5 Million to Share: The 43North Competition

Want to know more? Listen to the full episode!Do you have a great business idea but need 1 million dollars to get yourself started? Meet Peter Burakowski, Senior Marketing Manager at 43North.

Listen to the recording of our fascinating conversation with Peter to find out why 43North is going to give away $5 million dollars to eleven promising entrepreneurs and what you need to do if you want to be one of the winners.

00:01:43 – About 43North (and why you really want to win).

00:10:06 – Who can apply.

00:11:21 – Why retail and hospitality are excluded.

00:12:25 – The 43North application process.

00:14:30 – What are the judges looking for?

00:16:33 – Setting up shop in Buffalo.

00: 21:49 – How many applicants are vying for the gold?

00:23:37 – About the judges. (Will you be one of them?)

00:27:32 – Mentorship and community.

00:31:03 – A lot more than a t-shirt: what happens to the semi-finalists.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss a single episode! *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  43North
•  Which Universities Contribute the Most to VC-Backed Entrepreneurship?
•  MBA Admissions Special Reports
•  Grad School Admissions Special Reports
•  Med School Admissions Special Reports
•  Law School Admissions Special Reports

Related Shows:

•  MBAs Across America: The Coolest HBS Internship
•  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
•  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
•  Dr. Douglas Stayman Shares the Scoop on Cornell Tech NYC
•  Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship
•  CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

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What Are My Chances? Midwestern Sales Guy with Start Up Ambition

This blog post is one in a series of MBA applicant profile evaluations called “What are My Chances?” authored by Michelle Stockman. Michelle, who started consulting for Accepted in 2007 and worked previously in the Columbia Business School admissions office, will provide selected applicants with school recommendations as well as an evaluation of their qualifications.

If you would like Michelle to evaluate your profile at no charge and as part of this series, please provide the information requested at http://reports.accepted.com/what_are_my_chances

Profile 4: “Matt” the do-gooder Midwestern sales guy, with start up ambition

Check out the rest of the What Are My Chances? series!

Don’t forget your hometown advantage.

-Background: 28-year-old white male from Midwest. Business major with 3.7 GPA from state university in Indiana. Scholarship cross-country runner and team captain.

Matt, you’re like a lot of biz grads in the U.S., perhaps a bit bored after a few years in the workforce. You see a long, slow road ahead if you settle for climbing the corporate ladder. You seem to want to test yourself and follow your dreams. What you’ll need to prove to the admissions committee is your unique worth—what you have to offer to the rest of the student body in terms of skill, knowledge, and drive.

What does set apart your undergrad experience is your strong extra-curricular as a scholarship cross-country runner while managing a very decent GPA. I’m sure your tenure as a team captain gives you several stories of leadership and teamwork. But college was a long time ago. Keep your application as much in the present as possible.

-Work Experience: Four years as account manager at rapidly-expanding B2B technology firm
 in Chicago. Managed a sales team of 20 people.

CFA level II candidate.

You’ve got solid work experience on an upward trajectory at a, likely, regional firm that’s respected within the industry, but not a Blue Chip brand on the national or international stage. It’s fantastic that you’ve managed a sales team of so many people—shows you’ve got to know how to motivate and delegate. Can you quantify the impact of your leadership?

On the other hand, I do wonder why you are pursuing your CFA. It doesn’t seem to mesh with your career path in sales, and I’m not sure a sales background would qualify you to become a charterholder. Perhaps it’s a side interest?

-Short-term goal: Found a tech startup in the software industry.

As an ad comm. member, I would have lots of questions about this goal. What is your idea, exactly? What kind of research have you done to show demand? As a sales guy, do you have the technical expertise needed, or do you already have partners in mind? Do you have any prior experience in start ups, or fundraising? You would need to connect the dots in the application.

-Long-term goal: Eventually move into private equity investing.

Ah, this is where the interest in the CFA likely comes in. If I were you, I would not reach so far with your long-term goal. If you’ve got a reasonable story to support entrepreneurship, stick with the long-term goal of growing your start up into a larger firm. Delving beyond that into private equity investing could be confusing to the ad comm.

-GMAT: 700 45 Q/40 V.

This is a pretty good GMAT, but the quant is a little low for the top echelon of schools. You may want to consider retaking if that’s your first try. A higher score would increase your competitiveness.

-Extracurriculars: 5x volunteer for Christian summer service group building schools and water projects in Ghana. Run twice-weekly youth program at church.

Wow, you’re a busy, faithful guy. These activities show long-term dedication and international reach. The ad comm. will want to see that you’ve moved up into leadership positions, and perhaps introduced some innovations to the projects.

 It’s important to show you have values, but don’t get too preachy. The ad comm. may hold a different belief system from you. Focus on how you may have helped communities, and even better, individuals to improve not so much by the transformative force of a higher power, but by smart, innovative leadership on your part.

-Schools:

Stretch matches: Kellogg, Booth

On-par matches: Michigan, CMU Tepper, Emory Goizueta, UT McCombs

Safety matches: Notre Dame Mendoza, Indiana Kelley

Final Note: Don’t forget your hometown advantage. You’ve done well in the Midwest, likely building up lots of respect and connections locally. You’d do well to tap into those by staying in the Midwest for b-school, and then through the connections you make, build out.

Learn how to evaluate your profile to determine the best business school for you!

Michelle Stockman is a professional journalist, former Columbia Business School admissions insider, and experienced MBA admissions consultant.

Goal Setting as an Entrepreneur

Check out our Entrepreneurship 101 Page!I always ask my clients to state their long and short-term goals for me on our first meeting.  Eighty percent of the time I hear the response, “I want to be an entrepreneur.”  So I begin to peel away at the onion.

• What problem is your business going to solve?

•  Why is it different than a solution that exists today?

• Is there a market for the goods or services you plan to sell?

•  How big is that market?

•  Who is your competition?

•  Can you patent your solution?

•  What will your margins be?

•  How will you finance this business?

•  What is your expected return on investment?

•  What is the exit strategy?

You can’t just say, “I want to be an entrepreneur” and leave it at that.  You also can’t just have an idea or concept.  You need to have the skeleton of an actual business plan if you want to credibly declare yourself an entrepreneur in your MBA application.

Click here to download our free report, 'Why MBA?'.

Natalie Grinblatt Epstein By , an accomplished Accepted.com consultant/editor (since 2008) and entrepreneur. Natalie is a former MBA Admissions Dean and Director at Ross, Johnson, and Carey.

Top MBA Programs for Entrepreneurs

B-schools are always touting their entrepreneurial offerings, programs, and placement, so when we examined the employment reports of U.S. News’ top 25 business schools to see which schools send the most graduates into entrepreneurship, we were surprised to find that only thirteen programs provide this information in their employment reports.

Below you’ll find the results – the U.S. News’ top 25 MBA programs that reveal the number and percentage of 2013 grads who immediately founded their own businesses after completing their MBA:

School

# of 2013 Grads

Starting Their Own Business

% of 2013 Grads

Starting Their Own Business

Standford GSB 70 18%
MIT Sloan 37 9.5%
Wharton 59 7.5%
Harvard Business School 63 7%
Yale SOM 10 4.5%
UCLA Anderson 14 4%
Kellogg* 3%
Chicago Booth 17 3%
Columbia 18 2.5%
NYU Stern 2%**
Michigan Ross 8 1.5%
Duke Fuqua 4 1%
CMU Tepper 2 1%

* Numbers include all Kellogg MBA programs
** % of reported placements

Clearly, Stanford is way out in front in this horse race. MIT Sloan with its program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a distant #2, followed by HBS and Wharton in a tie for third place. Stanford and Sloan have long been known for entrepreneurship, but HBS and Wharton are generally thought of as financial services and consulting breeding grounds. In reality, both programs – without taking away from their strength in consulting and financial services – have sharpened the entrepreneurial saw over the last decade.

This comparison is useful for those of you who want to start your own business ASAP after earning an MBA. It is an indication of an entrepreneurial culture and education. And if entrepreneurial spirit and ultimately an entrepreneurial alumni network is important to you, then you need to know which schools are strong in this area and how they compare.

While this listing is useful, it still doesn’t tell the entire story of MBA programs’ entrepreneurial strength. Many business school grads will work for a few years to pay back loans and then start their own businesses. Among those, there will be a few grads who immediately enter a startup, so essentially they will initially be entrepreneurs on someone else’s dime. There are other MBAs who will work in entrepreneurial areas of established companies. None of these MBAs are reflected in the chart above, but all still benefited from their MBA program’s entrepreneurial education and culture.

Additionally, either we couldn’t find the data or schools don’t all publish these numbers. Consequently, the chart above is incomplete. Don’t automatically assume that programs we haven’t listed aren’t good for entrepreneurship. For example Haas has a highly entrepreneurial culture and many courses relevant to entrepreneurship, but we couldn’t find the number of 2013 grads who started their own business immediately upon graduation. Don’t let that lack of info prevent you from considering Haas if founding a startup is your dream. Similarly, Georgetown has many entrepreneurship resources (See Jeff Reid on Entrepreneurship at Georgetown). Finally, programs outside US News’ top 25, may be excellent for entrepreneurship, deserving of consideration, and easier to get into (For example, Babson).

As with almost all stats in MBA admissions – especially anything related to (un)rankings and comparing programs – take this data as useful information not as the be all and end all of evaluating the entrepreneurial value of different MBA programs. It is simply a succinct compilation of data that you should incorporate into the additional research you should do before deciding where to earn your MBA. Also consider:

• Entrepreneurial curriculum. What classes are offered? Are there opportunities to develop and work on a business plan?

• Extracurricular groups and activities. Are there venture capital competitions, clubs, events, etc.?

• The student profiles at specific schools. Are they entrepreneurial? Would you like to be on a project with them?

Now it’s time for me to get back to drafting that business plan on the back of a napkin.

If any school in the US News’ top 25 includes that data in their employment report and we missed it, or they published the data after we visited their site, please email saraw@accepted.com and we’ll add it.

MBA Admissions A-Z: 26 Great Tips

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

CommonBond’s Story: A Revolution in Student Loans

Listen to the full recording of our conversation with Michael and David.

The CommonBond co-founders (L to R: Michael Taormina, CFO; Jessup Shean, Advisor; David Klein, CEO)

Welcome to the glorious world of applications, admissions, and…well, student loans.

CommonBond to the rescue! Meet David Klein and Michael Taormina, Wharton grads and co-founders of this very exciting student loan financing startup.

Listen to the full recording of the show to learn about CommonBond, student loans in general and some excellent advice on financing your education.

00:02:45 – Inspiration at Wharton (or ‘Wow, tuition is high!’).

00:05:04 – The three S’s that make CommonBond unique.

00:09:10 – Beyond funding: community, mentorship, and support at CommonBond.

00:13:00 – Is there a 100 million dollar upgrade coming up?

00:14:02 – Flat rates for all. (Even lawyers!?)

00:17:28 – A guided tour of the loan application process.

00:22:52 – Refinance candidates vs. in-school candidates.

00:24:06 – CommonBond’s goals for 2014.

00:25:40 – What about international students?

00:28:42 – Financial advice for applicants and future applicants.

00:37:18 – A personal question: What motivated 2 guys with successful careers go to b-school?

00:43:17 – Some very concrete tips for getting into business school.

Admissions Straight Talk Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes so you don’t miss any segments! Stay in the admissions know.

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  CommonBond
•  MBA Budget Calculator
•  MBA Special Reports
•  Law School Special Reports
•  Pre-Med Special Reports
•  Grad School Special Reports

Related Shows:

•  Interview with SoFi Co-Founder, Daniel Macklin
•  Global Business Leadership at Wharton’s Lauder Institute
•  Which Schools are Good for PE/VC and VC-Backed Entrepreneurship
•  Business, Law and Beyond: An Interview with John Engelman
•  Healthcare Management at Wharton and at Large

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk:

Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes!     Subscribe to Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!