The summer semester is done, and the new one is knocking on our academic door. So, let’s take a quirky stroll down memory lane and revisit the Entrepreneurship Laboratory, aka eLab, at CDTM this summer.
While our Managing Product Development (MPD) course has a laser focus on MVP development, eLab takes us on a ride to discover everything about bringing those MVPs to market – all with a side of hands-on fun. Imagine five teams tackling challenges in go-to-market strategies for companies from various industries, like cleantech, mobility, and medtech. Oh, and did we mention the mandatory ice cream café visits between brainstorming sessions? Brainfreeze meets brainstorm!
Working on real challenges with project partners can be a rollercoaster of excitement and challenge. That’s why we started with professional communication and advanced project management sessions. Steffen Schülzchen, founder and CEO at Entrix, and our dearest CAs Charly and Amelie, shared some best practices and working frameworks such as the pyramid principle so we know what to pay attention to in our communication with the companies. Then, with great help from McKinsey professionals, we wrangled those challenges into work packages and made an action plan.
Collaboration and perspective-taking are at the core of CDTM. Therefore, once the project’s scope was locked in, we dove deeper into our projects and had an idea exchange session with Centerlings from other teams in a workshop format.
During eLab, we had the privilege of learning from experts, leaders, and true professionals. We started with a two-day workshop on negotiation tactics by our constant and beloved speaker Martin Giese. Max Müller, CEO of TeleClinic and CDTM alum, spilled the beans on Go-to-market strategies. Since many of the Centerlings are working on their own business ideas, the Legal 101 session by yPOG was very helpful: we learned the legal ABCs of founding a company and patenting ideas. Our friends from ScaleUp talked about founder and leader personalities.
We were grateful to have many CDTM alumni as our speakers who are continuously sharing their knowledge and wisdom with the Centerlings. Basti Burger, for instance, told a true story about pitfalls he faced during his founding experience and his lessons learned. Annika Breu and Alex Schmitt, also CDTM alums, brought their perspectives on founding bootstrapped and VC-case start-ups. We also had a Sales workshop with Steffen Iwan, head of direct sales at Maltego, who demystified B2B sales and told us about some frameworks that we could put into practice right away. Johannes Müller, Founder and CEO of Workpath, led us to the conclusion that influential leaders of great organizations are highly self-aware and shared with us practices on how to become more self-aware. Finally, together with Marc Samwer and Andy Goldstein, we discussed entrepreneurial mindset – what does it stand for and how to develop it.
All these sessions were like rocket fuel for our projects, giving us the superpower to apply our newfound wisdom to the challenges we were tackling for our partners. And the grand finale? eLab’s curtain call featured final presentations where all teams unveiled their creative solutions. As the author of this blog post, I highly recommend future gens to take this ride where you learn a ton from extremely talented people, all while enjoying the company of your fellow Centerlings with whom you share this experience and sometimes ice cream! 🚀🌟