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IE Business School and Oracle educate MBA students about blockchain technology


In recent weeks more than 90 students of IE Business School’s International MBA program have been examining the challenges and opportunities brought by blockchain to the corporate world.

The students undertook this particular learning process as part of the first edition of TechLab, an educational program run in collaboration with Oracle that now forms part of IE’s International MBA program.

Over the course of five weeks the students learnt from technology experts about blockchain’s potential in sectors like retail, banking, insurance, tourism and telecommunications. They enjoyed learning by means of tech bites focused on fields like artificial intelligence, big data, Internet of Things, quantum computing and robotics. Students attended workshops on tech foresight, centered around the future of technology from a strategic perspective, and worked on  design thinking. They also developed management methodologies used to apply technology to businesses and analyzed the impact of technological change on business organizations.

During the learning phase TechLab students examined challenges related to how blockchain could generate business opportunities or help enhance business processes. The best projects were presented before a panel of judges made up of directors from Oracle and external experts who evaluated the proposals. The winning  “Tech Disruptor” projects were the following:

1. Overall Winner and Best Project in the Field of Retail Sector:  Project aimed at producing formulas to increase traceability and transparency in a large supermarket group’s supply chain of food.

2.  Finalist and Best Project in the Field of Telecommunications: Project aimed at creating an ecosystem out of the businesses and private clients of a telephone firm by bringing them together using a blockchain network in order for them to enjoy the exchange and consumption of services through collaborative economy techniques.

Winners in other fields:

3. Best Project in the Field of Tourism: Project aimed at creating value for Spain’s Ministry of Energy, Tourism and the Digital Agenda by using blockchain to streamline tax refunds to visitors from abroad.

4. Best Project in the Field of Insurance. Project aimed at adapting the Price of insurance policies to each driver’s profile by using a blockchain network to combine information on sensors installed in the vehicle and data available on the TIREA platform.

5. Best Project in the Field of Banking. Project aimed at creating an ICO (Initial Coin Offerings) formula with the support of an interbank blockchain network.

“We are proud to have collaborated with Oracle in our new TechLab program for MBA students,” says Erik Schlie, Vice Dean of IE Business School’s International MBA. “The ability to serve as agents and build bridges between the worlds of business and technology will be key for our graduates when it comes to leveraging future work opportunities.”

“The International MBA students who take part in TechLab are taught by experts from a range of business sectors,” says Fernando Esteve, Director of IE Business School’s International MBA TechLab. “This permits them to become well grounded in disruptive technologies and enables them to put them into practice to offer solutions to real clients.”

“This joint initiative with IE Business School is a significant step for Oracle and we hope to develop further projects with them in the future,” says Leopoldo Boado, Regional VP CEE, Iberia & Benelux and Country Manager of Oracle in Spain. “Information technologies now form an integral part of business strategy, and disruptive technologies like blockchain have to feature on the agenda of future business leaders. We are very pleased to be able to play a role in MBA students’ learning process, and to learn from them at the same time.”