Founded by entrepreneurs in 1973, the entrepreneurial vein runs deep at IE and with our European and CIS alumni. Over 10% of our over 40,000 Alumni go on to launch their own business at some stage in the career and in Europe we are lucky to have some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial Alumni. Here I would like to present some of our very top European Alumni and their businesses.
Jeremy Melul, IMBA 2008 French/English
Jogabo is an easy and social way to play soccer. It is a location aware soccer platform that allows users to organize games, share their plans and discover opportunities to play in their area. The aim is to make amateur soccer “bonito” by connecting soccer enthusiasts, facilitating the organization of games and adding a layer of fun and competitiveness to the beautiful game. We founded Jogabo because we love the beautiful game and we wanted to be able to play all the time, wherever we were in the world. We also love meeting people and we believe soccer is an amazing sport for that.
I worked in innovation and technology consulting at Altran before realizing that life was too short for that and decided to join Grassroot Soccer, an NGO that uses the power of soccer in the fight against HIV/AIDS. I hold a Master in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from IE Business School, and am also the founder of the European MBA tournament “The Green Laces Cup”.
Alvaro Osle, Executive MBA 2008 Spanish
I set up the company TelCrOSS Consulting S.L. in Spain in 2005 to cover a gap in the market for expert consultants in the OSS domain in the Telecommunications world. One of the reasons I went to IE to study an MBA was to learn the business, strategy, finance and management skills that would provide me with a clear vision and strategy for the company and what I wanted it to be. The market of Operation Support Systems (software that helps big telcos to become much more efficient in the way they run the network) was growing rapidly and there was a scarcity of resources. I used this new company to provide freelance consultancy services on different projects. In 2010 I setup TelCrOSS Ltd in the UK, which is when we started the design and development of a new software utility NetVisio which we are now hoping to sell to big telcos around the world. We have already launched the first version of the product and it’s still early days, but we’re confident we can be successful.
Olga Slavkina, IMBA 2007 Latvian
Back in 2006, I had a well-paid job at a multinational in Brussels, a safe and steady career ahead of me, a highly ranked Master’s degree in International Relations under my belt, and a daughter who had just turned 1. Perhaps not the most common combination of life circumstances that would prompt one to pursue a full-time MBA. And yet, it made perfect sense for me to come to IE and develop my interests in branding, entrepreneurship and the web.
After IE, I moved back to Brussels where I founded SCHMOOZY FOX — a brand and marketing strategy consultancy which is based on my concept of Funky Brands™ — products and services which owe their success to astonishing design and smart brand strategies. I work both with large companies, as well as startups, to help them position, launch and promote their products in real life and on the web. Besides consulting, I write about branding and marketing, and publish a Funky Brand Interviews series on my blog. The Funky Brands™ concept was nominated for the 2011 Accenture Innovation Award, and Funky Brand Interviews will soon launch in film format.
Maxim Kondratyukin , IXMBA 2010 Russian
I have never thought to be an entrepreneur myself. My ideal professional path has always been linked to a career in some large multinational company. I perceived myself as a good manager and poor entrepreneur because of lack of intuition and being risk averse. It was in IE when I started to think that there might be other ways to grow. Starting my own business became a real alternative for me and no longer a taboo. I was able to see that it works more often than it seemed to me before. Moreover, I was able to see that it does not require being something special to start something new. By some lucky accident crisis happened, and as I was working in real estate sector I did not see any significant opportunities within my industry. Same time an opportunity came to start a new company, which seemed interesting to me. I made one of the most difficult decisions in my life and started to build the company I wanted to have. After a couple of months Boombate.com appeared. It was a struggle for long time, but we were lucky enough to break even in the eighth month of operations. We are growing very fast and I still have so many ideas to implement.