MLB students look to the future while commemorating the past

Education & Study |

In early November, member of the 2019/20 Master of Law and Business Program took part in a four-day excursion to Berlin. The trip centered around visits to an eclectic mix of start-ups and established companies. It was a fortuitous time to be in Berlin as the city was preparing to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Wall.

The schedule of visits kicked off with a lively evening at APX Axel Springer Porsche GmbH & Co. KG—the accelerator of Porsche Digital and Axel Springer Digital Ventures—where the Class of 2020 was welcomed by Sonja Radovic (program alumna Class of 2018). Following an introduction to the early-stage investor, the group listened to pitches from recent additions to the accelerator’s portfolio of companies. The half-hour presentation, including questions from current MLB students, is available on the APX YouTube channel.

The next day, the students made their way to Potsdamer Platz to visit CrossLend, a young fintech with a mission to “rewire the lending economy” by creating a Europe-wide online marketplace for debt. As program alumni Roman Steigertahl (2014) and Chuka Ikele (2018) explained, the growing firm has set its sights on fostering the creation and development of an EU capital markets union.

The afternoon included a visit to Flightright where students participated in a case study to examine the legal tech company’s model as well as the challenges it faces in securing passenger rights under EU regulation 261/2004.

The group then crossed the city to the local office of Hamburg-headquartered Deposit Solutions where CEO Christian Tiessen explained the history and undertakings of the leading open baking solutions provider. Boasting 300+ employees in 18 countries, the fintech company works primarily with a network of banking partners but also operates B2C portals Zinspilot and Savedo and is in the process of entering the US market.

To kick off the third day of activities, the class visited the Freshfields Legal Services Center, a solutions-focused operation bringing together lawyers, technologists, legal support staff and process improvement specialists to support the multinational law firm.

Rounding out exposure to fintech models, the group visited Raisin GmbH, a company seeking to provide savers with higher-yielding investment opportunities during a time of low interest rates across Europe.

For a bit of sightseeing, the group joined a guided tour of the Berlin Wall Memorial along Bernauer Straße. Having taken in the view at a reconstructed section at the Wall, several students participated in a pop-up exhibition collecting clay impressions from the hands of tourists and passers-by. Each of the 9477 shapes represents a day the wall stood between 1961 and 1989. Lightening the mood and providing opportunities for networking, the group met with MLB graduates living in Berlin for the MLB program’s annual alumni dinner and night on the town.

The final day of the schedule entailed a company visit to Delivery Hero, a publicly listed online delivery service operating in 40+ countries across Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, and TalentRocket, an HR solution supporting the legal services market by connecting attorneys with law firms and companies.

Tired but satisfied, students returned to Hamburg with an idea of life in Berlin, new personal and professional connections and fresh perspectives on how to structure their spring internships and pursue long-term career opportunities across Germany and Europe.


Read about the Berlin Study Trip 2018