How IMD’s Executive MBA helped drive the success of neurotechnology unicorn “MindMaze”
Earlier this year, neurotechnology startup MindMaze raised $250 million from the Hinduja Group and others for a valuation in excess of USD $1 billion, putting them in the club of the so-called Unicorns. Chosen through the annual IMD Startup Competition, 25 ventures work with IMD’s MBA and EMBA participants each year. In 2012, MindMaze was selected as an ambitious concept, led by neuroscientist Tej Tadi, to fuse virtual reality with healthcare in helping stroke victims undergo a more effective recovery and treatment.
To investigate and experience entrepreneurship and innovation, the IMD EMBA participants head out on a weeklong “Discovery Expedition” to Silicon Valley each year. They explore how companies, large and small, manage innovation, creativity and profitability. To cement the experience, they put themselves in the shoes of entrepreneurs, trying to understand how and why they “create something from nothing,” which ones are able to put the customer at the center of their product through design thinking, how they interact with the large companies who left “the garage” long ago, what means they use to convince venture capitalists to back them, and how they might scale up to reach global markets. Companies like MindMaze work closely with the EMBAs, and then the EMBAs pitch these ambitious start-ups to venture capitalists and angel investors in Silicon Valley.