Entrepreneurship Doubling at Wharton since 2010


Every now and again (actually, quite often if I’m honest) I get yet another confirmation of having made the right decision in choosing to attend The Wharton School to get my MBA and focus on building a company.

While I’ve never looked back or even so much as wondered about my having chosen the best fit for me, it is always nice to get hard cold data that supports my choice. The Wharton Entrepreneurship Blog recently published a couple of info-graphics on the sharp increase in the percentage of graduates who are starting companies after getting their MBAs.

In a post long, long ago I talked about the fact that the MBA was something that I had traditionally been advised AGAINST investing in by many of the actual entrepreneurs that I have known and looked up to over the past 13/14 years or so. While I have loved to have been clued in at around 2005 about the turn in this tide (especially in the tech sector that I had been ceremoniously laid off from and pushed out of after the dot com bust and 9/11), one of the info-graphics provided (shown above) illustrates how the trend at Wharton (indicative of a larger trend at many top business schools) has been aligned with my own awareness that things were drastically changing.

The year 2011 (when entrepreneurship suddenly doubled among Wharton MBA grads) was actually about the time that I caught wind of the sustained buzz of activity in hotbeds like the Silicon Valley, New York, Austin and Boston. I say “sustained” because after experiencing the tech bubble of 2000/2001, it took a few years of positive headlines for me to really trust that things were “good again” in the tech business space.

My first reaction, however, didn’t involve looking into MBA programs; it involved going AWOL from a company and industry that I had literally been stuck in for 8 years as I patiently waited through 2 huge recessions for the winds to change. I moved over to a much better fit within an industry and company culture that I had always belonged in but had forgotten even existed after all those years of wearing a suit and being subjected to exhausting company politics for jobs that I didn’t want among people who I neither wanted to follow or even be around (with some exceptions, of course. I met some smart people and made a few great friends at my old company).

Fast forward one year and nine months that have included a complete tenure at a new tech marketing/ops job, 4 months of GMATing, 4 more months of writing apps and essays (and editing each at least 100 times), 2 months of waiting in agony with interviews in between, a phone call (or two; or three), some pontificating, scholarship/fellowship offers, admit weekends, networking, denial that it was even happening and finally acceptance that I will be FUNEMPLOYED in 5 days. Needless to say, waking up this headline this morning felt more than great.

NOTE: If you’re applying to top business schools and are interested in entrepreneurship, check out this blog.

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Wharton MBA and admissions expert

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11 Comments on “Entrepreneurship Doubling at Wharton since 2010”

  1. Angie Says:

    I agree wholeheartedly about being stuck in a job with exhausting office politics. I am in that boat, and it takes a toll on a person’s mental and physical health. Work is where we allott a huge amount of our lives, and it can be trying if we aren’t happy.

    I can definitely relate to what you’re saying.


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Welcome I’m sending you good energies on getting OUT of that environment Angie! Are you applying to b-school this year?


      • Angie Says:

        I definitely am. My health has improved, and I just recovered from surgery in January. Am back on the GMAT (boo).

        You actually sparked my interest in Chicago Booth. I am going to apply!

        So glad we can hear about your positive story.

  2. Cognizant2001 Says:

    I am sure you made the right decision by choosing Wharton. Looked at the Wharton entrepreneurship blog and saw that most of the start-ups have been in Technology and fewer in social impact. Any opinion on why the social impact start-ups have lagged behind ?


    • mbaover30 Says:

      Social impact startups lag tech startups in general due to the low cost of entry and ease of pivoting with most tech startups (especially web/software based). You’ll find that across the board except perhaps at Yale SOM where that is the school’s primary focus.


  3. Gaurav Says:

    It is always a pleasure to read your blog. Soon I will be sending you a request to work with me on my profile. Thanks. Keep writing….coz you really move people.



  4. mark Says:

    I am very interested in what made you decide to go to bschool and not utilize capital/time working on said business? Not trying to be confrontational, just to get a clearer picture.


    • mbaover30 Says:

      That is an excellent Mark. I was partially inspired to go the business school route by a friend of mine who talked about how he was able to get meetings with investors simply by virtue of his MIT/Harvard Kennedy alum email addresses. I’ve been around enough to know that networks are everything; and since I did not already belong to a network that had a stronghold in the startup scene, I chose to attend b-school to get into one. I also wanted to be able to focus on a business with a job or boss to answer to. Third, I wanted a high density of entrepreneurs and activity. My best shots at getting all of these would have been to either pack up and move to the Silicon Valley (with no income) or go to a top tier business school with a footprint there (HSW,MIT,Berkeley,NYU,Booth,Tuck)



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