IU Kelley | Mr. Advertising Guy
GMAT 650, GPA 3.5
Harvard | Mr. Big 4 To Healthcare Reformer
GRE 338, GPA 4.0 (1st Class Honours - UK - Deans List)
Harvard | Mr. Bomb Squad To Business
GMAT 740, GPA 3.36
Duke Fuqua | Mr. IB Back Office To Front Office/Consulting
GMAT 640, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. Comeback Kid
GMAT 770, GPA 2.8
Yale | Mr. Lawyer Turned Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.7
Wharton | Ms. Strategy & Marketing Roles
GMAT 750, GPA 9.66/10
Harvard | Mr. Tech Risk
GMAT 750, GPA 3.6
Chicago Booth | Mr. Whitecoat Businessman
GMAT 740, GPA Equivalent to 3(Wes) and 3.4(scholaro)
MIT Sloan | Ms. Digital Manufacturing To Tech Innovator
GMAT 720, GPA 3.4
Chicago Booth | Mr. Mexican Central Banker
GMAT 730, GPA 95.8/100 (1st in class)
Harvard | Mr. Billion Dollar Startup
GRE 309, GPA 6.75/10
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Healthcare Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.5
Columbia | Mr. Developing Social Enterprises
GMAT 750, GPA 3.75
Rice Jones | Mr. Tech Firm Product Manager
GRE 320, GPA 2.7
Yale | Mr. Education Management
GMAT 730, GPA 7.797/10
Columbia | Mr. Neptune
GMAT 750, GPA 3.65
Darden | Ms. Education Management
GRE 331, GPA 9.284/10
Columbia | Mr. Confused Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Ms. 2+2 Trader
GMAT 770, GPA 3.9
Harvard | Mr Big 4 To IB
GRE 317, GPA 4.04/5.00
Stanford GSB | Ms. Engineer In Finance – Deferred MBA
GRE 332, GPA 3.94
Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Second Chance In The US
GMAT 760, GPA 2.3
Harvard | Ms. Big 4 M&A Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 2:1 (Upper second-class honours, UK)
Harvard | Mr. Harvard 2+2, Chances?
GMAT 740, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Ms. Negotiator
GMAT 720, GPA 7.9/10

An MIT MBA Attracts $73.9 Million in Funding

Freddy Kerrest co-founded Okta with a former Salesforce colleague

Freddy Kerrest co-founded Okta with a former Salesforce colleague

Freddy Kerrest, 36, follows a simple mantra for entrepreneurial success: Love what you do, know it well, and don’t do it alone. This simple approach enabled Kerrest to find his niche and turn it into multi-million dollar startup Okta, the first cloud-based identity management system.

Kerrest always knew he wanted to launch a software-focused venture. He had 15 years of industry experience and found validation in helping businesses discover software-based solutions to key problems. In fact, Kerrest advises aspiring MBA entrepreneurs to solve a problem they are passionate about. “If you’re doing what you love, then it will get you through a lot of the tougher times,” he says.

Fortunately, Kerrest found what he loved to do as an undergraduate studying computer science at Stanford. But he didn’t land on the idea for Okta until nearly a decade later–after putting his business development career at Salesforce.com on hold to pursue an MBA at MIT’s Sloan of Management. During Kerrest’s second year at MIT, he reconnected with Todd McKinnon, a former Salesforce.com colleague. The two discussed the problems people had with managing usernames and passwords on their home computers. But Kerrest and McKinnon soon concluded that the problem was much larger than that. Enterprises trying to manage access for hundreds of people across multiple applications needed a seamless solution. Kerrest saw a big market with potential for scalability and growth. The two decided to start an enterprise software company built around a cloud-based identity management platform. It would allow businesses to securely manage access to all of their on-demand applications within a single space. The idea evolved into Okta.

The process wasn’t all forward motion. Kerrest and McKinnon went through a “courting” process to make sure they were a good co-founder fit. After weeks of working on a business plan, a financial model, and talking to potential customers together, Kerrest knew he had found the right partner. They started building out their business.

Kerrest graduated from MIT on a Saturday in 2009. The following Monday, he and McKinnon were working full-time in Okta’s first office in San Francisco. Four years later, Okta has raised a whopping $79.3 million and signed up big name customers such as Eventbrite, Groupon, LinkedIn, and HubSpot. Kerrest doesn’t see his company slowing down anytime soon. “We’re still obviously very bullish on our prospects,” he says. “I joke with the dean at MIT Sloan and the guy who runs the entrepreneur center that when we do go public and we get that picture of us ringing the bell, I’ll make sure they get autographed copies,” he laughs.

Kerrest says that it’s these types of friendships with faculty and alumni that made his experience at MIT Sloan so valuable. Today he still trades strategies with former classmates and even exchanges holiday cards with several of his professors. Kerrest believes that joining the MIT Sloan ecosystem was one of the best decisions he ever made in his academic career.

“Going to MIT was a fantastic experience, and I have nothing but great things to say,” Kerrest says. “I feel more allegiance to MIT for the two years I spent in business school than I do to Stanford for my four years of undergrad, because I professionally developed a lot more when I went to business school. This is a really good program because it’s focused on practicals like nuts and bolts. Reading business cases is one thing, but MIT helped me understand how to pick a market, find a co-founder, and navigate law in entrepreneurship. If I had to do it all over again, I would certainly do the exact same thing.”

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