While some entrepreneurs avoid the college route altogether (just take a look at Steve Jobs and Bill Gates), today, there are lots of prospective MBAs who go the grad School route in order to get into the startup scene and learn the tips and tricks that will help them get a leg up in ventures of their own.According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, researchers polled around 30,000 Wharton School graduates and found that more than 7 percent of 2013 grads started their own companies right away. This study fits into a growing national trend of business school students going the entrepreneurial route.
As students have looked more into paving their own road in the business world, business schools have also responded to this growing interest in Entrepreneurship. In Chicago, a number of business schools have dedicated research and resource centers made specifically for students wanting to learn more about entrepreneurship.
How do Chicago business schools support their budding entrepreneurs? Check out the list below to learn more.
Booth School of Business – The University of Chicago
The Booth School of Business features an MBA concentration in entrepreneurship. According to the school, the curriculum integrates all business areas including marketing, finance, operations and strategy and features regular course work, experiential learning, labs and competitions.
Booth is also home to the The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which aims to advances the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship through education, partnerships and new venture support. The Polsky Center is located in a 34,000 square-foot co-working space and features a $20 million Innovation Fund that invests in early-stage ventures.
The Polsky Center also sponsors the Edward L. Kaplan, ’71, New Venture Challenge each year. Since 1996, the New Venture Challenge has helped launch more than 160 companies that have gone on to achieve more than $4 billion in mergers and exits and raised over $575 million in funding.
Kellogg School of Management – Northwestern University
The Kellogg School of Management’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship (KIEI) initiative helps students and business leaders discover new ideas that can help lead to success in business. Following a generous endowment by Larry and Carol Levy in 2003, the school launched the the Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice in order to provide entrepreneurial curriculum and activities for Kellogg students.
According to Kellogg, since the fall of 2012, the Levy Institute and KIEI have collaborated to introduce 44 new courses to the school and 22 new faculty members who are all engaged within the Chicago startup and venture capital community.
Kellstadt Graduate School of Business – DePaul University
Kellstadt MBAs who take up a concentration in entrepreneurship have access to DePaul’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, which offers practical guidance and professional connections for launching and growing businesses through workshops, guest speakers and new venture competitions.
According to DePaul, the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center is a place where:
- Students can find real-world guidance in starting or growing a business.
- Chicago-metro startups and other companies can find employees and interns.
- MBAs, alumni and business professionals in the area can attend events that are designed for entrepreneurial thinkers.
Mendoza College of Business – Notre Dame University
At Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business, the entrepreneurial track offers MBA students a concentration in innovation & entrepreneurship and access to the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship. According to the school, the center provides the following to Notre Dame entrepreneurship students:
- Learning and internship opportunities that allow students to embed with startups, incubators, venture capital firms, social enterprises and other entrepreneurial organizations.
- Access to the Irish Entrepreneurs Network, which offers a deep bench of expert resources to assist budding entrepreneurs.
- Annual Irish Impact Conference–a platform for thought leadership aligned with the “Ask More of Business” calling of the Mendoza College of Business.
- Center serves as a liaison to the other nodes in the Notre Dame entrepreneurship eco-system: Innovation Park at Notre Dame, Irish Angels, ND Office of Research and others.
Northern Illinois University College of Business
Part of the college’s department of management, NIU’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship aims to develop and support students in gaining the skills and networks necessary to solve the social problems of the world using business principles.
One of the cooler programs the Center for Social Entrepreneurship sponsors is the Pitch With a CAUSE competition. The competition isn’t limited to students—anyone who has an idea for a business that makes a positive social or environmental impact. The team selected as the winner at the 2017 Social Impact Summit will take home the $1,500 grand prize. Second place wins $1,000 and third place wins $500.
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