On our Venture Consulting trip to Budapest, Hungary, our team was comprised of Harini Venkitarama (MBA ‘18), Vanesa Ewais (MBA/MArch ‘18), David Allston (JD/MBA ‘18) and Ryan Cao (BSBA ‘19). It was a great opportunity to extend the camaraderie and close-knit community we feel at Olin in St. Louis and delve into a new problem half-way across the world together. Each member on our team comes from a different background and we capitalized on each other’s diverse strengths as we were faced with this new task.
Student teams in the Venture Consulting Course, taught by Clifford Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship, spend 10 days in Budapest, Hungary immersed in the startup community and working on specific projects with founders. They also learn about Eastern European history and culture. This blog post was submitted by the students.
Our team was challenged by the Oriens Investment Management group to work with a local start-up, GPS Tuner. The problem at hand gave us the opportunity to explore a new industry, the electric bicycle or “e-bike.” This start-up provides exciting applications for e-bike users that assists with route selection and efficient battery consumption. We found out, through a week of intense research, about the e-bike’s customers, its parallels to the electric car industry, and the intricacies of its supply chain.
Our team had the opportunity to visit the start-up’s office and have meetings with the CEO of GPS Tuner. The environment and open dialogue were very encouraging and truly supportive in helping us attain the information we needed. The lines of communication continue to flow freely as we work remotely on the project throughout the remainder of the summer via phone or video calls
We spent the week working with the Oriens Investment team at their beautiful office in the center of Budapest. The week began with a brief history and acclimation to Hungarian history and culture, and learning how to structure a problem via the McKinsey method from the founder of Oriens, Krisztian Orban.
Our team mentor, Dorá Misnyovszki is a strong analyst for the company that helped us throughout the week in making sure we framed our presentation successfully and were asking the correct questions to be able to solve the problem at hand. The entire Oriens team hosted us in Budapest and showed us a wonderful time getting to know the city, and more of their perspective of working in the venture capital industry in Hungary
Overall, it was a successful trip and truly helped enhance our learning experience at Olin. We would recommend this opportunity wholeheartedly.