Innovation and entrepreneurship are at the core of IE University life, stretching across all bachelor programs regardless of the school or subject matter.

Our whole ecosystem is brimming with people—students and faculty alike—who are eager to spark new ideas and take them to exciting places. Even the recent coronavirus crisis couldn’t stop our students from exploring their entrepreneurial potential. They have kept themselves busy, exploring their passions and discovering the entrepreneurial along the way. Here are their stories.


STUDENT(S) RESPONSIBLE: Lara Sartori and Lenorado Sartori

DEGREE STUDIED: Bachelor in Business Administration (Lara, 2nd year; Leonardo, 4th year)

The first project is a clothing brand by brother and sister duo Lara and Leonardo, half-Hungarian, half-Italian Bachelor in Business Administration students currently living in Budapest.

What is your project and what is its main purpose? 

The clothing brand that we created is called “Leolar,” which is a combination of our names. We created this brand with the mission of building and growing a charitable community. Each unique collection helps a special cause. We are supporting global issues by donating a portion of our profits to various organizations with each collection that we release.

How did you come up with the idea? How does the team work? 

We came up with this idea soon after we came home from Madrid to Budapest. While we were self-isolating, we had plenty of time on our hands and wanted to create something meaningful. We always wanted to have a business together as siblings and this was the perfect time to do so. We believe that living under conditions of uncertainty helps creativity to prosper—it’s important to see the opportunities around you.

How is the project evolving during quarantine?

So far we have created two collections. The first one supported hospitals in Madrid who cure COVID-19 patients and the second one supports an organization called Mental Health Europe. Since this is the first venture that we were ever involved in, we did encounter several challenges but we have enjoyed working together and we are learning something new every day as the business evolves.

PROJECT TWO: Gigizondo

STUDENT(S) RESPONSIBLE: Georgia Taylor Elizondo



DEGREE STUDIED: Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media

Georgina is from the US, having lived in both Texas and Connecticut, and also claims Argentinian roots from her father’s side. She has spent the lockdown creating a website and Instagram that features her various designs, and allows visitors to better understand her passion.

What is your project and what is its main purpose? 

Art has always been a creative outlet of mine and I recently decided to concentrate on developing an art portfolio. Once this pandemic hit, I kicked it into gear. I started a website and Instagram, and my plan was to build up a portfolio in case I ever needed to design something or show an organized portfolio for an internship or job.

The name is just a simple combination of my nickname and last name: “Gigizondo.” I began by selling prints on the side with the help of another platform, which takes most of the sale. I wanted to specialize in high-quality scarves, and now I am creating a multi-scarf collection. The designs are under production, and I have been quality inspecting some prototypes. 

There have been many social, political, and environmental issues in the news during the design process. I want to use my art for good. I believe that art reflects current issues and, if it has a meaningful message behind it, it can help motivate others to be a part of change. In my scarf collection, there will be a few scarf designs that reflect current events and proceeds will be given to nearby hospitals and products to medical staff.

How did you come up with the idea? Are you doing it alone? 

Although I am doing the project on my own, I have tremendous support from family and friends who give me loads of motivation—and are there to help if I have any doubts. 

How do you share your art with others?

Using a Wix website and an Instagram account. I manage my portfolio and allow my pieces to be open to the public, so I can get noticed and viewers can easily contact me. I create designs in my style for a variety of other individuals’ personal projects or needs like a friend’s music track cover or a family member’s body ink.

I wear my own designs on sustainable t-shirts and scarves. I like to avoid contributing to fast fashion when I can, and wearing something totally unique designed by me is fulfilling. 

Given the unfortunate current events, I want to spread designs that convey positivity and togetherness. I am in the process of creating economical multi-use scarves with special designs to raise donations for related causes, and to also donate these scarves to local hospitals for the medical staff. They can also be used as a second layer of protection alongside a mask! My mother was a nurse during my childhood and I believe it is important to always give back to the medical community, especially during a pandemic. 


STUDENT(S) RESPONSIBLE: María Constanza Del Solar

DEGREE STUDIED: Bachelor in International Relations

María Constanza Del Solar is an Ecuadorian student who also has Chilean roots currently studying the Bachelor in International Relations. Alongside her interest in international affairs, María Constanza is also a budding entrepreneur and used her time during the quarantine period to develop an online cookie shop.

What is your project and what is its main purpose? 

My project is an online cookie shop that sells cookies in Quito, COOKIE Box. Ex. I want to gain experience of what it’s like to be an entrepreneur while making the best out of my summer. Because of the coronavirus, there aren’t as many possibilities to take part in an internship.

How did you come up with the idea? Are you doing it alone? 

I came up with the idea a long time ago. In fact, I already had the logo made two years ago. However I never had the time or the motivation to actually do it until now. So, I started it up and a friend now helps me with the business—it’s just the two of us.

What impact has your project had?

It has had a big impact on me as it’s allowed me to show what I’m capable of. I develop my entrepreneurial skills and understand more how businesses work. Also, it has a positive impact on other people, as I always believe that by eating something sweet and that you like, it makes people happier.

We couldn’t be prouder of the initiative and ambition our students demonstrate with these projects, especially during such a challenging time. As they learn and grow as altruists and entrepreneurs, we’re sure they’ll achieve exciting things in the future.