Read this article in EXPANSIÓN (in Spanish) http://www.presstracking.com/archivos/00007YWT.pdf
Madrid, April 2006. Students from the IE Business School International MBA programme have won first prize in “Cerebration 2006”, the international business plan competition organised by NUS National University of Singapore. The winning team comprised Michael Cole from the US, Mohammed Al-Menifi from Kuwait, and Deepanjan Mukerjee and Kapil Jhindal from India, all currently studying the IE International MBA. Cerebration is an annual business plan competition, designed to promote the internationalisation of companies in Singapore.
This international success comes on top of last year’s achievements in Singapore, when a team of MBA students from IE were awarded second prize in “Cerebration 2005”, and IE students obtained the first and second prizes in the 2005 and 2006 editions of the “Innovation Challenge” organised by Thunderbird. “These international prizes evidence the high level of our MBA students as they compete against teams from the world’s leading business schools,” says Gonzalo Garland, Director of External Relations at IE.

“Cerebration 2006” attracted 641 teams of MBA students from 117 business schools and universities in 31 countries. The six finalists were from IE (Spain), Kellogg School of Management (US), HEC Montreal (Canada), RSM Rotterdam (Netherlands), S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (India), IUJ Business School (Japan) and Sailesh J. Mehta School of Management (India).
International Expansion
The main objective of this international business plan competition is to foster the internationalisation of companies in Singapore. In order to achieve this, participants are required to resolve cases of Singaporean companies who are interested in expanding their business on an international scale. IE’s winning team developed a case study for Informatics, a supplier of online information and training programmes interested in penetrating the Kuwaiti market.
«We worked together in Madrid for three months to prepare the report and our proposal for international expansion, and the mere fact that we reached the final and got to travel to Singapore was reward enough for us«, say the winners. «Then, when we reached the final, it was amazing to see how the firm’s vice president got involved in the project, giving us feed-back on how to fine-tune our proposal to meet the company’s needs. Presenting our proposal to the senior management of Informatics was extremely gratifying«. They also recall how the judging panel congratulated them on presenting a proposal that was strategic rather than operational, for transmitting the right message in accordance with the profiles of the top directors present, and for taking maximum advantage of market synergies.
Mohammed, Deepanjan, Kapil and Michael, from left to right
The judging panel comprised eminent industry leaders, CEOs of case sponsors, NUS Faculty and senior IE Singapore and Temasek Holdings representatives. Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister of State for Education and Manpower, gave away the prizes. Such event is subject of a major coverage by the media in the form of press releases, media events for Cerebration, in the region and overseas.
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“Cerebration” offers an opportunity to build on and strengthen a worldwide MBA student network, and permits participants to put the knowledge and skills acquired during the program into practice. In the case of the IE team «All four of us have different backgrounds and experiences which brought out the best in each other. It’s a source of great pride to know that the directors at Informatics have begun to implement the measures we proposed«, said team member Michael Cole.
Focus on Entrepreneurship
This international success confirms IE’s strength in the field of entrepreneurship. Other IE initiatives include platforms like Iceved (International Center for Entrepreneurship and Ventures Development), a virtual portal that serves as an interface for 24 international schools and acts as an intermediary among entrepreneurs and investment funds. IE also coordinates the NETI Project in collaboration with Spanish telecom operator Amena, the Project’s mission being to promote the creation of innovative technology businesses. In recent years, these companies have created 900 direct and indirect jobs and have received over 3 million Euros from private investors. The NETI Project also runs a Business Angels School, where private investors offer specific training on funding start-ups and business plan analysis.
All MBA students at IE design business plans as part of the core program under the supervision of a team of over 200 external tutors. 25% of these plans go on to become businesses and more than 15% of graduates of the MBA programme set up their own firms. The IE Venture Lab, a platform that provides support for students’ business projects and the implementation process is another example of the school’s focus on entrepreneurship. Furthermore, IE is the Spanish arm of the GEM (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor) report, an international observatory that assesses the levels and effects of entrepreneurship around the world.
More information on Cerebration 2006 at (http://www.nus.edu.sg/cerebration).


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