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MBA Entrepreneurship: Find Your Dream Team At Business School

MBA business founders must recruit someone who can make up for weak spots, and business school provides the perfect place to pick your dream team.

Mon Aug 4 2014

BusinessBecause
Eduardo Costa enrolled at business school with an entrepreneurial ambition – but turning an idea into a business reality required human capital.

The MBA graduate came up with a raft of solid socially impactful plans, but needed help to see them come to fruition. “I thought the MBA would be the perfect environment to not just benefit from knowledge, but to find partners for a new business idea,” he said.

That quest for co-founders led him to the Meaningful Institute, a split between a consulting and personal development and coaching business.

“Most MBAs that have an idea follow a set-path: create a project, develop it, look at partners and then raise funds,” said Eduardo, who joined forces with classmates Julia Arno, Jimmy de Koning and Mohamed Rachid. “But what we did was create a team first, and then look for an idea.”

The idea bloomed – they hope to help young people with a coaching program to develop personal and business skills in disadvantaged areas in Brazil – but Eduardo would not have been able to do it alone.

ESADE [Business School] has the entrepreneurial mind-set which is something I was looking for, and on top of that it's a school that fosters social business,” he said. “I wanted to find peers that would allow me to start-up a social business in an international environment.”

Eduardo has been busy beefing up his idea alongside his MBA studies. The co-founders ran a pilot in April, and launched their website last month. Their first program in Brazil will run in November this year, and a two-week course costs €2,200.

Not all entrepreneurs are as happy to bring co-founders on board, or acknowledge that other people might be able to run parts of their business better than they can.

But the most powerful partnerships are about more than filling vacant positons. Effective hiring is an essential tool for start-ups, and it is also one of the biggest stumbling blocks.

On a recent visit to Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that to succeed in entrepreneurship, MBAs must learn to recruit. “That was the most valuable thing I added to Microsoft. It’s the lifeblood. I didn’t know much, but I got the hiring machine going because I interviewed for a lot of jobs,” Steve Said.

Most businesses will need a management partner who has a complimentary strength. Business schools provide the perfect place to bounce ideas off peers, before eventually finding someone who has similar goals.

Spreading a message through his network was how Ammar Halabi found his dream team. After advertising for a technical manager to join his fledgling mobile application firm, he found Bassem Barake, a fellow MBA from a separate business school.

Bassem, a graduate of London’s Cass Business School, helped him co-found Funryde last year. Ammar came up with the idea while in London Business School and the pair connected remotely through Skype sessions.

Ammar took the chief executive’s role, while Bassem became technical lead. “I have really good experience with programming,” Bassem said. He developed the technology with the help of students from Imperial College and City University, Cass’ base. Since launching in February, they have had “more than anticipated downloads”, he added – in the region of 2,000.

For tech businesses in particular, a good management team is essential. Leo Castellanos tied the knot with his business partner after meeting on an executive MBA program at Cass in 2007.

Leo and co-founder Alfredo Ramirez were both raised in Latin America, and shared an instant connection when they met in London. “We were talking about the possibly of taking some proven business models here in the UK to Latin America, and we concentrated on online comparison websites,” said Leo.

“The first thing Alfredo did when he went back to Peru after graduating was put together a pilot, and we launched something right at the end of 2010,” Leo added.

After branding the business as Comparabien the entrepreneurs have expanded into Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile and México.

He worked at nights and at weekends to develop Comparabien from London, and raised finance and plotted an expansion course, while Alfredo was the CEO and face of the business in Latin America.

“The region has been growing somewhere between 8% and 10% in the last 10 years… And we realized if this idea will take off somewhere, it should be in Latin America,” Leo added.

While he developed the idea with his partner, Divya Dhar came up with hers and brought in a co-founder afterward. The Wharton MBA graduate launched Seratis, a medical communications application, last year.

After coming second place in the Verizon Powerful Answers Award earlier this year, the co-founders banked $850,000 for their start-up.

The Seratis app itself is in beta-stage. The company is small with just three official employees. They hope to hire a fourth, a launch manager, soon.

Seratis is live in one hospital in Texas. “Everyone else is in the pipeline,” said Divya. Her target is ten sign-ups by the end of 2014.

She met Lane Rettig on the MBA, and he is now the CTO of their firm. He has a background in software development, while Divya had a lengthy career as a doctor in New Zealand. “Him with his technology and me with my [medical] background – we are combining our knowledge,” she added.

Student Reviews

Bayes Business School

Student

Verified

31/10/2023

On Campus

Best Journalism school in Europe

When I first stepped onto the campus of City, University of London, I knew I was in for a ride - and not just on the Tube! With its vibrant energy and an impressive repertoire of programs, City U became my home away from home. The Journalism program was kind of a big deal. Rumour was that we were the best in Europe! The lecturers were not just experts in their field; they’re practically journalistic royalty. They were invested, passionate, and had a knack for turning the most flat press release into a riveting news story. With their guidance, I’ve learned to navigate the chaotic world of media like a pro. The campus was a melting pot of every culture, being that we had such a diverse international crowd. Being in the heart of London, I had the world at my fingertips - there was always a new corner to explore, a hidden gem of a cafe to discover, or a street performer! City, University of London wasn't just a university; it was a chapter in my life story that I’ll never forget.

Lydia

Verified

23/02/2023

On Campus

Learning environment

The teacher-learner ration is manageable, giving each learner a chance to gain personal attention. It is also easier following up on the progress of a student, as the numbers per class is not large. the conducive environment for learning includes clean classes, standard desks, world class instructional facilities and the opportunity to engage lecturers even after their sessions. The team spirit at City is above board, with learners getting chance to learn both from instructors and colleagues. This is the university of choice; the place to be.

Nathaniel

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

I liked that each class had a manageable number of learners, making the professor-learner ratio favor knowledge acquisition. I also liked that study schedules were manageable, and not overwhelming. The focus on talents and gifts even within the learning environment makes it possible for learners to achieve the best of their potential, and this has worked to the advantage of those that have schooled at City, University of London

Muhammad

Verified

24/01/2023

On Campus

Classes

The diversity at City University facilitates interactions and is a direction toward the unity of the world. The classes are well built to match the number and needs of all students regardless of the elements of diversity that set people apart. The use of technology in delivery makes learning even more interesting and achievable. At City University there is no distinction pegged on the issues that make people unique.

Dorah

Verified

23/01/2023

On Campus

professors

The team of lecturers at the Uiversity are well experienced. Their level of insight and the methodologies of delivery works for the interes of the leaeners. My learning experience was largely boosted by the level of knowledge of the professors at the institution, and their passion to transfer the same to learners. I appreciate every class I attended because of the level of insight I was able to gather

Nora

Verified

17/12/2022

On Campus

The best university I’ve been to

The campus and the people I've met have made it a wonderful experience. I was reared in a small town with a graduating class of only 88 individuals, so moving to City University was a huge adjustment for me. My dorm has more residents than my whole high school combined! I enjoy the atmosphere here, and everyone is so friendly. Outstanding academic options and a stunning campus. Really great from beginning to end. The educators genuinely love what they do, and the students are ready to learn. On or around college, there is always something to do with friends, and the social scene is particularly warm.

Antonia

Verified

21/11/2022

On Campus

Bayes Business School

As a student at City university attending Bayes Business School I would totally recommend choosing this university as the experience is exceptional with great social networking opportunities . Professors are significantly helpful, delivering with excellence and professionalism. Everyone is happy to help and make you feel welcomed in such an esteem university as City, offering exceptional development and guidance through out the course.

Muhammad

Verified

15/11/2022

On Campus

Economics and Politics

Incredibly amazing university, the way they polish students and help them boost their morale and think intellectually is worthwhile. Many universities have international partnerships to allow exchanges between their students. The most obvious subjects for these opportunities would be those that involve languages, and the study of people and places.

Navya

Verified

11/11/2022

On Campus

Clinical biology

I really like it it’s perfect for me with not too many people and not too few either. All the modules are amazing. I love the toy bar. I love all the societies that I’ma part of. Especially the colour Bollywood society

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