Full-Time MBA

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT BOOTH - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 20, 2016, 12:00 P.M. - 1:00 P.M.

Join us for a live chat about entrepreneurship at Booth. Current students and staff from the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI), and Career Services will be on hand to answer your questions. Ask about resources and opportunities that are available to students who would like to pursue careers in entrepreneurship, private equity, venture capital, and social entrepreneurship. Learn about recruiting, competitions, curriculum choices, student groups, and more! Get insights into how Booth can prepare you for a career in entrepreneurship or social impact. 

Chat Transcripts 

*Joanna Zisis: Meet our panelists and learn more about them here: http://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/events/onlinechats/2016-04-20-landing

1. Guest Question: Good Afternoon, what advice do you have for deciding between focusing the MBA program for entrepreneurship or finance?

* Katie Boran: Hi Andrea! I actually never debated between concentrating in entrepreneurship or finance, so I can't speak too much from personal experience. But I think it's completely reasonable to focus on both areas while you're here. The only way I can foresee this being an issue is if you want to heavily weight your courseload in one concentration or the other (i.e. take 6 finance classes, etc.)

2. Guest Question: Hi thank you all for hosting the meeting, I knew that there is an entrepreneurship centre for innovation. May I know how does it help on an idea?

* Micheline Pergande: The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Chicago Booth is dedicated to helping students pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions. We have a 13-person full-time staff and 5 dedicated entrepreneurs-in-residence available to support and help students commercialize their ideas. We offer 1:1 mentoring and several extra-curricular programs and resources to support an idea from concept to launch.

3. Guest Question: I'd love to hear about opportunities to intern at start-ups in the Chicago area either officially through Chicago Booth or unofficially through one's own search.  How easy or difficult is it?  How common is it?

* Sara Raffa: For startup internships, it's a very different process from consulting/banking but still very doable. A lot of Chicago startups will submit jobs through our campus recruiting platform, or through students groups like EVC (Entrep & Venture Capital Club). But since a lot of these startups are only hiring for one or two roles, they may not reach out to Booth, so you will also want to search on your own. The great thing about being a part of Booth is that for pretty much any startup in the Chicago area, you can likely find a connection to someone that works there - which will count for a lot when you reach out and apply. There are also a ton of great Booth resources, like Startup Networking Night and Founder's Stories, as well as Chicago-area resources, like 1871 and Technori. It's not super common, but you will definitely find an awesome group of people at Booth going through this process of looking for a startup role.

4. Guest Question: How difficult is it to get into the entrepreneurial classes you want? like Commercializing Innovation or the VC lab.

* Sara Raffa: For non-lab classes, it's all done through the bidding system. If there is a class you want, it's very easy to save up your points to make sure you get it - you just have to prioritize what is more important to you. All lab classes, like VC lab, are an application process. Some are more competitive than others. For VC lab, you submit your resume and it's up to each individual firm to select who they want. But again, if it's a priority to you to get into this class, than the resources are available so that you can network and have a very good shot at getting a great internship

5. Guest Question: Dominik how did you land your vc internship this summer?

* Dominik Hertzler: Thanks for joining the chat. When recruiting for VC it is important to decide relatively early on which city/area you would like to be in. I say that because VC recruiting is mostly "specialized" recruiting (ie you are sourcing your own opportunities). This is a lot easier when you have decided on one specific city to focus on. Next I selected a list of firms I liked and tried to engage them in conversations. I recruited for Europe so this was mostly done via phone and email. Another helpful tip I got, was to check the background of each VC firm employee and see if any of them matched with a fellow Booth student. I got lucky and the firm I am working with now had two partners that worked at McKinsey with a fellow Booth student. He introduced us and after a couple interview rounds I had the job. Also a good resource is the PE/VC lab which allows students to intern with a Chicago based VC or PE firm and take a lab class at the same time. This enables a lot of students to get a taste of VC and PE early on.

6. Guest Question: Hello - I am a prospective student interested in entrepreneurship/working at a small business. I was wondering what kind of opportunities there are to intern at small businesses or start-ups before or during your MBA

* Katie Boran: Hi! Opportunities at small businesses and startups really cover a wide spectrum. Before coming to Booth, some opportunities will be posted on the your class's facebook group. And during the school year there are many opportunities to intern with start-ups in the Chicago area. We have a start-up networking event in the fall so you can explore and connect with companies that may be of interest to you. They cover everything from FinTech, retail, social impact, biotech, etc.

7. Guest Question Micheline - Good morning! Polsky seems like a fantastic center for anybody interested in taking the entrepreneurship route. I wish to ask about the scope of mentorship and various resources that the students can get access to through the center. Would be great if you can share some details.

* Sara Raffa: The Polsky resources are seriously endless - I've been focused on entrepreneurship since I started at Booth and I still feel like I haven't gotten to take advantage of everything they offer. In terms of mentorship, Polsky has an amazing faculty that is always willing to meet and chat about your startup, your startup search, your VC search... whatever it may be. There are also Entrepreneurs in Residence who you can meet with. The best resource for me has just been the connections from everyone at Booth and Polsky - if there is something you need help with or want to learn more about, you will be able to find a connection to someone that has experience in that field. There are also a lot of formal programs/resources - Accelerator Program, EIP, NVC/SNVC, EVC Startup Weekend, etc.

8. Guest Question: Can anybody speak on veteran outreach at Booth

* Kim Masessa: Yes! We have a student organization called, Armed Forces Group at Chicago Booth.  They assist with outreach and events for veterans.  For more insight, please check out the following link: http://www.boothafg.com/

9. Guest Question: There are a few classes attached to NVC. Is it possible to take these even if one does not qualify into the later stages of NVC?

* Dominik Hertzler: Thanks for the question. As long as your team is selected in the initial selection stage (~20 out of 80 applicants accepted) you get automatically enrolled in the NVC class and will be able to attend all sessions. At the end of the quarter a limited number of companies is selected to advance to the finals. The finals are after class is over and open to the public. Hope that answered your question

10. Guest Question: Thank you for taking the time today. Question for any of the students - what have you found to be the most valuable resource at Booth re: entrepreneurship that you did not expect?

* Gal Skarishevsky: The availability of people. From professors to alumnus - you shoot an email and a couple of hours later they’ll get back to you. People really want to help and give you their advice.

11. Guest Question: for Ally, please walk me through your daily role as the director of the SEI and how do students make use of the services you offer

* Ally Batty: Students can engage with the Social Enterprise Initiative in lots of ways! There are courses, like the Social Enterprise Lab and the Firm and the Non-Market Environment, that students interested in social impact often take. Or you can participate in an experiential learning opportunity like the MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network and Training) competition, where you source, conduct diligence, and pitch an impact investment deal. We also run the Social New Venture Challenge, during which students launch social impact start-ups. Or you can attend our events on topics like Sustainability at Starbucks, Diversity in the Arts, and the Future of Impact Investing. Lots of students also meet with our social entrepreneur and impact investor in residence to learn about career opportunities in those fields and how to position themselves for internship and job opportunities. There's more here on student opportunities: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/students

12. Guest Question: What kind of resources does Chicago Booth offer to entrepreneurs looking to grow an existing business?

* Micheline Pergande: Students who come to Booth with an existing business can get individualized support from the Polsky Center. We would take a customized approach to meeting your individual business' needs. And put you in touch with our network of resources able to help you scale your business or address a specific challenge

13. Guest Question: Hi I am an exchange student starting in September, I am interested in knowing more about my chances of pursuing the entrepreneurship modules that I would like to choose?

* Gal Skarishevsky: There is a bidding system. You all get the same points and need to allocate them wisely. Just like in real life.

14. Guest Question: Hi! My mind is split between pursuing an investment management career of shifting towards PE. Do you have any advice, tips or sources of information to help me make a decision?

* Dominik Hertzler: Good question. I would say the two are actually quite similar, with the only difference being, investment management firms usually invest in publically traded securities, while PE obviously invests in private companies or takes public companies private. I just knew I liked the idea of being able to affect change at the portfolio companies which is much easier in a PE/VC environment. The Career Services center has guides on each career that give you a good overview and might help with your decision. Just check out their website and feel free to email them for advice.

15. Guest Question: How important is previous work experience (i.e. in finance or in a start-up) in getting a spot in the VC lab?

* Dominik Hertzler: Work experience is something firms value but it does not have to be start-up experience or finance experience. Many firms look for either financial knowledge or a specific area expertise. A healthcare PE/VC fund may love that you worked at Pfizer, while a consumer goods focused fund loves your Procter & Gamble experience. It really depends on what the fund is looking for. Additionally, there are resources like Training the Street seminars and certain classes (Commercializing Innovation, Financial statement analysis) that help you get your finance skills up to speed if needed.

16. Guest Question: Hi guys. I'm curious what ties Booth has to the private equity industry and are there specific resources you can point to that differentiate Booth in the PE/VC world from other top programs?

* Dominik Hertzler: From a PE perspective Booth has a very, very strong Investment Banking recruitment pipeline which often leads to people moving to PE after a couple years in the banks. This enables Booth to have a strong PE pipeline by association. This is obviously most pronounced in Chicago, Texas and New York but even some bay area firms have booth alumni. In general the PE/VC lab is an excellent program that enables funds to hand-pick booth students for internships during the school year. Historically this has helped a lot of students place in PE/VC funds.

17. Guest Question: In general, how do you think an MBA benefits future or potential entrepreneurs? How do you think an MBA is perceived in the entrepreneurial ecosystem?

* Dominik Hertzler: An MBA helps given the amount of resources a school like Booth can offer you. Resources range from financial support, through coaching to mentorship and meet-ups with existing CEOs and founders. Especially competitions like NVC and the resources at Chicago Innovation Exchange and 1871 help you reduce costs (read: risks) of starting your own company. I think an MBA is positively perceived, especially by investors (VCs, angels, etc.) because it shows you have business acumen and won't burn all their money without thinking about what you are doing.

18. Guest Question: What new venture challenge events can I go to as a prospective student?

* Micheline Pergande: Our New Venture Challenge Finals are open to the public...it will be held on June 2, 2016 at the Harper Center. We will be opening up registration on our NVC website in early May, so if you visit the calendar and register, you may attend. (chicagonvc.com)

19. Guest Question: Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us! Are there many Booth students who enter with their own businesses, hoping to utilize Booth learnings to transform these businesses? How manageable is it to run a company while at Booth? Sara, would love to hear your perspective on this!

* Sara Raffa: There are a lot of students that previously started companies and a handful that come in looking to start their own company (or continue to work on one they currently have). This isn't a huge group of people, but they definitely exist and I think because it's a smaller group, everyone at Booth is super supportive and excited about what these startups. I've had so many classmates connect me with people that have helped with my business, and the official resources and classes have been very helpful. A lot of entrepreneurship classes let you work on your actual business as part of the class - like Building the New Venture and Entrepreneurial Selling. Running a company while at Booth is challenging but doable. Rather than spending time on recruiting, you spend it on working on your business. You may have to make some sacrifices with your business or the things you get involved with - or possibly decelerate - but you make it work and it's awesome to have the support of the booth community as you go

20. Guest Question Are there opportunities to network with firms participating in the PE/VC lab, or is the selection process based solely on resumes and interviews through Booth?

* Dominik Hertzler: In order to be fair the selection process for firms already in the PE/VC program is based on resumes and interviews only. We do this to be fair and because funds have told us the reason they participate in this program is because they don’t get bombarded with coffee and networking requests. However, if you have made a good connection with a fund that isn't part of the program, you can have them added to the PE/VC lab and get your internship that way.

21. Guest Question: Is the Chicago VC environment comparable to Silicon Valley or NYC

* Dominik Hertzler: There are no mega funds but it is quickly growing and I would say the opportunities for young VC employees to establish themselves in Chicago and build a career are better than the more established centers of NYC and SF. Very active scene, some big exits already, quickly growing would be my summary

22. Guest Question: Hello – My question is to Ms. Pergande: does my business idea have to be about coming up with something totally new to access the resources of Polsky Center, or is it fine to be about making/producing current products but with different process and approach?

* Micheline Pergande: It is often rare to have "new to the world" business ideas...most businesses are taking existing models and iterating on them to solve a particular pain point. So yes, the Polsky Center supports several businesses that have a different approach. We love seeing the new thinking and evolution of business models.

23. Guest Question: Could you speak to any connections between impact-investing and entrepreneurship available at Booth?

* Ally Batty: SEI's social entrepreneur and impact investor in residence are both available to meet with students interested in those fields and can shed light on the interplay between impact VC and social entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital (EVC) student group is also really active and hosts many events that have a social impact focus. I'd also recommend the MBA Impact Investing Network and Training (MIINT) program to students interested in impact investing. In this national competition, students source social enterprises, conduct diligence, and pitch real investment deals to investors. So that's a good way to understand how the funding and venture creation sides work in congress. More here on impact investing and social entrepreneurship: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/students/making-an-impact

24. Guest Question: Is any prior startup or entrepreneurship experience a plus or bonus to get accepted at the Polsky center?

* Dominik Hertzler: The Polsky Center is open to any and all interested students. It is the entrepreneurship hub at Booth and anybody that is interested can walk in and take advantage of their resources. There are of course certain programs/scholarships etc that require you to actually have an entrepreneurial venture to be able to apply. But to answer your question, no experience needed to be active in the Polsky Center and get to know people

25. Guest Question: What's the most common background of students who are pursuing entrepreneurship?

* Micheline Pergande: We see everything. The most successful businesses (and the top winners of our NVC program) and those that have a team with a variety of backgrounds. If you have a tech business investors want to know who you CTO will be...so having a well-rounded founding team is important...many teams are formed with your classmates here at Booth.

26. Guest Question: What would you say that pursuing entrepreneurship at Booth brings over and above "just doing it" (i.e. joining a startup / starting your own business) - which seems to be the main advice given to people who say they are interested in entrepreneurship?

* Dominik Hertzler: Booth has a plethora of interesting entrepreneurship classes that allow you to "try" entrepreneurship in a class room setting. Overall I would agree though that going out and doing it, is the best way to get out there and learn. Personal advice, I loved Entrepreneurial Discovery in my first quarter. It is application based but it is sufficient to have a strong interest in entrepreneurship to get in. This allowed me to test out whether I liked it and led to me joining a NVC team for this quarter.

27. Guest Question: Building on another question on the entrepreneurship center, does the school, or other associations affiliated to the school, grant funding for certain business ideas?

* Sara Raffa: Yes - there are a lot of different ways to get funding. If you get into the Polsky Summer Accelerator Program, each team gets an investment into their business (typically about $10,000 - convertible debt). The NVC/SNVC winners and runner ups also get funding, and Polsky has a new program called Polsky Founders Fund Fellowship which gives 16k over the course of a year to graduated/decelerating students as an investment + office space in the Chicago area so that these students can continue to work on their business. There are also opportunities to apply for other scholarships/grants depending on the nature of your business. PLUS if you are looking for outside funding, Polsky will be a great resource as you reach out to investors.

28. Guest Question: What about opportunities to intern for a start-up during the school year?  Do many people do so through Booth or do so through their own search?

* Sara Raffa: Hi - if you look back in the chat log, I answered a question a few minutes ago about the startup search and how to go about it. Most people that are looking at startups search through both Booth platforms and their own search. A lot of startups come to Booth, but many of them don't since they are only hiring for one or two roles. Check back on my other answer for more details :)

29. Guest Question: Hi...I'm not hearing any audio...is that a user error :(

* Kim Masessa: There isn't any audio, it's a Live Chat (Q&A Virtual Feed).  

30. Guest Question: Hi! I visited Chicago recently and saw 1871 - I noticed that Booth had a section there. Is Booth integrated with 1871, or do students have to pursue opportunities to work at 1871 independently?

* Micheline Pergande: The Polsky Center has a dedicated office at 1871...and Ellen Rudnick, our executive director, is on the 1871 Board. The office is available for use by any UChicago affiliated start-up team. The Polsky Center coordinates that process for interested students.

31. Guest Question: How do international students manage work visa in case they are interested in starting their own venture after Booth MBA? Does Booth offer any support here?

* Gal Skarishevsky: It depends on the type of Visa you had when you arrived to Booth, F-1,J-1,etc. Basically you get 12-18 months of work authorization after school without any need for sponsorship. For additional info please contact https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/

32. Guest Question: for sara, how is eislee going? How has booth helped you throughout the process? will you continue with it after you graduate?

* Sara Raffa: Hi - Eislee is going really well. It's been a ton of fun, as well as very challenging. Booth has been a HUGE help throughout this process. I can honestly say, without any doubt, that I would not be where I am today without the help that Booth provided. Polsky was an amazing resource - they were the first people I talked to about my idea and helped me figure out how to get started. SNVC helped me refine my pitch and answer some really tough questions, and the Accelerator Program made my business real - I got to spend the summer 100% focused on creating our product and bringing it to market. The mentors through Accelerator, and just in general at Booth, were incredibly helpful and committed, and pushed me throughout the entire process. I will probably not continue after graduation, but that has been my own decision - not something that I've felt forced into. If I wanted to continue, I fully believe I could find the financing and build the necessary team with the help of Booth.

33. Guest Question: Is it a difficult process to decelerate your MBA if you are working on your startup? Are there certain conditions that must be met to qualify? What are the implications for tuition and merit based scholarships?  Thank you!

* Sara Raffa: Decelerating is surprisingly easy. The only condition is that you need to finish your classes within 5 years... which should give you plenty of time. Tuition and merit based scholarships are not effected - from my understanding, they get paid on in full in the first two years, but you will receive them in full even if you are taking a lighter course load.

34. Guest Question: I am currently working abroad in London. How would you suggest connecting with The University or Alumni in lieu of campus visits?

* Kim Masessa: Campus Visits are the most organized way to visit campus and experience Booth, although you can connect with Current Students through the Connect with a Student Tool (https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer)

35. Guest Question: what opportunities are there for booth students to engage with the local community?

* Ally Batty: SEI hosts lots of events that are also open to the local nonprofit/social impact community, so that's a great way to engage. We just wrapped up our On board conference on nonprofit board service on Friday, actually. That's an event with more than 450 attendees that brings together alumni, students, and nonprofit leaders to connect and learn about best practices in board management and nonprofit strategy. Booth also has a student group called Giving Something Back, which is focused on volunteerism. And you can take part in the Board Fellows program through Net Impact and the Social Enterprise Initiative, where you serve as a non-voting member of a local nonprofit board and complete and consulting project for them. More on our board service opportunities here: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/students/making-an-impact/nonprofit-board-service

36. Guest Question: Thank you for taking the time to host us. Can you please suggest if there are part-time work/ project opportunities available with start-ups in Chicago or Polsky centre?

* Dominik Hertzler: I have yet to hear of a start-up that will say no to free labor, so if you are interested and have identified a start-up you like, I would bet they will accept your help and let you work with them. Additionally, Polsky hosts quarterly Start-up networking nights where start-ups looking for help meet interest students and have time to network.

37. Guest Question: Is the Accelerator Program by invitation/contest/registration? Same question for the ARCH Venture Partners New Business Incubator.

* Dominik Hertzler: Both programs are by application. You will send in your proposal and a group of faculty, Polsky staff and alumni will select which get accepted.

38. Guest Question: Danize Diaz: Do you offer a dual program of both of these studies? Will the MBA program is for a five year program, or two-year program? Does this program require GMAT?

* Kim Masessa: We do offer joint degrees through Booth (please see our Joint Degree section of our website here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/joint-degree). The full-time MBA program typically takes two years to complete.  You can see a full list of the requirements and the application process here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions/apply

39. Guest Question: This information is so helpful. Thank you guys! Could you also comment on opportunities to connect with potential co-founders at Booth? So far I'm really excited about the Collaboratorium and NVC mixers

* Micheline Pergande: The Collaboratorium is a GREAT way for Booth students to connect with others across campus. It's a event we offer in the Fall and Winter quarters to encourage Booth students to meet scientists/faculty/researchers at the Medical Center, Computation Institute, and other places on campus who have ideas that need to be commercialized. The scientists have amazing ideas, but other lack the business background to commercialize their ideas. We match them with our Booth students.

40. Guest Question: If I were to launch a company while at Booth, are there resources that I could continue to leverage post graduation? Micheline, would love to hear about formal offerings from the Polsky Center.

* Micheline Pergande: Yes, the Polsky Center is a lifelong partner for alums...so if you have your brilliant idea 5-10 years out, we will support you...we recently offered a new program to help our growth-stage alumni companies scale to the next level...but all of our resources and mentoring is available post-graduation!

41. Guest Question: Hi there, does Booth have any support for students interested in social impact investment?

* Ally Batty: Social impact investment, also known as impact investing, is a big interest for Booth students! The MIINT (MBA Impact Investing Network and Training) program (which the Social Enterprise Initiative leads) is a great opportunity for students to get hands on experience sourcing social impact start-ups, conducting diligence, structuring an investment, and pitching an investment thesis--basically all the things a practicing impact investor does. We also have an impact investor in residence at SEI who meets with students to offer insights on the field and coaching on how to position yourself for an internship or career opportunity in impact investing. More on those programs and other impact investing resources at Booth here: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/students/making-an-impact/impact-investing-and-venture-philanthropy

42. Guest Question: Good morning! With the development of the CIE as well as the partnership with UI Engineering department being relatively new, I wanted to know if there has been historical success that we could reference or data collection that speaks specifically to the value-added from these two forums?

* Micheline Pergande: One great example of the UofI partnership and the opening of our Chicago Innovation Exchange (CIE) co-working space is Tovala (formerly Maestro), the top winner of our NVC last year, who then raised $500K in funding, was accepted into Y Combinator, and met their $100,000 kickstarter goal in one day. CEO David Rabie (Booth MBA '15) found his CTO and lead engineer as part of the UofI connection and used the Fab Lab at the CIE to develop their prototype.

43. Guest Question: Hey guys, I'm an entrepreneur myself. I have a video production company, and am moving towards transitioning out of my full-time job to work on the business full time. How would Booth be able to help me at this stage? We're a web-based service business with a great reputation and an optimistic future. I'm conducting a feasibility study now to see how viable it would be to scale. We're on the right track with this exploration, but I could definitely use some guidance. Maybe there is a mentorship program of some kind?

* Dominik Hertzler: Good question from a current entrepreneur. My first response would be to take your company through our New Venture Challenge. You will be able to present your company to dozens of VC judges and be able to take advantage of all the coaches and mentors you could ever ask for. In addition the Polsky center has mentors/entrepreneurs in residence you could connect with. There is also an application based program at Booth called EIP that pays you over the summer if you want to pursue your own venture instead of doing a paid internship

44. Guest Question: Thank you for all your help. I'm contemplating whether to try and shift my career from Tech to PE/VC/IB, how would you recommend to go or at least "taste" that route before making a decision during Booth?

* Katie Boran: Hi - I would suggest that you try applying for either the PE or VC lab courses that Booth offers. These include an internship component as part of the course and so it would probably be an excellent opportunity to try out either field while in school. For IB, I might suggest attending networking events held by banks over the summer in order to understand if that is a good fit for you.

45. Guest Question: I am interested in non tech roles in start ups and I have heard mid-west is the best place for such kind of roles. Would it be possible to get access to such options via Polsky?

* Micheline Pergande: The midwest/Chicago is a melting pot of industries...unlike other geographies, we are not just known for one thing, which is great because it provides a lot of diversity in terms of business launched...Polsky can help connect you with those opportunities.

46. Guest Question: Is the career center actively involved in helping you determine what courses are best suited for your specific career aspirations? It seems like with so many interesting options it would be hard to know if you're making the best choice.

* Dominik Hertzler: The career center is very helpful with your actual career plan and recruiting but you'd get class advice from academic services. In the beginning of the school year you get paired with an academic advisor who will have an initial meeting with you to learn what you are interested in and what you are recruiting for. They have done this for years and know exactly which classes are good for which career choice. Additionally, they work with career services and get their feedback from recruiters

47. Guest Question: Thank you all for participating in this event. My question is for any of the current students: as there are many MBA programs that have strong entrepreneurship concentrations, which aspect(s) of Booth's MBA/entrepreneurship program distinguished it from other schools and convinced you to enroll?

* Gal Skarishevsky: Flexible curriculum - You build your own path and fill the gaps you need to start a business. NVC - One of the best ways to start your company. Check Tovala, GrubHub, Braintree, and the list goes on and on.

48. Guest Question: I would love to hear the perspective, either student or administrator/faculty, on what distinguishes the Booth approach to entrepreneurship.

* Micheline Pergande: From the staff side, the hands-on, experiential learning that is core to the Booth approach is a differentiator for anyone interested in entrepreneurship. Most other business schools offer a one-day business plan competition. Where you come in, give a pitch and win prize money. Our new venture challenge (chicagoNVC.com) program is a year-long program that spans the full academic year. Students accepted into this program receive individualized coaching, mentoring, and take a spring quarter class to spend time building out their business plan and getting their businesses investor-ready. Our program has run for 20 years and is recognized as a top accelerator program in the country (seedrankings.com). The success stems from our hands-on "learn by doing" approach.

49. Guest Question: Hi, Ally you mentioned the opportunity of participating in MIINT, how does one apply and does it come into conflict with courses? Additionally, you said that there are impact investors in residences students can meet, how many are there and what are the chances of gaining an internship in an impact investing fund?

* Ally Batty: I'll start with MIINT. You apply to MIINT in the fall, basically by forming/joining a team of students and telling us what your social impact area of interest is. Then throughout the fall and winter you do the sourcing/diligence/pitching required by the program. In the winter, students compete in the Booth MIINT finals and then the winner goes on to represent Booth at the MIINT finals in the spring. Currently there's one impact investor in residence, but he holds office hours throughout the year, so there's lots of opportunity to meet with him. You can learn more about that program and MIINT here: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/students/making-an-impact/impact-investing-and-venture-philanthropy. It's hard to say what any individual students odds are of landing an internship/job in impact investing, but I know that we always have students each year who are actively pursuing these opportunities so career services has a well-developed network of funds and good sense of what funds are looking for in hires.

50. Guest Question: Sara, Katie, Richard. Gal or Dominik - can you name a few key entrepreneurship courses that you found very valuable? Key professors that you learned a lot from?

* Sara Raffa: Building the New Venture with Waverly Deutsch - you take your business through it's first 18 months of operation. All hypothetical but forces you to answer important questions and think about real problems you may encounter. I loved this class so much that I now TA for it :) Entrepreneurial Finance & PE with Kaplan was also amazing. You learn how VC/PE firms evaluate companies. Highly recommend. Also Commercializing Innovation

51. Guest Question: Hello – Thanks very much for hosting the event. I was wondering if you have any data around the percentage of students running their own startups as students at Booth. Thanks in advance

* Micheline Pergande: 84.2% enroll in our entrepreneurship programs; 7.5% launch a business while at Booth

52. Guest Question Sara - what advice do you have for students to start a successful business at Booth and are there any other opportunities or classes that have not yet been mentioned that you feel were integral to your success? 

* Sara Raffa: My biggest piece of advice is to go for it. I think it's easy to get sidetracked by everything going on at Booth, particularly with recruiting. I watched all my friends go through the recruiting process and felt guilty that I wasn't taking advantage of career services and recruiting. But ultimately I knew I wanted to start my own company, and knew there would always be options later if I wanted to recruit. My other piece of advice is to talk to everyone. Through my classmates and professors, I've been connected to so many amazing people that have been integral to the success of my business. You never know what a 30 minute phone call or coffee chat will turn into. As for classes, check out the question I just answered which talks about Building the New Venture and EFPE. Entrepreneurial Selling was another great one - I build a sales toolkit that I actually used last summer when I was trying to sell my product to boutiques

53. Guest Question: Sara, could you please briefly speak about the selection process of the Polsky Accelerator Program you went through last summer? And what are some key takeaways for your startup from that program?

* Sara Raffa: The selection process is of course subject to change, but in the past it's been a brief application + a 2 minute video (not judged on your video skills, but the content of what you say/present). This application is followed up with an interview. It's competitive but if you are committed to your business and put in the work, you have a good shot at getting in. Key takeaways - I learned a lot like the importance of customer interviews, and not waiting until everything is 100% perfect to move forward (nothing will ever be perfect...) but the best resource from the program was the coaching team. My coaching team (2 alum, 1 Polsky staff) were super committed and pushed us throughout the whole summer to meet our milestones

54. Guest Question: Dominik, adding on to your answer about PE placement, can you talk about how common it is for PE firms to hire directly from Booth as opposed to students going to an investment bank and then a PE fund?

* Dominik Hertzler: Hard to say and depends on your background but I would say of the people who get summer internships in PE funds about 50% end up staying with their funds or going to a PE fund somewhere else. I know personally of about 20-30 people going into PE for full-time work after Booth which is about 5% of the class.

55. Guest Question: I understand there can be up to 100 teams in the initial application stage of NVC. Can you talk a bit about how individuals find and build a team?

* Dominik Hertzler: There are classes like Entrepreneurial discovery that have historically created a lot of NVC teams. Additionally, there are Polsky events and EVC club events that connect students with teams looking for help. It is usually a fairly efficient process and most people looking to join find a team

56. Guest Question: When does the process start for applying to the PE/VC labs?

* Dominik Hertzler: Towards the end of second quarter but you can obviously start building connection with PE/VC funds you'd like to add to the program earlier. We are not allowed to network with the firm already in the program as they would get flooded with requests and potentially leave the program

57. Guest Question: Is it very difficult to land a PE job after MBA without any prior investment banking or M&A experience (even if I have experience in the asset management industry)?

* Gal Skarishevsky: I think you either need the right financial background or a specific industry knowledge that they are looking to invest in.

Many PE and VC shops are recruiting here and some of us got an opportunity to join them without prior experience. You'll need to work hard and make the right connections but it is definitely possible.

58. Guest Question: Outside of the Polsky Center, what student-run organizations concentrate in VC and entrepreneurship?

* Katie Boran: Hi Michael- Booth has a student-run club that focuses on entrepreneurship and VC that hosts events and sources internship and job opportunities.

59. Guest Question: Do the companies participating in the PE/VC labs tend to have pretty diverse areas of concentration or do they tend to lean in a particular direction (e.g. mostly focused on Tech, for example)?

* Dominik Hertzler: Very diverse. We have real estate, consumer, healthcare, industrial, manufacturing, tech, etc. funds. There is no specific focus or concentration

60. Guest Question: Can mixed groups enter NVC? By that I mean that not all founders are part of Booth.

* Micheline Pergande: Yes, you only need one graduate student/Booth student on the team to apply to the NVC

61. Guest Question: Ally, my question is in follow-up to the resources available for impact investing.  Are there more specific resources for selecting a curriculum built around impact investing in a particular area (geographic / social concern)?

* Ally Batty: In terms of curriculum, I always recommend that you spend some time chatting with academic services when you are on campus. They are the experts! But if you know what subject area--geographical, social issue, etc--you are interested in, SEI can help you layer on extracurricular expertise through events, students groups, experiential learning opportunities, time with our impact investor in residence, and so forth. There are lots of student groups at Booth who focus on issue areas (Booth education group, energy group, health care group, and so on) as well as geographic areas (emerging markets, southeast asia, etc.)

62. Guest Question: Being in Midwest, are the firms participating in the PE/VC lab more industrial/manufacturing-focused or would you say there is a good mix of tech, consumer, healthcare etc...?

* Dominik Hertzler: Very good mix of companies. Lots of healthcare and consumer actually. A good portion of fintech and obviously industrial and manufacturing. Chicago has been developing into the third/fourth big hub after SF, NYC, Boston and the amount of good schools in the area (UofC, Northwester, UofI Engineering) have created a very diverse set of companies and investors

63. Athrey Krishnakumar: Hi thanks for taking the time to answer all of our questions - will there be a transcript of the full chat available? Unfortunately I need to leave a little early

* Dominik Hertzler: Yes there will be a full transcript to be found on the same website your registered

64. Guest Question: What involvement do students have with Hyde Park Angels?

* Micheline Pergande: HPA was originally created out of the Polsky Center. Today, they act independently. We have very close relationships with their managing partners and offer the HPA internship program and offer a HPA scholarship opportunity for students interested in HPA

65. Guest Question: What's been the overall experience with NVC this spring?  How do you feel it is improving your personal/professional life?

* Dominik Hertzler: Very good experience so far. The feedback from the VC judges, while brutal, at times is incredibly helpful in shaping our venture idea and enabling us to make changes that are necessary for our idea to succeed. From a personal standpoint the people on my team are some of my best friends here at Booth and people I will be close to regarding if our venture succeeds or not.

66. Guest Question: Do you think entrepreneurship and new product development (technology/data products) related? Can one take entrepreneurship courses to develop skills in product management?

* Katie Boran: Hi - I can't speak to this from personal experience, but I would say the skills that you learn in entrepreneurship classes can absolutely be relevant in a tech position that focuses on new product development.

67. Guest Question: Hi, can you double major i entrepreneurship and consulting?

* Kim Masessa: Our 13 concentrations build off these fundamentals and allow you to develop frameworks that enhance or complement your experience and fit your career goals. While concentrations are not required, students typically fulfill one to three from the list below:

  • Accounting
  • Analytic Finance
  • Analytic Management
  • Econometrics and Statistics
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • General Management
  • International Business
  • Managerial and Organizational Behavior
  • Marketing Management
  • Operations Management
  • Strategic Management

More insight can be found here: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/curriculum

68. Guest Question: Sara, did you start your startup before attending Booth or while in school? how has booth helped you grow your startup? could you have gotten where you're at now without the  support and resources that Booth offers?

* Sara Raffa: I started my startup at Booth. Came into school with dozens of different ideas and then went forward with this one after school began. I've talked a lot in previous answers about how Booth has helped me grow my startup and I believe without any doubt that I wouldn't be where I am today with Eislee without the help of Booth.

69. Guest Question: Hi I am a current prospective student, who is currently a chemist working in start-up and I'm looking to transition over to the entrepreneurial side.  Do you often have individuals applying from biotech and how easy is this transition for individuals?

* Kim Masessa: I encourage you to Connect with a Student through our tool to find someone with  similar interests and backgrounds.  (https://apply.chicagobooth.edu/portal/studentvolunteer)

70. Guest Question: Does the Polsky Center have any particular industry areas of focus, or is it relatively industry agnostic?

* Micheline Pergande: No, we are industry agnostic.

71. Guest Question: Also, I know you have the social enterprise initiative for student interested in social enterprise/entrepreneurship but outside of SEI engagements, what other opportunities do you offer students who are interested in this area of business?

* Ally Batty: Booth has a very active student group called the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital (EVC) group that hosts lots of events, competitions, and programs for students interested in pursuing a career or internship in social enterprise. The Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation also has lots going on around these issues. And there's also lots going on across the university around social entrepreneurship, in particular at the Harris School of Public Policy, the Law School, and the Chicago Innovation Exchange.

72. Guest Question: Hi, as exchange students who spend just one semester (typically 3 months), how realistic is it to form or be part of a team and take part in NVC  and/or take up lab courses that I believe run for more than 3 months?

* Katie Boran: Hi Saran- I can't quite speak to this from personal experience, but there may be restrictions on exchange students forming NVC teams. It's a process that lasts much longer than the 3 months you'll be here for.  That being said, if there are existing teams that look interesting to you- I'm sure they would welcome extra help and it would be fairly easy to network and connect with them. This would probably be the more reasonable option. With regards to lab courses, some may be restricted to full time students only-especially the more popular ones. But you can always connect with individual professors and see if it's a possibility for you.

73. Guest Question: Thanks for the answer Sara! I have experience launching e-commerce brands too and I was wondering about your exact situation. If you dedicate your time at booth to a startup and decide not to continue with it, how does getting a job work for you? I assume you missed the normal cycle because you were focused on Eislee.

* Sara Raffa: You definitely have time to explore your startup before missing out on other job opportunities. Investment Banking is really the only job you need to recruit for right away, since most offers come through internships (although there are always exceptions). If you're interested in consulting, you can re-recruit at the start of your 2nd year - I know some people that interned at startups and are now going to work fulltime in consulting. For me, I knew I didn't want consulting or banking. I knew I would either keep working on my startup or recruit for a really early stage startup, and those startups are all hiring just in time, so you really can't start the process until spring. So I didn't miss out on anything I would've wanted, and you definitely have time to explore and make decisions about next steps.

74. Guest Question: Ms. Ally Batty, my questions about additional opportunities and resources for the social enterprise career track was for you.

* Ally Batty: Think I answered this one just now. Let me know if not!

75. Guest Question: Thank you for your time! I'm currently in Chicago and looking for a pre-MBA internship of sorts - any advice / tips / resources in the start-up space? Or through Polsky?

* Micheline Pergande: Yes, if you are an admit student who is coming to Booth this fall, and want a head-start on your pre-MBA entrepreneurship experience, get in touch with the Polsky center. We run our summer accelerator program and there is often an opportunity to join a team if you have a background in what they are looking for. We also can provide access to our Chicago Innovation Exchange (Summer@CIE program) or just their open work space...plus we can provide access to our office at 1871. Reach out and make an appointment with our staff and we can direct you to these resources (polskycenter.com)

76. Guest Question: This is for any of the current students. What according to you has been the biggest value add that Booth has provided to your entrepreneurial experiences?

* Gal Skarishevsky: Booth takes a very quantitative approach to many of the problems. This helps you to base decisions on facts. This is super valuable when you need to convince a VC/Co-Founder that your idea really worth it.

77. Guest Question: Hello - I similarly currently run a professional services tech company, focused on building a CRM application for professionals to better manage their relationships. A key reason for why I'd love to attend Booth is to find business partners in my peers.  Can any of you speak to the best ways to build a startup team at Booth with your peers? Sara, perhaps from your own experience?

* Sara Raffa: Hi - there are so many ways to go about doing this. I personally found my business partner during First Day, and she became one of my closest friends. She's since decided to drop off and pursue another idea (she's doing NVC this year and I'm very excited for her) but we had a great experience working together. Other people find their teams by attending different startup events. NVC does pitch nights and networking nights to help building your team. EVC has social events which makes it easy to network with other people interested in startups. So there isn't an exact formula, but a lot of ways to find someone within this awesome network (and within the greater UChicago system). Also, if you do NVC, there are lot of students that will likely want to help out even if they may not be looking to join fulltime.

78. Guest Question: I would like to know something about the Search Fund model at Chicago Booth? there is any mentorship? advice?

* Micheline Pergande: YES! One of our entrepreneurs-in-residence (Alex Hodgkin) is fully dedicated to supporting our amazing search fund/ETA offerings...we run a joint conference with Kellogg in the fall, but we also have an ETA class at Booth, an investor summit that helps our students/alums raise their initial investment (in last year's first summit, all five Booth presenters were funded), and we have an ETA newsletter that you can subscribe to on our website. Alex would be happy to tell you more about our ETA/search fund offerings!

79. Guest Question: For any current student, when considering other MBA programs, why did you choose Booth?

* Katie Boran: I have a liberal arts background and worked in a very unconventional industry prior to Booth, and so I wanted to end up at a program that I felt would challenge me to stretch beyond my comfort zone. I can say that Booth has definitely done that (in a good way) and I'm a better person because of it. I think regardless of what you work experience or background is you will always find ways to challenge yourself here. Also- I've always loved Chicago and was looking for an excuse to move here!

80. Guest Question: Are there any companies participating in the PE/VC Labs from the cleantech space?

* Dominik Hertzler: http://polskycenter.com/pelab/internship.html

There are definitely funds with interest in cleantech space in the PE/VC lab. Given Michael Polsky is the founder and CEO of Invenergy there is a very strong focus on that area at Booth and in Chicago in general

81. Guest Question: For international students pursuing entrepreneurship, is it possible to start a venture in the States and employ yourself?, for what I know, visa restrictions may limit this option, and whether or not  your venture is US-based, is it possible for international students to decelerate their MBA in the case that their start-up requires more of the time available with a full academic course load?…

* Dominik Hertzler: This obviously depends on where you are from and what the US visa rules with your country are. However, there is an amazing session from a US law firm focusing on international entrepreneurs and they answer all questions you could possible have. What I remembered, it is definitley possible to start a venture in the US as an international student but there are some things you have to be aware of.

82. Guest Question: which day is the last day in which I could receive the Admission Notice of Sep.2016?

* Kim Masessa: Our application deadlines and decisions dates can be found on our website (https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/admissions), we will have the 2016-2017 dates posted in the next couple months.

83. Guest Question: Building off the part-time work question - do you have any tips or suggestions for summer opportunities before the MBA starts?

* Katie Boran: HI Chantelle- it depends on what industry you want to focus on, but I would suggest starting the search process now. I seem to remember many companies (including start-ups) started advertising pre-MBA internships around this time so that people could hit the ground running in May/June. If you have specific companies in mind that you're interested in that don't have a formal internship program, I imagine the timeline looks quite different that that they might be more flexible with hours, start dates, etc.

84. Guest Question: Thanks, Micheline. The Collaboratorium sound amazing! Could you also comment on Booth's toe up with the UIUC Engineering School? How does that work?

* Micheline Pergande: There are many opportunities with our UofI partnership...too many to list here, so feel free to reach me offline (I'm listed on the staff page of the Polsky Center website), but the purpose of the partnership is to allow any student (and alum) of Booth to have access to the same resources that any UofI student (or alum) has and vice-versa. Our facilities, classes, programs, etc. are all open to UofI students/alums and we have access to their resources. The students (like David Rabie of Tovala) who come to Polsky with a particular need that would benefit from a UofI resource can reach out to Gorana Kolar who manages our UofI partner opportunities...it's usually a concierge, individualized approach

85. Guest Question: For the current students, how collegiate would you say the environment at Booth is? What's that culture like? Given the flexible course offering, I've heard it may not be as easy to develop relationships there as it could be at other fixed-program schools.

* Dominik Hertzler: I obviously cannot speak to other schools but the flexible curriculum, if anything, has helped me meet more people and get a better exposure to everybody at Booth. Plus all incoming students are split into Squads of 65 students who you interact with closely and take a leadership class. I am blown away every day by how helpful everybody is, the amount of social events taking place everyday and the friendships developing here.

86. Guest Question: How common is it for students to continue working at their internship during the year and juggle being a full time student and part time employee?

* Dominik Hertzler: If they do the PE/VC lab it is very common. I started working with my summer VC fund in December 2015 and work 2 days per week for them. Additionally, I am taking a company through NVC with my team and taking a full class load. Obviously that is a busy quarter and not for everybody but it is definitely possible. Working during the school year can be a nice break from class and obviously is appreciated by future employees

87. Guest Question: What are the size of the PE/VC funds that participate in the PE/VC Lab?

* Micheline Pergande: depending on the firm and their investment size/strategy...we see all sizes!

88. Guest Question: I’ll direct this one at Micheline: what is - in your opinion - the coolest start-up to come through Polsky?

* Micheline Pergande: too hard to choose! LuminAID one of our social NVC teams who won a $200K investment from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank ranks top due to their amazing technology and social mission to offer support after a natural disaster.

89. Guest Question: Thank you all for hosting this session.  This question can be directed to anyone.  What types of opportunities are available for students who plan to work full time in other industries (i.e. consulting, operations management, etc.) but who also want support starting a non-profit venture/startup?  Do you have any recommendations for pursuing both passions?

* Ally Batty: Great question! Serving on a nonprofit board of directors - for a smaller, start-up nonprofit or a larger, established organization -is a great way to give back and stay connected to the social impact world outside your 9-5 job. Booth's Social Enterprise Initiative has lots of opportunities for students and alumni who are interested in serving on board (here: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/students/making-an-impact/nonprofit-board-service). You can be involved in impact investing or venture philanthropy without working in it full-time. You can build those skills and connections at Booth and then transition it into a post-graduate activity. Info on that here: http://research.chicagobooth.edu/sei/students/making-an-impact/impact-investing-and-venture-philanthropy

90. Guest Question: Question for those who participated in the NVC, how did you pick your partners/team members?

* Dominik Hertzler: I picked my team based on a group I was in the first quarter, called Entrepreneurial Discovery. We developed a good idea and continued it through NVC. Many other teams find each other through word of mouth. People talk a lot about their projects and are always happy for help. Additionally, there is a session pre-NVC where teams looking for help can pitch their idea and ask for more team members.

91. Guest Question: What support does Booth offer for Non-VC/Startup students interested in typical PE (outside of PE/VC lab)?

* Dominik Hertzler: Career Services will sit with you and develop a career plan, they help you with alumni contacts and the PE club organizes regular trips to PE centers of the world to meet with funds and network. Additionally, there is a PE competition between Chicago and Oxford University with the winners flying to London and meeting with PE funds there. In addition, the Polsky center has mentors other resources available to help you in your job search.

92. Guest Question: how do we get access to the transcript of this chat?

* Kim Masessa: The transcript will be posted on our Chicago Booth website within a few days.

93. Guest Question: hi, i am an international student want to know about scope of mba in marketing at Booth

* Kim Masessa: I'd recommend you check-out the following webpages for more insight into Marketing at Booth: https://www.chicagobooth.edu/programs/full-time/academics/curriculum/marketing-management and https://research.chicagobooth.edu/kilts

94. Guest Question: Hello - I wanted to know do you think that you can be over looked by PE/VC firms having just a banking/financial background, when it comes to firms looking to get into certain sectors? If so, how do you go about diversifying your background or is it as simple as having relative work experience (i.e working at tech or energy company instead of a financial institution)?

* Dominik Hertzler: The relevant working experience is definitely a big factor and hard to create on the fly during your MBA. Having a financial and banking background definitely helps, especially for PE recruiting. Many students who apply and get in have no previous financial background, so having that part nailed already sets you apart nicely from some of the other applicants.