Mark Challenge 2020, the first-ever Online Edition
The 7th edition of Mark Challenge was different from the previous ones due to the pandemic. The Organizational team was faced with various challenges, such as accompanying the 346 participants through the process.
6 finalists were selected from 129 teams, from 69 business schools, from 17 different countries.
Everything was new for everybody, including the juries who, for the first time, did not meet in person to select the teams.
In the end, the 7th edition was a success. Despite the circumstances linked to Corona Virus, Mark Challenge managed to overcome several difficulties, by adopting an innovative approach that will be kept for the next edition too.
Bigthinx is a deep-tech company pushing the boundaries of innovation in fashion retail.
Winner Bachelor/Master category
University: Munich Business School
Nationality: Portuguese, Austrian
Special Award in Fashion
University: Università Statale di Milano & NABA
Yachting Corporate Project
University: International University of Monaco
Our project is named SYGN for SuperYacht Gastronomy Network it's a revolutionary app that will permit to every Super-Yacht Owners and charterer’s to benefit of the best catering services onboard.
Special Award in Yachting
Project: Moi Composites
University: Politecnico di Milano, MIP
Nationality: American & italian
Moi Composites is an innovative tech start-up that automates production of custom, high-performance products, freeform printing strong, lightweight, cost-effective, and efficient objects on demand in new shapes of any size, such as yachts/boats.
Final Round Jury
President of the Jury
Mr Duncan Bannatyne OBE
A poverty-stricken childhood steeled Duncan's drive to make his fortune from an early age. After his naval career, Duncan drifted from job to job ending up in Jersey. It was here that Duncan made the decision to turn his life around. He began his entrepreneurial life by trading in cars, but it was with an ice cream, van purchased for £450 that he changed the course of his life. With 'Duncan's Super Ices', he set out to become the king of the 99 and eventually sold the business for £28,000, founding a nursing home business instead. He sold his nursing home business for £46 million in 1996. Duncan quickly diversified into the fitness market and, just over a decade later, now operates The Bannatyne Group. The Bannatyne group has 73 Health Clubs, 47 Spas and 4 Hotels. Duncan holds an OBE and was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Science (D.Sc.) by Glasgow Caledonian University in July 2006 for services to business and charity. He was also awarded a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) from the University of Teesside in February 2009. He also operates the Bannatyne Charitable Trust, which supports worthwhile causes. Duncan married his beautiful wife Nigora in June 2016. Duncan has 6 children & 2 grandchildren.
Serial Entrepreneur, CEO and Founder at Modex Tech
Serial social impact and technology entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of London based tech group M3 Holdings which comprises 3 fast-growing companies: Moneymailme, a Neo-Banking technology infrastructure provider; M3 Payments – FX management and global payments platform; Modex – Blockchain Database – SaaS technology provider. Founder of Ingenium Group – the technology infrastructure and logistics provider for M3 Holdings, which employs 60 software developers, engineers and business executives in 4 offices around the world: London, Bucharest, Monaco, Gibraltar. During its 12 years of existence, the company has worked with over 200 clients. Mihai holds an MBA in Innovation Management and is currently enrolled in a Doctorate of Business Administration at INSEEC Group with a Thesis on Disruptive FinTech Technologies. Awarded Forbes 30 Under 30 and finalist of Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Mihai is an experienced speaker and entrepreneurship mentor. As an early-stage tech investor and result-driven executive, he holds positions in various tech startups and advisory Boards, managing to have a transformational role given his practical expertise. Over the years, Mihai graduated from various executive training programs from Harvard, MIT, Stanford University, and Silicon Valley Innovation Center. Passionate about chess, martial arts, and motorsports, the youngest member of the prestigious Monaco Impact is focused on tech applied in social impact projects that range from financial inclusion, charity, and shared value initiatives.
Senior Advisor to the Monaco Government Finance and Economy Department
Over the last three decades Michel Bouquier, has built a matchless reputation for promoting luxury lifestyle around the world. His talent for advising and connecting opinion leaders is based on his unique experience in developing innovative solutions for luxury destinations and brands. Michel is currently a Senior Advisor to the Monaco Government Finance and Economy Department responsible for promoting the Principality. Michel was President of the Monaco Tourism Board for nine years. During his tenure he launched many initiatives to promote Monaco as the destination of choice to Ultra High Net Worth Individuals around the globe. This role followed nearly a decade in the luxury hotel industry at the Forte Heritage Hotels Group in the UK and the Relais & Châteaux world-wide Association where he is credited with creating innovative strategies upon which was built an outstanding foundation for the group’s future international growth. Michel enjoys a long-standing reputation in Switzerland and in the USA where he headed the French Government Tourist Office in New York. He graduated from the Strasbourg School of Hotel Management and Tourism and obtained a Master degree and a postgraduate degree in Human Sciences at Lyon II University. Michel is honoured with the French National Order of Merit and the Principality of Monaco’s Saint Charles Order.
Agency Owner & Event, Guest Management and Logistics Director
Federica Bruno Bonaveri, Born in Milan Italy (12/12/1969). Graduated from Boston University, College of Communications – Cum Laude – with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and Public Relations (1992). Started my carrier in the Automotive Industry as Press Officer and also worked in the Sales Department in Milan, Italy. Had an enlightening job experience in Luxury Yachts as Marketing and Communications Manager working for Baglietto USA in Fort Lauderdale. A life changing event set the new path of my life and I opted out of the Corporate World. In 1998 together with Paolo Bonaveri founded 3DComm a Marketing, Communications and Events Agency. A creative communications agency, specialized in the automotive, boating and luxury industries, that works not only on event management and venue finding but also other aspects of communications like brand strategy. We emphasize responsible business approaches and seeing the big picture and our mission is to create and deliver being seamless and consistent offering best practice. Our vision is to engage and inspire with a made to measure approach. We define ourselves a Boutique Agency. A couple of my most important achievements have been to be part of the Communications Team that launched Infiniti in Europe in 2008, supporting in the role of Consultant and Event Director for all of their Global Press Product launches, Motorshows and other events dedicated to media. Since 2012 I was hired by McLaren Automotive to be Guest and Logistics Manager for all Global Media Events and since 2016 was also Communications Consultant for the South Europe Region. My organizational and guest management skills were also employed in 3DComm’s six year contract as Communications and Press Agency for Volvo Italy. I speak Italian, English and French and I’m knowledgeable in Spanish and German. My hobbies are reading, preferably fiction to distance my mind from all daily matters, but reading is the endless source of information. And on a more physical plane I spend endless hours gardening and I love swimming. If I had more time in life, I would study more foreign languages. I’m a mother of two children a boy of 22 and a girl of 14.
Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Monte-Carlo – Société des Bains de Mer
Axel Hoppenot has held senior management, sales and marketing positions and/or executive committee positions in major global or international companies, based in Paris, Los Angeles, London, Frankfurt or Monaco. He currently heads up Strategic Marketing and Communication and is a member on the Executive Committee of Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, the listed company that runs the most touristic assets of the Principality of Monaco (casinos, palaces and hotels, restaurants, bars, night clubs, music festivals, opera house, golf course, tennis club…) and more generally leverages the legendary Monte-Carlo brand. Axel Hoppenot represents Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer on the board of art institutions such as Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Printemps des Arts, as well as on the board of the Cluster Yachting Monaco and TEDxMonteCarlo. He has been President of Skal International Monaco, an association of travel and tourism leaders. He is a foreign trade advisor and Vice President of the Monaco branch of the Conseillers du Commerce Extérieur de la France.
CEO at Relevance & Digital Marketing Adjunt Professor at IUM
Rumble is a digital marketing consultant specialising in luxury brands & uses digital marketing to target high net worth individuals for his clients. Rumble is CEO of Relevance, an independent digital marketing agency headquartered in Monaco, with offices in the UK and internationally employing 30 staff. Relevance is a full-service digital marketing agency offering 360-degree digital marketing services and performance marketing.
CEO and President of Acquera Group
Stefano Tositti was born and educated in Venice, where he studied Economics and Business. He has worked in the maritime industry for the last thirty five years and is considered a key international player thanks to his dedication, passion and professionalism. In 1985 he joined the family shipping business and set up T&C the Tositti family holding,which includes, among different investments, Tositti Srl one of leading Italian Ship agency of which he is CEO and President since 1990. He is also CEO of ISS Tositti, formed with in partnership with the world’s largest independent marine services organization “Inchape Shipping Services”. He has managed different companies in the yachting industry since 2000, and obtained a great understanding and knowledge of the industry and in the delivery of luxury services. In 2002 he was appointed Mexican Honorary Consul and still holds this position. In 2004 he co-founded BWA Yachting, and from 2007 to 2017 held the position of CEO where he created a multinational. In 2018 he launched a new company Acquera Group, which yachting division was rebranded in 2020 as Evolution Yachting. He is currently holding the position of CEO and President of the Group. The company provides all type of services to superyachts with one of the main focuses being lifestyle services and bespoke luxury experiences for yacht owners and charter guests. The company has an ambitious expansion plan, and has grown at a rapid rate since its creation, positioning it as a market leader.
Second Round Jury
Non Executive Director of different companies and Business Angel
Simon is an active business angel. He works also a Non Executive Director of different companies: SLB (Legal Firm), Made In Italy Ventures (Digital Platform) and Gipstech Srl (Tech company). He is board advisor to Tekpea a US technology company and works part time in a Monaco based family office. He is partner of Italian Angels for growth the main business angels group in Italy. Ultimately, he has become a promoter of Corporate Governance principles in non-quoted companies and is an author of a book on this subject. Simon earned an executive MBA from SDA Bocconi, he lectures about start-up financing at Bocconi University and teaches entrepreneurship & business planning at the International University of Monaco.
Managing partner of an asset management company
Dr. Arik Röschke is member of the board of directors of an asset management company and an agricultural investment company in Switzerland and member of the advisory board of a single family office of a Monaco-based investor. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), where he conducted research on Entrepreneurship at the Swiss Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and coached a multitude of would-be entrepreneurs and their projects.
Equity Partner at Impact Hub Milano and Managing Director of Angels for Women
Lorenza Morandini is an Equity Partner at Impact Hub Milano (certified incubator) and Managing Director of Angels4Women, the first Italian group of business angels focusing only on Women-led startups. Lorenza's professional career develops in international contexts both in strategic consulting (in BCG, both in the Chicago and Milan offices) and in industrial contexts (such as Indesit, where she was in charge of all Business Development activities and Restructuring at group level, dealing with scouting and restructuring in China, India, Brazil and Russia). In her most recent experiences, Lorenza was head of the Service division of the Candy group (now Haier Group), whose reorganization and re-organization she dealt with in 2012-2015, up to the most recent experience in Poste Italiane, as part of the group of managers who carried out the corporate transformation project from 2015 to 2018. Lorenza, in addition to being a passionate tennis player (and ITF certified teacher) studied Business Economics (with a degree with honors) at the Bocconi University, with Erasmus at ESADE in Spain. He then completed his studies, thanks to a Fulbright scholarship, at Indiana University, with an MBA, and specialization classes at INSEAD. Lorenza, in addition to her managerial skills, always brings us enthusiasm, desire to do and share beautiful experiences, “enjoying the journey”.
Managing partner at Euro-Institute and a Professor of Business Administration at International University of Monaco
Dr. Alexander Kern is German citizen who has a Ph.D. in Corporate Finance & Innovation Management Science from University Aix-Marseille. He is the Managing partner at Euro-Institute at Monaco and Hamburg, Germany and a professor of Business Administration at International University of Monaco. He also have experience in high-performance environments such as consulting, finance, international politics, and online start-ups. He previously worked with the National Bureau of Economic Research as a Research Assistant where his findings were published in 2015 at the European Commission and the German Finance Ministry. He enjoy leading, and working in, teams, maintaining a clear vision of objectives, and keeping up the team spirit.
Professor of Innovation and Project Management at the International University of Monaco
Alessio Castello is a Professor of Innovation and Project Management at the International University of Monaco. He is the former deputy director of the European campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where his research focused on innovation based alliances. Alessio conducts courses on entrepreneurship, innovation and Business Simulation in MSc, MBA and Executive MBA programs, as well as seminars on innovation and strategy in executive development programs for large multinational corporations. After graduating in Physics, he spent three years doing research in fundamental solid state physics at the Swiss Federal Institute for Technologies in Lausanne – Switzerland. From 1997 to 2001, he was active in the sales and marketing departments of several companies in the biotech and telecommunications industries; since 2001, he is an independent consultant in strategy and finance for European companies operating in the IT sector. Alessio Castello obtained a PhD from the University of Nice in 2012 and an MBA with honors from the Theseus Institute, Sophia Antipolis - France.
Founding Partner of Modelex Education
Olena graduated with a Masters in Law from University of Nice and has been involved into various entrepreneurial projects since the age of 16. In 2018, she was elected the youngest-ever National President of JCI Monaco, and spoke for Modelex at Davos ’18 about challenges facing education today. Olena has also been awarded the State Medal of Ukraine for her outstanding contribution towards youth development. In 2016, she co-founded Modelex Education Monaco, which has grown into an Academic Centre of Excellence in January 2020, a 250m2 space located in Fontvieille.
Founder at Angels for Women
Graduated in Marketing and Communications, EMBA in Leadership (IMD Lausanne), EMBA in Art and Cultural Heritage Management, Annamaria worked in international advertising agencies (TBWA, B Communications GGK, Attila & Co) as Strategic Planner and then continued her career in the world of fashion, lifestyle and luxury. Her managerial experiences include companies such as Trussardi and Ferragamo as Global Marketing and Communications Director, Superga and Value Retail as Chief Marketing & Communications Officer. She is currently CEO of TheBrandSitter, be spoke factory dedicated to the strategic development of high-end brands in international markets and founder of Angels4Women, the first group of business angels women born to support and develop female start-ups. She is engaged in the scouting, mentoring and training of young talents that she supports in their entrepreneurial paths with innovation, vision and coaching skills. In 2019 she was named by Startup Italia as one of the 1000 women who are changing Italy (#unstoppablewomen) and is the delegate of Women20, the civil society interest group that aims to develop policy proposals on gender parity and empowerment for leaders of G20 member countries. She published the book “Il Lusso… Magia & Marketing. Presente e Futuro del superfluo indispensabile "(5 editions from 2005) and is scientific director of the Luxury & Fashion Management area for the Sole24 Ore Business School and visiting professor at the most qualified universities and schools in Italy and abroad (Boston, Tampa, Moscow, Geneva, Doha, Dubai).
CEO of Augustus Managament SAM
Hamid is an investment and finance professional with over 25 years’ experience working with investors and multinational banks. Currently Hamid helping his clients directly through family office advisory projects as well as sitting as board member to several businesses including Modex a Blochchain and Fintech company , Better Grain an Organic and fair trade grains company, O’Traces a blood based cancer detection technology as well as other companies in which his clients are invested. Hamid has also served as C.E.O. for Thyssen Petroleum for 3 years, developing multiple projects in North America, Middle East and North Africa with turnover in excess of $50 million dollars to date. Previous to his more recent projects, Hamid worked with several international banks including Merrill Lynch International Banks London and Monaco, Credit Suisse Geneva and CMB Monaco. As a director and head of Merrill Lynch Middle East Wealth Management 1991-1997, Hamid was responsible for the Middle East private client business unit with over 150 staff and later with other banks having a similar high level management role. Hamid has a BA in Business Administration and Finance from the University of Colorado (1984-1988), and an Executive Master’s degree from the London Business School obtained in 1998.
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategy at Turin University
Dario Peirone is Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Strategy at Turin University. He is founder of the Startup Creation Lab, the entrepreneurial program for students and Director of the Milton Friedman Insitute, economic research centre based in Rome. In 2012 he founded, with an international group of entrepreneurs and investors, the startup accelerator Morning Boost, based in London. Prof. Peirone has been member of the Boards of several Profit and Non-profit Financial Institutions (Digital Investment, Fondazione GDA, CLab and others) and he has been CEO and Vice President of JStone SpA, a management and investment company dedicated to technological innovation. For 3 years (2005-2008), he was in charge for the development of academic spin-offs at University Incubators, managing the creation of several academic spin-offs. He wrote several papers for Italian and foreign journals (Industrial and Corporate Change, International Journal of Business and Economics, etc..) focusing on finance for firms’ technological innovation and on new governance systems in public and private enterprises, presenting his researches in leading international conferences (Strategic Management Society, Academy of Management etc.). He also dealt with European integration and globalization’s economic dynamics. Prof. Peirone was the organizer of several international events on finance, entrepreneurship and innovation (UK Italy Springboard, Torino Crowdfunding, Unicredit StartLab Bootcamp and others).
Founder and managing partner of Panthera Solutions Sarl
Markus Schuller is the founder and managing partner of Panthera Solutions Sarl, a leading applied behavioral finance consultancy. As award-winning Investment Decision Architects™, Panthera optimizes the choice architecture of professional investors through applied behavioral finance methods. Empowering the decision makers towards comparative advantages in capital markets remains the ultimate goal. The Panthera intervention toolbox has proven to be equally effective and innovative. As adjunct professor, Markus teaches courses like “Asset Allocation & Applied Behavioral Finance“, Risk Management & Applied Behavioral Finance”, “Investment Banking” and “Narrative Reporting” at renowned Master in Finance programs of the EDHEC Business School, the IE Business School and the International University of Monaco. Markus publishes in academic top journals (i.e. Journal of Portfolio Management, 2018), writes articles for professional journals (i.e. CFA Institute, OECD Insights, etc.) and holds keynotes at international investment conferences. As an investment banker, adjunct professor and author, Markus looks back at 18 rewarding years of trading, structuring, and managing standard and alternative investment products. Prior to founding Panthera Solutions, he worked in executive roles for a long/short equity hedge fund for which he developed the trading algorithm. Markus started his career working as equity trader, derivatives trader and macro analyst for different banks.
Vice-President Aiim (Association of Italian Entrepreneurs in Monaco) and CEO Groupe Abri
After spending 6 years in different multinationals including Landi Renzo and SHELL GAS where he held commercial functions in Italy and abroad, Dario Cassano joined the WCMG Group in 2005 as Commercial Director of the company AT Spa in Italy. Since 2009, he has been Managing Director of the Abri Group (Monaco, Paris, Lyon) in France. Dario Cassano graduated from a Master Business Administration. He is also Vice-President of AIIM (Association of Italian Entrepreneurs of the Principality of Monaco).
Director and Principal Advisor
Thomas is Director and Principal Advisor at Neos Chronos, a UK advisory services firm for early-stage startups and large multinational enterprises. He specializes in strategy, business development, and sales growth. Over the course of his international career, Thomas has generated more than 150 million pounds of revenue for the companies he has worked for. As an advisor/coach/mentor, Thomas has helped over 120 startups progress in their entrepreneurial journey and now serves on the board of a select few. Thomas lives in Beausoleil, France, and travels to the UK and abroad to work with Neos Chronos' clients.
Jury - Special Award Yachting
Marketing and Communication at Yacht Club of Monaco
Born in Genova, Gregory always had a link with the sea and the boats since his young age. His father was working in the Port of Genova with merchant boats and yachts, bringing him very often to discover the first super yachts on the Port or anchored in Genova Bay. After different experiences as project leader in marketing and communication, event management and business development, he started to work for different Yachting companies in Monaco to finally join the Yacht Club de Monaco, the institution of Yachting for the Principality. For more than 10 years now, Gregory has been working with crew, captains, owners and professionals to cover the complete range of activities around the yachting sector.
Director of Marketing & Business Development at FRASER YACHTS
Mark has been working with UHNWIs for most of his professional life. Having trained as a Commercial lawyer in London, he moved to the south of France where he co-founded and ran what remains today one of the region's most enduring and successful luxury event management companies, Riviera Organisation. He spent almost 15 years at Riviera Radio, the region's only English-language radio station based in Monaco, initially as Operations Manager and host of prime time programming including the weekday Breakfast Show, before stepping into the role of Sales & Marketing Director where he grew the station’s revenue YoY by over 35% for American owners, Morris Communications, as well as developing the station’s first syndication network in China and Eastern Europe. From 2008 - 2017 he headed up and revamped the marketing division of Yachting Partners International (YPI), one of the world’s longest serving, full-service yacht brokerage houses. As Commercial & Marketing Director he launched the Group’s re-brand, introduced the first public-facing brokerage and charter app, the first VR solution for new-build clients to be developed by a brokerage house and a range of multi-media platforms and tools that increased YPI’s marketing ROI and kept the Group, and its brokers, at the forefront of the industry throughout the global crisis and beyond. As Director of Marketing & Business Development at FRASER since 2018, Mark is responsible for rolling out the group’s advanced digital marketing initiatives as well as improved client experience platforms and tools designed to ensure FRASER retains its position as the N°1 reference for yacht owners and charterers. Mark is also the author of the best-selling industry guide: ‘Smart Yacht Marketing 101’ and a regular speaker at industry events including MYBA’s ground-breaking broker training seminars. In his free time, Mark is passionate about writing, photography, cooking, gardening, the sea, travelling and spending time with his wife and two children.
Group Marketing Manager of Oceanco
Paris Baloumis is Group Marketing Manager of Oceanco—a world-leading builder of large custom superyachts. Baloumis has held various positions at Oceanco. Prior to being Marketing Manager, he had the dual responsibility of being Manager of Oceanco’s Fleet—liaising with the captains and crew of all the yachts Oceanco has built since its inception— as well as being Public Relations Manager—communicating with international press on an ongoing basis. With the 10 years+ experience at Oceanco, Baloumis is well apprised of where the company is now relative to the marine industry and where Oceanco is headed in the future.
Raymond Kandal Fagerli
Naval Architect & Hydrodynamics Engineer
Raymond Kandal Fagerli is a Norwegian naval architect and hydrodynamics engineer with McFarlane ShipDesign in Monaco. Far removed from the Arctic forest where he deployed in the Norwegian Army to guard NATO’s border with Russia, Raymond started his career with One2three in Sydney, Australia, and was given the responsibility for the production design of significant blocks of the 84m superyacht White Rabbit: winner of the 2019 Boat International Design & Innovation Award for “Best Naval Architecture for a Displacement Motor Yacht”. During this time, Raymond was also deeply involved in all stages of the production design of over 20 catamarans. With McFarlane ShipDesign in Monaco, Raymond has delivered technical studies, engineering work, concept designs and refit solutions for over 30 existing and newbuilt superyachts. As an active investor in the stock market, Raymond favours leading companies with innovative management, great balance sheets and strong future earnings and sales growth potential. As part of an effort to give back to the industry, Raymond serves on the board of Young Professionals in Yachting – Monaco. In March 2020, he organised and was a speaker at the “Yacht Design & Build Process” seminar at Yacht Club de Monaco. Raymond holds a Master of Science (Distinction) in Maritime Computational Fluid Dynamics from University of Southampton and a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours Class 1) in Naval Architecture from UNSW Australia. At university, Raymond received awards for best student ship design and best thesis presentation. His work was published in The Australian Naval Architect
Jury - Special Award Fashion
Founder at ESPACE MONOCHROME
His vision is to search & present up and coming brands from different parts of the world to selected international buyers. The portfolio includes brands that exhibit quality, innovation and style. Our commercial network comprises of high-end international multi-brand retailers, as well as specialty & department stores. Espace monochrome has its headquarters in Monte Carlo and presents the collections at its Milan showroom. The company participates in international premium fashion trade shows and provides buying office services to selected buyers. In the last years, Espace monochrome has launched Espace resort presenting resort and loungewear brands. Panagiotis Papandreou holds an MBA specializing in fashion & design management from Bocconi University and a BSC in business & communication studies from Boston University. He has worked as a senior account manager at Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett and DDB Needham, also as a product manager at Johnson & Johnson and as a strategic & marketing consultant for luxury, fashion & design brands at intercorporate consulting in Milan, together with the director of Altagamma, dr. Armando Branchini.
Founder and Managing Partner at Style Lab
A self-confessed workaholic, Valentina co-founded Style Lab with her sister in 2012. Having conceived, built and run an award-winning concept store in London, Valentina brings with her some of the best names in the luxury arena. She oversees the brand management and client communication for all brands, but her passion is development strategies for start-up businesses. “Iwasoncoursetobecomeaconcertpianist,”shesays“soIreallyunderstand how hard you have to work to stand out from the crowd. Starting the concept store in London was a bit like that – challenging, a lot of hard work but very rewarding”. Currently studying for a PhD in media, Valentina offers solid first-hand experience with a strong vision for the future. A regular contributor to international lifestyle publications as well as TV and radio, Valentina was awarded the Young Business Woman of the Year Positive Business Award in 2017, alongside her sister and co-founder of StyleLab.
Founder & Creative Director at ACBC
Edoardo Iannuzzi is a designer focused on sustainable fashion. He loves sneakers, and is the founder of ACBC, a revolutionary startup that commercialises modular and low impact shoes. His Industrial design studies at Politecnico di Milano culminate with a thesis on a shoe that could achieve new functions and an improved lifecycle efficiency thanks to the integration of a particular zip system, and after five years of research and development on zippers Edoardo publishes in 2017 the patent for the Modular Zip Shoe that is now ACBC: a water resistant and durable shoe comprised of detachable and interchangeable soles and uppers. The invention allows to create infinite shoes with one single sole, reducing significantly the user's environmental footprint and plastic impact from footwear use. ACBC has already 12 active mono-brand stores in 9 countries and collaborations with Moschino and Armani. In fact Edoardo's mission is to bring his sustainable technology across borders, from luxury to contemporary and casual brands, "if sustainability is not accessible, if it's stays in the world of luxury, it's not impacting as it should be", he says.
Director of Merchandising at Burberry London
My name Veronica Sartori, I am currently Director of Merchandising at Burberry London. I have over 17 years of extensive experience in fashion, I have worked for some of the most valuable fashion brands such as Bottega Veneta, Prada and Tod’s to name few and I’ve developed a strong passion for luxury products. As Director of Merchandising I am responsible defining the global product strategy for Burberry and making sure it’s executed properly. I have a great eye for detail and know how to develop a good balanced well-structured collection and distribution strategy for all relevant channels (from physical retail stores to online business) I’ve also been lecturing at the IUM since 2012 and enjoyed it very much. I like to deal with young talents and listen to their fresh ideas which help me stay up to date with new trends.
General Manager at Metropole Shopping Monte-Carlo
Stephen is an expert in retail. Since 2017, he is the general manager of the Metropole Shopping in Monte-Carlo and he lives and breathes retail day in and day out. At a young age, Stephen had always had an exceptional affinity with fashion and retail, with a remarkable eye for detail. His keyword is « passion ». Whatever you do in life, do it with passion. He has an infectious ambition and drive, which he clearly demonstrated within a keyrole at Ralph Lauren Europe for the last 9 years, where he held the position as senior director for all retail stores within the European continent. Working today in historical, prestigious, and renowned premises, within the principality of Monaco, he is more than happy to share his view and professional knowledge in the world of luxury retail in the 21st century.
Founder and Owner of Vermillion
During an internship in 2000 at the European head office of a global shoe brand. Yvette fell in love with the fashion industry for her challenging, dynamic and creative characteristics. After working for almost 8 years for different labels to discover and learn all the elements involving running a fashion brand, she left the industry temporarily to raise her daughter Ella. Her family was complete with the arrival of Jack in 2010. In fall 2011, the timing was right to get back into business. Based in Monaco, she sat up the headquarters there and a daughter company in The Netherlands. In The Netherlands the sales office set sail to fulfil high volume orders that resulted in a wide spread network of suppliers in Asia, frequent travels to visit factories and follow up on production. In Monaco over the years, her clients enabled her to focus on quality, smaller order quantities that resulted in more European oriented production network. Her latest passion, besides Resort25, is contributing to a more sustainable fashion industry. Both offices belief in the future of recycled fabrics green manufacturing and are currently working on developing circular (sport) uniforms.
Customer Experience Trainer at Michael Kors
With over a decade of experience in luxury retail, Chase has developed and implemented learning and development strategies for the world's most prominent fashion houses. After graduating from IUM in 2012 with an MBA in Luxury Management, Chase participated in Bottega Veneta's post-MBA management development program in Milan before relocating to New York where he worked as an Education Executive with Chanel and a Regional Trainer for Valentino. Today, Chase is in charge of customer experience training for Michael Kors in North America, based in Los Angeles, California.
Owner of Mcva Sarl
Talents scouting / agent and brand developer of new contemporary, conceptual and avant-garde fashion designers. Maurizio Vela is a head-hunter of new creative designers (mostly best graduated at St. Martin in London). He helps these creative guys to build-up their brand (from the production network to the communication, catwalk and distribution and establishment) and then he sells them from his Showroom in Paris to the high-hand boutiques and dept. stores (example Selfridges, Dover St. Mkt in London, Antonioli Milan, L’eclaireur Paris, Tsum Moscow, Barney’s NYC, Isetan Jpn, Maxfield LA, H Lorenzo LA etc worldwide) during the Paris fashion weeks. The brands are Couture and Prêt à Porter (man and woman) and they’re strictly distributed from Paris only.
Selvane Mohandas du Ménil
Deputy Director at Parfums D’Orsay and Adjunct Professor at Institut Français de la Mode (IFM)
He started his career in product-oriented and commercial-oriented positions at L’Oréal, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent and most recently at Sonia Rykiel as Business Development Director. Author of research works on Luxury, he graduated from HEC Paris, IFM Institut Français de la Mode and is alumni of Science Po Paris. He also contributes to the monthly magazine Beaux Arts Magazine, for the fashion column.
CEO at ACBC
My ambition is to create and manage a fashion group with a business model that is completely different from the actual standard: driven by Data, sustainability, Customer Satisfaction and quality products, creating a community that could be adaptable to the value of each brand of the group.I moved to Milan to attend Bocconi University (2002) where I studied business administration address, which I completed in two and a half years with an Erasmus experience at Maastricht University (2005); subsequently, with the bachelor’s degree obtained at the age of 20, I decided to work and study. I enrolled in Cattolica University to do a master’s in business administration and I started working in a consultancy company in Milan (PKF). Our main clients were Tommy Hilfiger, Foot Looker, Ecco Shoes. After about a year (2006), I moved to Berlin where I began working for BASF's finance & reporting division, an extremely educational experience that impressed upon me the importance of learning to write and follow procedures, as well as understanding the importance of budgets and achievements; While doing this, I completed my Master's in Cattolica bringing the following thesis: “new international accounting standards on the ENI case”. In 2007 Tommy Hilfiger gave me the opportunity to come back to Italy as a strategic analyst reporting directly to the Country Manager. I worked about 2 years after which, at the age of 24, I reached the position of being responsible for the Italian market for 2 additional years. This experience taught me how to relate to top managers, evaluate the dynamics of business fashion 360 degrees, and understand the importance of relationships in every aspect of the business. Subsequently I decided to undertake further EMEA experience for ACER GROUP, in 2010 I was responsible for a new division: “Smartphone”. The approach to a new market was very challenging, but thanks to my spirit of adaptation after about 6 months I managed to bring in the first results. After only about a year and a half, the Lusini family (owner of Peuterey) wanted me to develop a Retail project and subsequently open the Asian market; my love for fashion attracted me to accept this challenge. After the opening of 15 shops in Europe I moved to Shanghai with my family. Furtherly, together with BCG consultants, we created the Asian business model that is still in place with a double company (HK and China), The China company division is in charge of: production, development and logistics. The HK Branch to Manage and develop Japan and Korea market. In three years we have opened 10 stores in China and 100 multi-brand shops between Japan and Korea, reaching 35% of the overall business (almost 35 mln) and 80% of the total production; My role at this juncture also saw me head of marketing and acting as the face of the company. After three years of success, I decided to challenge myself once again by working for Trussardi (2015). This entailed, making a complete business turnaround from a daily loss of around 30,000 Euros to positive EBITDA, which was achieved in the first year, added to reporting directly to Tomaso Trussardi as I was member of the strategic committee. We rationalized our distribution channel closing one line out of three, changing the business model from direct to 16 franchises divided by area managing almost 70 points of sale, which included 220 people; opening the first JV in Japan, opening the ASIAN and Indian market, focusing on product market needs. After about two years, almost 5 years of China (we were living in shanghai) my spirit and responsibility as manager / entrepreneur together with the explosion on Kickstarter of ACBC project lead me to take another hard decision: leave Trussardi to follow my entrepreneurial dream; as a result I decided to move to Italy, covering the position of Triboo Digitale CEO (second only to YOOX in the ESP world in Italy with more of 150 portfolio brands, public company), CDI (Triboo's holding company) became a shareholder of ACBC SRL with a 30% stake. Focusing on international business: we opened branches in China, UK, Japan, bringing important partnerships with groups such as AEFFE (MOSCHINO, ALBERTA FERRETTI, POLLINI), PIQUADRO, NGG (OFFWHITE and MARCELO BURLON), etc.; Triboo opened my mind to the digital world, knowledge that I would like to merge with the traditional way to do business in fashion. I decided to dedicate 100% of my time to ACBC, (even if I still be part of the strategic committee of Triboo SPA) which has been nominated as one of the most valuable start up in 2019; in which FORBES included me among the TOP ITALIAN MANAGERS. Until now, we have opened more than 20 mono-brand stores in franchising, produced and managed around 450,000 pairs. We are working with MOSCHINO, ARMANI, GUCCI, PHILIPPE MODEL, MANILA GRACE, SAVE THE DUCK, PEUTEREY to build a sustainable shoe division. Our unique and patent ZipShoe's has been named the most sustainable sneaker in the world by WWD.
First Round Jury
Senior Lecturer and Head of the MA in Luxury Brand Management at Regent’s University London
Eleonora Cattaneo is Senior Lecturer and Head of the MA in Luxury Brand Management at Regent’s University London. Her research interests focus on the management of iconic brands and luxury consumption. She has extensive consulting experience in a variety of industries including automotive, fashion and non-profit. Previously she taught at SDA Bocconi and was visiting lecturer at EM Lyon and the Helsinki School of Economics.
Entrepreneur, Founder of Luxury Sales Academy, FRSA, Author
Aminoff has founded several luxury brands and written several books about luxury. UHNWI Luxury Events offers luxury events. Luxury Sales Academy coaches luxury brands and individuals, and Lux Sales Lounge is a luxury brokerage. Aminoff founded the Mark Challenge Finland Partial Race in 2017. Acted as head judge in 2018 and 2019. Founding member of the Mark Club. He was a member of the jury at Mark Challenge in 2019 in Monaco. Aminoff has written the first luxury business theory book in Finland called Luxury: How to create a fascinating luxury brand (Luxury Sales Academy, 2015). He has written the first book in world history about social selling, which is fully dedicated to the luxury industry. The book is called Social Selling Luxury: Increase sales by engaging in the digital world (Luxury Sales Academy, 2016). In 2020, Aminoff released to new books. Modern Luxury: How to navigate in the new world of luxury (Luxury Sales Academy, 2020), which tells how the luxury industry is changing and what megatrends should be noticed to succeed in the future. Sales: Giving Is Love (Luxury Sales Academy, 2020) is a straightforward book about modern branding, marketing, sales, and how brands can utilise new technologies, and how new values are challenging the marketplace. Aminoff is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in London. Distinguished Professor at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. Senior Advisor for the Royal Commonwealth Society Nordic-Baltic Hub. Founding Member of the Alumni Board at Anglia Ruskin University. He is also the Founding President of the Alumni Council at Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Aminoff has appeared in the Balance Magazine UK, Forbes, The Conversation UK, The RSA, and in many other media. He blogs to several publications. Aminoff has a master's degree, MA in Marketing and Innovation, from Anglia Ruskin University, and a BBA degree from Laurea University of Applied Sciences.
Ph.D, Lecturer of Fashion and Luxury Management, Bocconi University
Dr. Stefania Saviolo obtained a degree in Business Administration at the Bocconi University of Milan in 1989 and a PhD in International Business in 1993 at the University of Bergamo perfected at the Stern School of Business - New York University, USA where she has been Visiting Scholar during an academic year. She obtained the title of Chartered Accountant in 1994 and she registered in the Register of Chartered Accountants of Milan. Since 1993 she has been Professor of Management and Technology at the Bocconi University and Core Faculty of the Strategy and Entrepreneurship group at the SDA Bocconi School of Management. Her teaching and her research concern brand strategies, management of fashion and design companies and the processes of transforming business models in a customer-centric perspective. For SDA Bocconi in 2001 she was founder and until 2013 director of the Master in Fashion, Experience & Design Management, today an international reference master for post graduate training in this industry which is carried out in partnership with Fondazione Altagamma. Since 2014 he has been Instructor for the American Coursera platform where her course "Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies" has reached over 100,000 participants in 2020. Author of numerous essays and articles translated into different languages related to the topics she deals with. Her works have been published, among others, by Economia & Management, Encyclopaedia Treccani and Harvard Business Review China. Among her latest publications “Signature Experience. Art and Science of customer engagement " Bocconi University Press (2018) and "Lifestyle brands. A guide to Aspirational Marketing ” Palgrave Macmillan (2012). She is an independent board member since 2014 at Natuzzi SpA (quoted NYSE) where she is also Chairman of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee, since 2014 at TXT e-solutions SpA (listed on Borsa Italiana - STAR segment), where she is also Chairman of the Remuneration Committee and member of the Risk Control Committee.
Leading Teacher at Polimoda Fashion Business & Art Direction Department
Silvia Fossati studied Strategic Communications and Planning at the University of Arts, Berlin. She began her career in Public Relations, focusing on Digital Marketing & Communications across the Italian and German interior design and fashion industries. In 2016, she joined Polimoda as a lecturer in Digital Strategic Planning and Digital Marketing. She was a speaker at several events, discussing fashion start-ups and creative industries. Fossati is the author of “Myth and Innovation. Re-Edition of Design Classics” (2014, German edition).
Julien de Grandbois
Professor of Entrepreneurship & Business Development at Business School Lausanne
Professor Julien de Grandbois teaches courses on the subject of “Entrepreneurship” at Business School Lausanne. BSL ranked 1st business school in Switzerland. Professor de Grandbois is an approved coach and mentor to entrepreneurial competitions and ‘Venture2018’ with EPFL, the lead Swiss Confederation Polytechnical Institute. Switzerland is ranked the most dynamic technological innovations country in the world and rates 1st in numbers of new start-ups that grow into successfully sustained business ventures. Professor de Grandbois also teaches Negotiation to MBA students of University Institute of Finance and Management in Geneva Switzerland for career development cadres in international operational sectors. Professor Julien de Grandbois is First Jury member with International University of Monaco’s worldwide business plan competition entitled ‘The Mark Challenge’ for project selection in the luxury industries with having an environmental and social impact. With extensive multi-continental experience in corporate and academic cultures, Julien established and managed new start-ups involving small and mid-cap businesses in information technologies, print and media, project finance and fundraising, global banking operations, tourism and management education. He developed business projects in biotechnologies, power generation, pharmaceuticals, universities graduate education, environmental technologies, raising capital for art museums, sports competitions, scientific bursaries, doctoral grants, internet trading platforms and a variety of other start-up companies. Chairman of a global education commission on banking reorganization, he served as Panel Moderator to UN Earth Summits on new environmental technology businesses. Corporate Advisor to reputed global brands, Julien performed intermediation services, raising capital and private/public mediation services. As business professor, Julien created accredited graduate degree programs. Having quality exposure to start-ups, business development, multinational management, Julien lectured on entrepreneurial ideas creating new wealth, on corporate social responsibility, systematic operational management, issues of quality management in industry to foster a world of clean technologies for improved human welfare at the leading-edge universities across the Americas, Europe, Middle-East, China and Asia Pacific regions. Julien advised CEO’s on innovation and change management, and coached entrepreneurial students to create start-ups, do business development and manage operations of small and large companies. Elected Municipal Councilor to five subsequent Geneva Legislatures, Julien de Grandbois established a variety of public works and development projects. His personal motto “Life is also what you make it”.
Professor of Marketing & Product Management at Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW), Berlin.
Dr. Andrea Bookhagen is a German citizen and has a Ph.D. in Marketing Management from Technical University Berlin. She is a Professor for Marketing and Product Management at the Fashion Design Department at Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft (HTW) Berlin, Germany. Before joining HTW in October 2017, she headed the chair of Marketing and Luxury Brand Management at Munich Business School (MBS) for more than six years. She previously worked in various management positions in the global consumer goods industry and is an experienced strategic management consultant. She has specialized expertise on brand management, innovation and qualitative market research. She is also researching on topics related to CSR and sustainability in the textile and fashion industry
Distinguished Professor of Finance, International University of Monaco Double affiliated of Corporate Finance, Ca’ Foscari University, Venice
Guido Mantovani (Milan, March 28th, 1965) graduates in Business Administration (major in Corporate Finance) at Bocconi University in Milan in the academic year 1989-90. He got his PhD in Business Administration in the Consortium managed by the same University. Since 2018 he is Distinguished Professor of Finance at IUM with double affiliation with Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. His academic experience started in 1990 at Bocconi University as junior researcher (later lecturer) in Corporate Finance and Corporate Risk Management. In 1998 he was appointed as Senior Professor of Corporate Finance at SDA-Bocconi School of Management. In 2001, he started to work at Ca’ Foscari University Venice. In 2009 he became Deputy-President for Lifelong and Executive Education and founded the Ca’ Foscari Challenge School becoming its first Dean (2011-2014). His international teaching experience spreads to ENI Corporate University (1992-2013), VSE University of Economics Prague (1997-99), Harvard Summer School (2006-11), FAU Universitaet Nurnberg (2012-14), Ecole de Management de Strasbourg (2012-17), where he is also acted as President of the H.E.R.M.E.S. Universities Network until 2018. He publishes internationally and in Italy on topics concerning contingent claim finance, corporate risk management, information risk premia and entrepreneurial finance. More recently he is focusing more on the financial valuation of human competences, an integrated approach of financial rating and scoring for small and medium enterprises and the relationships between corporate governance and finance. His latest contribute “The Financial Value of Entepreneurship” (Palgrave, 2017) has been recently presented at the FMA Applied Conference at the St. John’s University in Manhattan. He is Scientific Director of the Teofilo Intato Institute of Entrepreneurship by HERMES-Universities in Treviso and involved in different Academic bodies including the Scientific Board of the World Finance Conference and the Global Finance Conference, the chairing of the FMA European Conference 2015 and of the World Finance Conference 2014. He was appointed as scientific advisor of several institution including the European Union, the Italian Confidustria and a huge number of European Financial Intermediaries.
Associate Professor Burgundy School of Business, France
Glyn Atwal is Associate Professor of Marketing at Burgundy School of Business (BSB), an international Graduate School of the French network of Grandes Ecoles. Glyn’s teaching, research, and consultancy expertise focuses on marketing and strategy within the affluent and luxury space. He is responsible for the Luxury Brand Management and Luxury Entrepreneurship specializations at BSB. His recent research has focused on the luxury market in emerging markets. He is co-editor of The Luxury Market in India: Maharajas to Masses (Palgrave Macmillan) and Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets (Palgrave Macmillan). He recently co-authored a new book, Luxury Brands in China and India (Palgrave Macmillan). Glyn presents regularly at industry conferences and was a panelist at Arab Luxury World 2019. Prior to academia, Glyn worked in industry for Saatchi & Saatchi, Young & Rubicam, and Publicis.
Bilal joined Les Roches in 2016, having worked across the academic, consulting, sports and hospitality sectors throughout a wide-ranging career. Bilal has considerable expertise in business development and project management, in areas such as healthcare, events management and family businesses. As part of his role, Bilal negotiates new consultancy projects with the industry and integrates these within each semester’s academic curriculum. He presently leads the Consultancy Project course with Les Roches’ MBA students. He holds an MBA in Planning New Business Ventures from Oxford Brookes University, UK.
Director of the Executive and Full-Time MBA programs at the International University of Monaco
Dr. Marika Taishoff is currently the Director of the Executive and Full-Time MBA programs at the International University of Monaco. Her area of academic and consulting expertise has long been Services Management, Quality and Marketing, in particular in the Luxury sectors. She has designed and delivered a variety of courses in these topics at the Masters, MBA and Executive Education levels. Prior to joining IUM, Marika worked at such internationally renowned business schools and management education institutions as IMD (The International Institute for Management Development) in Lausanne, Switzerland; Imperial College Business School at the University of London; and Bocconi University Business School in Milan. Originally from New York City, where she completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Columbia University, Dr. Taishoff has written numerous case studies on best practice in service management and marketing. Many of these cases have been global award winners, and in 2015 Dr. Taishoff was honored by the Case Center as one of the “Top 40 Case Writers in the World”
Director of the Brand LuxuryLab and of the MSc in Global Luxury Management & Innovation
Director of the BRaND LuxuryLab and of the MSc in Global Luxury Management & Innovation, Serena Rovai is also Associate Professor in Luxury Brand Management at EXCELIA-LA ROCHELLE BUSINESS SCHOOL. Visiting and Invited Professor at University of Florence, Polimoda, Hong Kong Polytechnic, amongst others, for Global Luxury Brand Management, she was previously the Founder of the Fashion and Luxury Management programmes at Grenoble Ecole de Management. Author and Consultant for Luxury Brands – Cartier, Starwoods Group etc – for China Markets Strategy.
Consultant and Lecturer, Luxury Management
Julia Riedmeier is a consultant and lecturer in the field of luxury management. As a partner at INLUX, an international consultancy boutique for high-end brands, she advises companies and their leaders on luxury strategies, mainly in the digital field. She co-conducts studies on luxury, supervises the INLUX-owned magazine LBR Luxury Business Report and conference LBD Luxury Business Day. At Munich Business School, she is the module leader of the business concentration “Luxury Management” of the Master program. Prior, Julia Riedmeier has worked for Hermès in communication and retail and sharpened her profile through diverse projects in the beauty and online sector as well as for public figures. Before starting her DBA at the International University of Monaco, she studied International Business in Berlin, Munich, Shanghai with a focus on Luxury Management.
Business development advisor
- Informed and guided along more than 2000 entrepreneurs (including high net worth individuals) in their venture (company set-up and personal relocation) as a Monaco Government Representative over 8 years - Other professional experiences in sales and marketing - Prominent public speaker, 100+ conferences - Strong project management abilities and Advanced interpersonal skills - Graduated in business administration (B. Sc.) with solid knowledge in sales and finance - Fluent in French, English and Italian - Founder and managing partner of a business development consultancy firm in Monaco called “vk*p business advisors”
How to reach the event
Arriving in Nice airport there are various ways to come to Monaco.
1. Taking a taxi directly to Monaco will take approximately 30 minutes and will cost around 100 euros.
2. Taking the bus 110 Menton-Nice Airport Express will take 1 hour and will cost 15 euros.
3. Taking Uber may cost less than taking a normal taxi.
4. Taking the 99 bus from Terminal 1 of the airport and go to Nice train station and from there take the train to Monaco. The whole trip will be around 1-1.5 hours and will cost from 8 to 10 euros.
Getting around Monaco
In Monaco there are buses that can take you almost everywhere during the day and will cost 1.5 euros/ride or 2 euros if you buy the ticket on the bus. All of the buses run until 9.30 p.m. and from then there is a night bus every hour that goes through all Monaco. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact us via e-mail or our Facebook page.