An MBA Sent This Entrepreneur To The Dogs (Literally!)

By Natasha Ashton WG’03, co-founder of Petplan

There’s little debate that an MBA is a great foundation for building a business—but is it a magic bullet for budding entrepreneurs? For us, the answer was an unequivocal “yes!” While many MBA graduates go on to work in relatively narrow fields and only use a fraction of what they learned, entrepreneurs will—at some point—tap into nearly every aspect of the curriculum. In fact, taking an entrepreneurial leap is the ultimate way to put newly acquired business school skills into real-world action.

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Lean Startup Advice from Steven Blank

By Munish Dayal WG’15

As an avid follower of Steve Blank’s lean startup methodology, I was thrilled to learn that he was going to do a fireside chat on customer discovery and validation, hosted by Professor Len Lodish, at the Wharton Entrepreneurship Annual Summer Reception at WhartonǀSan Francisco. I’ve read up on Blank’s methodologies in my own time and been exposed to them in Professor Ethan Mollick’s Entrepreneurship class, and I’m trying to incorporate his framework in developing my own venture. I’m currently in my second year of Wharton’s EMBA program and a member of Wharton’s Venture Initiation Program (VIP), Wharton’s incubator program for students pursuing entrepreneurial ventures.

Steve Blank chatting with Wharton Professor Len Lodish.

Steve Blank chatting with Wharton Professor Len Lodish.

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If You Weren’t An Entrepreneur, What Would You Be?

By Noah Ready-Campbell W’10, co-founder of Twice

I recently turned 26, and, to celebrate, I took a weekend trip to Sequoia National Park with my mom. We both work a lot—she as a doctor in rural Vermont, and I as the CEO of a startup—so it’d been a few years since we’d spent any time together one-­on-­one, and we were looking forward to the trip. Plus, as she only half-joked, if she was visiting she could make sure I took the weekend off.

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What Cooperative Robots Can Do For Us: Dick Zhang at TEDxPenn

By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship

TEDxPenn logo

Last fall, TEDxPenn: Creating the Sound took attendees, me among them, into a fascinating world of sound and technology. Among the speakers was Penn alumnus Dick Zhang, co-founder of Identified Technologies—a member of the Venture Initiation Program, finalist and winner of the Committee Award for Best Use of Technology in the 2014 Wharton Business Plan Competition, and winner of the 2012 Y-Prize. I blogged about my experience at TEDxPenn here; now you can see Dick’s talk yourself: Continue reading 

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Intern Fellows, By the Numbers

By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship

Working at a startup isn’t like working at an established company. At Wharton Entrepreneurship, we know that one path into entrepreneurship is through spending time at a startup, and seeing what it’s really like at a new and growing company—from the inside. Interns at startups often have opportunities that they couldn’t dream of at an established company: there’s so much happening that a motivated intern can own a project and build it from scratch, all in a summer.

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Combining Entrepreneurship and Experiential Learning: The Wharton SBDC

By Pirkka Padmanabhan WG’15

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared in The Wharton Journal.

Young rising stars helping young rising stars – what may sound like a cheesy slogan from a dubious self-help group is, in my opinion, the best description of the work that is done by the students, staff and supporters of Wharton’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). One of the oldest institutions of its kind, the SBDC supports locally-based entrepreneurs and small businesses of all kinds and sizes: freshly launched start-ups, highly growing ventures and established small businesses.

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Is Getting an MBA Worth It for an Entrepreneur?

By Vikram Joshi WG’08, founder of Proxim Diagnostics and Red Ladder Media

It was the summer of 2006.

The past winter I’d left a mid-level startup job and applied to MBA programs. I’d gotten into Wharton, which was amazing, but I still had some reservations. In my mind, being an entrepreneur and earning an MBA seemed like opposing forces: entrepreneurship is risky, fast-moving, and exciting, while MBA programs felt academic, methodical, and unimaginative.

The Proxim Diagnostics Profile Reader.

The Proxim Diagnostics Profile Reader: the result of Vikram Joshi’s entrepreneurial efforts.

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$400,000+ from Wharton Entrepreneurship to Student Entrepreneurs

By Nadine Kavanaugh, Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship

At Wharton Entrepreneurship, we believe in putting our money where our values are.

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Getting Started for Fashion Entrepreneurs: Find a Designer, Manufacturer, and Supplier

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Thanh’s blog, pthanh.com.

By Thanh Pham C’14, founder of fashion startup Jean & Isola

A little side note to what inspired this post: I was on the Wharton fashion startup trek a few weekends ago (basically a day field trip for MBAs sponsored by the Wharton Entrepreneurship Club) and in between nodding off (it was a long 5 AM bus ride to NYC) and furiously jotting down notes, I started having this strange feeling of déjà vu; I felt like I had already seen my last few sentences somewhere. Sure enough, these were questions and that I had heard, and asked, a few times: when you’re just beginning, how do you find a manufacturer/designer/supplier?

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How To Get Tech Work Done, a Guide for the Non-Tech Founder

By Isaac Sukin, W’14, Founding Member, Dorm Room Fund Philly Investment Team

You’ve got a great idea, you’ve validated the market—but you don’t have the technical skill to build it yourself. What do you do? As a programmer myself and a member of Dorm Room Fund, one of the first venture capital funds run by students, for students, I get asked about this a lot. The advice that I give depends on how much you need done—and how much you’re willing to pay.

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