The MBA Road to Startup Success

MBA degrees have become the most popular graduate degree in the U.S. Every year approximately 200,000 new master’s degrees in business in administration are awarded from across the country.

Most people think that MBAs are only for business executives that want to make their way up the corporate ladder. However, MBAs can also help startup entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground. In fact, a good MBA can offer a short cut to startup success. Entrepreneurs can gain state-of-the-art industry-know how before investing time and money into a startup idea that may or may not be profitable.

Business school incubator program
photo credit: Sebastiaan Ter Burg / Flickr

There are three main reasons why MBA grads are better prepared for starting a business compared to their MBA-less peers:

1. Support From B-School Incubators

The main advantage that MBA grads have over their competition is support from a startup incubator.

Darden School of Business, London School of Business, and Harvard all have incubators for young entrepreneurs that are brimming with ideas. The incubator can provide access to start-up capital, brand development, constructive feedback, and even potential customers.

The standard benefits that come with a business school incubator include:

  • An experienced business advisor for one-to-one counseling,
  • weekly and monthly training, networking days with potential co-founders, customers, and angel investors,
  • access to finance, including loans from university donors fund,
  • co-working office space, and
  • discount for business technology such as AWS Activate (Amazon), Microsoft Bizspark, and the Bloomberg terminal.

2. Building a High Net Worth Network

B-schools help entrepreneurs build a professional repertoire with influential contacts such as seed investors, advisors, and highly skilled team members.

Some of the most influential entrepreneurs of the 21st century met their co-founders or venture capitalists while studying in college. For example, Apple Cofounder, Steve Wozniak, met Steve Jobs when he was studying at the University of California, Berkeley. Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, met the Winklevoss twins while studying at Harvard. The list goes on and on. Although, many of them did not finish college, they did make influential contacts that helped boost their business from idea phase to reality.

3. Learning From Others Mistakes

MBA’s can help entrepreneurs develop the skills needed for running a pre-existing business or starting a new venture. Of course, there are other ways to prepare for starting a business, such as gaining experience working in a business. However, spending years gaining experience may incur costly mistakes from learning by doing.

Learning can be extremely expensive and embarrassing for young Entrepreneurs. In the worse case, it can lead to being fired or to destroying a startup. A good MBA program can help entrepreneurs learn about the most common mistakes in the field without having to learn them the hard way.



Overall, an MBA can help aspiring entrepreneurs gain access to world-class business advice, connections with influential contacts, finance capital, technical support, professional training, and a workspace. However, earning an MBA is a difficult goal to say the least.

Homework assignments, group projects, and exams can be intimidating. Many students report feeling intimidated or unprepared for their MBA coursework. However, mentoring companies, such as ACAD WRITE can help students throughout their MBA studies. ACAD WRITE has helped thousands of students do research for business plans, prepare Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat (SWOT) analyses, and review company financials such as balance sheets, cash flow statements, budgets, and forecasts, amongst other assignments. MBAs can be challenging; however, a good MBA can be a short cut to building a successful company within a few months to years.