"Becoming an entrepreneur is the greatest adventure you can ever take, and controlling your own destiny is the greatest wealth you can ever have. These were Mark Tluszcz's opening words to the session of the Continuous Education program, "Has the Internet Changed Anything? Thoughts About Innovation and Entrepreneurship." The event was moderated by IESE Prof. Antonio Dávila.
Tluszcz, a co-founder and managing partner of Mangrove Capital Partners, warned that people today face a stark choice. They can decide to be a tiny cog in the system by finding their place in a company or public institution. Indeed, in Europe today most graduates aspire to either work for a bank or as a civil servant, little knowing that employee loyalty is fast on the decline across almost all organizations, including the civil service.
Alternatively, people can choose, in Tluszcz's words, to "emancipate themselves," by setting up their own company and becoming 'masters of their own destiny.' Indeed, it is what our stalling economies most desperately need. The only way out of this crisis we are in today is to create more entrepreneurs ? the crisis will not get better until or unless we create new jobs," said Tluszcz.
Tluszcz's capital risk firm, Mangrove Capital Partners, invests in companies that are in the initial stage of development and which are looking for financial partners to bring their innovative ideas into the market. Companies that the fund has invested in include Skype, Seatwave, Brands4friends Rdio, Nimbuzz, Wix, KupiVip, Spreets, Dialcom, Bettymovil, and Drimmi. Tluszcz himself, who constantly travels around Europe seeking out his next "great project," was named Forbes Midas in 2007, 2008 and 2009, as one of the top 100 people in the technology business.
According to Tluszcz, the Internet has enabled one of the greatest revolutions of all time. No other technology has captured 2 billion users in the short space of 20 years. And for entrepreneurs the opportunities are huge: "now you can reach any customer in the world, no matter where you are."