Pitch in Paris 2017

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The International School of Management (ISM) has taken its student and entrepreneurial offerings one step further. Understanding that many business students ultimately want to launch their own business, the school has now added a final step in their education process, offering a promising opportunity for those who shine. Using ISM’s platform, Pitch in Paris, students can now put what they learn into practice and see their business ideas materialize. This is particularly the case for eight lucky entrepreneurs who have been selected to pitch their business plans to industry leaders, potential investors, and a panel of judges at the end of the year. Their business plans won’t be graded, there is no right or wrong idea, but if one of the judges can see enough potential to have a return on their investment… they’ll part with their capital.

ISM’s Dean and Director of Doctoral Research César Baena arrived at the school in January 2016, bringing with him various innovative ideas from organizing the oral defense process of dissertations for doctoral studies to introducing an entrepreneurial approach to education with the master’s final project and annual Pitch in Paris event. Having organized entrepreneurial events in previous roles, his intention was to help bridge the gap between students and the global business community. In the planning stages for developing Pitch in Paris, he met with current IMBA student, Aaron Steeves, who also valued César’s entrepreneurial approach to education. Their meeting confirmed that such an opportunity would be more than welcomed by the ISM community. So, with the school’s support, César began reaching out to industry leaders and investors. The response he received in return was overwhelming and very soon a panel of business investors was confirmed.

Participating entrepreneurs were asked to submit their business plans by September 15th this year. A board of reviewers then evaluated the submissions, of which eight were selected for pitching. “Submissions were open to everyone: alumni, students, or non ISM affiliates,” says César. “The business plans received have been diverse, from business such as innovations within higher education to IT and AI solutions to waste disposal and renewable energy.”

The five members of the jury panel are:
•Alex Pitt, co-founder of Mustard Seed, which seeks to enable the creation of world-class businesses that generate positive and sustainable outcomes.
•José Luis Velasco, CEO of Quilvest Asset Management, S.A.
•Nathan Sambul a member of the New York Angels, one of the top ten angel investment groups worldwide.
•Gabriella Kindert, who has 20 years of experience at leading financial institutions in banking, asset management, and private equity and is currently a supervisory board member at Mizuho Europe and the Head of Alternative Credit at NN IP.
•Martin Kupp, associate professor for entrepreneurship at ESCP Europe.

The entrepreneurs will present their business plans to the judges in front of a live audience of industry leaders, potential investors, and innovative thinkers in Paris on the 8th of December. The general public is also invited to attend the event free of charge; tickets can be reserved on www.f6s.com/ismbusinesspitch.

About ISM
Headquartered in Paris, and with partner institutions in New York, Shanghai, New Delhi, São Paulo, and Cape Town, ISM gives students the global perspective they need to thrive as modern business leaders.
ISM’s accredited IMBA, DBA, and PhD offer high-level executives the flexibility to study around their busy professional and personal lives. Degrees are taught in small, diverse groups to maximize contact with world-class professors and to heighten exposure to different ideas and business cultures.

Read more about ISM programs and request a brochure at www.ism.edu.

Photograph by Krystal Kenney

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