This week’s Alumni Entrepreneur Showcase is 2015 Alumna Cristina Swan.  Cristina has developed MSwan Sport Management with the purpose to provide innovative and tailor-made solutions for the sport industry in the areas of culture, heritage, marketing and events.

We interviewed Cristina this week and asked her how her venture is going. 

AISTS – what is the story behind your business and where did the idea came from?

Cristina – In the past thirteen years I have accumulated experiences in marketing, broadcasting rights activation, event management, R&D and academic research in different sectors, but mainly in sport and culture. I have been working for a variety of organisations, federations, sport agencies and multinational companies.

One day in a discussion with a director of a sport federation at the Maison du sport in Lausanne, I was discussing my experience and accomplishments and he instantly said that my profile would be a strong asset for sport organisations who are looking for flexible and experienced professionals to help them with complex projects. He asked me if I have ever considered to work as a consultant and encouraged me on this path. Following this discussion, I started to think about this possibility and that is when I had the idea to create MSwan Sport Management.

AISTS – what is your elevator pitch?

Cristina -I am a multilingual and multitasker professional who believes sport and culture are the best ways to overcome the problems of our society. That is why I have been contributing to deliver challenging projects for sport agencies, international federations, public institutions and private companies. What fascinates me as a sport consultant is the capacity to change perspectives and bring innovative solutions that is only possible when you know the big picture.

AISTS – what philosophy do you adopt in running your business?

Cristina – Never take things for what they are. There is always a different way to do the same thing and you must find the perfect way to do it, not only for you, but for those who collaborate with you. 

AISTS – when you read about entrepreneurs or hear them speak, entrepreneurs talk about having to persist, to be able to accept rejection, to learn from mistakes. Do you see that in yourself?

Cristina -Yes, I think the idea behind all this kind of discourse is only one – to relate to the fact that you have to believe in yourself and in the purpose of what you are doing. If you believe what you are doing can bring you benefits and a positive impact to other stakeholders involved, then you don’t care about mistakes, rejections or indecision.

AISTS – at the end of the day, what is the goal?

Cristina -The goal is always to learn so you do not repeat the same mistake twice.

AISTS – do you have any advice you’ve been given that you really value?

Cristina – A lawyer once told me

“Business is trust and feeling, if you don’t trust or if you do not have a good feeling with your potential partner, you should review your strategy and find other alternatives. You can have the most sophisticated contract, with thousands of clauses to protect you, but unfortunately you are never 100% safe from problems.”

I think this quotation really emphasises the significance of the human dimension that is so important when commencing one’s own business. Unfortunately this can be obscured sometimes if we focus too much on the procedural aspects and not enough on our own intuition. 

You can find out more about MSwan Sport Management here.