The Best Business Schools for Entrepreneurship

Posted By SWatts on Dec 19, 2013 |

From The Staff of MBA

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The Best Business Schools for Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship has been a growing focus for many top business schools. Historically, business schools were founded to create managers – not entrepreneurs. But the evolving world of dynamic business and the technological revolution has bred a new niche of leaders who foster not only excellent management skills, but who can also cultivate greater creativity, innovation, and a spark for building something never before seen. Entrepreneurship delves into solving the unknown problems with new solutions instead of solving for problems whose solutions have been replicated many times over.

If entrepreneurship appeals to your career interests, one of these schools might be for you! Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College, Stanford Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, and Sloan School of Management at MIT have been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top business schools for entrepreneurship. Below, we highlight some of the most unique attributes of these top-ranked schools.

Olin Graduate School of Business

At Babson College in Massachusetts, Olin Graduate School of Business is redefining entrepreneurship by teaching its students not only how to seize opportunities, but how to recognize opportunities when they appear and to differentiate the golden opportunities from those that would be better passed by. In fact, Forbes has called Babson an “entrepreneurial powerhouse”, promoting hands-on innovation from the students’ first year when incoming students are given a lump sum of money to produce a start-up business, donating all profits to charity, then forcibly liquidating all assets by the end of the year in order to replicate a real-life cycle of entrepreneurship. This process has spawned successes such as Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot, and William Green, former CEO of Accenture.

With over 40 electives in entrepreneurship, from Family Business to Next Stage of Growth and Venture Growth Strategies to The Principle of Objectivity, Babson MBA students have the opportunity to shape their entrepreneurship focus around a wide span of interest areas.  Babson also provides a breadth of resources, including the Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship, which houses entrepreneurship faculty as well as programs key to the Babson experience. The Butler Venture Accelerator Program, for instance, provides an infrastructure of assessments, mentors and advisors, workshops, and sponsorship to help students pursue, launch and grow their startup venture into a successful business. The center also houses the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Center, which has been considered one of the leading research conferences for entrepreneurship in the world, sparking an active dialogue to link academics with practitioners. These aspects of the school combine to make Babson one of the premier institutions for educating and preparing leaders who will create both social and economic value.

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Just a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley – a hotbed for capitalist ventures and entrepreneurial startups – is Stanford Graduate School of Business. The geography of the school alone provides its MBA students with a thread of inspiration, seeing some of the world’s most powerful startups as its next-door neighbor. Additionally, the university’s other schools in medicine, engineering, and education are walking distance from the Graduate School of Business’ doors, fueling opportunity for Stanford MBAs to meet, partner, and collaborate with the creative minds and experts of other fields.

The resources at Stanford provide students with every asset needed to power an entrepreneurial spirit. To start, approximately one out of every four electives is in the discipline of entrepreneurship, each of which are taught with a professor and practitioner side-by-side. Additionally, the Stanford Center for Entrepreneurship is situated to connect Stanford MBAs with a breadth of resources for success, whether it be uniting with a Stanford entrepreneur alum who has founded a venture business, helping to guide students to angel investors for startup financing, providing workshops and legal resources to cover a variety of legal issues involved in business creation, or testing a sustainable, high-impact idea in the Stanford Venture Studio among peers, experts, and like-minded community members. Also appropriately, due to its close proximity to the technology hub of the world, Stanford houses the entrepreneurship corner, or “e-corner”, a web-based library of over 2,000 free videos and podcasts featuring entrepreneurship and innovation thought leaders. 

Sloan School of Management

MIT is well known for having a produced a large number of powerful and successful entrepreneurs. Among these names are Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO at Dropbox; Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of Qualcomm; Amar Bose, founder of Bose Corporation; and Cecil Green, co-founder of Texas Instruments. The alumni alone provide a wealth of resources to aspiring MIT entrepreneurs. Additionally, since the inception of Sloan School of Management, an MBA track has been specifically created to address the growing interest and need for entrepreneurs in the business world. With the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track, Sloan sets the path for students to launch and develop real-world entrepreneurial projects. Yet while the track’s academics focus on emerging technology companies, students of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track continue to show a breadth of interests, ranging from energy and sustainability to health care, software, and education. Within the track, students are exposed to great opportunities to push their ideas forward, such as the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, and continue to learn the building blocks required to build a successful enterprise.

Aside from the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track, Sloan opens students to other opportunities to delve into business creation, including the Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab), which matches teams focused in science, engineering, and management from throughout the MIT campus with startup companies to work hands-on and act as consultants for emerging Silicon Valley businesses, and provide critical insight to solve problems. Also, like other top schools that have built a focus on entrepreneurship, Sloan houses its own full-fledged center for entrepreneurship. The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship provides support, networking opportunities, and interactive workshops and events to promote creative minds, innovation, and change management from the perspective of a new business.