CEMS Start-up Challenge 2018

The third annual CEMS Start Up Challenge was held at Corvinus Business School in Budapest, Hungary on November 8-9, 2018 ahead of the Career Forum. Building on the success of the previous years, this event offered students the opportunity to work closely with experienced mentors to develop their ideas and learn more about developing a business. The event finished with a pitching session of each team's ideas and progress in front of investors, VC and experienced entrepreneurs.
CEMS Start-up Challenge 2018 Picture

We caught up with CEMS student Fabius Weiner to learn more about the bubbleReach project, one of the winning teams in our competition.

1. Tell us about yourself and how did you come up with bubbleReach?

We are three CEMS students from Germany (Bernard, Hendrik and me), who met in the classrooms of ESADE during our first master last year.

Due to our common passion and interest for start-ups, we quickly got along well with each other and became friends over the course of those 10 months.

We heard about the story of a friend of ours who was selling fan merchandise quite successfully on a small scale via a Facebook page that he created. 

His success got us into thinking about the possibility of scaling or developing this concept, which ultimately led to the creation of bubbleReach.  

2. What is your elevator pitch for your project?

As of now, influencer marketing is by and large dominated by the classical influencers, i.e. the Kylie Jenners or the Kim Kardashians of this world. However, by focusing on the classical influencers, influencer marketing is leaving out a huge part of the market.

Surprisingly, small niche Facebook pages and groups, talking about fishing, crocheting or handcrafting, comprise a bigger part of the overall aggregated reach and exhibit higher engagement rates with their communities than the classical influencers. Yet, they do not participate in the monetization of social media. With bubbleReach, we aim to change that by providing those less sophisticated niche influencers with an easy to use, automated, virtual assistant that enables them to monetize their followership.

3. What are your main takeaways from the CEMS Startup Challenge 2018?

The CEMS Startup Challenge was a tremendous learning opportunity for us to due to the possibility of getting insights from experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from the CEMS network. During those two days, we gained extensive insights on how to validate our idea and received extremely valuable feedback for our further progress.

Especially our personal mentor Boris Bauke proved to be a fantastic help by constructively challenging and encouraging our ideas and thoughts.

Apart from that, the CEMS Startup Challenge provided a fantastic setting to get in touch with like-minded individuals across all different career stages that are sharing the entrepreneurial spirit. We thus would like to greatly thank the organizers of the event for making the challenge possible and giving us the opportunity to participate in it.

4. How has the CEMS MIM programme helped you develop yourself as an entrepreneur?

On one hand, we gained a substantial number of business skills that will help us to test a market, to launch an MVP and to iterate ideas. On the other hand, the programme helped us develop personally tremendously, which we found to be extremely valuable with respect to taking on leadership roles and responsibility. This was made possible through the selection of courses as well as the intercultural exposure within the classrooms. The CEMS MiM programme also gives you access to a strong and broad network of like-minded students, which we deem to be of great importance for our future careers.

5. If there was one piece of advice you could give to fellow CEMSies considering entrepreneurship what would it be?

If you are passionate about a topic or problem you want to solve, don’t wait and overthink. Just go out and start talking to potential customers. Your solution does not have to be perfect right from the start. You will figure it out on the way as you go.