That's a great question! I'll address it in two parts.
Network: network is critical no matter what you choose to do. The network gives you insight into the school's culture, it provides context for what your experience will be while in school, and it gives you an indication of the reach you will have after graduating. Many of the top programs boast very tightly knit alumni networks (e.g. Tuck - notoriously strong in this department, but smaller than others). As an entrepreneur your network will give you the inroads you need if you pursue venture capital or look to sell B2B. Also, it gives you a network of potential mentors and sponsors which can be very beneficial. And last but not least, the strength of your network is a testament to the brand of your MBA. Simply put, network is one of the most important parts of your MBA.
Babson: the tl;dr version - no. And here's why. Babson has a great entrepreneurship program and it is ranked #1. However, rankings alone don't speak much to the total value of that program. There are quite a few things to consider. For one, how is the rest of the MBA program and the broader school structured? Do they also value innovation and creativity? For example, look at MIT. They are founded on innovation. They define it. So entrepreneurship there has a very real and tactical role. Companies are started there and you get to work across programs and schools with cross functional teams to launch your ideas. Secondly, the brand. If you ever go before a VC firm or present your business case, the degrees of you and your partners count for a lot. Will VCs respect Babson, sure, it's a great school. But will it look better with it saying Stanford GSB? Without a doubt. Lastly, what opportunities does the school open up? Not only through the network parts which I mentioned above, but also through the program itself. Do they have strong community ties to local entrepreneurs and VC/PE firms? Can they get you the exposure locally, regionally, and nationally that you are looking for? I'm not saying Babson fails on all these criteria or it is a bad program, please don't get me wrong. I just believe there are far higher ranked programs that also provide a much stronger foundation despite a lower rank in entrepreneurship specifically.
There is a whole school of thought that true entrepreneurs don't need an MBA (and I won't get into that here, I think both sides can be the right answer depending on the person) but an MBA also provides you with the skills and education you need beyond just an entrepreneurship certificate. How is the school on general management? On finance? On marketing? As someone looking to branch out on their own, look for programs that bring the best to bear on all these topics.
Does that help?
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