How the MyLeanMBA startup was born

lightbulb startup ideaMyLeanMBA is a Madrid-based elearning startup that offers a 1-year, 100% online program called The Lean MBA™. This business administration program teaches the same core concepts as traditional MBA programs, at a fraction of the price (299€). Plus, its innovative format requires students to study just 15-30min/day, meaning they can keep their job and social life.


It all started back in 2014. Edouard Blin, the CEO of MyLeanMBA, was working as an equity derivatives trader for Spanish banking giant, BBVA. Although he enjoyed his position at this company, he had the growing desire to do something new. To achieve this, he was considering 2 possible options: getting his MBA or starting his own business.

Although Ed was accepted into a prestigious Executive MBA program in Madrid, he wasn’t convinced that this was truly what he wanted to do. So, instead of spending thousands of euros to pursue an MBA degree, he decided to take the other path towards entrepreneurship. He felt that this was more in line with his life goals and that he maybe could create something to bring value to society.

Onmemopulse logoline applications like Duolingo and Anki peaked Edouard’s interest, and he began to research the process of learning optimization and memorization. He found that most people go through what is called “the forgetting curve” when studying. Memopulse SL grew out of the need to create a more effective system for long-term learning (aka learning and actually remembering).

Edouard knew he needed someone to help get his startup off the ground. This is where MyLeanMBA CTO Maxime Riard comes in. Ed and Max connected through the alumni network of their French engineering school, Arts et Metiers ParisTech. Max, also living in Madrid and interested in online learning, eagerly joined Memopulse shortly after the two met.

With Memopulse, Ed and Max first started out building a learning platform for French students studying for their A level exams. Because their target market was young (around 17 years old), the two figured out that this plan was not financially viable. They quickly switched gears and developed an original Learning Management Software (LMS) for enterprises.

myleanmba logoThey hit gold with this idea and signed a contract with the France’s train provider, SNCF, in 2016. But because the sales cycle for large enterprises like SNCF is long (6+ months), Edouard and Maxime made the decision to pivot into a new venture, MyLeanMBA. By focusing on this niche area of online business administration training, they widened their client base and shortened their sales cycle.

MyLeanMBA launched the first class of The Lean MBA program in October 2016. As of February 2017, it has grown to over 1,600 students from more than 60 countries. Learn more about The Lean MBA.

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