Diffferent

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After a relaxing winter break, the 2018 Full-Time MBA class departed for Berlin for our first trip together as a cohort.

We were divided into two groups on Thursday afternoon for company visits on the theme of ‘Generating success through PR and communication strategies’. My group visited Diffferent, a PR and communication strategies marketing agency. Tobias Kämpfer, Brand & Innovation Strategist and Lisa Sibbing, Brand Strategist management at Diffferent, gave us an insightful presentation on how to establish a brand’s voice and generate success.

Following the presentation, we were divided into smaller groups to put learning into practice and come up with an idea to strengthen IKEA’s brand value: ‘To create a better everyday life for the many people’. The winning team (pictured left) named their idea ‘I-Fit’. Their idea was to use augmented reality to visualize how Ikea furniture would look in your home to save time and ensure your furniture suits your space.

The other half of our Full-Time MBA class also visited a PR and communication strategies agency – Blumberry. Florian Reher, Consulting Leader, discussed how brand created vision for brands. The first case study the class explored with Florian was the rebranding of CDU – Christian Democratic Union. The second one was TUI, a worldwide travel and tourism company. Tui’s rebranding was all about creating an online platform that brought all Tui’s subsidiary brands into one spot.

The theme of our second day in Berlin was ‘the future of innovation and entrepreneurship’. With the whole class reunited for the day’s visits, we participated in a panel discussion that discussed ‘Europe’s hottest startup capital – why Berlin?’ The panel consisted of Peter Lennartz, Head EY Start-up Initiative Germany, Switzerland and Austria; Anthony Barba, Founder of HeyRide; Nayara Moia, Berlin ambassador for Women of Wearables and Jasmine Zhang, Business Development Manager for Techcode Accelerator Germany. Berlin is the number two city behind London for startups.  Anthony shared that one key thing to be cautious of when looking for a startup partner was to make sure you and your partner are in a similar life stage, for example whether you’re both single or both have kids, so that you are on a similar page to begin your start up with.

The trip ended with a networking event under the theme of ‘In the vanguard of fintech revolution: new solutions in alternative Finance’. Four speakers joined us for the afternoon:  Mr. Daniel Abebe, Chief Marketing & Customer Officer at Advanon; Mr. Yannis Salavopoulos, Founder & CEO at CAPITALS Circle Group; Mr. Gerrit Glass, Business Development Director at FinLeap and Mr. Falko Weisser, Head of Credit Risk at solraisBank. Insights shared with the class included Mr. Glass discussing his experience on how solarisBank uses banking as a platform service. Mr. Salavopoulos discussed the speedy growth of financial start up in berlin and was very positive about Berlin being one of the most important spot for financial start up in Europe.

The Business Insights in Europe trip to Berlin gave us an opportunity to learn firsthand about marketing and fintech scenes in Berlin and also to bond as a cohort while sightseeing, discovering a foreign city and experiencing a beer hall called Hofbrau Berlin. This has made us all more excited for our Global Experience Week trip to Chile in April!

Nicole is a student in our Full-Time MBA 2017-18 class.

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