed the most was working together with a great team solving a problem that she felt very passionate about. Her biggest takeaway from this challenge was that for her, every problem in the world is already being solved by one way or another, efficiently or inefficiently, in a good or a bad way. She explained that the great thing about the Disruptive Innovation Challenge was that you have to come up with the best and most creative solution for a need that is currently being solved in other ways. She believes the solution can be simple or complex, but it has to be better than the current solutions.
When Kshemendra was asked about what he learned and the biggest challenge he faced,he explained it was the fact of learning how to fall in love with the problems that we have in the world, by analyzing the problem thoroughly so that an innovative solution can be created and executed. The biggest challenge that he faced was the implementation of the solution, because there are various issues like authorization and capturing the market and target segments to increase usage of the product Kshemendra explained that even an innovative idea is not useful if it does not satisfy customers and stakeholders.
He expressed that his teammates were very collaborative, and they worked well as a group.The different backgrounds of the team members contributed in many ways during the process of their project. He explained that all their backgrounds, soft skills, social skills and hard work made the team successful.
For Mario, the most rewarding part of the challenge was working together with people from many different backgrounds and working toward the same objective, in addition to the mentorship received and the feedback received from experts in innovation . Finally, when asked about finding any interesting insights during the process of creating and developing Straw Mate, Mario said to be able to be completely devoted to a project, you need to be engaged with it andwilling to make it work. Once you fall in love with the project, everything will start to flow smoothly.