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Esade Supported More Than 2,000 Entrepreneurs and Drove the Creation of 320 Start-Ups Thanks to its Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

More female entrepreneurs take part in programs, and interest for social impact projects increases. Since 2012, start-ups in Esade entrepreneurial ecosystem have raised more than €3.5 billion of funding.

The Esade Entrepreneurship Institute (EEI) founded 30 years ago is now an international benchmark in which research and support for entrepreneurship play an essential role. More than 2,000 entrepreneurs have been helped by the Esade Entrepreneurship Institute (EEI) and took part in its activities since 2015. In addition, more than 320 venture projects have been launched. During the 2021-22 academic year, 1 in 4 students at Esade, or 715 (22.5%), participated in entrepreneurship classes.

“Our mission is to support the Esade entrepreneurial ecosystem, and thanks to this work our students have launched hundreds of projects and new companies, including four unicorns: Gorillas (2020), Rappi (2015), Wefox (2015) and Creditas (2012)”, highlighted George Chondrakis, director of the Esade Entrepreneurship Institute, at the institute’s 30th anniversary. “We mustn’t forget all the other top performing companies either, such as Wallapop, Colvin, Treinta, Chartboost and Creditbook – whose founders have appeared on top lists such as the Forbes 30 Under 30 –and other promising companies like Thingtesting”, he added.

Another of Esade’s aims is to inspire, support and help entrepreneurs accelerate their projects and does so through the EEI’s eWorks business creation program. Since 2015, eWorks has accelerated more than 255 projects and, during this time, the number of female entrepreneurs taking part in the programs has increased (23% during the 2021-22 academic year), as well as  the number of social impact projects.

Esade’s support for entrepreneurship is also present in its association for former students, Esade Alumni, which has its own network of business angels, Esade BAN, consisting of 240 private investors. Since 2012, start-ups in the Esade enterprise eco-system have raised funding of more than €3.5 bn from different investment funds and business angels.

Entrepreneurship: part of Esade’s DNA

In the academic field, Esade promotes the teaching of entrepreneurial skills and makes entrepreneurship an essential part of study plans. In the Full-Time MBA and the Master of Science in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIE), for example, 100% of students carry out activities related to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. In this respect, the number of entrepreneurship programs and subjects has steadily increased since 1992, with the incorporation of new academic courses including the ‘From Science to Business’ program, within the framework of KIC InnoEnergy; the Aula de Emprendedores: Aprende y Emprende (Classroom for Entrepreneurs: learn to be enterprising) in conjunction with the Prevent Foundation; and programs by the Attract Academy; all in addition to increased numbers of subjects related to entrepreneurship in the Executive MBA and the Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), and others.

Similarly, in 2018, Esade created a unique enterprise eco-system in the university sector: the Rambla of Innovation, a place for experimentation and creation where Esade teaching and research activities coexist with the business world, the public sector and third-sector entities. It has seven learning labs spanning the road from the inception of a new idea (Fusion Point), to its research and feasibility test (Decision Lab), the manufacture of prototypes (Fab Lab), the definition of a business model (eGarage and Finance Lab), and finally the creation of the company (eWorks) and its media presence (Media Room). Every year the Rambla of Innovation, located on the Esade campus at Sant Cugat, welcomes more than 130 professors and some 2,200 students and 350 companies.

Worldwide acclaim for the Esade enterprise eco-system 

Thanks to this work, Esade has become an international benchmark in the sphere of entrepreneurship. The US publication Poets & Quants recently acknowledged the Esade MBA to be #1 in Europe and #3 in the world in the latest edition of its ranking Best MBA Programs for Entrepreneurship, thanks to, amongst other things, the significant number of students who join a start-up after graduation (22% of graduates between 2017 and 2022) or create one, and the high percentage of professors in the program who teach innovation and entrepreneurship subjects. This ranking also highlighted Esade’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as #2 in Europe, particularly for promoting interaction with other entrepreneurs and direct contact with hubs of entrepreneurship around the world.

The impact of research on entrepreneurship

The Esade Entrepreneurship Institute also includes GRIE, the entrepreneurship research group accredited since 2005 by the Generalitat de Catalunya, which has published 208 research papers in the fifty most important scientific journals and also 130 books and chapters about entrepreneurship. The GRIE has also worked on 5 competitive research projects and 15 applied research projects. Likewise, since 2005 the GRIE has published 59 case studies, and since 2014, almost 50% have been published in the largest repository of academic case studies in the world, Harvard, for use at the best international business schools.