From August 21, 2020 to August 23, 2020

INSEAD National Alumni Associations of UAE, USA & UK: CRACK-THE-CRISIS CHALLENGE

Friday 21 – Sunday 23 August


Finding the pandemic positives; creating opportunity from an economic meltdown………


After a hugely successful launch of the Crack-the-Crisis challenge by INSEAD NAA UAE, three alumni associations are now joining forces to further connect alumni; offering the chance to collaborate with colleagues in different locations as they consider launching a start-up.


2020 is a challenging year for businesses around the globe. The pandemic is causing uncertainty, hardship and widespread job losses. For those that dare take the plunge, history tells us that opportunity always accompanies adverse business climates. The post 2008 financial crisis era saw a host of successful businesses emerge such as Groupon (2008), WhatsApp (2009), Uber (2009), Slack (2009), Pinterest (2010) and Instagram (2010). This will happen again post-pandemic. We are offering INSEAD alumni and its ecosystem the opportunity to equip themselves with lifelong tools and knowledge, giving them the best chance of success in creating a pandemic proof business by joining the “Crack-the-Crisis Challenge”; delivered by INSEAD National Alumni Associations of UAE, USA and UK. Winning team(s) will be invited to pitch to local angel investors later in 2020.


INSEAD National Alumni Associations of UAE, USA and UK, are delighted to launch the Crack-the-Crisis Challenge for alumni and alumni friends running from Friday, 21 August, 2020 – Sunday, 23 August, 2020 (times will vary depending upon which time zone participants connect from).


This will be a transformational experience giving value beyond the pandemic; participants will take learnings into other parts of their life……

Have you ever wondered how to start a new venture that will help crack the crisis? How far would you need to go to make it happen? Get ready for a fast-paced two-day, remote, workshop that takes you on a real-life entrepreneurial journey spanning ideation, business plan considerations and pitching.


Attendees will benefit by learning and applying an entrepreneurial approach to their current and future business challenges. Whether your goal is to start a business, overcome hurdles or innovate at your corporate, applying the agile, smart thinking and questioning that is engrained in a creative entrepreneur is invaluable. Learn the tools and “start-up thinking” to equip you to innovate faster; creating sustainable value for yourself and your business.


Entrepreneurship is not just about a good idea; it is about flawless execution. This workshop will furnish you with the insight and frameworks to make the right decisions at the right time to maximise your potential.


Book your tickets now for the combined UAE, USA & UK NAA INSEAD Alumni Crack-the-Crisis Challenge and be prepared to:


• sanity check ideas

• build teams that deal with uncertainty

• practice managing internal conflicts

• validate risk appetite

• practice idea generation to pitch

• take-away frameworks

• test entrepreneurial acumen

• pitch to angel investors


All teams will pitch to USA and UK angel investors or VCs who will select up to three winners. Winning teams will then be invited to pitch their business ideas to angel investors around the world later in 2020, once their crack-the-crisis business proposition has been further refined.


Get to grips with the world of entrepreneurship at a fun-packed interactive workshop – whether launching a new post-pandemic business, or “just” innovating at your corporate to crack the current crisis. No idea or team beforehand is necessary. Book your tickets now; spaces are limited.


What do previous participants say? Crack-the-Crisis quotes:

“Intense, Exciting and Fun! Great learning and exposure at multiple levels. Don’t think twice, register now!”

Bassel El Dabbagh, MBA 04D , Regional Director ME&A, Agility


“This is the most intense online learning experience I‘ve ever had. The learnings and outcomes have been fantastic!“.

Emanuel Frauenlob, GEMBA 18E


“3-day workshop doesn’t get better than this. One of the very best I have attended. Tremendously amazing and would love to join again and again and again.”

Ruud Janssen, CFO Sysmex, Middle East FZ LLC, GEMBA 18ME


“Extremely insightful and enriching experience which offered me the opportunity to dive in an entrepreneurial journey starting by generating the idea to pitching, now I am ready to embark on launching a start-up as an entrepreneur.”

Radia Ouakedi, GEMBA 21ME


“Genuinely, I’ve loved this and learnt a lot about business and about myself. So valuable, I’m so grateful.”

Thandi Demanet, friend of an alum


Meet your facilitator: Charlotte Mason (GEMBA 07D)

Charlotte is a Venture Partner at Antler London and an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD Fontainebleau. She has helped 1000s of companies raise seed capital from angels and has a personal angel investment portfolio of 23 companies. She has vast start-up experience; from the Director of angel investment networks supporting >£10m of seed capital for >50 businesses to INSEAD’s Start-up Bootcamp Director, delivering >30 world leading start-up programmes in Fontainebleau and Abu Dhabi, with personal effectiveness ratings averagely falling between 4.4 and 5.0. Charlotte also supports and leads Corporate Innovation Programmes for clients such as Fortune 500 Avery Dennison and FTSE 350 Diageo.