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ESMT Berlin: Student-led hackathon on the future of business education a great success

Fourteen teams, composed of business people and techies, participated in the first ESMT Berlin Hacknight September 29-30.

The student-led ESMT Berlin Entrepreneurship Club organized the hackathon. Full-time MBA and Master in Management (MIM) students from ESMT, INSEAD, HEC Paris, and MIP Politecnico di Milano joined coding students and professional developers to work on solutions for the future of education during the overnight challenge.

“This topic is of major relevance to business schools and to society as a whole,” said Demis Estabridis of the Entrepreneurship Club. “In a world where new technologies are more accessible and new job titles appear every day, we need to rethink our educational systems and structures to prepare future workers adequately.”

Creative thinking, teamwork, no sleeping, and many energy drinks were the main ingredients of the first ESMT Hacknight. The winning team, Athena, developed a project on personalized learning, powered by machine learning and Artificial Intelligence. Each team member received an award of 1,000 EUR, sponsored by the Helix Foundation.

Mengwen Shen, ESMT MIM student and member of the winning team, said, “It was my first time in a hackathon. I really enjoyed the team dynamics and the one-on-one coaching from our mentors. It was amazing to get the chance to work with teammates from different schools, countries, and backgrounds and receive very detailed feedback from professionals with expertise and industry insights.”

Experts from global corporations, startups, and digital ventures, such as The Lean Startup Co., IBM, Daimler, Delivery Hero, TechStars, HelloFresh!, BCG Digital Ventures, Founder Institute, Outfittery, Charité, and Helix mentored teams. The Helix Foundation was the main sponsor of the hackathon, and IBM, BRLO, Red Bull, Delivery Hero, and METRO also supported the event.

About the Entrepreneurship Club at ESMT Berlin

The ESMT Berlin Entrepreneurship Club allows ESMT students and alumni to exchange ideas, support and experience around all subjects related to the entrepreneurial environment. Its purpose is to allow members to get first-hand insights into all phases of the lifecycle of a company, from the business idea to market penetration and establishment all the way to the IPO, acquisition or insolvency. Through discussions with members of the entrepreneurial community, visits and events like this hackathon the club has built a strong network and gives support to entrepreneurs taking the risk of funding.

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About ESMT Berlin

ESMT Berlin was founded by 25 leading global companies and institutions. The international business school offers a full-time MBA, an executive MBA, an executive MBA/MPA, a master's in management, as well as open enrollment and customized executive education programs. ESMT focuses on three main topics: leadership, innovation, and analytics. ESMT faculty publishes in top academic journals. Additionally, the business school provides an interdisciplinary platform for discourse between politics, business, and academia. It is based in Berlin, Germany, with a branch office in Shanghai, China. ESMT is a private business school with the right to grant PhDs and is accredited by the German state, AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, and FIBAA.