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Stanford GSB | Ms. Engineer In Finance – Deferred MBA
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Chicago Booth | Mr. Corporate Development
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UCLA Anderson | Mr. Second Chance In The US
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Harvard | Mr. Harvard 2+2, Chances?
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2021 Most Disruptive MBA Startups: Metric, Harvard Business School


Harvard Business School

Industry: Software

Founding Student Name(s): Megan Murday

Brief Description of Solution: Metric provides software to measure and manage portfolio ESG performance for private market investors.  As a two-sided platform, Metric supports investors by recommending ESG KPIs, managing targets, and providing data that can be used for LP reporting and portfolio management.  For portfolio companies, Metric streamlines data collection, shares ESG performance analysis and benchmarks, and offers improvement strategies.

Funding Dollars: Metric has been bootstrapped to date, and we are currently raising our first round of capital with a $1M target.

What led you to launch this venture? Growing up in a deindustrialized South suburb of Chicago, I saw that systemic issues are multifaceted and do not serendipitously resolve themselves.  I thought government would be the most straightforward solution, but a Georgetown policy degree and DC internships showed me that the public sector does not have the speed or scale to single-handedly address climate change or socioeconomic inequality.

Metric harnesses the power of the capital markets to address large challenges by providing more transparency into ESG-related risks and opportunities.  We are unlocking the dataset required to align sustainability, equity, and profitability in the private sector.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? Our initial pilots with startups have been a source of pride for our team. We are excited by the potential of the ESG dataset to create impact, but company leaders and investors are the leaders who make the decision to actually adopt more environmentally and socially conscious practices within their companies.  Seeing how founders have reacted to their ESG performance data and incorporated that understanding into operating and hiring decisions has been extremely rewarding.  Transparency is the first step toward meaningful action.

How has your MBA program helped you further this startup venture? HBS has been an incredible accelerator and network for Metric.  Many of the thought leaders in the ESG and impact space (such as George Serafeim, Shawn Cole, and Vikram Gandhi) are professors who are generous with their time, feedback, and networks.  I have been most surprised by the proactive support from classmates though.  The idea to prioritize private market investors as our beachhead market came from classmates who worked in VC and PE and saw the need for Metric’s solution.  Even after graduation, the HBS network has worked as 900 pairs of eyes and ears flagging relevant articles, opportunities, and customers for Metric.

What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you? By starting his own law firm, my dad demonstrated how hard work and grit can create a company that better serves clients and provides meaningful opportunities for employees.  My brother and I watched as he logged long hours to not only build something net new, but also bring others along the journey with him. Law is known for extremely long hours and a lengthy climb toward partner, but my dad has been able to create an office that is cohesive like a family and give younger practitioners a real opportunity for impact and success. His dedication to his team has reinforced the lesson that leaders must take care of and invest in their people – especially when they have taken on risk to join something new with you.

Which MBA class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? The Entrepreneurial Manager (TEM) has been the most foundational course for our startup build. A required course in the first year, TEM provides the basics of how to start a company – from founder dynamics to fundraising. My section’s professor, Stig Leschly, is an entrepreneur himself and just an incredibly motivating leader. My biggest takeaway from Stig is that the problems worth solving today (climate change, inequality, etc.) require visionaries and people who are different than the founders of yesterday. The world needs leaders who are more empathetic, collaborative, and fundamentally on fire about the problem they are solving.

What professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why?
Christina Wallace has been an irreplaceable thought partner, mentor, and advocate.  She teaches Entrepreneurial Marketing, and the course drives home the point that even the most feature-rich product isn’t going to initially sell itself. We were able to build Metric’s go-to-market strategy as the final project. Beyond the course content though, Christina has continued to be a trusted mentor.  I respect and appreciate her guidance on my toughest professional and personal questions, because she has lived many of them herself as a female founder.

What is your long-term goal with your startup? At scale, Metric provides the horizontal layer of tech infrastructure for ESG data management. By enabling both private and public companies to organize, understand, and disclose their ESG performance data, we help create a more sustainable and equitable world. Unlocking this dataset enables investors to efficiently allocate capital, consumers to make values-aligned purchasing decisions, and companies to access new markets for ESG solutions. Metric enables capitalism to deliver on its promise to create shared prosperity and long-term value.