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MBA fuels tech entrepreneur’s new start-up

  • Date: Mon, May 15, 2023

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By Beth Gormley, Communications and PR Manager, UCD College of Business

Herman Errico discusses how the MBA powered the leadership engine for Blendgate — a new type of Marketplace for B2B technology consulting services.

“The Smurfit MBA is a life changing experience, both from a personal and professional perspective,” said Herman Errico, current Executive MBA candidate at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. “The MBA is the fuel for the leadership engine.”

Herman described how he enhanced his skills with group work, his approach to complex problems and his ability to both constructively criticize a perspective and refine his  assertiveness when defending his own perspective. 

“During the MBA you are constantly pushed to expand your learning horizons, reflect before and after any learning experience and learn how to deliver high quality content, while working full time.”

The UCD Smurfit School MBA is one of the oldest in Europe and has been consistently ranked among the world’s best for over 20 years. In addition, UCD Smurfit School is one of an elite group of schools worldwide to hold the ‘triple crown’ of accreditation from the three centres of business and academic excellence,  EQUIS (Europe), AACSB (US) and AMBA (UK). 

Herman began his MBA while working full time as a Manager at EY. Shortly after beginning the programme, he secured a senior manager role which he attributed to the learnings from lectures and group projects. On average, UCD Smurfit School MBA alumni see a 74% growth in earnings within three years after graduating. 

But Herman found that the MBA was empowering him beyond his current career and accelerated his path to entrepreneurship as he learned how to design, create and manage a business. 

“I saw all the material that I could build and gather as a useful reference or sounding board for the future challenges that I would face,” the Dun Laoghaire native explained. “Some may think that building a business comes from practical experience, which is true, however, the pace, effectiveness and quality at which you are able to build a business after an MBA are unmatchable. I would have not been in a position to build and launch a technology company in a short timeframe without the MBA.” 

In 2023, Errico founded Blendgate– a marketplace that makes it easier to procure and manage B2B technology consulting services for small and medium businesses. He describes that the company is not “yet another marketplace”, but a blend between a marketplace and a professional network with a SaaS mode which they call a  Market Network.

“I started Blendgate because of the drive to solve some of the most compelling challenges of the technology consulting industry,” said Errico. “Buyers of consulting services are spending on average 4 to 6 weeks to procure a service, with no comparable prices and no verifiable experience of the consultants that are going to deliver their project.”

“On the other side, consulting firms are struggling with consultants’ utilization, getting constant flow of projects and they lack reliable data on their competitors. All these challenges make the consulting industry a highly unstructured, non-balanced and low trust environment, which makes it the perfect space for a marketplace to rebalance the market and solve some of those pressing challenges.”

Herman describes how the design and thought process of Blendgate came during MBA lectures and while writing papers and reflection notes. “Because the vast majority of the learnings are tangible and immediately applicable to real life scenarios, especially when it comes to organizational case studies, the transition from learnings to reality was quite natural.”

The programme gave him deep knowledge of business and leadership processes, but as a tech entrepreneur, Herman found certain modules directly contributed to the development of his business.  

“Starting with the incredible strategy lectures of Assistant Professor Brian McGrath and Associate Professor Ciaran Heavey, both explored the core principles of strategy design and execution. Designing and executing a strategy will delineate the difference between success and failure of your business.”

“On the financial side, with the exceptional Professor Niamh Brennan, Associate Professor Paul Ryan and the late Dr Christoph Drechsler, we learned how the finances and managerial accounting of a business are core to the toolkit of a successful entrepreneur.”

“Additionally, the learnings from marketing, digital strategy and analytics, which are a stepstone of a successful organization, were delivered by the inspiring Assistant Professor Julie Schiro. Ultimately, the learning from the entrepreneurship lecture with Assistant Professor Orla Byrne was the cherry on top of the cake to finalize the learning experience.”

Recently, Herman consulted his financial reporting material from a previous module while developing the business plan for Blendgate and developed the company’s projected financial statement following the corporate finance lectures. 

“I would recommend the MBA to someone who has at least five years of work experience, as they will be in a position to better appreciate the challenges and struggles of a manager,” said Herman to those considering the pursuit of an MBA. “I would also say don’t rush it, as the MBA is a learning experience that is better done before being ready to go to the next step in your career from manager to leader.”

“With the MBA you will be able to become a better and more prepared leader,” concluded Herman.

Learn more about the UCD Smurfit School MBA here and speak to one of our Admissions Team today. 



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