Harvard | Mr. Renewable Energy Investing
GMAT 740, GPA 4.0
Kellogg | Mr. Boutique Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.67
INSEAD | Ms. Startup Enthusiast
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. Food & Beverage
GMAT 720, GPA 3.75
INSEAD | Ms. Humble Auditor
GMAT 710, GPA 3.56
Harvard | Mr. Markets Guy
GMAT 760, GPA 3.62
Kellogg | Mr. Hope-I-Get-In
GMAT 720, GPA 3.62
Yale | Mr. AI & Fitness
GMAT 720, GPA 3.88
Stanford GSB | Just Jim
GRE 335, GPA 3.99
Harvard | Mr. RIPKobe
GMAT 750, GPA 3.87
HEC Paris | Mr. Indian Journalist
GMAT 690, GPA 2.8
Kellogg | Mr. Andrew
GMAT 720, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Sales Engineer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.00
Kellogg | Ms. Clean Tech
GMAT 690, GPA 3.96
Chicago Booth | Mr. Masters To MBA
GMAT 730, GPA 3.9
NYU Stern | Mr. Long Shot
GRE 303, GPA 2.75
Kellogg | Ms. Kellogg Bound Ideator
GMAT 710, GPA 2.4
Darden | Ms. Teaching-To-Tech
GRE 326, GPA 3.47
Harvard | Mr. Amazon Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Yale | Ms. Biotech
GMAT 740, GPA 3.29
Tuck | Mr. Winning Team
GMAT 760, GPA 7.95 out of 10
Tuck | Mr. Strategic Sourcing
GMAT 720, GPA 3.90
Tuck | Mr. Recreational Pilot
GRE 326, GPA 3.99
Stanford GSB | Mr. Seller
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Government Consultant
GMAT 600, GPA 3
Chicago Booth | Mr. Space Launch
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
INSEAD | Mr. Media Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.65

A Harvard MBA Co-Founds the Pandora of Sales Leads

Harvard MBA Roger Huffstetler co-founded Zillabyte

Harvard MBA Roger Huffstetler co-founded Zillabyte

Applying to B-school is a rigorous process. But Roger Huffstetler had a few added challenges thrown in. He applied to Harvard’s dual degree master’s program in business and public policy while stationed with the Marine Corps in Iraq. A sergeant major and executive officer wrote his recommendation letters.

Harvard accepted the Georgia native, and in 2007 Huffstetler arrived in Boston. At the time, he was interested in studying defense policy–starting a company simply wasn’t on his radar. “I’m the first in my family to go to college, so it’s not like I grew up with the idea that people I knew started businesses, it was just sort of a really foreign idea,” he says.

After graduating in 2010, Huffstetler was determined to break into the technology scene. But the job offers didn’t come, and his bank account dwindled. Discouraged, Huffstetler accepted a job with a consulting firm. “I was really hating it, and I watched [Steve] Jobs’ speech where he says your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life,” Huffstetler says. “I called my girlfriend, and I said, ‘I love you, I want to be with you, but I have to quit this job today.'” She supported him, and Huffstetler turned in his resignation. After spending a few months “on the couch trying to sort everything out” he landed a gig as a strategic sales manager with Twilio, a cloud communications company.

But a fortuitous encounter with ex-Google engineer Jake Quist would change the trajectory of his career. The two met in July 2011 at the Renaissance Weekend, an ideas festival for innovative leaders. They kept in touch, and by July 2012 Quist had invited Huffstetler to help him build out Zillabyte, a business information platform that allows companies to model their perfect customer. (It’s been described as the Pandora of sales leads.) Huffstetler jumped on the opportunity and hasn’t looked back.

PoetsQuants-300x250-MagazineAd2

While the Harvard MBA didn’t focus on entrepreneurship during B-school, he says the degree set him up for success at Zillabyte. The connections and business skills proved critical, he says. When starting the company, he emailed legendary entrepreneurship professor Noam Wasserman for advice. “I didn’t even take Noam’s class, I just emailed him and said, ‘Hey, I’m thinking of starting a company, can I come visit you?’ And he gave me 45 minutes. I remember asking at the end, ‘Why did you visit with me?’ … He said, ‘Well you’re an HBS student with a dilemma.’ I thought that was a great answer.”

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