Darden’s Center for Global Initiatives hosted 38 Executive MBA students and faculty on grounds this week from Darden’s partner school in Peru, PAD School of Management. The theme of this year’s International Partner Program focused on entrepreneurship and innovation and was led by the faculty team of professors Raul Chao, Tom Steenburgh, Jeremy Hutchison-Krupat and Bobby Parmar. This year’s program builds on a successful engagement last fall in which executive MBA students from PAD came to Darden to learn about networks and narratives.

The group arrived at Darden on Monday morning for a week full of classes, cases, company visits and cultural activities. Head of People Operations and Darden alumnus John Greenfield (MBA ’16) spoke to the group about PsiKick, a company working to develop a more connected world through ultra-low-power circuit design and wireless communication. On Friday, the group spent the day in Washington, D.C. participating in discussions with leaders at  1776 Incubator in Crystal City and Sparkfund and Maga Design in Adams Morgan. At 1776 the group heard from Notarize and Sandboxx, companies that operate out of 1776’s incubator space. The panel of speakers at 1776 included a Darden Executive MBA student Patrick Weeks (Class of 2018), the Operations Manager for Notarize, the first notary public platform which allows people and businesses to get documents legally notarized online.

After time to enjoy lunch in Crystal City, students visited and heard from executives at Sparkfund and Maga Design. Sparkfund provides access to the latest energy technology through a unique and simple monthly subscription service and Maga Design is a design agency focused on helping enterprises solve complex challenges in new creative ways.  Though listening to these entrepreneurial organizations’ stories and perspectives, students gained insight into innovation in energy technology and accessibility, the use of design thinking in marketing, and the various challenges entrepreneurs face while establishing startups.

Darden is excited to host a group of PAD’s part-time MBA students in Charlottesville this week.

The group, with Professor Raul Chao, engage the panel speakers at 1776. Executive MBA student Patrick Weeks (Class of 2019, left) and Chadwyck Cobb (right) spoke about their startup experiences at Notarize and Sandboxx
The group of nearly 40 Executive MBA students from PAD at 1776 Incubator in Crystal City
Listening to Maga Design’s founder and CEO, Scott Williams, speak on entrepreneurship and design thinking
Some of the PAD Executive students after touring Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello