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How IMD’s Executive MBA helped drive the success of neurotechnology unicorn “MindMaze”

The company’s founder continues successful rise with EY Entrepreneur award
November 2016

 - IMD Business School

Tej Tadi, founder and head of MindMaze, wants his company to become the top neuro-medical device business in the world.

And MindMaze is definitely on the right path. Ernst & Young’s recent “EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016” award winners included Dr. Tadi as winner of the “Emerging Entrepreneur” category.

MindMaze SA, is a therapeutic device for impairments of the nervous system. It uses brain research findings, stimulates the healing process with sophisticated artificial maneuvers, and supports neuro-rehabilitation directly after an impairment occurs. MindMaze devices for domestic use also make it possible to do training exercises at home. Play-based elements provide incentives to practice, ensuring that patients remain motivated in the face of treatments that are often lengthy. Edouard Pfister, representing the EY jury, said that “MindMaze has created a widely respected brand in its field after only four years in business. Its founder also deserves credit for this.” Tej Tadi impressed the jury with his clear focus, strong ambition and unshakable confidence. He is convinced that MindMaze will improve the world. “Tej Tadi is simply the ideal candidate for the Emerging Entrepreneur category,” said Pfister. The jury’s opinion is shared by the international investor community, which already values the company at over USD 1 billion.

To investigate and experience entrepreneurship and innovation, IMD EMBA participants head out on a weeklong “Discovery Expedition” to Silicon Valley each year. They explore how companies, large and small, manage innovation, creativity and profitability. To cement the experience, they put themselves in the shoes of entrepreneurs, trying to understand how and why they “create something from nothing,” which ones are able to put the customer at the center of their product through design thinking, how they interact with the large companies who left “the garage” long ago, what means they use to convince venture capitalists to back them, and how they might scale up to reach global markets. Companies like MindMaze work closely with the EMBAs, and then the EMBAs pitch these ambitious start-ups to venture capitalists and angel investors in Silicon Valley.

At IMD, we have been running the MBA and Executive MBA start-up competition since 1999, having completed the 20th expedition to Silicon Valley this year. This includes over 200 startups like MindMaze pitched to investors by over 1100 brilliant Executive MBA participants.

Congratulations to Tej and the MindMaze team!