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Managing Startups: Best Blog Posts by Thomas Eisenmann

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Chapter 72. Playbook for Incoming MBAs to Start a Company out of School

David Beisel

Like a lot of students, I went into business school a decade ago with a set plan to start a company straight after graduation, by cofounding an Internet startup (...again). During the following two years I did a number of things that prepared me for that endeavor, but in retrospect, I also completely missed out on a number of opportunities and valuable resources immediately in front of me that I didn’t recognize at the time. My alternative working title for this post was: “Eight things I kind of knew and only mostly followed as an entrepreneur during b-school.” My own circuitous path toward graduating a couple of years later intentionally without a job (see bullet #1) eventually led me on to the venture capital investing side of startups, but I still regret not fully taking advantage of the two years that only a business school environment (and calling card) can provide. Recognizing that the academic year is starting now for MBAs (as well as all other entrepreneurial-minded students, for that matter), I wanted to articulate a set of recommendations for b-school students looking to start a company immediately after graduation:

  1. Commit to graduating without a job. It’s a challenging leap of faith to take, but entrepreneurship requires a full, all-in effort. If there’s an irresistible urge to hedge a bit in exploring alternative paths or engage just a bit in on-campus recruiting for traditional roles, ...

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