Software Engineers are an interesting breed. As Marc Anderson had famously said in a NY Times article, “When you’re dealing with machines or anything that you build, it either works or it doesn’t, no matter how good of a salesman you are.” Tech Engineers deal with machine more than they do with people. Machines don’t lie. A regular honest interaction with machines forces Engineers to focus on the solution rather than presentation.
Here are three reasons why regular honest interactions make Software Engineers a better Entrepreneur.
1) Art of Pivoting
The Lean Startup community has overused the word “Pivot,” an art of changing direction incrementally based on a hypothesis-driven experimentation. With pivoting, products are developed iteratively, tested in the market, and based on early customer acquisition and interaction, further iterations are planned. A majority of the concepts that lean startup community have recommended is similar to the Agile Software Development model, a software development methodology widely...
Over the past five years, the MBA curriculum in Business Schools has been customized to include Entrepreneurship as a specialization and in some cases an integral part of the learning process. But if you have read the latest MBA Employment trends, in top Entrepreneurial Business Schools like Stanford (13%) and MIT (8.2%), only a small section of the class actively pursued Entrepreneurship after MBA.
Business Schools cannot be entirely blamed. International students represent 35% of US MBA Class and over 65% of European Business School MBA programs. According to The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2012 Global Report, the cultural influence of student’s home country had a greater impact on their pursuit of Entrepreneurial opportunities.
GEM evaluated several factors that were predictors of Entrepreneurship in an Economy, out of which four were primary influencers: Perceived Opportunities, Perceived Capabilities, Fear of Failure, and Entrepreneurship as a good career choice
MBA Program and Entrepreneurship
Business Schools have done an excellent job in integrating Entrepreneurship Centers with the MBA program. However, the question remains – do Entrepreneurs need an MBA? Unlike other specialization, Entrepreneurship has a broad definition. If you are entering Finance, there are 3-4 major job functions: Analyst, Investment Banking, Wealth Management, and Trading. But the definition of an Entrepreneur is much more complex.
Independent consultants offering solutions might call themselves as an Entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs manage 1-10 employee start-up, small to mid-sized companies and play a major role in publicly traded companies. So to make sense of the question – Do Entrepreneurs need an MBA, applicants should identify with one of the definitions of the word Entrepreneurship:
a) Independent Consultant
c) Small Business
d) Mid-Sized Business
e) Public Company
It might not be surprising to learn that most Entrepreneurs are not starting their Business with the idea to become the next Zuckerberg. There are lifestyles Entrepreneurs, who can be categorized under Independent Consultant or Startup. Most Entrepreneurs aspire to...
We found it extremely hard to compile the list of Billionaire Entrepreneurs with MBA. Several of them in the Forbes Richest list are Bachelors & Master’s Degree holders with many of them earning PHDs before venturing out on their own. The need for an MBA program or knowledge of management best practices were not featured in the must have qualities for Entrepreneurs.
In this article, we will evaluate five factors that have turned the tide against MBA Students pursuing Entrepreneurship.
1) Cost vs. Return
Most top MBA Programs cost around $85000 to $90000 (includes personal expenses) per year. For Entrepreneurial MBA students, the post-MBA goal is to fund their startup and release products/services to the market at the earliest. The weighted salary post-MBA of top schools is in the $150,000 to $190,000 range. This is a relief, as the 5% to 7.5% interest rates on...
MIT Sloan MBA Program is known to attract Entrepreneurial and talented Engineering Students. Although Stanford has a better record of students starting their own company post MBA, 18% against Sloan’s 8.2%, MIT often attracts students that have started Entrepreneurial ventures, before the MBA program. We had the chance to interview Pawan Gupta, MIT Sloan Class of 2015 student, and asked him about his Entrepreneurial experience.
F1GMAT: You have two patents under your name. Can you share the details of its utility?
Pawan Gupta: The first Patent is a six-leg ladder system that can be used against any surface such as tree, electrical pole, or any uneven surface, rough terrain, and inclined plane. The legs of this ladder can move in all the three directions with relation to each other. Therefore, it becomes very flexible for any household or industrial purposes. You can use this for painting the wall, placing bulbs in streetlights or for high-end industrial applications
The second is actually not a patent but a patent under process project....
If you had realized that the objective of joining an MBA program is to learn the management fundamentals that are required to start and build a business, then list out Business Schools that has the ecosystem, and support for Entrepreneurship, and pick the best. In other cases, it can be challenging, especially when your peers have completely different post-MBA goals. So what are the pros and cons of starting a Business while doing an MBA
1) Access to Entrepreneurial Eco-System
As an alumnus, you can access the Business School Entrepreneurship eco-system but it is a completely different experience when you have a group of like-minded people from the same class pursuing the goals of Entrepreneurship, and building something of value, and lasting impact. With the support of professors, peers, and an Entrepreneurship friendly curriculum,...
While many MBA students seek a steady job immediately after graduation, there is a rare but growing breed of aspirants who are choosing the entrepreneurial route.
Entrepreneurship is not something that can be taught in a classroom; however, what most Entrepreneurial MBA students want is to learn how to start, run and grow a business. MBA programs with focus on Entrepreneurship provide a wealth of knowledge that will help students understand how different parts of a business work and come together. The basic knowledge they gather about finance, marketing, accounting, administration and sales can even help them do it all on their own, especially in the beginning when most startups are likely to be cash-strapped and cannot afford to employ many people.
According to a 2011 survey by the Association of Business Schools, entrepreneurship is one of the top 5 course content areas that students are now looking for. B-schools in turn are now offering excellent coverage of entrepreneurship in the form of course content, workshops, business plan competitions, conferences, and one to one counseling sessions.
Top 5 Entrepreneurial MBA Programs to consider...
According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada is ranked 3rd in the list of top Countries for Entrepreneurship just above United States. The government support, the entrepreneurial eco-system, and the societal perspective on Entrepreneurship have contributed to this ranking.
The latest program that the Canadian government has added to encourage Entrepreneurs is the ‘Startup Visa’ program. Policy makers in Canada have understood that Entrepreneurial immigrants are the foundation on which the US economy has thrived. To replicate this model, the Canadian government owned Bank – BDC is inviting applications from Immigrant Entrepreneurs for Financing and consulting services. Not all Businesses qualify for the visa program.
The selection process is rigorous, and BDC Venture Capital reviews over 1000 Business plans every year. Criteria for Businesses are:
1) It should have a distinct and sustainable competitive advantage
2) It’s intellectual property, and knowledge should provide a strong barrier to entry for competitors
3) It should have a suite of technology development in a broader set of markets.
4) It should...
When you consider the Top Entrepreneurial MBA Programs in Europe, IE Business School is consistently featured among them. The Entrepreneurial eco-system and curriculum have helped MBA students transform Business Ideas to new ventures, and raise capital for their initiative.
The IE International MBA program is divided into Pre-Program, Core Period, Change Module, and IMBA+ Period. Entrepreneurship is part of the Core Period with the Entrepreneurship Management Course. During the final IE IMBA+ Elective Period, Entrepreneurial students can select electives from over 80+ courses in English.
The Entrepreneurial Management focus involves courses and activities in Corporate Venturing, Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital, Hands-on Rapid Innovation Accelerator, Knowledge Incubator and Venture Lab Accelerator. Students can also choose relevant courses from Operations Management, Accounting, HR, Marketing, and Strategy, to supplement Entrepreneurship.
MBA Students get the chance to launch new Businesses with Venture Lab. The lab is developed by the International...
The Texas MBA Program consistently ranks among the top 20 MBA Programs in the world, with the Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2012 biennial ranking placing the program at No.19 for the Best Business schools in US. The program has a strong track record in employer satisfaction, Quality of the Class and Leadership Skills. Austin Texas McComb School of Business is also known for its expertise in research and intellectual capital development.
Although not surprising to Texas MBA Students, The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business was ranked #5 in the Top 25 Graduate Entrepreneurial Colleges. The ranking was contributed by the role played by Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship in developing Entrepreneurial students.
For Full-time MBA Students, opportunity to learn about Entrepreneurship is offered as a concentration. During the first year, students will have to complete the core curriculum mainly covering topics in Finance, Operations, Strategy and Marketing. In addition to gaining fundamental knowledge about Management, the program also put emphasis on ethical leadership. The electives allow students to tailor their program according to post-MBA goals.
Entrepreneurship as a career option is perceived as a risky proposition for most MBA Students. The pressure to conform to a limited set of career paths is high. This is one reason why Business Schools have concentrations and tracks in MBA Programs. In order to qualify for the concentrations, the students have to complete the Core Curriculum. This reduces the risks for Entrepreneurial MBA students. In case, the Entrepreneurial path does not work out, the knowledge acquired during the Core Curriculum can be utilized to move towards other functions like Sales, Marketing or Finance.
BYU MBA - Two Paths to Entrepreneurship
Minor in Entrepreneurship: BYU’s MBA program provides the option to choose Entrepreneurship as a Major or a Minor/Certificate program. In case, a student is not sure about the Entrepreneurial path during the first year, she can take one of the other specializations: International Business, Global Management Certificate, Social Innovation, Information Systems and Strategy. To supplement the specialization with skills in Entrepreneurship, the student can opt for a Minor in Entrepreneurship.
According to 2012 schedule, to qualify for a Minor in...
Although Ross School of Business does not immediately come to our mind when we think of MBA programs with Entrepreneurial focus, it is ranked 2nd in the Top 25 Graduate Entrepreneurial Colleges for 2012 in Entrepreneur and Princeton Review annual rankings.
Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies – Ross School of Business
The ranking is based on the courses, programs and support offered at Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. The courses are designed to support students with their Entrepreneurial endeavours. In addition to knowledge, Entrepreneurs and Academicians specializing in Entrepreneurial studies provide the necessary practical guidance to start a firm. Some of the notable members in the Advisory Board are Michael Hallman, former COO, Microsoft Corporation, Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs and Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments.
Professor David J. Brophy, the Executive Director for Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance, leads the Research for Entrepreneurial Studies. Books and Case Studies are released...
The San Francisco Bay Area or Silicon Valley has been a driving force in global entrepreneurship, and Berkeley-Haas is among the leading players for the education and launch of successful Entrepreneurs. The MBA program offers an ecosystem that nurtures young enterprises while also preparing students for careers as Venture Capitalists. What's more, being in Silicon Valley gives MBA graduates the chance of joining a startup nearby.
Entrepreneurs from Haas include Matt Caspari and Guido Radaelli who won the Berkeley Business Plan Competition with Aurora BioFuels, a renewable energy company that utilizes microalgae to make biodiesel. They have recently received $20 million in funding. Another well-known Entrepreneur is John Hanke, who in 2001 founded Keyhole, which captures detailed satellite photographs of the entire planet. The company was acquired by Google in 2004, and Hanke is now VP Product Management at Google. In the social sector, Mimi Frusha started Renewable Funding, which allows homeowners in participating cities to finance clean energy projects. The projects are partly paid by the city through property taxes spread across 20 years. Over 5 cities in California have...
The MIT 100K Competition is among the world’s oldest competitions for entrepreneurs, and has now completed 22 years. In 1990, the MIT Entrepreneurs Club in collaboration with the Sloan New Ventures Association held the first competition that had 54 participating teams. The winner won $10K, with $3K and $2K for the 2 runners up. In 1996 it became the $50K, and in 2006 the competition evolved into the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition.
Today, it is one of the worlds most anticipated competition. It is aimed at fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among MIT students and researchers, encouraging them to express their ideas, and providing the support required to bring them to fruition. The competition is a yearlong process that ropes in VCs, mentors and media, culminating in a giveaway of $350,000 in cash and prizes. The most prestigious of all is the $100k prize for the launch competition.
The Competition has nurtured the launch of 160+ companies that have registered aggregate exit values of over $2.5 billion captured with a market cap of more than $15 billion. They have generated 4,600+ jobs and gained around $1.3 billion in VC funds. Recent IPOs...
The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship has announced a one-time award of $10,000 to each of the 2013 graduating MBA student who is committed in starting an entrepreneurial venture. This is a need-based award and is aimed at for-profit startup ventures. The winner will be decided by the Rock Center. In addition to the award, the student will be eligible for regular MBA Financial Aid.
The award is based on the viability of the Business Idea. This will be evaluated based on a review of the business plan as well as a progress report based on funding and other key steps taken. Another criterion for evaluation is financial need. The award is not for students who are looking for employment or in volunteer positions.
The Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship was started in 2003, on a $25 million gift from HBS alumni, Arthur Rock a legendary VC who invested in companies like Intel and Apple. The center runs the School’s Business Plan Contest, which gives away over $150,000 in cash, as well as, in-kind services to entrepreneurial winners. Also around $50,000 is given out each semester in the Rock Accelerator Award Program. It helps students develop their ideas in the quickest, most effective way.