Since last year a new initiative, the Alumni Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), has been making waves at IMD and in the wider Lausanne area. Other regions in Switzerland and beyond will also soon see the creation of similar groups.

In cooperation with its Alumni community, IMD has been facilitating a forum where participants interested in entrepreneurship and innovation can come together to explore mentoring and funding of business projects. Roughly every month ACE holds an event at IMD bringing together investors and entrepreneurs. Each event fills up quickly and the demand continues to grow.

According to Johan Govea, Director of Alumni at IMD, his office set out to create an eco-system where alumni could build communities around areas of expertise, such as entrepreneurship, creating value for both IMD and for themselves. The ACE group was initially created by a group of alumni from IMD’s Executive MBA program specifically to help other alumni of the school who wanted to explore entrepreneurship further and to be part of a group that brings together the mix of entrepreneurs and investors together needed to make successful deals happen.

The Alumni Community for Entrepreneurship has so far flourished especially at IMD’s home in Lausanne, a natural hotspot for entrepreneurship which hosts a vast array of startups, innovative lifesciences and healthcare companies and the EPFL technology university, a well-known innovation hub.

In addition to Lausanne and the wider Lake Leman area, further communities are being launched by IMD Alumni Clubs, notably in Zurich, Basel, and Singapore as well as other regions and cities.

Johan says the type of executive who comes to the ACE events are typically interested in funding startups while staying in their company current roles. There are also those who want to learn more about entrepreneurship or become entrepreneurs themselves, and people who work for entrepreneurial companies.

So far several deals providing funding to initiatives have seen the light of day thanks to the ACE events. A Venture Capital Deal Camp was also recently hosted by ACE. The daylong program was organized to bring entrepreneurs and investors together as well as to give an overview of the nuts and bolts of deal-making for investors and lawyers who want to improve their ability to define, negotiate, and execute early-stage investments.

“The Alumni Community for Entrepreneurship is the embodiment of IMD’s Real Learning, Real Impact spirit. It’s really making a difference in the local entrepreneurial community and it will continue to spread. It’s part of our mission to build powerful business networks,” said Johan.

Find out more about IMD’s Alumni Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) and its upcoming events.

The annual IMD Annual Alumni Event 2017 will also be inspired by ACE’s energy and will focus on disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship.

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