Managing in a Digital Era

How to Enact Digital Technologies
Coming soon

A 5-day Bootcamp for middle and senior managers, in particular of SMEs, who are confronted with digitalization, both as a mechanism to improve efficiency and an opportunity to develop novel value propositions and as a way to identify new growth opportunities.

Coming soon (dates TBC)

Against the backdrop of digital technologies that are changing our world, many companies face a paradoxical situation in which they feel a pressure to “disrupt” in order to avoid being disrupted.

This program will introduce you to the different digital technologies that might impact your business (e.g., IoT and Machine Learning). Experienced coaches will create with you, a plan to develop an entrepreneurial initiative that turns a potential threat into an opportunity.

By the end of the week you will be given the opportunity to present a business case to a dragon’s den of digital experts. The coaching sessions will be complemented by lecturing on topics related to digital technologies, digital value propositions and business models and business case development. The blended format represents a bootcamp approach leading to a business case that you can take back to your company.

Day 1: Leaders and Digitalization
Day 2: Application of Digital Technologies
Day 3: Finding New Growth Space
Day 4: Getting Resources for your Value Proposition
Day 5: Dry Run to Convince Decision Makers 

Participant profile

Middle and senior managers, in particular of SMEs, who are confronted with digitalization, both as a mechanism to improve efficiency and an opportunity to develop novel value propositions and as a way to identify new growth opportunities, and who want to:

  • Familiarize yourself with the latest developments in digital technology (eg. Blockchain, AI, IoT)
  • Acquire knowledge of the tools and structures used by digital entrepreneurs to turn their companies into unicorns, and enable participants to use key tools that support them in their transformation journey in their own businesses; using of bespoke canvas’s that facilitate the development of business cases
  • Analyze the role of senior leadership to successfully implement these cases in their own company setting and understand the challenges which digital business models offer in terms of cultural changes needed.


EPFL Campus, Lausanne

The Experts
Marc Gruber

Marc Gruber is Academic Director for Executive Education and full professor at the College of Management of Technology at EPFL where he holds the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization. Marc is co-author of the book “Where to Play: 3 Steps for Discovering Your Most Valuable Market Opportunities”, which introduces the Market Opportunity Navigator – a practical business tool used by tens of thousands of startups and established firms. Marc received multiple ‘Thought Leader’ awards for his breakthrough research and he is actively engaged in teaching, consulting and executive training programs all over the world.


Bart Clarysse

Bart Clarysse holds the Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Management Technology and Economics Department at ETHZ. He has co-founded several start-ups in businesses such as digital cinema, mobile internet and venture incubation. He also has extensive experience in processes underlying corporate entrepreneurship. His on-going research interests include the analysis of acquisition decisions by established companies to enter new technological domains or adjacent markets. He analyses the growth strategies of technology ventures in adjacent markets and the valuation patterns of these ventures.


Andrea Dunbar

Andrea Dunbar followed her bachelor’s degree in physics from St. Andrews by a sojourn in the city of London as a Lloyd’s broker. She obtained her PhD from Trinity College Dublin in 2002, has over 80 scientific papers and 10 patents and in 2016 obtained her eMBA from EPFL. Today she runs the Edge AI and Vision group at CSEM who brings the latest research results in computer vision, machine learning, data analytics and embedded programming into industry, supporting the digitalization process. She also lectures on digitalization at the EPFL eMBA course, is an IEEE reviewer and is a director for the Cantonal Bank of Neuchâtel.


Day 1: Leaders and Digitalization

The objective of this day is to introduce how new trends in digitalization challenge the way in which we think about business models and how entrepreneurs have successfully developed new ways of generating revenues using the opportunities offered by these technologies. After the session, you should have a good view on the current trends and an overall understanding of the opportunities that are shaped by digitalization.

Day 2: Applications of Digital Technologies

We give an overview of contemporary applications of the different digital technologies introduced on day 1 and facilitate a problem-solution exercise in which the participants – triggered by the overview of use cases – identify an opportunity for their company which could be addressed with existing, off the shelf digital solutions. The emphasis will be on the business theorizing (building a theory about a new market or improved value proposition for existing customers).

Day 3: Finding New Growth Space

Digital Technologies enable not only improved current businesses processes and offerings, but also radically new value propositions and growth opportunities beyond traditional industry boundaries. We discuss these elements and, using your own company as example, examine the cognitive as well as capability-based challenges in identifying and capturing significant new growth opportunities.

Day 4: Getting Resources for your Value Proposition

Business Cases stay thinking exercises if management cannot be convinced to invest in them. During this day, you are introduced to how a value proposition can be turned into a business case with a financial analysis as a basis behind. Emphasis is placed on the validation of assumptions and the need for user feedback, persona research or experimentation in different cases. In addition, you are introduced to the development of narratives that are coherent and convincing. Using templates, you will be coached to make your own business case and financial plan. 

Day 5: Dry Run to Convince Decision Makers

Participants will present their business cases to digital experts, who will give them individual feedback on their case, and how to move forward.

Tuition fee

Cost per person: CHF 4’900

Admission requirements

Fluency in English


Once open, registrations should be done online.

For further information, please contact us at [email protected]

This program is a joint initiative of EPFL and ETHZ