Meet the men behind MyLeanMBA: Founder & CEO, Edouard Blin, and CTO, Maxime Riard. Learn the personal & professional history behind these two “visionaries”, wisdom they have for aspiring entrepreneurs, plus a fun fact about each founder!
MyLeanMBA is a Madrid-based startup that offers a low cost, online program called The Lean MBA™. The concept behind The Lean MBA™ is to offer everyone a flexible, inexpensive way to gain solid business skills, studying only 15-30min/day and covering 12 functional areas of business administration.
We all know that behind every great startup is a visionary founder, eager to change the world with an idea. MyLeanMBA was, in fact, started by not one, but two “visionaries”: CEO, Edouard Blin, and CTO, Maxime Riard. In this article, we will go beyond the business and take a deeper look at the executives of MyLeanMBA.
What did you study at university & why?
Edouard Blin: After high school I spent 2 years training in math and physics before being accepted into Arts & Métiers ParisTech, one of the Tier 1 engineering schools in France. I also completed a double degree program with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Southern Germany.
I decided to study engineering because for me science is what brings progress to a society. It’s not always true, but our generation has a much better quality of life than 5 generations ago, mostly thanks to scientific progress.
Maxime Riard: I studied Industrial Engineering in France because I wanted to know how the parts of a mechanism worked together. This degree offered the possibility to study real systems and get a lot of hands-on practice.
I followed this with a Master of Management at a Polish University in order to broaden my skills–but don’t expect me to speak much Polish!
What are your past work experiences?
E: While in Germany, I did an internship for with Airbus working on an International Space Station project–very exciting! I’m also passionate about travel, so after finishing a Master in Risk Management, I took a 6-month placement as a trader assistant for a French bank in Tokyo, Japan. 6 months turned into 3 years!
In 2008, I moved back to Europe and worked for the Spanish bank BBVA as an equity derivatives trader on European markets. As much as I enjoyed this position, I had a growing desire to start my own company, so that I could create something to bring value to society. And what’s more valuable than education?
M: Apart from several internships, I have worked as safety engineer in the train industry here in Spain. Edouard and I then created Memopulse SL, where we started developing online learning platforms (first for secondary education students, then for companies, and now The Lean MBA™ program).
What do you do in your free time?
E: Most of my free time is dedicated to my wonderful children, Lucas (2 years) and Olivia (4 months).
M: I love doing sport–I play badminton at a national level. I also enjoy reading (in French, Spanish, and English) and having beers with friends.
What is a funny/random fact about you?
E: My dream is to sail around the world, but I’m not sure my wife would let me…
M: I was born in a car. I don’t know if it’s funny, but it’s random!
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?
E: I chose to become an entrepreneur because I was tired of my previous job and I needed a new challenge that was more in line with my life goals. I had the growing desire to start my own business, plus I already had an idea in mind.
M: I became an entrepreneur because I wanted to build something useful.
What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?
E: If you want to be an entrepreneur, I would say:
1) Have a realistic go-to-market strategy. Involve your customers from day one.
2) Hire people with different skill sets.
3) A startup is about getting things done: work smart, work fast.
M: I have several messages for aspiring entrepreneurs:
1) Picking a market that you have experience in helps a lot.
2) Try to find clients before you spend too much money.
3) Don’t listen to people telling you that “your project won’t work”. Listen to people that suggest improvements.
Edouard Blin and Maxime Riard are top executives of MyLeanMBA, a Madrid-based startup that offers an affordable & flexible program called The Lean MBA™. At just 299€ total, this 1-year, online program provides business administration training in 12 functional areas of business.