and Innovation
Issue #8
2 May 2024


This issue comes packed with IESE’s student clubs’ activities, entrepreneurial finance news and trends, research on informal disruption, and much more! Are you interested to find out about the latest trends and behavior in business angel investments? Then don’t miss out the 'Business Angels 2024. Investment in startups: Activity and trends' report and our dedicated blog post. This week, we also bring you two interviews: Professor Jan Simon on search funds, and IESE 40under40 and MBA’11 Igor de Sota.

We hope you enjoy it.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center team.  

entrepreneurial finance.
Business angels annual report: Activity and trends  

IESE and the Spanish Association of Business Angels (AEBAN) have released their annual report 'Business Angels 2024. Investment in startups: Activity and trends', shedding light into Spanish business angels' activity. The report reveals cautious investment in 2023 and indicates that 89% of Spanish business angels are willing to invest in 2024, suggesting confidence in the market’s long-term potential. For more on preferred investment sectors, investor behavior, and emerging models, read our blog post and check the news story in the Spanish newspaper Expansión.

Entrepreneurial finance.
IESE Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference

IESE hosted its annual Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) Conference on 19 April at its Barcelona North Campus. The event gathered industry leaders to discuss key themes such as the impact of global economic shifts on investment exits, challenges and opportunities in emerging markets, climate investing, and more. Organized by the student-led Private Equity and Venture Capital Club, the conference offered participants a platform for exchanging insights and networking. Stay tuned to hear more about the PE&VC Club's activity on LinkedIn.

entrepreneurial finance.
Igor de la Sota: “Don’t perceive failure as failure”

Igor de la Sota (MBA’11 and IESE 40under40) is the Co-Founder of Cardumen Capital, a venture capital firm focusing on DeepTech and AgriFoodTech. He defines himself as pragmatic and very hard-working, and believes that elevated entrepreneurship goes beyond the measurable impact of a business. In this IESE Alumni interview series, Igor shares that, in a rapidly-changing world, his advice is to be flexible and very open, and “don’t perceive failure as failure – keep learning”. 

Pitching competition hosted by IESE's Startup and Entrepreneurship Club 

IESE's Startup and Entrepreneurship Club, led by MBA students, organized one of their last events of the year before they graduate in a few weeks’ time. ‘Turtle Tank’, the Club’s very own answer to the business reality show ‘Shark Tank’, offered (aspiring) entrepreneurs the opportunity to raise money, get feedback on their ideas, find co-founders, or simply practice their business pitches. Judges Alejandro Ribó (Netmentora), Josep Casas (Naturitas), and Beth Faus (Seaya Venture Capital) evaluated the pitches. The winner of the contest was Sergi Rivera with his project Whale Platform, congratulations to the winner and to all the participants!

IESE Startup Career Fair: Connecting MBA talent with Europe's top companies

IESE's Startup Career Fair was held at the Barcelona campus from 16 to 18 April. This year's event attracted over 100 MBA students and featured 37 companies, including 16 newcomers, from sectors such as technology, healthcare, consumer goods, general industry, finance, and energy. The fair connected startups with top-tier MBA talent, giving them access to a global pool of skills. Each company presented a five-minute pitch on job and internship opportunities, followed by a networking session.

IESE MiM students visit AWS Madrid

On 22 April, IESE Master in Management (MiM) students visited Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Madrid. Organized by IESE's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, the visit offered students the chance to explore AWS's innovative capabilities, learn about AWS Startup offerings and different programs, as well as their hiring process and Amazon's leadership principles. This experience provided students with valuable exposure to cutting-edge technology and industry practices.  

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

search funds.
Interview with Professor Jan Simon: The entrepreneurial acquisition journey

In this How2Exit podcast interview, Professor Jan Simon offers great insights into the search fund model: from the search phase to acquisition, growth, and exit strategy. After a successful career in the investment industry, Jan transitioned to academia about 20 years ago at IESE, where his friendship with search fund expert and fellow IESE Professor Rob Johnson sparked his interest in the model. Jan found the ideal blend of investment experience and teaching in search funds. He was motivated to guide young entrepreneurs in finding, acquiring, and growing companies. As Jan says, he aims to "help the next generation." Don't miss this interview, it will expand your understanding of search funds.

corporate innovation.
When business disruption crosses the line   

What are the implications of disruption originating in firms using illegal practices? Informal firms (those using illegal practices) disrupt industries with innovative business models that leverage new technology and avoid regulations. Known as informal disruption, this can be accelerated by institutional voids. 
How can corporations understand the context of disruption that surrounds them, considering not only the usual disrupters but also the ones using illegal practices? This research article co-authored by Professor Yuliya Snihur will provide you with theory and insights on the implications for disruptive innovation, business model innovation, and informal economy studies. 


15 May WeStart session: Opportunities via Open Innovation and European projects
15 May Jakarta Corporate Venturing Conference
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 MiM Entrepreneurship Club panel with IESE 40under40 founders
21 - 22 May Business Angels Academy
29 May The NTWK Summit: Keynote
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