Kellogg | Mr. Class President
GRE 319.5, GPA 3.76
Stanford GSB | Mr. Army Man
GRE 330, GPA 3.25
Harvard | Mr. Data & Strategy
GMAT 710 (estimate), GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Financial Controller
GRE Yet to Take, Target is ~330, GPA 2.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. S.N. Bose Scholar
GMAT 770, GPA 3.84
MIT Sloan | Mr. Surgery to MBB
GMAT 750, GPA 3.4
Foster School of Business | Mr. Tesla Gigafactory
GMAT 720, GPA 3.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. PM to FinTech
GMAT 740, GPA 6/10
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Emporio Armani
GMAT 780, GPA 3.03
MIT Sloan | Mr. Generic Nerd
GMAT 720, GPA 3.72
Columbia | Mr. Alien
GMAT 700, GPA 3.83
Harvard | Ms. Media Entertainment
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Jill Of All Trades
GRE 314, GPA 3.36
Ross | Mr. NCAA to MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Finance in Tech
GMAT 760, GPA 3.9
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Energy
GMAT 760, GPA 7.9/10
Chicago Booth | Mr. Indian O&G EPC
GMAT 730, GPA 3.75
Tuck | Ms. Green Biz
GRE 326, GPA 3.15
Wharton | Ms. Female Engineer
GRE 323, GPA 3.5
Stanford GSB | Mr. Global Innovator
GMAT 720, GPA 3.99
London Business School | Mr. CFA Charterholder
GMAT 770, GPA 3.94
Tuck | Mr. Federal Civilian
GMAT 780, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. Texan Adventurer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
London Business School | Mr. Impact Financier
GMAT 750, GPA 7.35/10
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Upward Trend
GMAT 730, GPA 2.85
Kellogg | Mr. Defense Contractor
GMAT 730, GPA 3.2
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Work & Family
GMAT No GMAT Yet, GPA 4

Looking Back: What Top MBA Founders Would Do Differently

Top founders offer their 20-20 hindsight

Successful MBA entrepreneurs offer their 20-20 hindsight

Any entrepreneur who has survived the startup experience is familiar with the shoulda-woulda-coulda phenomenon. For most, 20-20 hindsight comes too late. It brings pangs of regret and not much else. But for budding entrepreneurs who are about to take the plunge, others’ mistakes offer valuable lessons. So we’ve asked several successful MBA startup founders the question any would-be entrepreneur would pose: If you could do everything all over again, what would you do differently?

Wildfire: Build brand awareness quicklyPoetsQuants-300x250-MagazineAd2

When Harvard MBA Victoria Ransom and Stanford MBA Alain Chuard were building Wildfire, their social media marketing company, they were confronted with a common challenge: How much money should be raised to fuel the company’s growth?

In the four years since the pair founded Wildfire in 2008, they raised a total of $14.1 million from a group of investors led by Summit Partners. Several of Wildfire’s competitors were far more aggressive with both seed and venture capital. Rival Buddy Media, for example, rounded up $90 million in venture money. With that larger treasure chest, Buddy Media could fund a far more aggressive marketing effort.

“In general,” says Chuard, “we were always pretty lean as a startup and we only raised as much money as we needed. They put a lot of dollars into brand awareness marketing with billboards in airports and large ads in magazines. That built awareness for their company. In terms of pure revenues and numbers, we were almost the same size, but they were perceived as the industry leader.”

Salesforce bought Buddy Media in June of 2012 for $745 million in cash. Little more than a month later, Ransom and Chuard sold Wildfire to Google for a reported $450 million, including $100 million in retention bonuses. “In retrospect, I would have raised a bit more money and put more money into marketing,” adds Chuard. “On the other hand, we were a boat riding behind another boat in the shade. They basically carved the space for social media marketing–not just for their company but for the industry in general. We indirectly benefited from a higher valuation because of it.”

RelayRides: Set expectations up front

Shelby Clark would change a decision he made when his startup was practically embryonic. While a student at Harvard Business School in 2010, he started RelayRides, which allows car owners to rent out their vehicles in a virtual marketplace.

On the company website, Clark is listed as the sole founder–but that wasn’t supposed to be the case. Two of his classmates were initially involved. Unfortunately, one dropped out after six months, and within a year, the second one followed suit, leaving Clark on his own.

Since Clark went to business school with the explicit purpose of starting a company, this turn of events caught him off guard. “Entrepreneurship is a big buzzword on business school campuses,” Clark says. “The reality is that most people are risk averse, and coming out of business school with $100,000 in loans, they’re going to take a consulting job. And that’s what happened with my co-founders.”

DON’T MISS: Poets&Quants’ Top 100 MBA Startups or The Top 20 B-Schools for Entrepreneurship or The Top Investors in MBA Startups