Ask the AdCom: Share a Cool Company Born of Your MBA Program

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!

Today’s Question is: What’s a cool entrepreneurship project or company born out of your MBA program?

entrepreneurship at bschool

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says that ModCloth – a vintage clothing, ecommerce business with hundreds of millions in annual revenue – sprang from the Tepper School MBA program.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, asked second-year MBA student Najeen Riazi for feedback, and she gave a shout-out for Big Red Bullet: Another bridge to NYC! and Nutribridge: an international effort to solve child nutrition and women’s financial independence at the same time.

Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says recent examples include Blablacar, a ridesharing service with the concept of connecting people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats (Founder and CEO Frederic Mazzella, INSEAD MBA’07D). Or, Michel et Augustin, a French food brand, started by Michel de Rovira, MBA’04D but there are many others.

 Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business, says that theTexas MBA powered start-up Beatbox Beverages struck a deal with business mogul Mark Cuban on the hit ABC show Shark Tank in October. For a one-third stake in the company, Cuban invested one million dollars. The three Texas MBA alums impressed the panel of judges with their entrepreneurial know-how and their clear strategy for the future of their company to ensure continued success. Beatbox has definitely been “booming” since the show aired, Malta says.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business, shares many successful student startups: Revolution Foods, founded by ’06 MBA grads Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey, provides healthy meals for kids; Ashesi University in Ghana, a non-profit, private university, was founded by Patrick Awuah, MBA ’99; crowdfunding website Indiegogo was founded by Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell, both MBA ’08; and Back to the Roots, purveyor of ready-to-grow and ready-to-eat products, from mushrooms to cereal, was founded by Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, both BS ’09.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Georgetown McDonough School of Business, points to alumni Michael Chasen of Blackboard; Egon Durban of Silver Lake, Jason McCarthy of GORuck; and Logan Soya of Aquicore.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean of Graduate Admissions at SMU Cox School of Business, points to Gabriella Draney Zielke, who is co-founder and CEO of Tech Wildcatters – a Top 10 seed accelerator for technology startups, and who recently launched Health Wildcatters, a healthcare-based seed accelerator.  Gabriella worked with the Caruth Center for Entrepreneurship at Cox while she pursued her MBA at Cox with a Strategy and Entrepreneurship concentration, Roeder says.

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The variety and success of these b-school bred companies is really inspiring, right? Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom about some of the little-known fun facts about their schools!

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