I very much looked forward to our first week of classes in NYC and it was indeed an interesting experience. New city, new classroom, new instructors, all these made the 3 days a good start of our one month NYC journey. We had quite an intensive start in the first day with Alejandro and Brian, who offered us an interesting perspective about the businesses as part of an ecosystem, which extends farther than we would generally expect. I think this approach offered us a good view on what we have to consider when launching a new business or when looking at an existing one. We briefly applied some of these learnings at the end of the second session we had with them on Wednesday, in the form of doing the due diligence from the perspective of us as investors interested in acquiring a company.

I also liked our guest speaker from Pfizer, whose aim for the session was to give us an overview of how analytics and data support strategic decisions in a multinational company. Actually, the discussion ended up reaching beyond this purpose and expanding into other topics like general business decisions, entry strategies into various markets, ethics and so on. But the main learning out of this session was, once again, that having access to data and using the proper analytics tools is vital for making business decisions. For me in particular this was nothing new, as I already have some experience with data driven marketing, and I am hoping that more and more people and businesses understand the importance of data and learn how to use it to their advantage.

In the same note, I enjoyed the CUSP lecture; the idea of building smarter cities is a very exciting one and I think a great deal can be done in this direction. There are extremely interesting insights that can be drawn from the data and that can definitely contribute to the well being of communities. I was actually thinking of several things that could be done in Bucharest based on such data. One more thing I liked quite a lot about this presentation were the data visualization techniques used, which I believe are actually the main channel that makes the data understandable by decision makers.

At this point, I am looking forward to the next week’s lectures and also for the New Venture competition that we will be part of.

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