Advising an ‘e-biking’ company during Budapest venture advising trip

Nick Wozniak, MBA ’19, wrote this on behalf of his teammates from the Venture Advising trip to Budapest.

In an exciting kickoff to the summer 2018, a group of 12 Olin MBA students spent a week at the private equity firm Oriens in Budapest, Hungary. One team, consisting of class of 2019 students Lavilla Capener, Oliver Culver, Vanessa Redensek, and Nick Wozniak, worked with Oriens’ portfolio company GPS Tuner.

The technology company has developed navigation and battery management systems for the benefit of original equipment manufacturers in the electric bike or “e-bike” space. The Olin team’s task was to add value to GPS Tuner by addressing pain points between the GPS Tuner and its OEM customers.

Upon arriving in Budapest, Hungary, the team met with the leadership of the private equity firm, as well as the analysts who hosted the students and provided oversight for their projects. The company’s managing partner introduced Oriens to the students and provided a brief overview of deliverables for each of the three Olin teams, as well as well as best practices for the consulting project.

The week proceeded on with a visit to GPS Tuner, where the team interviewed the company’s chief executive officer (CEO) to understand the company’s current challenges and future goals. With an understanding of this, the team set off and developed hypotheses as to how to address the company’s root strategic problems.

The team refined and altered the strategy based on feedback and then presented to management. Following the initial presentation, Oriens managing partner gave feedback on how to better focus the strategic plan and offer a more exhaustive solution.

The trip concluded with a final presentation to management that included a proposed problem formulation and a timeline of work assignments.

In addition to the official activities, the teams had a chance to experience some historical and cultural sites within Budapest. The group visited the Hungarian Parliament, took a walking tour of various historical sites, and toured the House of Terror, a museum and memorial to the victims of Nazi and Soviet regimes in Hungary after World War II. The team also enjoyed a group cooking class, a festive dinner at a Michelin-listed restaurant and a trivia night organized by our hosts.

The team returned back to the United States at the end of the week and will continue work on their final deliverable in anticipation of a final presentation at Olin in the fall semester.

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