Yesterday, I was able to follow most of the sessions of the Business Innovation Week. This was a great pleasure for me to see how well organized it was thanks to the collaboration between the Academic Direction, Faculty members and students.

The alternation of lectures, testimonials of entrepreneurs, current students, a DBA candidate and alumni as well as short Q & A sessions made the whole day very lively.

Personally, I found particularly interesting the testimonial of Pascal Kienast, who graduated with an EMBA in Sustainable Business in 2015.

After completing his program, he decided to leave a well-paid position in ABB to launch his own consultancy company called K-Wave Consulting. Then he was a co-founder of CLEMAP, which stands for Clever Energy Mapping. Through the collection and analysis of energy data, CLEMAP helps companies to reduce their energy consumption.

Pascal explained how a very strong inner drive is necessary to become a successful entrepreneur and made an enlightening parallel with the sport, based on his own experience. He participated in the Gigathlon Obwalden Nidwalden 2019 and covered a distance of 349 kilometers running, cycling and swimming. Endurance and goal definition are crucial in both domains.      

He concluded his speech by summarizing the positive and negative factors determining the success or failure of an entrepreneurial endeavor.

The positive factors are:

  1. Determination
  2. Fundraising (selling is important: if you have consumers you will find investors)
  3. Execution
  4. Social skills
  5. Discipline.

The negative factors are:

  1. Bad luck of timing
  2. Bad revenue model
  3. No flexibility
  4. High burn rate (a low burn rate gives you time to reach your milestones)
  5. No roadmap.

His finally stressed the importance of the founder’s team, which is often underestimated.  

This testimonial made me understand deeper how valuable the experience of former BSL students may be for our current students.

As a conclusion, I can only recommend to our current students to take benefit from the Alumni Mentoring Program, launched by BSL two years ago and managed by the Career Office.

Author: Philippe Du Pasquier, President of the Board