How an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is helping me enter the startup scene in Mexico
Entrepreneurship is the backbone of the Mexican economy. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) run by entrepreneurs provide more than 70% of jobs in the country.
Originally from Ecuador, Sergio Chamba is one of those entrepreneurs and a future full-time graduate.
He used the expertise, network and confidence gained during the course to get involved in the budding startup sector in Mexico.
Why an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation?
Prior to enrolling in the MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Sergio worked as an IT director at cybersecurity and IT infrastructure startup Harso Technologies. The company helps companies choose, implement and optimize software and hardware solutions tailored to their security concerns.
Sergio is involved every step of the way, from initial conversations with potential customers, to designing the solution itself, to customer follow-up.
Although he ran an already successful business, Sergio wanted to deepen his knowledge of business operations and refine his management strategy.
“[My business partner and I] made a lot of mistakes, more than I would like to admit, when we first started running the business, ”he explains. “We didn’t know how to do certain things, or how to properly measure results. “
That’s why Sergio turned to EGADE’s MBA in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which he said would help him become a more meticulous and resourceful leader. “I wanted the advice that an MBA offers,” he adds.
In addition to general guidance on navigating key technical aspects of a business, from finance to strategy, the program offers venture capital presentation sessions, workshops with industry leaders, and trips to the main centers of entrepreneurship, notably Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley.
“[Those opportunities] opened up our vision of what is possible in business, ”recalls Sergio.
EGADE is also the highest ranked business school in Latin America according to the QS Global MBA ranking, which Sergio took into account when choosing the program. “I always try to be the best at what I do, and for that reason I looked for the best school I could go to,” he says.
Make startup dreams come true
Not only did Sergio want to hone his management skills to better run his business and innovate within this existing structure, but he also wanted to learn how to start his own business.
The program’s emphasis on entrepreneurship, and the many workshops and conferences it offers that can help kick-start a project, caught Sergio’s attention.
“Before I applied, I didn’t know anything about how to pitch an investor, how to create a pitch deck and all that is needed to start a new business,” he says. “I had so many ideas for different businesses, but I wasn’t sure if these ideas were going to be profitable or successful.”
Two classes in particular helped Sergio find the answers to these questions: a module on how to cultivate entrepreneurship and a module on finance for entrepreneurs.
“It taught us what is needed for a new startup to work. Not only do you need a good idea, but also the ability to execute it, ”he says.
These two modules were both the greatest highlights and the greatest challenges of the course for Sergio. “It was so much information we had to digest. It was very demanding, much more than I expected, ”he says. “But the knowledge we gained from the course was so invaluable to us. “
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What the future holds for Sergio
With only a few weeks remaining in the program and four months before graduation, Sergio began to implement these teachings into his own career.
At Harso Technologies, he is exploring new avenues for the company to move in the right direction. Although he has yet to return to full-time work, he is looking to find the right marketing strategy to help the business grow and move forward.
Thanks to the entrepreneurial skills he acquired at EGADE, Sergio also plans to launch his own sustainability startup with a classmate.
The idea is to make sheets from the plastic that is in recycling warehouses and use them to replace wood used in construction, which is chemically treated, used to form the structures in which concrete is poured, then discarded.
This new company would both give a second life to non-recycled plastic and offer an alternative to a construction model that contaminates the environment.
“We already have a prototype,” says Sergio. “We started in Colombia and as we refine the production process and supply chains we can replicate the business model here in Mexico. “
The next few months are sure to be very busy for Sergio and his classmate as they prepare to contribute to Mexico’s thriving entrepreneurial sector.
Reflecting on the past year, Sergio concludes: “This MBA was definitely worth the time I invested.