2021 CentreCourt MBA Alumni: Timo Buetefisch, IESE Business School

Timo Buetefisch

MBA Program: IESE Business School at the University of Navarra

Class: MBA 2004

Current Location: I come from Germany but I have been living in Barcelona since 2002, when I moved to undertake my MBA at IESE, after having lived in different countries. I knew for sure that I wanted to stay in Europe. And of course, Barcelona also attracted me as a major global city with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Current Company and Title: I always dreamed to be an entrepreneur. In 2003, I started my first business, where I lost considerable amounts of money. In 2006, I had the opportunity to start Cooltra from scratch. Back then, I had my own motorcycle, but one day it unfortunately broke down. I took it to the garage and, while I was waiting for it to be fixed, I came up with the idea of setting up a motorcycle rental company in Barcelona to create a mobility proposal that the city didn´t have at the time. This was despite the fact that urban motorcycles were widespread in the Catalan capital. I also saw it as a business opportunity that could be exploited.

Why did you choose to earn your MBA at this business school? I was interested in the MBA at IESE for its numerous advantages. First, I was impressed by its European focus, its two-year duration, and the fact that they used the “case methodology”. Furthermore, they offered exchange programs which, for me, were an added value.

Pretend you are an ambassador giving a tour at your business school. Name one place you would show a candidate and why was it so important to you? One of the most important aspects of an MBA program is the community. It’s vital to make the most of networking opportunities that enable you to bring together different perspectives through people with great potential. In this respect, although it may seem irrelevant, “the cafetería” is where lifelong friendships with other students and professors are forged.

What was your favorite class and what lesson do you use from it in your role? There were two classes that really sparked my interest: “Organizational Behavior”, which taught us how to act in complex HR situations, as well as “Entrepreneurial Finance” where I learned how to finance start-ups.

What was your best memory during your MBA program? The first memory was as Sports Captain at the Paris MBA Olympics in 2003 and 2004, when we beat all other European MBA schools back-to-back. It was really exciting! Learning goes way beyond the classroom… Sports, as well as the social bonds that are formed throughout an MBA, are part of the learning process at an international business school such as IESE.

The second memory that comes to mind is my Graduation ceremony, where I had the honor of giving a speech as class President. It was very emotional and unforgettable.

What is one thing about the MBA program that you wish you had known when you applied? At first, I wasn´t aware of just how great IESE´s international offering for its students was. In fact, I was extremely drawn to the idea of such a global school. I later came to realize that this international learning experience is what gives you the possibility to develop an extremely enriching and extensive network of valuable contacts.

What has been your biggest professional achievement? Without a doubt, founding Cooltra: setting up a company with a purpose and having created jobs for more than 1,000 employees (including Ecoscooting). We were ahead of the game in offering sustainable and shared mobility between cities!

We are currently present in 6 European countries and 20 cities with a fleet of 16,000 motorcycles (65% zero-emission electric scooters) and 400 staff.

What advice would you give to a prospective student to help them earn a spot in your business school? My advice would be to visit all other schools that he/she is interested in. It is of the utmost importance to be able to weigh all possible options in order to make the best decision.

To reserve your free spot in P&Q’s CentreCourt MBA Festival from February 23-24, click here.

DON’T MISS: Meet The 2021 CentreCourt Distinguished MBA Alumni


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.