Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Kellogg | Mr. PM To Tech Co.
GMAT 720, GPA 3.2
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Tech In HR
GMAT 640, GPA 3.23
MIT Sloan | Mr. Electrical Agri-tech
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
MIT Sloan | Mr. Aker 22
GRE 332, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Anthropologist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.3
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Consulting Research To Consultant
GMAT 710, GPA 4.0 (no GPA system, got first (highest) division )
Stanford GSB | Mr. Future Tech In Healthcare
GRE 313, GPA 2.0
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Environmental Sustainability
GMAT N/A, GPA 7.08
Harvard | Mr. Gay Singaporean Strategy Consultant
GMAT 730, GPA 3.3
Stanford GSB | Ms. Creative Data Scientist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Military To MGMNT Consulting
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
MIT Sloan | Mr. Agri-Tech MBA
GRE 324, GPA 4.0
Wharton | Mr. Data Scientist
GMAT 740, GPA 7.76/10
Harvard | Ms. Nurturing Sustainable Growth
GRE 300, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Ms. Senior PM Unicorn
GMAT 700, GPA 3.18
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Stanford GSB | Mr. “GMAT” Grimly Miserable At Tests
GMAT TBD - Aug. 31, GPA 3.9
Yale | Mr. IB To Strategy
GRE 321, GPA 3.6
Harvard | Mr. Overrepresented MBB Consultant (2+2)
GMAT 760, GPA 3.95
Kellogg | Ms. Freelance Hustler
GRE 312, GPA 4
Kellogg | Ms. Gap Fixer
GMAT 740, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Little Late For MBA
GRE 333, GPA 3.76
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Wellness Ethnographer
GRE 324, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Ms. Financial Real Estate
GMAT 720, GPA 4.0
Harvard | Mr. The Italian Dream Job
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
NYU Stern | Mr. Labor Market Analyst
GRE 320, GPA 3.4

How Stanford Cultivates Its Startup Culture

photo-3T.J. Duane began the Startup Garage course at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business last September planning to build a closed online network for lawyers.

About eight weeks into the 24-week class, he and his team ditched that idea.

“We pivoted….and decided to instead build a community tool,” he says, during a recent break on campus from working on his company. His team’s startup, an innovative cross between Facebook and LinkedIn, will help graduate students find each other based on their skills and academic backgrounds.


In the Startup Garage course at Stanford, failure is encouraged. That intensive, hands-on cycle of trying, failing and trying again – helps prepare students to pitch bullet proof ideas to angel investors, says Startup Garage instructor Stefanos Zenios, who is also a professor of operations, Information, and technology at Stanford.

“Startup Garage focuses on the seed-stage of funding – getting to the point where you can stand up in front of investors and ask them for $250,000 or half a million or maybe a million,” Zenios says.

About 95% of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business’s 809 students opt to take at least one entrepreneurship class – whether Startup Garage, Product Launch or Formation of New Ventures. At the Stanford Venture Studio, students who apply to be residents are using the space to design and build companies. Others are taking advantage of services like practice pitch sessions, mentor matching, or peer-to-peer coaching.


While those elective courses are at the core of Stanford’s approach to entrepreneurship, one obvious edge the school has over others is its location in Silicon Valley, the tech heartland. It’s also just miles from the biggest venture capital firms in Menlo Park, Ca. Since its creation in 1996, the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES), had taken advantage of that proximity, hiring from Silicon Valley and bridging partnerships with its leaders, as CES directors have developed the school’s entrepreneurial curriculum.

Stanford’s vast ecosystem of advisers, investors, and entrepreneurs, coupled with the latest startup techniques, tools and thinking coming out of Silicon Valley “rubs off quicker and more deeply at the school,” says Russell Siegelman, an angel investor and former partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who teaches Startup Garage and other courses.

The result: Stanford tends to attract a far higher percentage of prospective students who want to do their own thing and once here in Silicon Valley, the school serves up enough opportunities to push the odds in favor of startup founders. A record 18% of the 2013 Stanford MBA class chose to do a startup, up from 12 % in the late 1990s. According to a Poets&Quants list of the top 100 startup companies founded by MBAs, Stanford and Harvard’s business schools together accounted for more than half of the list. (To make the list, an MBA startup had to have raised a minimum of $1.6 million.)


While Harvard Business School had founders at 34 of the top 100 MBA-founded startups. Stanford’s wasn’t far behind with 32 startups on the list – including video streaming company Viki, satellite imaging company Skybox, mobile startup Karma Science, student loan refinancing company SoFi, and genetic testing startup Counsyl. And at the top 100 list is a name well-known on Stanford’s campus: Wildfire, a social media marketing company founded by a Harvard/Stanford couple in 2008. Google bought WildFire in 2012 for a reported $350 million.

SoFi, number six on the list, came out of Startup Garage. In 2011, Mike Cagney, Dan Macklin, James Finnigan, and Ian Brady had an idea for refinancing student loans at lower rates. They decided to ask Stanford alumni to loan money to Stanford students who were refinancing. “They raised a couple of million within a year,” Zenios says. By last September, SoFi was funding $450 million in loans to 4,500 borrowers at an average savings of $9,400 per borrower.

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