Student Spotlight showcases the stories and projects of Lean MBA students.
Martin Hak is part of the October 2016 class of The Lean MBA program. Martin lives in Prague, Czech Republic and works as a system business owner for Generali Investments CCE. Originally he studied architecture at Czech Technical University, (then a Master in Economics & Management), but he found employment in IT and decided to continue with this path. Martin has always enjoyed “long term tourism with purpose”, which is why he spent a year in Lyon for his studies and two years in Venice for work. He also enjoys spending time with his newborn son and playing sports, especially Aussie-rules football.
His interest in sports has translated into a project he co-created called Prague City Race. They organize city runs throughout Prague with various challenges. For example, runners may be asked to obtain a piece of information or object from specific locations along the route. “We try to choose places that are hidden from the view of tourists and passersby,” he says. There are also more creative challenges, where runners are asked to complete tasks while running that test their imagination and street intelligence.
Martin tells a funny story of what happened during a running challenge last year. “During Christmas in Prague they sell live carps on the street. As a bonus task during a race, we told our participants to make a video of themselves diving into the tubs of fish. It was meant as a joke and we didn’t think anybody would do it – but we got back 6 videos of our runners jumping in with the carp! The fish vendors must have thought the city was full of crazy runners!”
The mission of Prague City Race is, obviously, to entertain. “We want to bring people together and show them the city in a more unusual perspective,” Martin says.
So far, they only organize events in Prague because they know the location very well, but Martin believes this concept can be expanded elsewhere – especially to other cities that have unique features, a dense population, and open-minded people. And their business model is obviously working; every time they organize an event, it gets sold out within one day. Due to this success, Prague City Race is planning expansion into B2B and online, and they hope to target new groups like tourists and business people. Find Prague City Race on Facebook.
A few more Prague City Race challenges are detailed below:
- Runners had to get to the railway station where they received an envelope with instructions, train ticket, and map of Beroun (a town 50km from Prague).
- For their Easter special, participants had to perform a different task each day of the week from April 9-17th and send in a photo proving that they’d done it.
- Their next event will be a classic race on May 9th, 2017.
In the future, Martin hopes to be either a top-level corporate manager or owner and director of his own company. “Studying business administration is part of my continuous preparation for these roles.” he says. For Martin, The Lean MBA is a “perfect source of inspiration and learning materials,” including periodic reminders to push yourself forward. As a full-time employee, he misses some things about being a student, so The Lean MBA program lets him enjoy being a student again. Plus, it allows him to gain important business knowledge that can be applied to his running startup and any future ventures.
Martin is very optimistic for the future. “The world is better now than it ever was. And now, humanity is getting a chance to make it as good as we can think of.”