Michael Diarra, ’22, spent many years in corporate America, working his way up to senior leadership roles before joining the federal government as a senior risk management executive. However, Diarra, born in France, moved to the United States as a young adult and always dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur. In 2020, he joined Chicago Booth’s Executive MBA Program in Chicago.
At Booth, he found the tools and support he needed to launch his own company, C-Thru-AI, a SaaS platform that helps A.I. developers navigate the complex regulatory compliance process. The startup won Booth’s 2022 Global New Venture Challenge (GNVC), a global venture competition for Executive MBA students at Booth. As part of the award, C-Thru-AI won $50,000 in investment funding.
“My personal ROI is threefold: the network, the tools, and the reputation,” Diarra says. “As an entrepreneur, I see myself using the tools that I’ve learned through the program every day.”
My personal ROI is threefold: the network, the tools, and the reputation.
I’m trying to realize the dream of my life, which is to be an entrepreneur. For many years, I’ve been working in corporate America, and Chicago Booth gave me the opportunity to start my own company, which is C-Thru-AI.
It is a global network. We have three campuses—one in Chicago, one in Hong Kong, and one in London. And going through the program allows students to develop a global network. The battery of tools that the University of Chicago EMBA program makes available to students can be used while you are in the program, and they are a tremendous asset. As an entrepreneur, I see myself using the tools that I’ve learned through the program every day.
When people learn that you graduated from the number-one EMBA program in the world, and they understand the rigor of the program, many doors that were previously closed start opening up.