Handicapping: Mr. Muckraker, Ms. COO, Ms. IntelOfficer, Mr. Natl Guard, Mr. Entrepreneur, Ms. Chem Engineer, Ms. Teacher, Mr. Pilot


Mr. Bootstrapped Entrepreneur


  • 700 GMAT
  • 4.0 GPA
  • Undergraduate degree in engineering from unknown university
  • Work experience includes a bootstrapped startup in 2013 in ndustrial electronics which became profitable this year with triple the revenue year over year
  • Extracurricular involvement as part of his college editorial board, member of IEEE
  • Father was a successful entrepreneur who co-founded a software company in the 1990s and sold off his equity in the early 2000s; the company achieved a market cap of more than $100 million
  • 26-year-old male

Odds of Success:

Harvard: 10%

Stanford: 5%

Wharton: 10%

MIT: 20%

Chicago: 10% to 20%

Sandy’s Analysis: A fair amount of your admissions outcomes will depend on both the size and the stability of your company, oddly, just in some trophy sense. And where you went to college (a bit, but 4.0 in engineering is solid in most cases). My tough love: Retake GMAT, just to show them you are serious.

Aside from college (maybe) there are no markers in your background that I can relate to–e.g. any work history beyond the sole start-up. That is troublesome to business school admissions. Even internships during college would help a bit.

As to your need for an MBA, that is a tricky piece. It’s unclear what he wants to do next and what condition his current company is in. All that said, I don’t think this is an H/S/W admit. They have too many guys sorta like this but just better in every count. They’ve worked for blue chip firms, then started a company, boast higher GMATs, have startups backed by venture capitalists who can write glowing recommendations. The same might apply to MIT Sloan, but they may be a little more open if the company he started is sizable and impressive.T his does not seem like a Booth profile, either.

The fact that your dad started and sold a business could be an asset to schools, does dad have an MBA? It looks like dad may have helped out here in the bootstrapping? That is not the kiss of death, and could explain why he did not need VCs. Otherwise, I would not brag about not needing venture capital cash. Business schools love VCs or angel investors or private equity investment guys. It is just a vote of confidence from a person willing to put up his or her own money, and it indicates that you can sell your idea to a third party party. Those are all good deeds in the view of admissions people at business schools.

If you really want an MBA, you also need to make some case about why you need the degree now, and what is going to happen to your business once you leave it.

My suggestion: Say dad will be running it!

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