Short Introduction to Marc-Philipp Kern
I am Marc, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Implify GmbH. Entrepreneurship and start-ups have always been my passion. After many years of experience in Marketing and Sales at CLARK, I decided to found my own company together with Florian Schnorr and Steffen Weinlich in July this year. We met during our part-time MBA studies at Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. After our studies, we put our entrepreneurial business plan into action and were able to find an investor from Frankfurt. Thus, our journey began: With Implify we are digitizing the market for dental implants. Dentists currently still order implants by phone and sometimes even via fax, therefore, we are building a central platform with products from all established producers in the market. Our digital features and guidance will make the purchasing process simple and convenient. The core feature of our platform will be the implant configurator, which will reduce sources of errors during the order process and save a lot of time for dentists.
Why did you choose to do a part-time MBA and why at Frankfurt School?
Having always heard and read a lot of positive things about MBA programmes, I found the the approach of practical teaching particularl appealing. My bachelor's degree in economics at Goethe University in Frankfurt was already very theoretical. Being an entrepreneur with a hands-on mentality, I did not want to only work through theoretical and scientific material in my master's degree. Instead, I particularly enjoy case studies, where you need to combine both theoretical know-how and practical experience. While searching for options and programmes, I came across the Part-Time MBA programme at Frankfurt School. The compatibility of the part-time programme with my full-time job, the attractive range of courses, the teachers from different industries and the trip abroad to the prestigious international CEIBS business school in Shanghai finally convinced me.
What were the key learnings from the programs and how did you apply them?
It was already clear to me during the first MBA lecture that the nature and way of teaching is very different compared to a bachelor's degree. During my bachelor degree in Business Administration, many like-minded people sat in a classroom receiving mostly frontal teaching style. Instead, the MBA proogramme is designed around an extremely diverse group and encourages collective discourse. When people from different nations, academic backgrounds and professional experiences have discussions, it is not only a lot of fun, but also provides many new impressions and perspectives, which were very enriching on a personal level. I have not only become more open, but also more self-confident and diversity matters. Even before the official start of my studies, I wondered how I would be able to cope with the additional time load, but through my MBA studies I realized: You can do anything, if you really want to. I decided to really take this learning to heart and took the step into self-employment after my studies.
What impact did the program have on your career trajectory?
Without the MBA, I wouldn't have met Florian and Steffen, which would have made the founding of Implify and the path to self-employment a lot more difficult. Together we worked on the Implify idea during our MBA studies and drew up the entire business plan for our final thesis. The positive feedback from our fellow students and professors motivated us to really work together to implement the idea. Therefore, I decided to quit my job after my studies in order to launch Implify in Juli 2020. The MBA enabled me to found my own company and my ultimate professional goal became true.
Your advice to candidates considering an MBA?
Define your own goals - ideally before you start the programme or during your MBA journey. Ask yourself the question: Do I want to climb the career ladder or become my own boss and found my own business? Depending on that decision, build your network and get closer to your goal. Only choose electives you are really interested in and prepare for all lectures in advance. This will maximise your productivity and enable you to take part in the discussions. Without preparation you will recognize that your learning will be limited and you will likely be unsatisfied after the lecture. Make sure to use the programme to explore your options. Many people I talked to about entrepreneurship asked me questions like: How should I do it? Will I be able to succeed? Where do I get money from? My advice regarding all of these question is: Just do it - try things out and leverage your network, don’t wait too long. After managing a part-time MBA programme next to a full-time job, nothing is impossible.