That’s exactly what drove serial entrepreneur Nore Eckerberg to embark on a part-time Executive MBA at Warwick Business School's London base at The Shard. The program instilled in him the confidence and business acumen he needed to launch a successful new fintech venture.
Here are three ways an Executive MBA can help you become a better entrepreneur.
1. You’ll develop concrete business plans
If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably have multiple business ideas. Yet putting these ideas into action can be tricky.
Nore started his entrepreneurial career at a young age: at 14 he was trading in newspapers, and by 16 he'd started his first company, offering IT solutions and installations.
He chose the Warwick Executive MBA as he wanted to formalize the experience and knowledge he’d gained from investing in, advising, and leading multiple ventures over the years.
“As an entrepreneur, you feel exposed because if your business fails, where do you go?” asks Nore. He believed that gaining a formal education would provide him with something to fall back on and would counteract some of the risk associated with launching a venture.
On the Warwick Executive MBA, Nore chose the entrepreneurship track, which provides a deep dive into topics like entrepreneurial finance, new venture creation, and reflective leadership, which can inform the development of your business ideas. Lecturers who have founded successful startups teach many of the courses.
Nore chose to use a startup he had worked on as the case study for courses outside of the entrepreneurship track, such as in accounting and leadership, which involved making strategic decisions based upon the organization. “I could tailor all my courses to focus on startups. This essentially made the whole EMBA into an entrepreneurship program,” he says.
The Executive MBA facilitates group work to help students put their entrepreneurial knowledge into practice, which can involve creatively solving a business problem under time constraints and then delivering a report and presentation on the given topic.
“That's exactly how a startup works—a very small team has to solve a problem right away,” explains Nore.
2. You can receive expert guidance to inform your venture
An Executive MBA can also help you get advice from someone with different experience, who can point out opportunities in areas you might not have considered.
On the Warwick Executive MBA, Nore took advantage of this guidance by participating in an entrepreneurship clinic, which involved him pitching his business idea to an experienced panel of entrepreneurship professors, venture capitalists, and founders of successful startups.
“They gave a lot of good critique and feedback. I stayed in touch with them afterwards and I'm still exchanging emails even a year later,” he says.
The tailored guidance Nore received from the clinic, and the support he received during WBS' CareersPlus executive career coaching sessions, has paid dividends in his entrepreneurial pursuits, he believes.
The program inspired him to co-found his latest fintech venture Dfns, which offers a highly secure and easily integrated infrastructure that helps banks and institutions handle a new wave of digital assets. Techstars and ABN Amro even chose the innovative venture as one of their top 10 future of fintech startups.
Dfns, a startup co-founded by Warwick Executive MBA grad Nore, will be expanding from a team of 10 to 30 people ©Nore Eckerberg
3. You’ll develop your negotiation skills
Fundraising is another crucial component of life as an entrepreneur, and negotiation skills are key when engaging in conversations with stakeholders.
As well as learning about negotiation in multiple courses on the Warwick Executive MBA, the CareersPlus team provides optional skills workshops on topics like negotiation.
For Nore, however, it was the speaker events that taught him some valuable lessons about negotiation and provided an insight into how venture capitalism works.
“The venture capitalists mentioned some trick questions VCs ask that entrepreneurs are unprepared for, such as how entrepreneurs should not disclose what they're looking for as pre-money valuation, rather the VC should give them an offer,” he notes.
This insight and the negotiation skills he picked up on the EMBA have helped Nore when fundraising for his venture. Dfns has received a wealth of interest from investors and has already raised about $1.1 million in funding, with hopes to raise another $6 million more in the next month.
“We are more than confident that we will fill this seed round,” he says, adding that he feels ready to face the challenges associated with launching a rapidly growing fintech venture, thanks to his Warwick Executive MBA.
“I'm really pleased that I completed an EMBA because now I have formal business knowledge to inform the scale-up of the business,” he concludes.
Warwick Business School
BSc Management with Marketing
I loved Warwick business school. The staff is supportive, my academic tutor was key in my development throughout the 3 years and you have to meet with her/him every term. Most professors are helpful and would happily offer support if needed. You also have office hours and can contact professors by email and through the forum. In general, WBS instills in you the willingness to learn and the resilience needed for you for whatever career you choose. Very international community which broadens your horizon and makes you more open minded and self aware. You will most certainly make friends and memories for life. I recommend that you get outside of your comfort zone and try new activities with your friends! WBS also has a great reputation and offers careers opportunities, and careers support throughout the degree. There is the opportunity to do a year abroad to further develop on a personal level. I wasn’t able to do this due to Covid but I would have loved to do it during normal circumstances! Would definitely recommend this. Although Warwick is not a city university, the campus vibe has a lot of advantages, especially at an undergraduate level. You are always around familiar faces, and in a student environment. Moreover, Birmingham is only 20 mins away from Leamington spa and London is only one hour away! Perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway!
Life at Warwick Business School
Pursuing my master's degree at WBS has been a game-changer in my life. With high-quality education, interaction with students from across the world, amazing campus life and much more. I was able to learn about business, finance, project management and strategy all in one course: MSc in Management at WBS. Besides the top-notch education from the best professors, I also enjoyed being a part of fun societies and participating in fun activities such as scavenger hunts and so much more. The school also organises many company visits and interactions which help students get a head start at finding a job. As my course came to an end, I also have a good full-time job placement in my hands. Overall, my experience at WBS was a great one.
The Warwick Business School was like a dream come to life for me. The University ranking speaks for itself, from top-tier facilities to some of the best professors I had to honour to study with I fell in love with my course. Interactions with people from all over the world gave me a newfound confidence in myself. Career prospects after graduating are endless due to the contacts of the universities and the success rate for previous students, it does open a lot of doors for students in various career fields. The campus life is quite good as well with a lot of student groups and clubs, and extra circular activities to engage students at all times. Loved my experience.
A good business school
It is a very cutting-edge, career-oriented business school, all courses are very practical, and the college does a very good job of career service. From the hardware and facilities to the staff, the student experience is at the core of the school and student satisfaction is taken very seriously. I understand that many universities in the UK are relatively traditional and can occasionally be rigid in terms of rules and regulations, and although WBS has a relatively short history, this makes it more innovative and dynamic, which is essential for a business school. The downside is that because it is on the outskirts of Coventry, it is a long bus ride to the city centre, not to mention the difference in experience from a big city like London.
The people, campus, staff. It’s a very enjoyable environment and it’s particularly good for learning and playing sports. The people there are extremely friendly and welcoming and it’s very easy to make friends
What I Like About Warwick
I’ve personally liked my experience at Warwick so far because of the amazing people I’ve gotten to meet and how many opportunities we students are provided with to learn and grow. Within Warwick, I’m part of the Business School, a learning haven comprised of well-structured modules and extremely helpful people All in all, a great place to be :)
One thing that stood out for me was the campus life, you felt like part of a community. The social aspects of the student union and on-campus accommodation meant you can easily get together and enjoy with friends. Additionally, I felt the course provided a variety of subjects allowing me to enhance my knowledge, from Marketing to Law and Finance. Overall I would most definitely recommend this university to friends and family.
Excellence self catered
The campus is very welcoming and Modern. There are many opportunities at Warwick but it is up to the student how do they want to make the most out of it and the staff at the school will definitely helo as much as possible. The location and the ranking have been amazing.
Warwick business school
Warwick business school is one of the best universities around the globe with a solid base of economic and business studies. Moreover, students get a chance to study in a diverse and warm environment with professional stuff which tries to provide the best opportunities for career development. One of the memorable features of the university are great events which sometimes take a place in one of the landmarks of the London city, the Shard building.