Written on 17 March 2014.
Silicon Valley entrepreneur Michael Baum visited the EDHEC Business School campus in Nice recently to introduce his latest venture: Founder.org, a foundation that aims to provide students with the financial means to launch innovative and exciting businesses around the globe. After the visit, he said that he was impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of the programme and the high calibre of its students.
“EDHEC has an amazing (Global MBA) program that focuses specifically on entrepreneurship,” he wrote in a post on the Founder.org website.
Mr. Baum is the CEO and co-founder of Splunk, Inc., an operational intelligence software company based in San Francisco, California, as well as a long list of other start-ups. He created Founder.org in 2012 to inspire students to chase their dreams and create companies that drive innovation and economic growth. Founder.org awarded its first round of ten, 100 000 dollar grants last year. The organisation works with Wharton, Stanford and MIT, among other top business schools and universities.
"Michael's visit was really timely as we have a successful and fast-growing Entrepreneurship Track at the EDHEC Global MBA,” said Professor Emmanuel Métais, programme director. “Students recently launched the MBA Entrepreneurship Club and are regular participants at the EDHEC Entrepreneurs Café, a monthly event that brings together EDHEC entrepreneurs from all programmes around a relevant theme.”
During his visit to EDHEC, Mr. Baum shared his personal journey as an entrepreneur and gave students some valuable tips on starting their own companies. He advised them to create solid business models and strong executive teams. Mr. Baum encouraged students to take on big projects such as the possible revitalization of a technology park called Sophia Antipolis, which is located southwest of Nice.
“Sophia Antipolis was originally populated by large multinational computing, electronics, pharmacology and biotechnology companies,” Mr. Baum said. “When the financial crisis hit in 2008, many of these companies pull up stakes and left town. Now the area could potentially be revived as an entrepreneurial mecca for France.”
Global MBA students said they felt inspired by the talk and more motivated than ever to pursue their dreams. “Every year there is at least one successful new business launched by a graduate of the MBA Entrepreneurship Track,” said Professor Métais. “We believe the Founder.org award opportunity will add even more momentum to this entrepreneurial movement."