B-Schools Give a Boost to Student Entrepreneurs

Today marks the official kick-off of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare. With that in mind, we’re checking in with some of the entrepreneurial activities going on at business schools these days.

Students at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management spent this past weekend hunkered down as they looked for ways to turn their ideas for new startup companies into reality. Known as 3 Day Startup, the goal is for participants to start a technology company over the course of three days.

According to participant Nick Fishman, the best element of this type of event is you really get your hands dirty.

“You can read about entrepreneurship all day, but if you actually dedicate time to try and build something ”” even if it does not succeed ”” you are already attempting and getting into the entrepreneurial spirit, which is the difference between talk and action.”

Babson College, a leading MBA program for entrepreneurship, is participating in Global Entrepreneurship Week with a series of forums, summits, workshops and other activities.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School is celebrating the initiative through Innovate@Carolina, a $125 million project aimed at making UNC a leading institution in the field. The business school will host discussion panels and lectures to help familiarize students with the university’s entrepreneurship resources and the significance of innovation.

Meanwhile, Harvard Business School got a jump on things with its 2012 Startup Scramble in late September. Here, the most entrepreneurial students across Harvard’s campus worked on prototyping new projects and ventures (from low-tech to high-tech, for- or non-profit), were immersed in rapid skill-building sessions (business modeling, legal, finance, and technology), and exchanged startup war stories.

As more and more students head to business school with the goal of eventually starting their own business—out of nearly 226,000 GMAT exams taken in 2012 in which test takers selected an intended concentration, more than 12,000 indicated Entrepreneurship—it’s been great to see programs targeted for budding entrepreneurs flourish.

Most people would agree that an entrepreneur needs to know the same basic skills as someone running a more established company. Business schools teach the skills that can help entrepreneurs make sound decisions and avoid expensive mistakes.

I encourage readers who are interested in the subject to click over to UV Darden School of Business‘s Dean Bob Bruner’s blog, where he wrote a great piece on the merits of an MBA degree for prospective entrepreneurs.

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