One of the questions that Executive MBA students ask Chicago Booth Career Services is: What do students do with their MBAs? The answer to that question is as varied as the students. Some want to rise to the c-suite, while others target a career in consulting. Yet there are a growing number of Executive MBA students creating successful entrepreneurial ventures and organizations who fund and support them.

Let’s start with Braintree. It was founded by Bryan Johnson, a 2007 Executive MBA graduate, and won the 2007 New Venture Challenge at the school. Today, Braintree helps many of the fastest growing and most reputable merchants in the world accept credit card payments online. In 2011, Braintree reached #47 on the Inc. 500 list, and ranked #1 in online payments. In 2012, Braintree received $34 million in funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel Partners.

Next is Katie Hill, a Founder at Commuter Advertising. Her firm has built a premier platform of integrated digital transit media, reaching over 150 million riders annually. Her company generates revenue for public transit authorities, creates ways to sustain transit service, and solves new media advertising challenges. While delivering targeted location-based campaigns, Katie’s entrepreneurial venture creates jobs. What’s really cool is that Katie is doing this while an Executive MBA student at Chicago Booth.

Even though Bryan’s and Katie’s companies are technology-based, many Chicago Booth ventures are not.

Take the Graphic Conservation Company. Headed by Executive MBA alum, Russ Maki, the firm conserves, restores, and preserves fine art, important archival documents, high-end collectibles and important family papers. Recently, the company performed a series of complex conservation treatments to the ‘House Resolution for a 13thAmendment to the Constitution of The United States, signed February 1, 1865 (the abolition of slavery). Russ used marketing skills, gained at Booth, to make his organization one of the largest private firms in his field. He saw an opportunity and jumped on it.

Now comes the finance part. You were expecting it, right? After all, this is Chicago Booth and investing is part of the entrepreneurial success equation of Executive MBA students and alumni.

In 2006, a group of classmates (Jeff Carter, Ryan Humphreys, Sadanand Karve, Sharon McDade, Rick Schultz, Vishal Verma, and Galen Williams) from Executive MBA Program saw the need for capitalization of seed and early stage businesses. These founders created the Hyde Park Angels (HPA) Network to invest in seed and early stage businesses as well as provide domain expertise, strategic advice and coaching to its companies. At this point, many companies have been helped by HPA - with more to follow.

So are you inspired to fulfill your entrepreneurial goals, dreams, and aspirations?

More next time,