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My journey with Innovation Factory

For many of our Full-time MBA students a highlight of the programme are the three consultancy projects working with Not-for-Profit, Corporates and International Businesses to deliver consultancy work to help solve a business challenge.

Having recently completed her International Business Project we caught up with Katy Palomino. Find out more about their experience, what they learnt and the project they delivered for their clients, the Innovation Factory and Phenom UK.

The client

The Innovation Factory drive the commercialisation of the University of Manchester's innovation, intellectual property and Phenom UK who are the networking organisation for plant-breeding institutions and research centres.

We worked with the project manager for electronics and director of projects for Science and Engineering when consulting with Innovation Factory and with Phenom UK we worked with the Director of e-Agri Sensors Centre

The project

The project focused on developing the go-to-market strategy for sensor technologies beneficial for several industries, such as agriculture.

Our goals for the project were:

  • Analyse the phenotyping infrastructure in the UK, Germany and France
  • Find the barrier and gaps in terms of technology, plant breeding, business, finance and intellectual property
  • Explore the market opportunity
  • Determine the optimal model to commercialise the university’s IP

The client required that we understand the UK ecosystems and initiatives which work together to promote the development of new crop varieties that can better withstand the challenges of climate change, disease and pests. 

We were part of network and engagement activities as this is important for building partnerships and collaborations in the plant breeding sector.

To achieve the project's goals and the client´s requirements, my team and I implemented a project methodology that mainly consists of primary and secondary research and data synthesis. 

Primary Research was conducted by interviewing 28 companies from the value chain of the plant phenotyping ecosystem. Secondary research was conducted by finding data from sources, composed of activities including a benchmark of competitor market position, developing business cases and reading academic journals.

Working towards shared goals

The fundamental part of the IB project for me was the team I was working with. Our team consisted of 6 people from 5 different countries, all with different professional backgrounds.

Coming into this project having already done two projects previously lay a great foundation for knowing how to tackle this project. In addition, the courses that we take throughout the MBA programme add important lessons that take us to this final moment of the programme where we combine everything to give the best recommendations to our clients.

The cross disciplinary nature of this project allowed me to explore the Agri-tech ecosystem and think about how digital innovations such as sensor technologies promote commercial and societal advantages.

As I was the direct contact between my team and the clients I acted as the business development role. This experience allowed me to reinforce several essential skills, such as managing stakeholder expectations.

I was able to leverage my problem-solving abilities and assertive communication, I wanted to constantly encourage my team to achieve our objectives within the timeframe.

Once in a lifetime 

The International Business Project was an incredible experience, it led the way to the start of a new stage in my professional career. Working with the clients and supervisors who provided knowledgeable feedback and also working with my team I learnt so much as we overcame challenges together.

This experience confirms that it was the best decision to choose Alliance Manchester Business School for my MBA.

Find out more about our Full-time MBA programme >>