From Cafe Rouge to 2,000 Reviews … How The Digital MBA for Tech Leaders Evolved

Andrew Weaver
April 18, 2023

Cafe Rouge is a UK restaurant chain that sells average-to-mediocre croque-monsieurs in a mock Parisian setting.  I’m not a huge fan.

But it’s also the chain where in 2018 my colleague Jason first volunteered his new idea … CTO Academy.

An early pilot uncovered some consistent themes to the leadership challenges being faced by technology leaders around the world.

We had discovered a market need.
Now we needed to find a product market fit.

And so, we set off on the following trajectory …

2018 Cafe Rouge, London and Jason “I’ve had this idea for a while”

2019 Pilot leadership course attracts global customers and local investment

2020 Organic addition of coaching service develops into global network

2021 Increasing demand for an Executive Leadership Programme

… led us into a process of deep research across a wide range of stakeholders to understand how we could create an executive level course that was relevant, practical and accessible.

What became very clear was that the market wanted an alternative to the more traditional, academic CTO programmes and that our course would need to embed some key pillars;

– A blended learning experience combining online lectures, live debates and community support;

– With a diverse range of faculty still working at the coalface across a wide range of disciplines;

– Delivered at a pace that doesn’t overwhelm already busy working lives.

And so, by the start of this year …. The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders was launched with the first cohort setting sail on 31st January and 6 more to date.

We’ve since been overwhelmed by the level of engagement, validation and support received from the tech leaders who have signed up to the course, from 31 different countries.

And with each cohort adding their own comments, feedback and insight a network effect has kicked in with the course material being constantly enriched for those that follow.

With almost 2,000 individual lecture reviews at an average score of 4.8 (out of 5), it’s fantastic to see the course is delivering both long term knowledge capital and more immediate, practical solutions.

It’s been a long road since Cafe Rouge.

We took time to understand as much as possible about our customer and the products they needed, that could help them drive their career and impact.

We did underestimate the amount of work required to put this unique course together and whilst it’s been challenging, it’s also been hugely rewarding.

What’s exciting for us (and we hope those engaged with the course) is that we have ambitious plans to build on the value already created and the impact being delivered to technology leaders around the world.

For those already with us …. A huge thank you and let’s keep on building.

To those considering the course … What are you waiting for?

Want to find out more about this exciting course?

As we write, the next cohort is due to launch on Monday 5th September 2022.

For more information visit The Digital MBA for Technology Leaders

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