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MBA Entrepreneurs Get Start-up Success at AGSM In Sydney

MBA entrepreneurs at AGSM are given the chance to immerse themselves in Sydney-based start-ups as part of a 12-week program.

Sat Nov 30 2013

Success stories from entrepreneurial MBAs have begun to emerge from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at UNSW Australia. The business school, a consistent figure the country’s MBA Rankings, ran a 12-week Entrepreneurship and Strategy course, giving students the opportunity to immerse themselves in start-ups.

Global MBA entrepreneurship is on the rise and AGSM is one of many business schools that are giving their students a head start. The project saw a group of students enter 17 different self-nominated Sydney-based start-up companies to tackle strategic business issues.

AGSM MBA Nikee Pomper has since accepted a place with a start-up that she interned with. Instead of pursuing a corporate career, she will join a six-person team at Fame & Partners, an online formal clothing start-up. She realised that she enjoyed the challenges posed by a start-up and becomes the company’s the Chief Operations Officer.

Another student, who is undertaking a USA market entry strategy role with a start-up, will accompany the business to America in March to spearhead the project.

Dr Jeffrey Tobias, Director of AGSM’s Entrepreneurship and Strategy course, said he was overwhelmed by the response from the start-up community in Sydney.

“As we suspected, immersing the students in real life environments with real strategic problems is the best way to get them involved in entrepreneurship,” he said.

“From my work in this industry I knew it was something that would be popular. But I had no idea of the great need people obviously have for this kind of support.”

Each of the businesses involved in the project posed strategic problems for the students to work through. They developed market entry strategies, expansion plans and strategic business plans to fulfil a need with within the companies.

As well as a structured report to the CEO of the business, the students will present the results of their work to an assessment panel on Thursday December 5.

The program is supported by Grand Prix Capital, the Sydney Seed Fund, Google, Booz&Co and The Founder Institute, although no financial support is provided from these entities. 

“The links between AGSM and the start-up community are very positive and we’re really keen to foster and grow them,” added Tobias. “We’ve had huge enthusiasm from the investment community. If you want to start your own business, and now is a great time, do an MBA at AGSM first.”

BusinessBecause reported this week in an SME Profile that another AGSM MBA, Kushagra Bhatia, launched a start-up in Sydney. He left a career with Westpac Banking Corporation, one of the biggest banks in Australia, to join the AGSM program and launched the business before graduating.

The company, Specials for Today, offers special discount deals for various stores and businesses across Sydney. Kushagra was inspired to launch the start-up after taking an Entrepreneurship and Strategy class at AGSM.

Meanwhile, the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report for 2013-14 has revealed that Australian MBAs have the highest starting salaries in the Asia-Pacific region. Australian MBAs have “stellar salaries” because of the strength of the Australian dollar, according to the report.

Macquarie University in New South Wales has one of the highest salary figures of any business school in the world at $US143,583, the report says.

MBA graduates from four other Australian business schools averaged in excess of $US100,000, including Melbourne Business School ($US112,065) and the Brisbane Graduate School of Business ($US104,756).

AGSM’s Entrepreneurship and Strategy program will run again in 2014. For more information, visit their page by clicking here.