This week the Executive MBA in General Management with Focus on Digital Transformation has been moving through the Zurich Metropolitan area, exploring the Swiss innovation ecosystem and visiting start-ups and established companies, which stand out for their application of digitalization in their business model.
On Monday the EMBA had the privilege to meet with Dr. Reik Leiterer from Exo Labs and with Haig Peter from IBM. Walter Steinlin and Module Leader Dr. Gabriele Schwarz illustrated Switzerland`s role in global innovation and digitalization.
On Tuesday the students engaged with a live business case sponsored by Nispera, who use A.I. to optimize renewable energy assets. In the afternoon the class visited Wingtra, who produces a vertical lift off and landing drone. One team of EMBA students is working on a business case about drone technology, so the discussion about the Wingtra business model with executives from Wingtra was as lively as the demonstration of the drone during the flight show.
Wednesday was scheduled around companies in the Zug area, first with a visit to the Swiss Innovation Park “Building Excellence” in Rotkreuz, initiated by VZug and other strong partners in the Building Technology sector. It was interesting to hear, that the whole “Suurstoffi” Innovation Park is already CO2 neutral and also VZug has committed strongly to sustainability. It was fascinating to explore how an established and long running Swiss company uses digitalization to gain a competitive edge in a high price manufacturing location. Then the students moved deeper into the Crypto Valley to meet with Roger Darin from the Bitcoin Association Switzerland and discuss in depth the potential of Cryptocurrency and tokenization with Dr. Arthur Vayloyan and Armin Schmid. The EMBA group then met Dino Lewkowicz from 4ArTechnologies to learn how blockchain can revolutionize art authentication.
Thursday explored the role Universities play in the Swiss Innovation landscape and Tomas Brenner from the ETH ieLab introduced the students to a variety of start-ups and Spin-Offs from ETH. 4 Teams from the ETH Pioneer Fellowship presented their case and gave great insights about science driven innovation and it’s way to market acceptance. The EMBA participants learn to apply an assessment tool used by Innosuisse and present their group cases, which are structured around the main themes of the Learning Expedition Switzerland: A.I. Machine- and Deep Learning, Blockchain, IOT and Autonomous Systems. The business cases on the topics are complemented by live case discussions with companies engaged in these sectors, which leads to a deep understanding of the topics.
It was an exciting learning expedition – special thanks again to Module Lead Dr. Gabriele Schwarz and the companies, which were able to host or visit the EMBA.