B-SIGN is a start-up dedicated to the design, manufacturing and distribution of home accessories. It was created less than one year ago by 6 participants of the International Executive MBA programme of Instituto de Empresa Business School, a blended MBA which combines residential training in Madrid and Shanghai with online periods. “B-SIGN is a truly international company. Just to give you an example, the founder members of the company where living in four different continents during the MBA programme” explains Georgina Curto, Managing Director of the firm. For her, “Instituto de Empresa awakened our entrepreneurial character. It all happened naturally: the Entrepreneurship professor guided us in our choice of a business idea that we could implement as a team, helped us analyse the feasibility of the project and then gave us a small â??push’ to launch it into the market”.
At the end of the MBA programme, the project won the 2005 Business Plan Competition at IE. The B-SIGN management team is now proud to confirm that the company is growing and two members of the founding team are now working full-time in the company. “It’s very exciting. We have finished the second investment phase and have just made our first sales”, says Curto. “I am certain â??she adds- that the success of our company is a direct result of the knowledge acquired during the MBA. We learnt how to set up a company, and moreover, working in a multicultural environment helped us to identify international opportunities”.
The founder members of B-SIGN are currently located in 4 different continents: Kevin Tam, Swedish, is in Singapore; Ilya Martinalbo, Spanish, is in Australia; Antonio Sedan comes from and lives in Colombia; Georgina Curto is Spanish and was living in Luxembourg when he did the MBA; and Alvaro Garcia and Victor Garcia are both Spanish and live in Spain.
International Executive MBA
The B-SIGN project was designed as part of the International Executive MBA programme. This MBA, which combines residential training in Madrid and Shanghai with online periods, is designed for top level executives with limited time to improve their competences and business management skills, and who wish to broaden their perspectives or reorientate their career. The participants are 35 years old on average and come from more than 25 countries, making for a highly diverse student body. The last intake of the programme included students from Colombia, Portugal, Australia, Germany, USA, Austria, Lebanon, Venezuela, Singapore, Cayman Islands, Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Canada, France, Cuba, Russia and Congo
The International Executive MBA runs for 13 months and is divided into two modules, one dealing with fundamentals and the other with integration. Both modules combine face-to-face training, which is concentrated into three intensive residential periods with online sessions in between. Students are therefore able to follow the programme regardless of their geographic location.
The residential periods permit students to work with concepts and skills that require physical presence, contact with the professors and contact among participants.
The initial and final sessions of each subject take place during these periods, along with seminars focused on skill-building activities, the presentation of individual and group projects, and assessment tests that consolidate the work done during the presential and online training periods. The virtual campus is the fundamental point of reference for the online activities that form a communication platform for group work and for teacher-led online sessions.
Participants have easy access to the comments, opinions and experiences of professors and fellow students, as well as general information on the programme. Careful planning of training activities together with seamless communication between professors and pupils contribute towards achieving the programmeâ??s aims of quality and applicability. Further information at: http://www.ie.edu/eng/programas/ixmba/ixmba_overview.asp.
International Development Director