Marc Kern is one of the founders and chief marketing officer (CMO) at Implify, the first fully digital platform for dental implants in Germany. Before embarking on his own entrepreneurial journey, Kern graduated with an MBA from Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and shares how entrepreneurship has always been his passion and how his business school experience gave him the skills to be successful in the start-up space
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career to date?
My name is Marc Kern. I am 29 years old and founder of the MedTech start-up Implify, based in Frankfurt am Main. With our ‘go-to-platform’ in the field of implantology, we digitise the purchasing process of dental implants for dental practices and dental laboratories. Entrepreneurship and start-ups have always been my passion. After five years of successfully accompanying the growth of the start-up and now unicorn Clark, I decided to found my own company. My Implify co-founders, Florian Schnorr, Steffen Weinlich and I met during our part-time MBA studies at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. After our studies, we put our entrepreneurial business plan into action and the journey of Implify began.
- Explain your current role.
As the CMO at Implify and one of the company’s founders, I am responsible for our digital marketing activities that generate reach in order to acquire dentists and dental laboratories for our digital platform. Additionally, I lead our investment rounds and hiring activities.
- Where and when did you achieve your MBA?
I completed my part-time MBA at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management at the end of 2019.
- Why did you want to study for an MBA in the first instance? And why did you choose to do an MBA at this particular School?
After my bachelor’s degree and my full-time job at Clark, the only option for me was to do a part-time course. I didn’t want to have to step out of full-time employment in order to start a full-time course for my master’s. Studying in Frankfurt at a renowned business school seemed obvious to me since I lived and worked there already. Additionally, I always wanted to start my own business. So, the MBA seemed to be the perfect tool to meet new people, network, exchange business ideas and strategies and ideally find potential co-founders. In the end it all worked out nicely.
- What is the most interesting thing you learnt from your MBA?
The chemistry and exchange between professionals from different fields and nationalities is the basis of success. The best ideas and solutions emerge from the versatility and the different experiences of many people with various mindsets and backgrounds, whether it’s discussions about business cases, or exchanges outside of lecture. At the end of the day, my biggest learning was that the exchange of experiences and networking with other professionals is worth its weight in gold.
- What were some of the challenges you faced when studying for an MBA?
Balancing my full-time job in a hyper-growing start-up with studying part-time for an MBA constantly challenged me, especially the phase before major presentations or exams. The time and performance pressure was enormous. Since most of the tasks and presentations had to be done in groups, exchange and coordination was essential. This was especially true with new groups, where there was always the challenge of finding the right rhythm and division of tasks.
- How has the MBA made a difference to your career path and leadership journey?
I started the MBA programme to start my own business and ended up meeting my co-founders, Steffen and Florian. Both came from completely different backgrounds – IT and supply chain – so the founding team of Implify was perfectly in place. In June 2020, we decided to put the idea we had developed during our MBA studies into action. Without the hard and soft skills taught during the course, and all the lessons learned, I would not have been able to successfully found and grow my own company.
- In what ways have you taken what you have learnt in your MBA into the organisation for which you work?
The biggest learning from the MBA is the importance of personal and direct exchange. I realise again and again, especially in our exchanges with business partners, how important on-site meetings are. Trust is the foundation of any business. Furthermore, it is important for me to hire employees from different areas. Just as Steffen, Florian, and I complement each other in the founding team, I am convinced that the right mix of employees achieves the best possible work output – an essential learning from my MBA studies.
- What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about studying for an MBA?
Have a clear goal in mind before starting an MBA programme. For me, the clear goal of starting my own business gave me direction and motivation during my studies. Also, exchange as much as possible with your fellow students and take advantage of the extensive networking opportunities. By doing so, you will always meet interesting personalities from different business fields and have the chance to gain direct insights about their career path and learnings.
- What are the next steps for you on your career journey?
I have big goals with Implify. Within the next few years, I plan to digitise the full order process in the field of implantology in Germany and beyond.