MBA students at RU work on the strategy of Icelandic start-up companies with MIT DesignX experts

"This is the project where everything we have learned in the MBA programme comes together!"


Recently, students in the Executive MBA programme at Reykjavík University completed their final projects in which they used MIT DesignX methodology to develop business plans and consult Icelandic start-up companies. The methodology is interdisciplinary and intended for the design and up-scaling of start-up companies. MIT is one of the leading universities in the world when it comes to training students in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Specialists from MIT and RU assisted the students when they developed growth maps for the start-up companies in collaboration with their founders. The growth maps are based on a detailed analysis of the business ideas on which the companies are based, customer needs, structure and future possibilities in mind. The start-up companies are:


Eylíf health products

Feed the Viking



Unimaze  Work on the project began in October when students met with representatives of the companies and organized the work ahead. In November and December, students collected data and interviewed key people within the companies and reviewed data in order to gain a deeper knowledge of their operatiosn.

Since the beginning of the year, four workshops have taken place, the last of which was supposed to take place at MIT in Boston, but due to the Covid pandemic, students presented their projects to MIT professors through Zoom.

At the last workshop, the students delivered a detailed presentation, submitted a report on the project and received feedback from experts at MIT, which they will use for writing the report on the course.

Student reviews:

Stefán Ari Stefánsson, Human Resources manager of RB:

"My group and I worked with Feed the Viking in our final project in the MBA programme. It is an Icelandic entrepreneurial company that produces dried fish, and lamb and beef jerky from Icelandic ingredients, as well as various mountain-food.

The collaboration within the group and with the company went very well and it is a real privilege to be able to dive so deep into the operations and infrastructure of a company that is gaining a foothold in Iceland as well as in international markets. The owners of the company, Friðrik Guðjónsson and Ari Karlsson, have been extremely helpful. The goal, of course, is to come up with proposals that can help the company grow and prosper, and MIT's methodology has been very useful to us. One thing is for sure and that is that it is safe to recommend these products and my favourite is the lamb jerky!"

Ólöf Viktorsdóttir, Chief, Department of Anesthesia at Landspitali University Hospital:

"For our final project, we had the pleasure of working with Sling, a start-up that brings the world an online employee scheduling and communication tool for non-desk workers. We approached this project as consultants, by analysing real-life issues the start-up might be facing and provided recommendations.

We took Sling through a powerful venture design framework, developed by MIT DesignX Innovation Centre, that allows us to analyse and evaluate every aspect a start-up needs to consider at every step through their journey. This is the project where everything we have learned in the MBA studies comes together!

We have greatly enjoyed collaborating with the CEO of Sling, Helgi Hermannsson, and his team throughout our work on the project and they have given us great insight into the world of entrepreneurs. In addition, the human-focused methodology and model we use in the course is a great tool for future entrepreneurs."

Dögg Hauksdóttir, MD:

"The MIT DesignX project is a real live case-analysis of the start-up company Eylíf. Eylíf is in its first year of business of producing supplements with plans to scale. It has been a privilege to get a glimpse into the mindset of an entrepreneur and an opportunity to analyse a constantly evolving business. The founder has been gracious with her time, contacts, and information, giving us an in-depth knowledge of the operations. The main take away is that the complexity level of founding and running a company is higher than expected and needs a perfect balance of entrepreneurial spirit, organizational skills, business savvy as well as grit."