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Linda Darragh, Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship, Starr Marcello, Director of Operations for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, and current students will be available to answer your questions about entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth. This is your opportunity to learn more about Entrepreneurship, Private Equity, Venture Capital, Social Entrepreneurship, Family Business, Energy and the Polsky Center. Career Services staff will also be available to chat about pursuing a career in entrepreneurship.

Wednesday, January 31, 2012 08:47 AM - 10:02 AM PST

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Moderator -> EveryoneHello. Our chat will begin in 15 minutes. Feel free to submit any questions you may have now. Thanks!
Moderator -> EveryoneHello. Our chat will begin in 5 minutes. Feel free to submit any questions you may have. Thanks!
Anu -> EveryoneHello! My name is Anu Jayaraman. I am a second year full-time student at Booth specializing in Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Strategy. I look forward to answering your questions.
Moderator -> EveryoneWelcome to the chat! The chat has now begun. We look forward to answering your questions.
Angelene -> EveryoneHi, I'm Angelene. I am part of the Employer Relations team here in Career Services. I focus building relationships with companies in the private equity and energy space among other industries. I also find industry themes and gather market data to share with students and alumni. Welcome to this chat, I look forward to your questions!
Nima -> EveryoneWelcome, my name is Nima Merchant and I am part of the Employer Relations team in Career Services. I help develop new relationships with firms in a number of industries and manage many of our relationships with start-ups and venture capital firms. Looking forward to answering your questions.
Linda D. -> EveryoneHi, I am Linda Darragh, Clinical Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship. I teach the New Venture Lab and Social Entrepreneurship Lab classes and coach students in the New Venture Challenge and Social New Venture Challenge. Hope I can answer your questions today.
Starr -> EveryoneWelcome to the chat! I'm Starr Marcello, Director of Operations for the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth. I run the New Venture Challenge business launch competition and our summer entrepreneurial internship program. Happy to answer any questions you might have about launching a new venture or participating in VC/PE programming while you are pursuing your MBA.
Kasra -> EveryoneHi, I'm Kasra, and I'm a second-year student at Chicago Booth. Looking forward to chatting with you all!
Bryce -> EveryoneHi, I'm Bryce Kirchhausen from the full-time admissions team. Thanks so much for joining us today! I look forward to answering your questions.
Jody -> EveryoneHi everyone! I'm Jody and I'm a Career Coach in Career Services. I am looking forward to chatting with you today!
John -> EveryoneHi...I am a current second-year student who is a co-chair of the Private Equity Group.
Karima -> EveryoneHi, I am a second-year international student with interest in social entrepreneurship and ventures. I am looking forward to answering your questions!
Ricardo -> EveryoneGood morning everybody. Glad to be here. Thanks for joining us and I look forward to your questions!
Start-up-Booth -> John I have heard that it is very difficult to break into Private Equity without prior experience in the field. Is that true, or is it possible to break in with a CFA and experience doing internal M&A/Corporate Development, amongst other financial analyst-type roles?
John -> Start-up-BoothBreaking into PE without prior experience is difficult but by no means impossible. The key becomes find specific firms that your skill set will fit with or an industry that you have a strong background in. Receiving an MBA is definitely a good start!
bowmil -> Linda D.What sets the entrepreneurial-focused student competitions at Booth (particularly, the New Venture Challenge and Venture Capital Investment Challenge) apart from similar competitions hosted by other schools and organizations?
Linda D. -> bowmilThe NVC and the VCIC are long-term events. We start vetting ideas in September for the NVC and coach teams all through the Winter and Spring quarters. In the spring quarter we have coachign in class and outside the class with mentors. VCIC is the similar in that there is an internal competition and then coaching before the Booth competition and then for the finalists as they go to regionals.
allanc -> Kasra Hi everyone, thanks for doing the chat. How difficult is it to get into entrepreneurship classes? I heard that many are very popular.
Kasra -> allancI would highly recommend Commercializing Innovation, Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity - for VC-focused career. Building the New Venture and New Venture strategy - for entrepreneurial focus.
bowmil -> Karima Are there any specific classes you highly recommend for students looking to transition into an entrepreneurial or venture capital focused career?
Karima -> bowmilI would highly recommend Commercializing Innovation, Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity - for VC-focused career. Building the New Venture and New Venture strategy - for entrepreneurial focus.
JAS -> John I have no previous experience in Private Equity, therefore I intend to use the MBA to help me in this transition. How is the Private Equity industry accepting professionals coming from MBA's with no experience in the area?
John -> JASBreaking into PE without prior experience is difficult but by no means impossible. It really depends on the firm. Some Funds will only hire post-MBAs with prior experience but other are much more open. The key is to find an industry or a firm that your background best fits and to focus your efforts there.
Sonali -> Anu My next question is for Anu. What has been your role in the healthcare start-ups that you have worked in, and how has MBA helped you perform better at that role? Thanks!
Anu -> SonaliAs with any startup, your role is defined by you. Versatility is definitely valued and my work has covered a pretty broad range - market sizing, customer testing, financial modeling, developing the service to name a few. I used to be a management consultant which certainly helps in wearing different hats but MBA at Booth helps you look at these from a start up perspective i.e. resource constrained environment and figure out a quick and dirty way to test several hypotheses. The entrepreneurship courses at Booth are stellar to say the least
OlivierJacque -> Starr Hello. With regards Clean Tech Lab: - How does the format work? Before working with a research lab or clean-tech firm, do you take a lecture/seminar with a professor? - Typically, how many people are involved in the CleanTech Lab? - Are you working with pre-commercial technology, or technology that's ready to be released into the market place? In other words, are you working strictly with the business aspects, not the technology aspects? Thank you!
Starr -> OlivierJacqueHi OlivierJacque! Thanks for your question about the clean tech lab. The professor of the course selects early stage clean tech ventures as well as promising new technologies to participate in the course. The students interested in the course then have the option of selecting the top 3 projects that interest them. Students get their first or second choice of project. The technologies that participate are market-ready, and the early stage companies that participate have revenues and are growing. We do have other opportunities for students to work on commercializing clean technologies coming out of UChicago and Argonne National Labs. These opportunities are available through our ideation sessions and New Venture Challenge.
Callie -> Linda D.Hi all, my name is Callie and I applied in Round 2. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions today. I'm interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship at Booth. The Social New Venture Challenge seems like a great recent addition. How does the school plan to expand further its social entrepreneurship programs and resources in the coming years?
Linda D. -> CallieWe are in the process of starting a new center for Social Innovation that will focus on research, executive education and student programming. We hope to have more student events with nationally-recognized social entrepreneurs and impact investors. Our focus in on scalable social ventures. Check out a new website that will be up in a month or so that identifies all the activities and curriculum that is being offered.
Start-up-Booth -> Ricardo I see that two of the current students are or have worked as an associate for Hyde Park Angels during the school year. What is that experience like, and how difficult is it to maintain an internship and a full load at Booth at the same time?
Ricardo -> Start-up-BoothThe experience is fantastic. You get to interact with amazing entrepreneurs and some of the top VCs in your first year. It is a lot of work, (15-20 hours a week) but it's a tremendous opportunity to break into a very competitive field. I actually find that the people that get the most out of it working as associates are actually potential entrepreneurs who get to see how the "other side of the table" works before they go out and start their own ventures.
jordan_m -> Kasra Hi everyone, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. I was wondering if you could recall a few classes and/or professors that are "must-takes" for beginning an entrepreneurial career.
Kasra -> jordan_mHi jordan_m. My advice for students looking to get started in entrepreneurship is to take Building the New Venture. The class is a great simulation of what it's really like to be an entrepreneur, and you get perspective across the various stages of a company's life cycle.
Amit -> Jody What is the approximate percentage of people every year who take up entrepreneurship just after finishing MBA at Booth? How does Booth help these people?
Jody -> AmitHI Amit, in relation to the entire class we have just under 4% of students who actively pursue starting their own business. We have many more who join start-ups. There is so much support here for students who are interested in starting their own entrepreneurial venture. Between courses, the Polsky Center, student clubs, conferences and meet-up groups, an active alumni network, and support from career coaches and peer advisors, the possibilities are strong. If you bring your passion, we provide the ways to channel it! Many students also test out their interests in a summer internship.
Tom -> John Hi John, I read in your bio that you are involved with the "Giving Something Back Group". Have you been able to apply your entrepreneurial skill-set in your activities with the group? Overall, would you say that creativity plays a central role in the group's efforts and service projects? I also see that the "GSBG" is one of the school's largest student groups. What role do the group's members play in planning community service projects?
John -> TomWe definitely use creative skill sets in our efforts as part of the GSB Group. This group is large and provides multiple opportunities to be involved in both the school's outreach and the community. Regular activities range from after-school tutoring to soup kitchens and toy drives at a local children's hospital. There are also more specialized projects that focus on MBA students skills such as resume advice and tax support. Overall the group and its members are a great addition to the business school experience and for students looking to get involved in the community!
shob123 -> Linda D.Hello, my question if for Linda. What are the coaching methods employed at Polsky Center to nurture the ideas of students interested in Entrepreneurship a? Thanks.
Linda D. -> shob1231) we have experience in many different industries so we first bring that knowledge to help vet ideas. 2) we have an extensive network that allows us to identify the most relevant experts to assist students. 3) we practice the lean start-up model so we help and encourage students to build their minimum viable product and test it with customers.
NJ -> Kasra hi Everyone, what kind of opportunities are there for internships at startups at the Polsky Center ?
Kasra -> NJHi NJ. The Polsky Center sponsors the Entrepreneurial Internship Program, which gives students the opportunity to work at a start up between their first and second years (with a stipend). Many start ups that have participated in EIP are eager to continue taking Booth students, but you can certainly find other start ups that you are interested in and still participate in EIP.
Henry_Siemon -> Starr Can you provide a brief overview of some of the companies/start-ups that students worked with this past summer through the Entrepreneurial Internship Program? How often do students use this opportunity to launch their own venture?
Starr -> Henry_SiemonGreat question, Henry_Siemon. Last year we had 12 students (of 40) work on their own venture through the Entrepreneurial Internship Program. Those that worked for start-ups that were not their own, worked in various locations with large clusters here in Chicago and in the Bay area. Many of the companies were in the digital tech sector, though some were retail, cleantech, consumer product companies, etc. Most of the start-ups are venture-backed and have a team of 4 to 5 employees at the low end and 40 employees at the higher end. There is usually a lot of diversity in the types of start-ups and projects that students undertake through the EIP.
Alan -> Karima Thanks for having this discussion. My question is for Karima. I am interested in pursuing a career in impact investing. Does Booth have an association with organizations that provide students an immersion experience in impact investing? Do multilateral organizations recruit at Booth for investment profiles in the area of impact investing?
Karima -> AlanThere are a lot of opportunities all year round to immerse in impact investing experience (on-site and off-site internships, research, competitions, etc). And yes, multilateral organizations recruit at Booth, however if you are looking for a particular experience in terms of geography or sector-focus, Booth provides you with resources to find such opportunities. Feel free to email me, if you want to discuss this further.
Brent -> Anu My question is for Anu, given your choice to focus on curriculum of Finance, Entreprenuership and Strategy, why did you choose Booth?
Anu -> BrentBrent, Booth is easily one of the best schools for finance, entrepreneurship, and strategy. I cannot talk about other schools in great detail but I can say that the last 2 years has been a really eye-opening experience for me and I'd recommend Booth to all my friends who are looking to enter the field of finance and/or entrepreneurship.
Steve_Farr -> John Thank you all for taking the time to speak with us; it's greatly appreciated. My question is to John. I was hoping you could talk about the PE Group and your experience with it.
John -> Steve_FarrThe PEG is involved in general support to private equity in the booth community. This includes putting on an annual PE Conference to assisting in recruiting for PE and sponsoring monthly lunches to discuss various aspects of the industry and business with investment professionals. I was involved with the conference planning as a first-year and than elected as a co-chair for this year. My specific efforts are around alumni outreach. This includes attempting to bring in speakers to the group and arranging happy hours and dinner with alums working in and around PE. Further we host yearly treks to NY and SF where a group of current students meet with up to 10 firms a day. Overall, the PEG is very involved and constantly working to support the Booth brand in PE.
J -> Linda D.Hi. I am interested in social venture but I have no experience. How could the program help me on this?
Linda D. -> JOne of the first things we try to do is expose students to the possibilities. This year we held the Big Ideas, Big problems seminar where we brought in cutting edge leaders in the education, environment, public service and health arenas to discuss what businesses they would like to see built. Then we have a class - Social Entrepreneurship Lab - where you can work with existing social ventures to see how they have built their businesses and how they address a specific societal issue. Finally, if you have an idea, we will help you launch that business in the Social New Venture Challenge.
edavidhh -> Jody As Entrepreneurship grows as a major at Booth I was wondering what the typical career path was for these students post Booth.
Jody -> edavidhhHi there edavidhh! There is no typical career path. Entrepreneurs by nature are sort of trailblazers and risk tolerant. That said, students generally may join an early or even later stage start-up, a VC firm or launch a business of their own. Depending on your own backgrounds, some students want to gain operational experience or apply financial and quantitative analytical skills in a business setting and then join a start-up venture. Also, your industry preferences come into play. You may want to build knowledge and experience in a particular industry or market prior to joining a start-up.
edavidhh -> Linda D.How active is the Booth alumni network in the the fostering or mentoring innovations of current Booth students?
Linda D. -> edavidhhCurrently we have 100+ businesses that have been started by Booth students and alumni. They are a wealth of information and always want to help. Students are always amazed on the assistance they receive from the alumni
Pranay -> Nima Hi everyone, thanks a lot for taking time to do this. I run a publication of my own in India and plan to return to expand my venture after my MBA. What enterpreneurial opportunities are available in the field of media and what resources (curricular and non) would be most tuned to my goals?
Nima -> PranayHi Pranay, we have a number of firms that we work with in the media space both small and large that are interested in MBA talent. A good way to learn about opportunities is by joining the entrepreneurship and venture capital student group and the media entertainment and sports group. You can also learn about opportunities and trends in the industry from the Career Services Blog.
RichardWang -> Anu Hi all, I want to know more about the "New Venture Challenge". How many students/teams use the ideas and busienss plans in the competition and finally established their own startup after graduation from Booth? And did they get other financial or mentor supports?
Anu -> RichardWangRichard, the new venture challenge has been the launch pad for over 75 companies since 1996, raising over $200M in capital. Many students use it as a pressure test to ensure that they have a viable business idea.
libra -> Starr Hello, thanks for taking the time to chat with us (there is a such a diverse representation from the Booth community!) Is it common for Booth graduates to launch their business right after their MBA program? Most would probably want to gain more corporate experiences post-graduation before turning to become their own bosses. But I'm interested to know how often is it for people to skip that step in the middle. What does Booth suggest in this regard?
Starr -> libraHi Libra! A small number of students launch their new ventures right after completing the MBA each year. These tend to be students who have developed the venture while in school, and have accessed the support available through the New Venture Challenge, the entrepreneurship coursework, and the mentorship program. Our recommendation for you to launch or not launch a company after the MBA is handled on a very case-by-case basis (it depends on the individual student, the specific venture, etc.).
memphis -> Bryce hi. are interviews going to be sent out through feb.? or is the list for round 2 already sent out
Bryce -> memphisGood question. Yes, interview invitations have started to go out, but our official mid-decision date is February 15th. So, from now until then, those being invited to interview will be notified on an ongoing basis.
@rfkrishnan -> Linda D.Just wanted to say thanks on behalf of the San Francisco Bay Area (2500+) Alumni for all the great entrepreneurship activities in the last year (meetup, dinner, VC speakers, networking, etc.). And new office space in FiDi will help entrepreneurship activity!
Linda D. -> @rfkrishnanThank you! All of us at the Polsky Center so enjoy our visits to the Bay area. It is great to catch up with past students and I am always amazed at the accomplishments of our alumni. Keep asking us to come out! As you know we are looking at ways to engage more on a permanent basis with entrepreneurs in the Bay area.
Brian -> John Question for John K.: Do you find that the on-campus function of a group like the Private Equity Group brings both its external network (that is, folks w/ prior PE experience--students or otherwise) as well as an opportunity for those without PE experience looking into the industry? Any color on its role would be helpful. Thanks.
John -> BrianAbsolutely...we do at least an event a month and focus on both students with prior PE backgrounds and students who are looking to get involved in PE. The most common event is a Lunch N Learn where we will have anyone from VPs at various PE firms come talk about their roles and daily responsibilities to recruiters who talk about the current hiring market. Further, students plan and organize a yearly PE conference (more information on the conference is available on the Polsky Center website under Booth PE conference). The group of students in charge of this task include various backgrounds. The students without prior experience tend to be the most helpful in organizing panels and speaker topics based on their past experiences. It is a great way for students to represent the Booth community in its PE efforts.
RyanB -> Anu Hi Anu and Ricardo, can you talk about your experiences working with Hyde Park Angels?
Anu -> RyanBRyanB, my work at Hyde Park Angels has been a really great learning opportunity and the work ranges from sourcing deals to screening deals based on investment criteria, and supporting due diligence for a potential investment. All this work is done under the mentorship of experienced investors.
willd -> Karima Hey Karima -- I've noticed that you have stayed on the for-profit side of social entrepreneurship (which is fine!). I'm wondering what drew you to for-profit over nonprofit, as well as your perspective on what differentiates the nonprofit from the for-profit social enterprise/entrepreneurship program at Booth.
Karima -> willdHi, wiild. In my view for-profit is more sustainable and hence has higher impact potential. With regards to Entrepreneurship at Booth, I don't think there is a distinction between the nonprofit and for-profit programming. For example, in Social Entrepreneurship lab we talked about both type of enterprises and bunch of hybrid models. If you want to talk more, feel free to email me.
Teresa -> Kasra Hello and thanks for holding the chat! Would like to know 1) if Booth have any funding programme for on-campus start up? And 2) is there any chance student can work around w/ entrepreneurs, any courses or summer/winter tours?
Kasra -> TeresaGreat questions, Teresa. To answer your first question, the Entrepreneurial Internship Program provides students with a stipend to work at a start up or on a student's own venture over the summer. The New Venture Challenge is also a launching pad for funding (not to mention the prize money awarded to winners). On your second question, there are plenty of opportunities on and off campus to work with entrepreneurs. Through some of the lab classes, you can work on specific projects for local startups. The Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital group also does treks to startups on the west coast, east coast and locally.
Nick -> Anu Hi Anu, Can you talk a bit about your 3 favorite resources at Booth for entrepreneurs?
Anu -> NickNick, it is hard to pick the 3 favorite ones!! Polsky center tops the list. Other resources are the courses/labs and the extracurricular activities such as Hyde Park Angels that are open only to Booth students. Besides that, Chicago has a thriving entrepreneurial environment and the enthusiasm is infectious.
whitney -> Starr Thanks again. How can students find other similarly minded students in the greater UofChi community to join a team and build out an idea? Are there channels set up for this or is it pretty free form?
Starr -> whitneyHi Whitney - the Polsky Center works together with the student Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital group to facilitate cross-campus and Chicago-wide team formation. Right now we have a LinkedIn group that helps start-up team members find one another, but a lot of the team formation happens in-person during fast pitch events, industry meetups, ideation sessions, and other programs. Much of this activity happens in the fall and winter quarters in preparation for applying to the New Venture Challenge.
JoGo -> Ricardo Ricardo. Given the complexities of penetrating the emerging markets, such as those in Brazil and China, how will the Booth MBA help prospective entrepreneurs to thrive in those markets
Ricardo -> JoGoYou could say that it's by providing a combination of an incredibly engaged alumni network, classes which prepare you for a wide array of challenges (and not tracked to a particular industry or function) and plenty of opportunities for hands-on experience. I came back from Brazil last week and VCs there are incredibly enthusiastic about talking to MBA students as potential entrepreneurs. I think Booth is unique in the way it prepares its students as entrepreneurs. (Feel free to follow-up with questions on specifics--I could write pages about this...)
Kman -> Linda D.What traits/personality do you think fits the Booth Entrepreneurial program? How do you think Entrepreneurial students fit in with the whole Booth MBA environment?
Linda D. -> KmanI do not think there is one trait that I would say makes some one better for entrepreneurship. There are so many personalities and expertise that are required to build a great team that I would hate to see any early stage venture team with a homogenous composition. If there is anything that is consistent with entrepreneurs - they are passionate and persistent!
Chris -> John I am interested in knowing a students perspective who has gone through the VC lab. How would you describe your experience? Engaging? Difficult? Did you know prior to joining Booth you wanted to participate in this? Do you feel it led/leads toward an internship during the summer with a VC firm? Thanks!
John -> ChrisBooth combines their lab courses to be both PE and VC. I took the course last year and was asked to be a TA for the course this year. While it requires a decent amount of work with both working 1-2 days a week and taking a course, it provides students with an unmatched experience for working in the industry. Specific work depends on the firm, but typically work involves participating in partner meetings, review new investment opportunities and working with existing portfolio companies. After completing the course, students should have an understanding of how VC works from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. I did come to school knowing I wanted to take this course but am glad I did. In terms of internships, several students in the class received internships but it varies year to year. Typically recruiting for PE and VC is very opportunistic and does not follow a standard recruiting cycle. The lab definitely helps students get internships that may not otherwise have been available.
Josh_S -> Ricardo I would like to again thank everyone for taking the time to answer our questions. I have a question for Ricardo and Anu. Can you possibly briefly describe your experience with the Hyde Park angels? What type of deal exposure did you get? What is the ratio of students to professionals, etc...? Thanks
Ricardo -> Josh_SSure. You get exposure to deals at a very early stage--most companies have already received an angel round of funding (I personally think the Hyde Park "Angels" name is a misnomer). You carry the deal from start to finish--you're the go-to person from meeting the entrepreneur to due diligence. And in discussing the deal with different angels and domain experts you are able to build a tremendous network. Having said that, it is a very competitive program to get in: this year we had about 120 applicants for 8 associate spots.
srk -> Jody Does CFA charter add any value to your CV when you are applying to the VC firms ?
Jody -> srkHi srk, any special skills or certifications that you have can potentially add value to any firm. In the case of VC, every firm is different and doing your research about them can really help. Looking at profiles of firm members and if they have CFA in their own backgrounds as well as what the VC firm's focus is will be importnat considerations, Your CFA may not necessarily give you a distinct advantage in VC but as I said any unique skill set combined with the emphasis of a firm can be a winning formula.
RyanB -> Kasra Hi Kasra, can you talk about how your classes and experiences at Booth have helped you develop HIreBrite?
Kasra -> RyanBHi RyanB, absolutely. There are a number of classes that have been very helpful -- some of the are entrepreneurship courses and some are broader but have been very applicable. For example, through Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity, I've developed a framework for evaluating early stage businesses. Participating in the Social New Venture Challenged helped me understand how to rigorously test a business concept. Outside of that, classes like Marketing Strategy are very relevant. The Polsky Center and Booth alumni have also been very helpful in getting my start up off the ground.
Steve_Farr -> Angelene Hi Angelene. I was hoping that you can touch on the activities that Booth puts together to cultivate relationships with investment banks and PE shops. Thanks.
Angelene -> Steve_FarrGreat question Steve! Let me talk about PE first. There are a number of ways we engage PE firms and companies of other industries we work with so I'll just pick a few to highlight. I personally go and meet with PE shops and Investment banks all over the US and Latin America to try and build a relationship with them on behalf of Booth. Last year, Career Services and The Polsky Center joined forces to create dinner events that invite PE alumni and non alumni in the geographical area of the dinner to boost the network. We started with one last year and plan to have three dinner events this year all throughout the US. Maybe next year, we'll be global! The Polsky Center also develops relationships with PE firms specifically in the Chicago area and they coordinate with firms to host our students for the PE lab. Now on to Investment Banking. As I said, I personally go and meet with Investment banks that aren't already coming and recruiting on campus to build a relationship with them on behalf of the school. We have a number of bulge and middle market banks that do come and recruit on campus. They work closely with my colleagues in Career Services and work very closely with the Investment banking student group. Booth has very strong ties to these banks that we continue to develop through conferences, on campus visits, and trek visits to these banks throughout the school year.
RyanB -> Anu Thanks for having the chat. Can you discuss how the Polsky Center and Booth works to connect its business students with an idea with people that have the technical skills needed to build the idea?
Anu -> RyanBRyanB, Polsky center serves as a bridge for business students wanting to find other team members to round out a team. In the case of the company I co-founded, Agile Diagnosis, the idea was from physicians in the medical school. Polsky put us in touch with the physicians and helped us build a team.
m_sheri -> Starr Hi Everyone! Thanks for hosting this session. Can you speak to any involvement Booth has with the Chicago small business community.
Starr -> m_sheriHi M_Sheri. Booth is highly involved with Chicago's small business and entrepreneurship community. The Polsky Center works very closely with the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center, Built In Chicago, Tech Week, and a number of other organizations that help start-up and small business owners throughout the city. A number of small businesses hire our students as interns, or participate as clients in our classes (such as the New Venture Lab class).
Ben_S -> Linda D.How does the entrepreneurship curriculum and the social venture side in particular, relate to economic development in the Chicago area? Are there opportunities to become involved with Chicago economic development using the entrepreneurship curriculum or Polsky Center resources?
Linda D. -> Ben_SThrough the Lab courses and other activities we are very involved in the Chicago community. Personally I am on the Boards of ACCION Chicago, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and Illinois Technology Assocition. All the faculty and staff are integral to all the major activities going on in Chicago.
Ray -> Nima Hi there, I'm interested in entrepreneurship and the tech industry. What kind of resource does Booth provide? specifically for entrepreneurship in tech industry? Thanks!
Nima -> RayHi Ray, you are in good company at Booth. In addition to the student groups such as the Entrepreneurship Venture Capital Student Group and Tech Group, both of which have company treks, we have a number of resources in Career Services and the Polsky Center. Career Services in particular can help you create a target list of firms that match you interest, find contacts at those firms and think about your outreach- and that's just to begin with.
prashant_sarkar -> Karima Hi Karima, I understand that you did an internship in impact investment internship in Singapore last summer. Is the internship/job search experience for such roles primary self directed or do impact investing funds like Acumen or Calvert come down to campus to recruit?
Karima -> prashant_sarkarHi Prashant! Acumen and Calvert did not come down to campus last year, but these and other funds posted in our job search system. If you are looking for unique opportunities, you may have to self direct research with the help of Career Services, alumni and student network.
Steve_Tsui -> Starr Hi, everyone. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! I was wondering how many New Venture Challenge participants, on average, ends up following through with their business plans and starting their own companies?
Starr -> Steve_TsuiHi Steve! We usually have 5 to 8 new ventures continue with their start-up after the New Venture Challenge. Last year, we also had 2 continue after the Social New Venture Challenge, and at least 1 from the Global New Venture Challenge.
HUAN -> John What are the hard knowledges VC/PE firms generally require?Does Booth offer any designed curriculum for students interested in VC/PE ?
John -> HUANMost PE and VC firms require some background in finance. That being said strategic thinking and consulting are equally sought after. In general, hiring for firms can be both broad and specific. Some firms do not care about financial or consulting background but rather prefer someone from a specific industry (i.e: healthcare). Booth has a great curriculum for PE and VC. A list of specific courses can be found at the Polsky Centers website. These courses include a lab for PE and VC that puts students into actual firms for a 10 week period.
NJ -> Kasra Hi , are there opportunities to associate yourself with some startups when the term is still on going ?
Kasra -> NJHi NJ, there are many opportunities to work at startups during the school year. You can gain exposure to strategic issues startups are encountering by taking a lab course. You can intern at a local start up, and the Polsky Center/Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Group are great at connecting students with relevant opportunities. Finally, some students choose to launch and run their own ventures while at Booth and participate in the New Venture Challenge.
Shirley -> Anu Hi Anu. I'd like to know more about your involvement with the business incubator and how that experience compares with the early stage investment firm
Anu -> ShirleyShirley, as you can imagine a business incubator and an early stage investment firm are 2 sides of the same coin. Working at the early stage investment company makes you knowledgeable about what investors are looking for when evaluating a deal which helps a lot when working at the incubator or when you start a business. The business incubator I work for is called Healthbox which was founded by Sandbox industries and we focus on healthcare IT and services companies. I am now working with 10 startups as part of the incubator program. It is inspiring to say the least.
Matkin -> Linda D.What entrepreneurial resources or offerings does Booth have that allow it to differentiate itself from other schools, particularly those active in the entrepreneurial space as well? Thank you.
Linda D. -> MatkinEvery school will say they offer classes, programs, events, mentors,etc. I think the key difference is the amount and diversity of those resources. As discussed above, because the faculty, staff and alumni are part of the entrepreneurial community here and elsewhere around the globe, we are able to bring so many resourcs to entrepreneurs with respect to industry expertise, potential customers, investors and more.
Itamarbz -> Ricardo Thanks for all your helpful responses! My question is for Ricardo: for an international student interested in getting into VC as a step towards one day starting my own business, does Booth offer significant opportunities to join firms outside the US, or is the recruiting largely US focused?
Ricardo -> ItamarbzThe VC recruiting process is unstructured in general. Networking is your main source for positions (with Booth going to tremendous lengths to facilitate that). I would say Booth has a great network for VC outside of the US as I've seen it in Brazil. What I've found to be quite impressive in this regard is how Booth alumni in unrelated industries tap their own networks to help out students find contacts in VC. I personally came back from 10 days in Brazil last week and maybe 60% of my interactions there were sourced through Booth contacts.
Rahul -> Linda D.Is there any significant social impact that 'Social New Venture Challenge' has produced through providing a model for sustainable growth. Please provide one example.
Linda D. -> RahulLast year was the first year of the Social New Venture Challenge. There are a few businesses that are continuing to grow but have not hit major inflection points. One alum from the past comes to mind - Temp Keller - who built RISE and received an Ashoka fellow.
Start-up-Booth -> John I've heard about a (lab?) class that pairs with a private equity internship in Chicago during the winter quarter. Can you talk a little about that program?
John -> Start-up-BoothBooth combines their lab courses to be both PE and VC. I took the course last year and was asked to be a TA for the course this year. While it requires a decent amount of work with both working 1-2 days a week and taking a course, it provides students with an unmatched experience for working in the industry. Specific work depends on the firm, but typically work involves participating in partner meetings, review new investment opportunities and working with existing portfolio companies. After completing the course, students should have an understanding of how VC works from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. I did come to school knowing I wanted to take this course but am glad I did. In terms of internships, several students in the class received internships but it varies year to year. Typically recruiting for PE and VC is very opportunistic and does not follow a standard recruiting cycle. The lab definitely helps students get internships that may not otherwise have been available.
DanielY -> Kasra Hi Kasra, could you please help share more about the entrepreneurship course "Building the New Venture"? Is it based on case study or actual practice to run a small business? many thanks!
Kasra -> DanielYHi DanielY, in Building the New Venture we launch a hypothetical business in student teams. During the quarter, students raise capital, hire, build products, focus on operations, etc. While it's a simulation, all of the work you do and decisions you make is based on solid research based on what would happen in the real world.
Noon -> Linda D.Hi, I was wondering whether there are any social enterprises started from Chicago Booth or on the process of launching soon at this moment.
Linda D. -> NoonSee my last answer
srk -> Nima my question is to nima - how difficult is it for international students to find a startup given that there are a lot of visa issues involved?
Nima -> srkGreat question srk. I wouldn't say it's anymore difficult than any other firm. In fact, it might be a little easier in some ways because start ups tend not to have set rules on work authorizations and are more concerned about finding the right talent. The other good news is that you can work for a start up for your summer internship without issue since you will likely be under a student visa.
Brent -> Anu Follow up for Anu, which of the three (Fin, Strat, Ent) have you had the most confidence in your classes at Booth. I read about the "Chicago Boys" who studied under Friedman at Booth and the work they did in Peru. Do your strategy courses emphasize dealing with external factors such as government, or internal factors such as personell.
Anu -> BrentOh Brent! That is a hard question to answer. I feel pretty confident on all 3 areas. The strategy courses offer the opportunities to know more about how to deal with external and internal factors. For example, in one course we had a case that dealt with how a promising company failed due to negligence of important regulations around workplace safety, immigration issues etc. and we had the entrepreneur from that company in the class which hits home the point that you need to be cognizant of both external and internal factors when managing a company.
Bardia86 -> John Hi John, I heard gaining consulting experience at a top-tier firm might increase your chances of breaking into private equity if you have limited work experience. What are your thoughts on this?
John -> Bardia86This is definitely true...as you guessed, PE firms have much respect for the background and training gained from working with a top-tier consulting firms. While some firms prefer a finance background, many firms only hiring consultants. I would definitely say this is a good route to go if you are trying to break into PE.
Yoonseong -> Karima Anyway, I read all event panelists and got a question. Some of students here are working or worked as an associate at Hyde Park Angels. My question is how students obtain an opportunity to work in real venture capital job? Everything is arranged by PE & VC Lab? Or the student should meet some requirement? I think this kind of experience will bring more opportunities for students without PE/VC experience.
Karima -> YoonseongHi Yoonseong. EVC group organizes VC trek to Silicon Valley to expose students to venture capital firms and start conversations going. And during the year EVC invites or visits local VC funds. For students without VC experience we have a number of education events to learn about the industry.
BlackJ -> Jody Thanks for doing the chat. How can Booth help students without any experience in VC break into VC company?
Jody -> BlackJHi BlackJ, to break into VC you want to be super comfortable with networking, beginning early and really building your knowledge. There are so many ways to connect here at Booth - the student clubs, student treks, alumni events, employer relations teams identifying VC firms and cultivating relationships, conferences, classes and connecting with other students interested in VC. We have specific resources to help students interested in breaking into VC -we have best practices documented by current and former successful students, and can direct you to all kinds of databases, blogs and other ways to "join the VC conversation and community" here at Booth!
Josh_S -> Ricardo Ricardo, can you possibly talk about a couple of your hands-on experiences with the Hyde Park Angels?
Ricardo -> Josh_SAbsolutely. Right now I'm working with two different startups going through the HPA process, starting from screening to presenting to (hopefully!) due diligence. We're also tasked to attend events and conferences. Tonight I'll be representing HPA at the Technori Pitch event in downtown Chicago, and in March myself and a few others will be flying down to Austin, TX to the Angel Capital Association conference.
Taylor -> Starr How many student groups enter the NVC and typically what size are the teams. Also, if students are working on a tech venture project - will the Polsky Center help facilitate relationships with other parts of Chicago to find people with the technology skills to execute the development?
Starr -> TaylorHi Taylor! We typically receive 65 to 80 team applications for the New Venture Challenge. We will select the top 25 to 30 teams to participate in the NVC. Most teams have between 2 and 6 team members. The Polsky Center works throughout the year on connecting students developing tech businesses to local tech talent. Actually, there is a new school in Chicago called Code Academy, which launched just this year, and is training new tech developers largely for the start-up community here.
Victoria -> Angelene Hi there. How is the recruiting private equity recruiting, especially for international funds that are either based abroad or based domestically but invests abroad? (ie: China)
Angelene -> VictoriaHi Victoria and DanelY - Great questions! My colleague, Leslie is on the ground in Hong Kong developing relationships in the PE space for all over Asia. She keeps the entire student and alumni body apprised of her visits via the Career Services blog. Her and I work together with our other colleague in London to develop international PE firms. While we do have over a handful of firms come onto campus, recruiting for PE is heavily network related and therefore done mostly off-campus. Once you walk through the doors of Booth you will have access to all of our alumni in PE that you can build into your network. Our Career Services coaches and career advisors will help you with how to handle these contacts - what you want to say? how to ask for a meeting vs. a job. They are truly geniuses with this kind of stuff! There also private equity related treks that take place on almost each continent throughout the year.
Hyoung -> John Hi everyone. I know Booth has many experiential programs. Students should choose one program among them? Or is it possible to participate in diverse programs?
John -> HyoungOne of the greatest things about Booth is the ability to work across many different programs and "choose your own path" in terms of your studies. Students are encouraged to work across several different areas and ultimately receive concentrations in one to four areas of study.
J -> Linda D. Hi Linda. It seems difficult to balance the profit and social responsibility in a social venture. Is there any guideline?
Linda D. -> JI just completed research for Secretary of State Clinton on impact investing in emerging markets. We analyzed firms on their financial returns and due diligence process. What is amazing is that financial returns span from 5% to 30% and they have had social impact (still a hurdle to measure) in all sorts of sectors. We teach the 'continuum' of financial and social returns. This is what makes this field so exciting - the plethora of possibilties.
Moderator -> EveryoneWe are halfway through the chat. Thanks for all of your great questions! Keep them coming. We will answer as many as we can.
mjiang -> Anu Thank you for taking time chatting with us. I am Ming Jiang and I applied for the second round. My question is related to NVC. When joining the competition, I know Booth provides a nurturing environment and coaches students. So who will be the coaches ? Will they be professors, alumni that has expertise in certain fields, or someone else ? Can you elaborate more on how the coaching process will be like ? Thanks !
Anu -> mjiangmjiang, the coaches are professors. However the mentors come from a wide variety of fields ranging from legal to finance and can be alumni and non-alumni who are experts in different fields. Many of the mentors serve as in-class judges during the NVC but become mentors depending on whether or not there is a mutual fit.
romi -> Ricardo Question to Ricardo and Kasra - How collaborative is the learning environment at Booth? To what extent do students help and learn from each other? Thanks for your time!
romi -> EveryoneI joke that Booth students are "annoyingly helpful". You'll get unsolicited offers of help from, for example, 2nd year students who share in your career interests who say "I've been through what you want to recruit for, want to grab coffee at Z&H on 57th street tomorrow?". There's a very strong culture here of "paying it forward". The collaborative nature of the community is without doubt one of the top reasons why i chose Booth.
jmj -> John Hello everyone. In how many clubs can a student realistically be an active participant in? John, about how much time do you spend per week in your duties to the PEG?
John -> jmjSome students start school joining many clubs and slowly wind down the number of clubs that they participate in based on where they are most engaged. I would argue that realistically active involved in a handful of clubs is alot. In my duties as a PE Group co-chair I typically send 5 hours a week on average.
Steve_Tsui -> Jody Hi everyone, do most Booth students who pursue a career in entrepreneurship stay in the Chicago area?
Jody -> Steve_TsuiHI Steve_Tsui, good question. There is an active community here in Chicago and certainly through the Polksy Center and "hands on" lab courses, we have many relationships with incubator firms and start-ups. There are also many meet-up groups in the area. That said, many of our students are interested in other geographic areas, and of course the west coast is a very attractive region for entrepreneurship and start-ups. So there are treks organized in conjunction with the student groups to other geographic areas. Industry focus may play a role as well. So for clean tech students may pursue start-ups in the southwest too.
Praveen -> Bryce I am a doctor by education and mostly an entrepreneur. I ditched medicine to be an entrepreneur early on and currently involved in couple of tech start-ups. I live the start-up life everyday and know what it takes but being a natural science graduate I miss the edge accorded by business education. Will I suit Booth MBA?
Bryce -> PraveenHi Praveen. It sounds like you have had an interesting career path to date, and could certainly add a unique perspective. I will say though, it's tough for me to evaluate strictly off of your work experience alone. During the application process, I encourage you to share your full story and how that might contribute to the Booth community in and out of the classroom.
akoppuzha -> Nima What kind of VC firms recruit at Booth for interns and staff positions?
Nima -> akoppuzhaVC recruiting is very network driven but we do have a few firms that will post at Booth given the strong relationship with the school. The firms vary as do the positions.
cody -> Linda D.Hello all. Thank you for organizing this chat. In learning more about Booth, I've heard a lot about how the school teaches students "how to think "rather than "what to think." Could you elaborate on this aspect of Booth's culture and how you envision this dynamic evolving vis-a-vis the new center for Social Innovation?
Linda D. -> codyContinuing on the previous conversation as an example - we have been trying to develop a framework for analyzing impact investment funds. What are the issues? What are the aspects of these funds that have yet to be analyzed? How can we analyze issues and develop new financial instruments to move capital to social issues?
Taylor -> Angelene This question is for Angelene. Can you elaborate on the geographic location of the full-time roles after graduation. Do most students stay in Chicago? What percent of students are able to secure positions overseas?
Angelene -> TaylorHi Taylor - 17% of our students got jobs overseas last year and 29% stayed here in Chicago - hey, it's a great place to be! For more geographic location info, please reference our Employer Report on the web. It has a wealth of information in terms of where our students go - location, function, and industry.
Brian -> John John K: The Entrepreneurship vs. the Finance concentration---which, in your dealings with PE Alumni via PEG, seems to be the most frequent background for people in the field? Are there merits to one over the other?
John -> BrianBoth are great options that provide a strong base to enter PE. I would say that that alum working in the field are pretty split close to 50 / 50. The nice thing about Booth is its ability to allow students to take multiple courses in both concentrations. Many student ultimately graduate with both concentrations as the subjects are so closely linked.
Ehsan -> Ricardo Hi, can students join Hyde Park Angels at anytime during the MBA program? What other resources are available for students interested in venture capital industry? Thank you for your time.
Ricardo -> EhsanHi Ehsan. There is an annual recruiting process. Both 1st years and 2nd years may apply, so if you don't get in your first year, you may try the next year again. Having said that, there are multiple opportunities in addition to HPA--so much so that I know some students chose not to apply to HPA because of, for example, the VC lab where you can get an internship at a different fund (focusing on different types or stages of investment for example). The VC lab program is another tremendous opportunity where the school will facilitate an internship in VC during the school year.
libra -> Karima How does Booth support future social entrepreneurs who wish to establish their ventures overseas?
Karima -> libraHi libra. Booth gives a great opportunity to test and build your idea through the competitions and talking to faculty and fellow students. And then there is an alumni network if you are looking for contacts overseas or building a team. You may also find a mentor who will take you through this process, depending on your idea.
Itamarbz -> Starr Can you give us some examples of recent businesses started by Booth students either while at Booth, or right after graduation? I am interested in what fields entrepreneurs have gone into from Booth
Starr -> ItamarbzHi Itamarbz - happy to give you some examples of businesses started by Booth students while at Booth or right after graduation. For a more complete list though you might want to take a look at www.chicagonvc.com, our website for the New Venture Challenge. A lot of the businesses that are launched are in digital tech, but honestly there is a wide range of industries, including retail, consumer products, healthcare, etc. Last year, a company called Agile Diagnosis launched - the company helps doctors diagnosis patients correctly using technology, specifically, diagnosis decision trees that can be accessed on an iPad. Anu, who is on this chat, helped launch the company and could tell you more about their current status!
Itamarbz -> John Thanks for your response Ricardo. For those with some more experience in PE, would you say that the PE recruiting process is more structured than the VC process, or is networking is the main source for PE positions as well?
John -> ItamarbzThe PE and VC recruiting processes are very similar in there focus on networking and being more non traditional than other industries. Typically recruiting for PE occurs in the Spring semester.
Jessica -> Linda D.In today's economic climate, do you see a greater opportunity for entrepreneurs or are issues securing loans or funds prohibitive?
Linda D. -> JessicaIt is often stated that the best firms have been built in recessionary times. They are built lean and focused and do not waste money. Also with new technologies, you can start a firm for under $50K. Most the entrepreneurial ventures started in the last few years that really had a great value proposition - got funding.
Jeff -> Anu Hi everyone, many thanks for speaking with us. What enterpreneurial opportunities does Booth offer in the field of Healthcare/Personal care Industries?
Anu -> JeffJeff, there is a program called "Graduate Program in Health Administration and Policy (GPHAP)" - http://www.ssa.uchicago.edu/gphap that many students with an interest in healthcare decide to complete when they are at Booth. We certainly have Booth professors who have expertise in healthcare investing and entrepreneurship who have been really good mentors for me.
Josh_S -> Jody Obviously this varies on a case by case basis, but if your career goal is to work with an early stage venture, what is your perspective on whether one should try to join one immediately after receiving an MBA, or join a PE/VC firm first in order to obtain a broader exposure to such companies?
Jody -> Josh_SHi Josh_S, you are right that it depends on your own experience coming into business school and your interests. And there are many PE firms that focus specifically on early stage/VC. While there is no one or right way to progress, networking with PE/VC firms and reading bios of firm associates can be a great way to learn about their paths. Securing a summer internship in PE can be a huge boost to your goals as well.
JSeider -> Bryce Is it statistically worthwhile submitting an application this late in the application cycle?
Bryce -> JSeiderAbsolutely. Although the first two rounds are typically our largest in number, Round 3 is certainly not a lost cause. We admit people and they accept our offer every year in that round. That being said, you also have to recognize that it is a bit more competitive because seats are being filled from Rounds 1 and 2, and scholarships are being allocated. Hopefully this sheds some light, and good luck with the application process!
PG -> John Hi everyone, Could someone help shed more light on the opportunities to intern through the Elfman-Wareham lab. Are these opportunities available during the school semester?
John -> PGThese opportunities occur in the Spring semester and are part of a course that requires 1-2 days a week of work at the firm and a classroom session a week as well. A list of firms that have participated in year's past can be found at http://polskycenter.com/pelab/. While the classroom component occurs in the Spring some firms prefer interns in the Winter semester.
IsisUC -> Nima To Nima Merchant: Within the sports arena in particular, what kinds of positions do you see employers filling with Booth students? Are they mainly finance-based positions or do you see diversity in the roles Booth students are hired to fulfill?
Nima -> IsisUCHi IsisUC- I just got back from the Media Entertainment and Sports Group Trek to New York so this question is well timed. We met with several sports related companies and they are open to Booth talent for all functions. The industry as a whole has been slow to warm up to MBA talent but the good news for us is that we have a very active MES Group and are constantly working on building our relationships in the industry.
JaneBark -> Ricardo Ricardo, thank you for your inspiring comments on the entrepreneurial drive that Booth gives to students. You said that Booth is unique in a way it prepares students for entrepreneurship. What is this uniqueness about? Can you be specific? What do you have here in Booth that differentiates your MBA from MBAs that your friends get in other schools? I have my own view of this and want to compare the insights.
Ricardo -> JaneBarkHi Jane, thank you for the question! I've literally written an article on how MBA entrepreneurs are different, and so I'll try to keep my comments brief. I think the uniqueness of the Booth approach is that it's very much a hands-on mentoring process. The community is exceptionally engaged and with programs such as the NVC, you'll get tremendous coaching from professors and entrepreneurs. At the same time, Booth has a strong process and method for entrepreneurship. Every start up has risks (and I would know, I've had two!), but Booth just does an exceptional job at teaching you to identify, eliminate and incorporate those risks in your planning. The line I like best it's that there's just far more method to the startup madness here. What I love the most though is that they're able to do that without losing that "what if" potential that's critical to any self-respecting startup.
Sugi -> Angelene I have a question for Angelene. For students with start-up ideas, what kind of support does the Chicago Booth network (including alumni, PE firms, VC firms) provide in terms of advice and fund raising?
Angelene -> SugiHi Sugi - great question. This is more a question for The Polsky Center so I asked Starr to answer. The Booth network in entrepreneurship and VC is very strong. There are a number of entrepreneurial alumni networks in different geographies that meet regularly to share resources, challenges, etc. We also run an entrepreneurship mentorship program that pairs alumni entrepreneurs with current students. For fund raising, the Polsky Center and Booth as a whole has very close ties to the venture capital and angel investing communities in Chicago. Hyde Park Angels, which is associated with the school, has funded several companies that have emerged from the New Venture Challenge.
Jaemin_Kim -> Linda D.Are there any international (e.g., Africa) opportunities through social new vc challenge or entrepreneurship internship program?
Linda D. -> Jaemin_KimLast year we had several businesses that focused on Africa. They already were working on the ground. We have also had several students work with Endeavor in South Africa and other emerging countries. Our contacts and alumni in Africa continually expand.
David_L -> Starr Regarding the Entrepreneurial Internship Program, how difficult is the application process and how far in advance must a potential recipient start applying?
Starr -> David_LHi David, we typically receive about 70 applications for the Entrepreneurial Internship Program, and we can select 40 students into the program. There is no need for extensive advanced planning, though answers to the application questions should be thoughtful. The application itself is straightforward and can be completed in a couple of hours.
Laila -> Linda D.Which are the countries of the emerging markets for which capital mobilization is done under the Social New Venture Challenge?
Linda D. -> LailaNot quite sure I understand your question as the Social NVC is a business competition where we vet and assist the development of scalable businesses that can work in any country. Their is prize money for winners that can help capitalize the business and then we will work with them to identify other funding options.
Shirley -> Anu Hi Anu, to follow-up with the same question asked earlier, how are you balancing school and working with 10 startups as part of the incubator program? What kind of services do you offer your clients and how hands on do you get with advising these businesses?
Anu -> ShirleyShirley, that is a great question. Time management and task prioritization are critical skills you learn at Booth! With the business incubator, my role is in helping our team run the program, helping the companies think through issues and be a thought partner and putting them in touch with the right people who can help propel them forward. We have mentors who are experts from the VC and entrepreneurial space and the organization I work with has experience in the healthcare space. So, it has been a great learning opportunity for me.
Ehsan -> Ricardo I am interested in venture capital industry, and hear that networking is a great way to find a job in the industry. How Chicago Booth can help me to improve netwotking skills or even help me initiate my networking for a specific VC firm? Thank you.
Ricardo -> EhsanThere's a tremendous amount of training and one-on-one coaching and mentoring that Career Services provides you in getting that started. The first thing I did when I came back from Brazil last week on a recruiting trip, was to talk to a 2nd year student who's my career advisor about the outcome and what some of the next steps could be. At the same time, there's the VC lab, where the Polsky center will try to matchmake you with a VC firm for an internship during the school-year (followed by the VC lab class taught by experienced VCs). There's a lot more--let me know if you have any specific questions!
pbryant -> Jody Do many students who focus in entrepreneurship also go into management consulting? I am strongly interested in both and curious how their different curriculum compliment each other.
Jody -> pbryantHi pbryant, it is natural to have many interests and glad you are coming to business school to explore! Most of the MBA curriculum will apply across functions. Many of our students are interested in management consulting, and a summer internship is a great way to test that. Entrepreneurship curriculum is something that applies across all sectors and business functions.
ryanj -> Karima For current students- do you find the social entrepreneur/social impact folks are a relatively insular community in anyway, or is there a lot of social and academic intermingling with, say, students 100 percent committed to an IB career?
Karima -> ryanjRyanj, community of social entrepreneurs overlaps a lot with regular entrepreneurs and special interest clubs, such as Net Impact, health care, emerging markets, energy, etc. I've noticed that a lot of people pursuing consulting and IB join teams with social entrepreneurs, once recruiting subsides.
Dechao -> John John, when you say "Some firms do not care about financial or consulting background but rather prefer someone from a specific industry (i.e: healthcare)", are there any representative industries this kind of firms focus on? Is there any firm which focues on FMCG? thanks!
John -> DechaoHonestly, all industries would apply to this. Various funds have specialities in a broad range of industries. I would argue that funds with a generalist approach are becoming less common as the ability to raise money becomes more difficult without a more direct focus. Off the top of my head FMCG funds definitely exist but I cannot think of any right now. Besides the obvious Google searches I would look through CapitalIQ or Thompson for a more refined search.
romi -> Nima Thanks for the answers! One question for Nima and Angelene - Are there any companies founded by Booth students in the manufacturing sector?
Nima -> romiHi romi, we have a handful of students that come from family manufacturing businesses that are interested in going back and growing those firms.
gtest -> Bryce @Bryce: does being older significantly matter in terms of admissions? I've been working for little over 10 years and am 32, but feel the need for an MBA and a career change, also I'm keen on doing the 2Y MBA as opposed to the ExecMBA, so what are your thoughts about this (purely based on the age angle)
Bryce -> gtestThanks for the question. I realize that the average work experience for our incoming class is typically around 5 years, but that's just an average. We read holistically, and factor in all components of the application. It really comes down to demonstrating in your application why right now is the best time for you and your path. Also, how sharing your perspective and work experience could be valued at Booth. If you feel that a full-time MBA program would be the best fit for you, we certainly encourage you to apply.
Josh_S -> Starr Hi All. My name is Josh and I am applying second round. Hhow selective is the Private Equity/Venture Capital Lab, and what would be your best advice for obtaining a spot? Also, when do most students participate in the lab?
Starr -> Josh_SHi Josh - We typically receive about 120 applications to the PE/VC Lab and can accept about 50 students into the Lab. We have both first and second years in the Lab, but there is usually a slight majority of first years. The advice that I would give you on getting into the Lab would depend specifically on your background and your interests. The Lab has both early-stage and late-stage clients, and the advice I would give you would be different depending on the firm you were hoping to land. I'm sorry I can't give you more general advice!
john_c -> John In speaking with some alumni, I have gotten the impression that without tangible PE experience, it is highly unlikely one can break through into the field. I was told this is because the number of seats is limited, and you are competing with all the top MBA programs, not just Booth students. Can you respond to this assertion?
John -> john_cBreaking into PE without prior experience is difficult but by no means impossible. The key becomes finding specific firms that your skill set will fit with or an industry that you have a strong background in. Receiving an MBA is definitely a good start! I would look at GloCap for specific number of MBA students landing jobs in PE in a given year. While the number is small, if you are determined and work to find the right fit you can break into PE.
prashant_sarkar -> Karima Have any of you taken the Social Entrepreneurship Lab? How was the experience? Which organizations did you work with?
Karima -> prashant_sarkarPrashant, I loved the experience and my team. I've worked with Museum of Science and Industry on a marketing project, specifically pricing strategy. Each project is unique in terms of industry and functional focus.
JaneBark -> Angelene How often do you have successful entrepreneurs speaking at the campus? Who are they? Who impressed you most the last year?
Angelene -> JaneBarkHi JaneBark - Career Services, The Polsky Center, alumni and student groups get entrepreneurs to come and speak on campus and all over the world on a frequent basis. We hosted an event in London specifically on Entrepreneurship - http://www.chicagobooth.edu/conversations/events/entrepreneurship-2011.aspx. My favorite speaker this year was definitely one of the founders of OkCupid that was bought by Match.com If you haven't checked out this site, it's definitely a must see! He is also a New Venture Challenge judge.
Adarsh -> Nima Can you please advise on what kind of skills do PE and VC firms look for while hiring MBA students? Do they look for Analytical skills or Finance skills or a mix of both?
Nima -> AdarshHi Adarsh- each firm varies but I think analytical and finance skills are both necessary.
J -> Linda D.Hi Linda. What are the biggest obstacles to start a social venture in general? Could you just name the top 3 based on your experience? Thanks for your time.
Linda D. -> JI see the biggest challenge is understanding the business side of a social venture. So many founders are driven by the mission, they often make bad business decisions. If they can scale a social vneture and make it sustainable - they can increase social impact. Another issue is marketing. Once again, social ventures rarely articulate their mission in a succinct manner and realize the importance of devoting resources to marketing. Finally, there is always the question of financing. I believe the opportunities are growing in this arena and Booth is actively involved in increasing the number of impact investors in the Midwest.
Taylor -> Anu Can you elaborate on your time distribution (%) between your coursework, NVC/VCIC, Lab Programs, during-term internships, leadership in Student Clubs, Networking/recruiting, etc.
Anu -> TaylorTaylor, I can speak for myself. I focused more on course, entrepreneurial activities (including NVC, Hyde Park Angels), and networking. Since my interest is in entrepreneurship my recruiting efforts were replaced by extensive networking. I tried my best to make it equal but there were weeks when coursework demanded more time and weeks where NVC/Hyde Park Angels demanded more time but you figure out how best to manage pretty quickly.
gtest -> Kasra what advantages does Booth offer for someone wanting to start a technology not-for-profit?
Kasra -> gtestHi gtest, one of the great things about Booth is its flexible and broad entrepreneurship curriculum. You'll find relevant coursework for a very wide variety of businesses. For a tech non-profit startup, for example, one could consider taking the "Building Internet Startups" class in addition to a social entrepreneurship lab class. For non-profit businesses, a great resource is the Social New Venture Challenge, which is a business plan competition in which you have the opportunity to rigorously test your idea and receive feedback from investors, philanthropists and social entrepreneurs.
prashant_sarkar -> Linda D.Is anyone participating in the International Impact Investing Challenge this year? Is there only 1 team allowed from Booth? How is that team selected?
Linda D. -> prashant_sarkarYes, we have 6 teams that are now being coached on their concept. The feasibility summary is due the beginning of March and I hope at least one of the teams will make it to the final 10.
Pallav -> Bryce I am finishing my PhD degree in chemistry in few weeks and I am planning to apply for this fall. Can you please let me know if my PhD experience will be counted as work experience as well as applying in third round will affect my chances of admission
Bryce -> PallavGood questions Pallav. Your PhD experience would certainly be valued, but wouldn't be considered as work experience. As for applying in Round 3, it's certainly not a lost cause. Just realize that seats are being filled in the previous two rounds, so it's competitive.
DKDKDK -> Starr After spending a day at Booth, a current student told me that the Polsky Center staff will not tell you if your idea for a venture is good or bad. What is the thought process behind this?
Starr -> DKDKDKHi DKDKDK - yes, this does not surprise me! The thought behind this is that in start-up, success depends dramatically on the person or persons launching the venture. The idea itself might be good or bad, but the execution of the idea will be a much greater determinant of success. That said, there may be some folks in the Center who will tell you if your idea is good or bad if you press them - but in general, the idea may not be the most critical part of launching the venture.
akoppuzha -> Jody Hi, for people who do not have PE experience prior to business school, how do they build their skills to be competitive for a PE job after business school?
Jody -> akoppuzhaHi akoppuzha, to be competitive, building a knowledge base about the PE industry and networking with PE firms will be a huge factor for your success. Steady effort from the beginning will be important. Joining student clubs and being active in events, building contacts and leveraging a huge Booth network of people in the PE space will be very helpful as well. There is plenty of opportunity to build your skills here through coursework, competitions and the like. You may also want to have operational skills and experience. When you combine that with showing a strong passion for PE and networking you will be successful!
Diego_del_Alcazar_Gi -> John Hi again! My question now is for John. You are involved in PE industry and Community Services (Giving Something Back). How do you beleive your experience in GSB has helped you to further develop the PE practice? Has the PE group addresed in any way the common belief that private equities are just looking for money? (I understand it is a common misbelief as I have been adivising PE for several years)
John -> Diego_del_Alcazar_GiBeing involved in the GSB Group has definitely helped me during my time at Booth in many areas. The group provides excellent opportunities to become involved in the community and meet new students. The PEG has not addressed the belief that PE is just looking for money. Our group instead focuses on trends and current market dynamics and has yet to tackle more political issues related to PE. There was recently an op-ed by Professor Steve Kalpan regarding Mitt Romney's career at Bain Capital that discusses some of these issues. If you are interested in reading this it was in Bloomberg in December, I believe.
DanielY -> Nima Hi Jody, what is the rate for post MBA students working in high tech firms and start-up companies? Are those students mainly working in silicon valley or in Chicago? Many thanks!
Nima -> DanielYHi DanielY, about 10% of the class of 2011 went to work for the tech industry some of which were start ups. That 10% is across all geographies but we have students that have gone to both silicon valley and stayed in Chicago.
tonito -> Bryce hi, my name is Antonio Urrutia and I i am an international student who applied to mba round 2.. i was wondering when can we expect some news about bening accepted or not? thank you in advance
Bryce -> tonitoThe next step is actually being notified on whether or not you were invited to interview. Those decisions have started to go out, and will continue to do so until February 15th.
prashant_sarkar -> Linda D.Hi Linda. My name is Prashant and I have applied for the 2012 intake. Can you please tell me what kind of opportunities are there at the Polsky centre (in terms of courses/exposure) for aspiring impact investment analysts.
Linda D. -> prashant_sarkarThis is currently my passion. As stated above, I am working on research in this area and also trying to develop impact investing in the Midwest. I also think there are career opportunities in family foundations, financial advisory firms, private banks as these institutions have High Net Worth individuals who are requesting information on impact investing and are seeking experts in this upcoming field. We held an Impact Investing conference last June and will have more activities in the future.
Ansh -> Jody Is it easier for past successful entrepreneurs who were working in a VC firm to find employment opportunities with VC/PE firms post MBA ?
Jody -> AnshHi Ansh, every VC/PE form is different as far as focus, mix of associates, and goals. Some may really value successful entrepreneur experience. Others mayhave a need for industry or operational knowledge, which may fit nicely with the value and skill sets you can bring.
Ashok -> Starr Starr, Can you talk about Code Academy ? Is it part of Booth ? Or Should we enroll seperately for engaging with Code Academy ?
Starr -> AshokHi Ashok - Code Academy is not part of Booth, though a number of Booth students are enrolled in one or two of their classes. Code Academy is a Chicago-area start-up school that is dedicated to creating more digital tech developers and programmers. The hope is that more start-ups launching in Chicago will be able to access the new tech talent coming out of the academy.
Gavin -> Bryce Hi, I'm planning on starting my MBA in 2013 and I want get to know the campus, and if possible attend a lecture. Who can I contact to arrange this?
Bryce -> GavinYes, you can certainly visit campus and sit in on a class. I would notify your admissions director, and also sign-up for our daily campus visit program. Here is a link to reference: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/visit/
LaCrosse2012 -> Karima I am planning on applying to Booth for fall2013. My interest is in Social Entrepreneurship or I might pursue private equity in education sector in India and China. What kind of opportunities are there for students interested in this field
Karima -> LaCrosse2012Hi LaCrosse2012. There are plenty of Entrepreneurial courses that will give you a range of tools to start your venture. Apart from the academic curriculum, student groups have consulting projects in various fields. For example, Net Impact club have education-related projects and CGC internationally focused social ventures projects. EVC organizes field trips to social entrepreneurs and VC - funds in Chicago area.
Damian -> Ricardo Hi all, thanks for your time! I have always been very entrepreneurial focused; I have worked for very small companies from when I can remember and hope to continue to do so after I receive my MBA. One of the things I think the tech/start-up successes over the past 5 or 6 years has done is create a huge enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, which I think is great, but I worry about its sustainability. Within the entrepreneurship culture of Booth, do you see a very strong commitment on the part of those who are pursuing it to stay within that path, or is there any sense that there are a number of people who may be in it just while the enthusiasm is there?
Ricardo -> DamianI think that's a very fair concern. While I can't predict the future, what I can say is that there is incredible upward momentum for entrepreneurship here, and it's for the past 5-6 years, but the past 15. Booth had no entrepreneurship courses 15 years-or-so ago, and now has over 23. It's the second most popular concentration after finance. HPA had 120 applicants this year, NVC had who knows how many more (and our student body size remains the same). I think the fascinating thing about the entrepreneurs that are my classmates came to Booth not because they thought startups are cool, but because they believe Booth can help them build something great.
Laila -> Linda D.Hello Linda. Thanks for answering my questions. What I meant to ask was what are the countries in the Asia Pacific region that you would consider as emerging markets. Having been a banker for 13 years, i would like to understand and learn how best to mobilize capital for a social venture in Bangladesh.
Linda D. -> LailaI cannot specifically answer your question on Bangladesh. I believe that Booth can provide you with the discipline based instruction on financial management and investment strategies and our Global Advisory Board may help identify alumni in this region to assist you.
Salomi -> Angelene A very good morning to you all. As networking is important to get a break in the PE and VC industry, what is the extent of Booth's network in an emerging market like India?
Angelene -> SalomiHi Salomi - Great Q. Booth has over 40,000 alumni all over the world and while doing a quick unaudited search. I found just under 1,000 alumni in India alone. We have a specific Emerging Markets Group here on campus that goes on a number of treks throughout the year. They will meet with firms here that have a focus on EM markets or like some of our students this year, trek to Africa!
Sinatraj -> Linda D.Linda, would you mind sharing a link to the Impact Investing report that you recently worked on for the US Dept of State?
Linda D. -> SinatrajIn final edit. Should be on our website at the end of February
whitney -> Starr Hi everyone thanks for doing this! What determines who gets space in the Polsky center?
Starr -> whitneyHi Whitney,one year of free office space in the Polsky Center (or in downtown Chicago) is allocated to student companies launching out of the New Venture Challenge.
romi -> Bryce Question for Bryce - how much weightage does the interview carry in the context of the overall application for the MBA program?
Bryce -> romiGood question. It's not really weighted in a certain way, it's just another component of the overall evaluation process. At that point, we finally get to meet you face-to-face and get to know you in a different way.
JAS -> Nima For those students who are married, how is the routine in giving your spouse attention and attending to all Booth events? Besides the Spouse and Partner Club, is there any other support?
Nima -> JAShi JAS- I can help answer this question because my husband was a 2010 grad so I know what it's like to be a partner of a Booth student. The Partners Club is a great resource but I was also a very active part of the Booth community as a whole. I was able to join many of the social clubs like Ski Club, Wine Club, Epicurean Club etc so that my husband and I could attend events together.
Ehsan -> Ricardo Thank you Ricardo. My background in in technology. I am interested in VCs with an emphasize on technology. Therefore, I want to be able to identify the firms that suit my goal, and then find a way to build a relationship with them during my MBA. So, I want to learn about all the resources at Booth that can help me reach my goal.
Ricardo -> EhsanI think the alumni network, VC lab, and opportunities like HPA are great in helping you build those relationships. The critical thing, though, is not only to build relationships, but being able to clearly identify your value proposition to these funds. Personally my career advisor here at Booth was instrumental in that regard. I couldn't have had the success (and offers) I got from this trip to Brazil without his help.
Patty_Tsen -> Nima Can anyone share about the resource Booth offer for family business or small business?
Nima -> Patty_TsenHi Patty, we have a student group that is geared to family businesses.
SV -> Linda D.Good morning. How do you focus on entrepreneurial business ideas being implemented outside of US? E.g. do you teach about cultural differences and ways of starting business abroad?
Linda D. -> SVProfessor Adair Morse has a class on global entrepreneurship and takes into consideration cultural, economic and political contexts of various countries.
Adarsh -> Karima Hello, For international students on F-1 visa, are there any visa / legal restrictions for opening a new venture just after college?
Karima -> AdarshHi Adarsh, I know that many international students are planning to open a business in US post-MBA, so I assume it's possible. However, I don't have any details on that.
Jason.R -> Jody Thank you all for taking the time to answer our questions. What percentage of students takes jobs with start-ups upon graduation? What sorts of roles are start-ups usually looking to fill when hiring at Booth?
Jody -> Jason.RHi Jason, you're welcome! The actual percentage of students taking role swith start-ups may be small compared ot the entire class, but it is no less significant. Many students get side tracked into on-campus recruiting with larger companies, instead of staying with their original goal of start-ups. Joining a start-up is not as defined, you often wear many different hats, there is less structure, and there is more risk. This is very exciting to some students, and the roles are very diverse depending on the need of the firm.
Start-up-Booth -> Kasra Hi, I'm interested in both finance and entrepreneurship. Is it possible to do the NVC and start a business while also recruiting for finance positions?
Kasra -> Start-up-Booth Hi Startup-up-Booth. I'm concentrating in finance and entrepreneurship and starting a business at the same time. I also participated in the Social NVC last year. Starting a business is an extremely time-consuming activity if you want to do it well -- many successful entrepreneurs are known for working very hard. So recruiting for finance positions, which also requires a big commitment, will not be an easy task if you are working seriously on a start up. That said, it's not impossible!
Moderator -> EveryoneHThank you for participating in our chat about Entrepreneurship at Booth. The chat has now ended. You can find the full chat transcript within 48 hours by visiting: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/fulltime/chat/
Linda D. -> EveryoneThank you for participating today in this chat. Please check out www.chicagonvc.com and www.chicagobooth.edu/entrepreneurship for more information.
Angelene -> EveryoneThank you for all of the great questions! It was truly a pleasure to hear from all of you. I wish you the best of luck as you look more into Booth. I hope to see you all on campus next year in the fall!
Nima -> EveryoneIt's been great chatting with all of you. Thank you for your great questions. Good luck.
Jody -> EveryoneI have really enjoyed chatting with many of you and look forward to working with you in support of your career goals here at Booth!
Bryce -> EveryoneThanks so much for all the good questions today. It was a pleasure chatting with you, and have a great rest of the week!
John -> EveryoneThank you for all the great questions and spending the time to learn more about Booth. Best of luck as you continue to think about where to attend school!
Starr -> EveryoneThank you for all of the great questions about entrepreneurship here at Booth! If you are interested in learning more about the Polsky Center and our activities, please take a look at our latest annual report - http://www.chicagobooth.edu/entrepreneurship/brochure/.
Kasra -> EveryoneGreat chatting with everyone. I hope you learned a lot!
Karima -> EveryoneThank you for all your great questions! Good luck!
Ricardo -> EveryoneThank you guys! These were great questions! Best of luck and I hope I was able to help!