TRIUM… an Incubator, Boardroom and Think-tank
The TRIUM Global Incubator Capstone is at the heart of the TRIUM Global Executive MBA program.
For this project, our students are encouraged to leverage the TRIUM resources, faculty, classmates and alumni to incubate an idea from inception to launch. That innovative idea they've envisioned but had to put on hold? Now's the moment to nurture it. Here TRIUM executives have the intellectual space, resources, and mandate to strike out in a new direction—the opportunity to take their vision, expertise and experience and make something new, to identify a niche and create a business to fill it.
Several examples of recent ventures follow:
||Born at TRIUM: Blue
Miguel is a Lisbon native with prior experience working in a family-owned real estate development firm, where he's still in an advisory capacity. He also was a banker with the largest private bank in Portugal and with Chase in Madrid. Additionally, he's done some other entrepreneurial things that currently hold most of his focus. While Miguel entered TRIUM with the expectation to develop his finance and marketing skills, he left with an idea for a brand-new business and a ready-made group of colleagues. >>read more
Since graduating from the TRIUM program in 2011, Miguel, and five TRIUM classmates - Kirby Wanner, Stephen Kubicki, Lorne Gavsie, Ivar Borge and Ryan Bogan - have nurtured their professional relationship, born in TRIUM's global incubator, from concept to reality. The business they have created together, Blue Buffalo Enterprises, focuses on early-stage business development and seeks out "project opportunities that present viable growth scenarios," according to Miguel. "We provide a privileged international doorway to new markets, funding opportunities, and personnel, so project owners can gain access to global prospects by partnering with us."
Miguel and his colleagues at Blue Buffalo worked together on the end-of-program term project at TRIUM, which focused on the utilization of waste heat to provide energy. Though the project didn't have legs, the team did. "We learned we have complementary skill sets, different world perspectives, and the ability to bring out the best in each other," Miguel explains. "Collectively we decided to move forward and do something concrete."
With the team spread out from North America to Europe and Australia, it's no surprise Blue Buffalo's projects are equally dispersed. The first venture to get up and running is a Toronto-based, North American software start-up called Waabii, whose business line will build on a core software innovation solution developed in Portugal. Fellow 2011 TRIUM alumni Jesper Bank and Shrav Malkani have been drafted into the initiative, with the BBE team also taking an active role in its development. Not far behind is a Portuguese medical-device maker that is benefiting from the Blue Buffalo team's expertise in strategic direction and operations know-how. The team is also shepherding a project based in Australia and is continuously seeking other opportunities - including, Miguel emphasizes, from other TRIUM graduates.
An active alumnus who wears the TRIUM colors when he plays polo and races sailboats with other alums, Miguel concedes he got much more than he bargained for from the TRIUM program. "I expected TRIUM to open up a few doors, but it really opened up new directions for me," he says. "It led me down a certain path I hadn't thought of and helped me realize my potential."
Living the Dream
- Swaady Martin-Leke
At some point during her many years with General Electric Co., where she was most recently GE Transportation's Regional Director for the US $300 million Sub-Saharan subsidiary, Swaady Martin-Leke, Class of 2012, developed a dream. "I wanted to do something very different, something that promotes our African resources, culture, and identity," she recalls. "It was my dream to capture true African luxury, change the world's perception of Africa, and produce a luxury brand that is truly African in origin, nature, and tradition." Swaady's dream of breaking out and doing something new motivated her to apply to TRIUM. >>read more
A winning team
For Swaady, TRIUM was the indispensable key to unlocking the future she is now creating. "The program equipped me with the necessary toolkit to move from being a corporate leader in a big company to an entrepreneur. The professors and my fellow classmates have been amazing mentors and knowledge resources. Through the TRIUM alumni network, I was able to make connections and build relationships around the world that have proven to be of true value to YSWARA."
Empowering Women One Job at a Time
Dr. Kalpana Sankar, TRIUM Alumna 2012, has a lot to smile about. Her Indian based NGO Hand in Hand is celebrating its 10th year of empowering women and serving the community, creating over 1.3 million jobs for women in the process. In its short lifespan, the achievements and impact of Hand in Hand have been impressive - this is no doubt due to the leadership, passion and determination of its tireless CEO.
Dr. Sankar undertook her TRIUM studies during a crucial time for Hand in Hand India. With ambitious targets to expand to over 15 countries, Hand in Hand needed to reevaluate its business model, branding, and redefine its mission. TRIUM's unique coursework, focusing on an incubator project, became the perfect testing ground to explore the NGO's new expansion plan. This case study became the basis of her capstone project, Academy for Social Entrepreneurs.>>read more
From Theory to Practice
"TRIUM believed and invested in me" she reaffirms. "I drew on the expertise of my TRIUM classmates and launched a professional project close to my heart."
The TRIUM Curricula, through the capstone project, led by Dr. Sankar and her team of fellow TRIUM students, Panagiotis Skordas, Rakesh Kumar, Amol Khisty, Anurag Gupta, and Herve Koffi, provided a real live business model to test her NGO's growth plans. In particular, fellow team member Panagiotis Skordas, an expert in business planning, process design and improvement, and change management, was instrumental in providing the necessary guidance and expertise necessary from the project's inception to eventual launch.
The purpose of setting up the Academy for Social Entrepreneurs was to provide "comprehensive post training support to implementers and funders in the microfinance and social enterprise sectors." In order to further the mission of the organization and create three million new jobs by 2020, Hand in Hand needed to create a platform to address the needs of how to provide quality leadership and management training to professionals.
The Road to Empowerment
The poverty and gender imbalance she witnessed fueled her desire to pursue a second PhD in women's studies, on Gender Perspectives of Women in Self Help Groups.
This was the beginning of her professional metamorphosis. And thus began her plight to correct economic gender imbalances, by empowering women. This initially led to several international missions and consultant work with the UNOPS, UNDP, Christina Aid, Wetlands International, in addition to work with the Government of South Africa and collaboration on microfinance and poverty reduction programs in Afghanistan and Brazil. Reducing poverty through job creation is a fundamental principle that has propelled her drive to help others.
This guiding principle and her professional experiences in government, civil society and the private sector proved pivotal for her current role as Chairperson, Managing Trustee and CEO of Hand in Hand India.
Celebrating Ten Years of Creating Jobs
Today, the fully launched Academy for Social Entrepreneurs will be located within a unit of Hand in Hand in Tamil Nadu and will provide on-site training programs "through world renown faculty" in addition to post training programs.
This impressive achievement gives Dr. Sankar yet another reason to smile.
A restless mind
More ventures to come
in Moscow? Call MediaCab to the Rescue
Professionally, Konstantin is the founder and a member of the boards of two leading Moscow-based IT companies. In RRC, his responsibilities cover management of the Board of Directors. He is also responsible for relationships with senior management of the largest customers and key executives of major vendors. He is in charge of the development of corporate governance and coordinates relationships with potential investors.
When asked how his experience at TRIUM prepared him, Russian born Konstantin was quick to point out that the "entrepreneurial spirit of TRIUM" along with "the valuable network and business connections" among his classmates helped launch the project. Graduating in 2012 from a class of 66 executives from 32 different countries living around the globe, there is no limit to a student or alumni's ambitions.
Timing is also key. As Konstantin explains, after the fall of Communism, Russia's taxi market became unregulated. In 2011, a law "requiring that fleet companies and drivers posses newly issued licenses, taximeters and specially marked cars" was passed. Launching MediaCab "at the right time" was ideal to changing a "wild market" to become "a civilized market", according to Konstantin.
As part of the new taxi regime, MediaCab brings an unprecedented level of customer service compared to its peer fleet taxi regimes in Moscow. As Konstantin highlights, their product's technology aims to improve their customer's experience by accepting payment by credit/debit cards. Additionally, their taxi's core services provide media and news information for customers and improved navigation capabilities. Finding these less congested routes offers a safer ride, conforming to the new strict regulation rules.
Although in pilot phase with 100 taxies with fleet company MediaCab and set to expand to 150 taxis in Moscow, the team has plans for eventually further expansion to St. Petersburg and Sochi in Russia and neighbouring countries - Kazakhstan (Alma-Ata) and Ukraine (Kiev). In addition, with the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi and the 2018 World Football Cup in Moscow, it would seem that MediaCab is well positioned in the market.