and Innovation
Issue #9
16 May 2024

As we approach graduation for the IESE MBA Class of 2024, we celebrate the achievements of our students. This includes the Caatinga Bank team, who secured second place at the Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge, and MBA'24 Nura Smadi, recognized on the 'Poets and Quants 2024 Best & Brightest MBAs' list for her dedication to sustainability and positive change. These women exemplify IESE's mission of developing leaders committed to making a profound and lasting impact on people, companies, and society. Join us in celebrating their success!

We hope you enjoy it.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center team.  

entrepreneurial finance.
IESE MBA team among winners of 2024 Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge  

Congratulations to Gabriela Galera, Luana Nogueira, Carolina Pascotto, and Danielle van Drunen, the MBA students who secured second place in the prestigious Kellogg-Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge with their project, Caatinga Bank. This impact investment project aims to bolster small farms in Brazil's Caatinga Biome with working capital loans, technical assistance, and stable futures contracts.
The competition brought together 12 groups from global business schools to address social and sustainability issues through innovative financial products. Well done to all winners and participants!

Poets and Quants 2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Nura Smadi, IESE MBA’24

Poets & Quants has published its annual ‘The Best & Brightest MBAs: Class of 2024.’ Nura Smadi (IESE MBA’24) earned a coveted spot on the list for her dedication to sustainability and positive change. During her MBA, she led the Responsible Business Club and organized the Doing Good Doing Well conference. A strategic thinker anchored in compassion and adaptability, her multicultural upbringing shaped her global outlook and passion for diversity. Post-graduation, she aims to merge sustainability, international development, and strategic partnership management. Read the full interview and discover more about Nura's inspiring journey and accomplishments.

Open innovation and European projects at the center of WeStart mentoring

On May 15th, IESE hosted the latest WeStart gathering. On this occasion the meeting focused on ‘Opportunities via Open Innovation and European Projects’. The event explored how open innovation fosters collaboration beyond borders and encourages organizations to collaborate externally for new ideas and resources, driving growth and innovation. WeStart, an integral part of IESE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, is a community of early-stage entrepreneurs and mentors dedicated to supporting initiatives and people who believe in having a positive impact on business and society. It is aimed at startups that have validated commercial products with customers or have early commercialization of up to €500,000.

IESE's Summer Entrepreneurship Experience kicks off 

Starting on May 24th, IESE's Summer Entrepreneurship Experience offers MBA students hands-on learning to transform ideas into businesses. Supported by IESE's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, this initiative guides aspiring entrepreneurs in validating and developing new busines models. In this immersive experience, students will step out of the classroom to engage directly with customers, partners, and suppliers, experiencing the real-world challenges of starting a company. Working in teams, they will use a business model canvas and agile development to refine their products based on real-world feedback.

corporate innovation.
Join IESE’s Digital Innovation Forum

Join us on June 11th, from 17:00 to 19:45 at IESE’s South Campus in Barcelona, to explore how digital innovation can transform your business.
At the Forum, you'll discover how to create and expand an open innovation strategy for your company, collaborate with deep-tech entrepreneurs, and leverage cutting-edge technologies to boost your business. Speakers include IESE professors Mª Julia Prats and Yuliya Snihur, IESE's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center Executive Director Josemaria Siota, and innovation experts from top corporations. Sign up today!

corporate innovation.
IESE Business Model Challenge: Ready to transform your business?

Does your company face an interesting and important business model challenge? And would you like to see it tackled by a highly motivated MBA student team following a clear methodology? Then this might just be for you. Led by Professor Christoph Zott, our IESE Business Model Challenge returns this September. Join us as MBA teams analyze and develop innovative proposals for existing firms' business models. Are you ready for this exciting opportunity? Explore more details here.  

IESE's Founders Radar
Starting a new venture? Looking to connect with one? Check out IESE's Founders Radar

corporate innovation.
Exploring collective purpose in families

Research has shown that individual purpose leads to positive outcomes, but little is known about collective purpose, where a group shares a long-term intention to contribute beyond themselves. This research article co-authored by Professor Heinrich Liechtenstein focuses on family purpose, a specific form of collective purpose. Key factors supporting these purposes include shared virtues, cohesive structures, purpose champions, religious beliefs, humble leaders, and strong family identities. Learn more about the power of collective purpose and its potential to transform families and communities.

sustainable finance.
Sustainability disclosure on investors: Does it lead to portfolio decarbonization?   

Despite some business leaders' frustration with the EU's Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), new research suggests it’s linked to lower emissions. An online poll by the European Commission revealed that 66% of respondents felt SFDR disclosures created more confusion than clarity, raising greenwashing risks. However, research by IESE professors Gaizka Ormazabal, Fernando Peñalva, and Robert Raney, alongside Jiyuan Dai of the University of Cyprus, found a 6.6% greater decline in carbon emissions in SFDR-bound funds compared to others. This reduction results from investments shifting to greener companies and firms cutting emissions under investor pressure. Learn more in this IESE Insight article and access the working paper here


16 May Search Funds Investor Summit
17 May Search Funds CEO Summit 
21 May Business Angels Forum
21 May GEMBA Panel of Entrepreneurs
21 May  Panel at Axis Global Innovation Conference Tel Aviv
21 May MiM Entrepreneurship Club panel with IESE 40under40 founders
21 - 22 May Business Angels Academy
29 May The NTWK Summit: Keynote by Professor Mª Julia Prats
3 June  GEMBA Entrepreneurship onboarding
3 June EU Scaling Club: Challenge Roadmap Workshop
5-7 June Presenting at South Summit Madrid
7 June MBA Virtual Tour of IESE's VentureHub
10 June PDD Entrepreneurship onboarding
12 June WeGrow gathering
14 June EU Scaling Club: Validation Workshop
15 June MiM Entrepreneurship Conference
Become an Entrepreneurship and Innovation ambassador 
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