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MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship

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For entrepreneurship, MIT or INSEAD?

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MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 15:27
Hi all,

I am in a sort of dilemma right now (good one). Was accepted to both, MIT & INSEAD, and am looking for an entrepreneurship career Post-MBA. I'm near 30's, from an emerging market (in America), and will probably start a CGP company (still thinking) after my MBA.

My research tells me that both schools offer good entrepreneurship focus. My estimated cost w expenses are INSEAD: $125 K USD, MIT: $190 K USD (inc. partner). I can expect to reduce 20% of the cost of each of them w scholarships or by participating in the TA program (MIT).

From INSEAD I expect to obtain a richer network, a more global experience (which I like), a lower cost (and opportunity cost), entrepreneurship and business plan "coaching".

From MIT I would expect to get a more focused entrepreneurship track (2 years, more time for planning, etc.), a better manufacturing and techie experience (love it), a prestigious school name that can open doors w customers and suppliers, and a school that is closer to the market I will focus on.

On the other hand, I am being presented the opportunity to lead a business, which would postpone (maybe cancel) my MBA plans.

My logic says "No MBA if you want to be an entrepreneur, you will carry a financial burden that might delay your intentions", my heart says "do it now or you will never have that 1-2 year experience to refocus and plan". If graduated from an MBA, I would earn maybe $55 K p year at the beginning (entrepreneur), and would have to spend nearly $15 K p year to pay off my MBA loans.

I guess there might not be many entrepreneurship focused readers, but if there are, I could appreciate your opinions and points of view. I guess the question also applies to "One Year vs Two Years MBA for Entrepreneurs"
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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 15:39
dreamcatcher wrote:
Hi all,

I am in a sort of dilemma right now (good one). Was accepted to both, MIT & INSEAD, and am looking for an entrepreneurship career Post-MBA. I'm near 30's, from an emerging market (in America), and will probably start a CGP company (still thinking) after my MBA.

My research tells me that both schools offer good entrepreneurship focus. My estimated cost w expenses are INSEAD: $125 K USD, MIT: $190 K USD (inc. partner). I can expect to reduce 20% of the cost of each of them w scholarships or by participating in the TA program (MIT).

From INSEAD I expect to obtain a richer network, a more global experience (which I like), a lower cost (and opportunity cost), entrepreneurship and business plan "coaching".

From MIT I would expect to get a more focused entrepreneurship track (2 years, more time for planning, etc.), a better manufacturing and techie experience (love it), a prestigious school name that can open doors w customers and suppliers, and a school that is closer to the market I will focus on.

On the other hand, I am being presented the opportunity to lead a business, which would postpone (maybe cancel) my MBA plans.

My logic says "No MBA if you want to be an entrepreneur, you will carry a financial burden that might delay your intentions", my heart says "do it now or you will never have that 1-2 year experience to refocus and plan". If graduated from an MBA, I would earn maybe $55 K p year at the beginning (entrepreneur), and would have to spend nearly $15 K p year to pay off my MBA loans.

I guess there might not be many entrepreneurship focused readers, but if there are, I could appreciate your opinions and points of view. I guess the question also applies to "One Year vs Two Years MBA for Entrepreneurs"


Lead "a business" or lead your business? Also, depends on the business. Depending on the business and industry, suppliers and customers could care or less about your degree. However, in certain industries some customers may care. B-School can help your business get started and provide the right contacts for financing, but, again, depends on the business. If you have a great idea for a business capitalize on it now. However, if you are doing something that is not that extraordinary then go to b-school. In other words, only forgo an MBA if you have a worthwhile business or business opportunity.
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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 11 Mar 2011, 17:35
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Being in love with the idea of entrepreneurship (without a specific business in mind) is sort of like being in love with the idea of marriage (without a specific person in mind).

Too many people have romantic notions of what entrepreneurship is about, and it's what draws them - the vague idea of independence, being your own boss, etc. And that romanticism dies VERY fast when you are in the thick of running a biz. Now, of course most people who have run their own businesses would have a hard time wanting to go back to work at a big company, it's not without a lot of tradeoffs that they are willing to accept.

How successful you are at running your business has almost nothing to do with "entrepreneurship" as a concept or some romantic notion or passion for "being my own boss." The success of the business lives and dies by your FOCUS on the actual business itself - whether that business is your own, or happens to be a division within a larger company.

Don't force the issue (i.e. "I am going to have a business idea by the time I graduate") because it will be driven more by your desire to be an "entrepreneur" more than your desire to make the specific business work - if you force the issue, there's a greater chance it won't work out because your passion won't be specific enough to the business itself and you'll likely not have the stomach or heart to endure the tough times (which are inevitable).

Of course, keep an open mind. A lot of b-school alums do end up starting their own businesses - but most of them don't do it right out of school. It's not because they can't, but simply because most don't have a SPECIFIC business they want to start. And most of the businesses that do get started by alums tend to come from a more organic and natural place (i.e. circumstances and experience, rather than some 100% theoretical or abstract "problem solving").

It's easy to get caught up in this mad rush to achieve career nirvana within the first 5 years post-MBA - rather than seeing yourself on a much longer path (hopefully). A lot of alums start businesses anywhere from 3-15 years after b-school. You can afford to be more patient than you actually feel (i.e. having to do everything "now" and get results "now").

So when it comes to schools, worry less about "entrepreneurship" and more on which school you'll likely enjoy more and yield a richer life experience. Especially when you're dealing with two schools that are roughly comparable in terms of overall reputation.

And finally, once you start a business, no one cares about your pedigree (which school you went to). Employees care that they get their paycheck on time. Customers care about getting the product you sold them. Investors only care that you are running the business responsibly. The government only cares that you pay your taxes. It's really easy for many MBA prospectives, students (and even recent alums) to overstate pedigree - like as soon as you get an MBA the whole world will bow at your feet or that they should treat you differently.

Again, don't get too caught up in wanting to start a business for the sake of it. If you have a vague idea, then let it simmer - if it evolves into something compelling to the point where you are absolutely OBSESSED to the point where you are willing to drop out of school - then it may be a business worth starting (because you care that much). Otherwise, keep an open mind - and it's perfectly fine to work for someone else post-MBA for a few years, and have your life/career evolve to a point where an opportunity presents itself that you may find compelling enough to really pursue - and not because you're interested in "entrepreneurship" but more because you are obsessed with the specific business idea itself.
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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 15 Mar 2011, 13:25
where do you envision growing your business? in the us?
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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2011, 19:33
First of all thanks for your replies. Really good input which has made me think a lot. Sorry I didn´t answer before (technical problems). Before getting into it: I decided to go to B-School (private message if you want to know which).

Lgomez: Lead a business of which I will/would be partner (with minority). Ultimately, my involvement was really complicated (long story).

Alex:

Your post was great and made me go through a lot of thinking. Must say I agree with many of your points, don´t agree on others (maybe experience will teach me otherwise).

The romanticism of being an entrepreneur does die really fast when stressful moments come. I´ve lived them, put of weight, gone into depression, and shed a stress tear. I quit a job to become an entrepreneur. For some moments, I could have payed to go back a couple of months back to get my job back. Those experiences came with a cost, and I would not want to live them again, but I am glad I did, and I know that next time I won´t make the same mistakes. I don´t know what I´ll do next, but I´ll definitely try something. Which takes me to my next point.

For some reason, I do feel the need to begin NOW (or ASAP). Why? I think Eureka moments are important, but I don´t think that waiting 10 or 15 years for them to come is the correct strategy for me. At my job, there was rarely any time for me to sit and work through an idea to develop (working 9 am to 8 pm at least for 5 days a week). After quitting my job, I have become more observant and very motivated to develop new ideas (still haven´t capitalized on many). I love that feeling, and as an employee it was hard for me to find it, perhaps at a less demanding job I would have.

Also, as years go by it may be more difficult for me to take entrepreneurial risks. I can´t deny that the fear of not being able to afford family expenses would keep me at a job, probably forever. I can afford those risks now, maybe not later.

In my case, I will try and force the issue ("I am going to have a business plan by the time I graduate [and will have pitched it several times]"). I am going with that mindset because I think that´s the way it works for me, maybe in 2 years I will think differently (Apple ad here), I´ll let you know. I don´t plan for my business to be Google 5 years after graduation, but I do plan to work hard on it for 15 to 25 years for it to become something of value to society.

In the end, I took your advice: "worry less about "entrepreneurship" and more on which school you'll likely enjoy more and yield a richer life experience". I chose the one my heart felt more in place with, and where I believe I can obtain a better experience for what I am looking for.

BTW, both schools are INCREDIBLE, in the end it was more about fit and circumstance. It´s hard to give advice on "which is better", I realized both are, but in the end, one is better... for me.
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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2011, 00:01
hello everyone, I am planning to go for an mba in entrep. as well but as some have suggested above, i would like to work in a reg. job before starting off a business few yrs down the line. I am trying to find out what are the possible jobs for an IT background person with an MBA in entrep. ?
long term goal is an IT startup so do the IT companies hire entrep. MBA'S for mgmt or consultant positions? what are the other options?

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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 17 Apr 2011, 22:15
Shalom!
[b]I am glad that this topic was posted. I too am considering an MBA in Entrepreneurship. I recently graduated from Belmont University's PBBA program. When I returned to school I planned to become an accountant but lost interest after noticing the way the major accounting firms like Ernst & Young and Deloitte would treat me when they would have interviews on campus. Don't get me wrong I like accounting but decided against going after the CPA license during my senior year. I am currently writing my first book that covers an historical event. I have four books to write. I went to Belmont recently to have a talk with the professor in charge of the Entrepreneur emphasis of Belmont's PMBA program. I asked him how would the Entrepreneurship MBA degree help me to promote my books. He said I really don't need the degree to do that. He said that I can start a business that helps me promote my books without the degree. I am an adult student. All I need now is to take the GMAT in order to continue my education. Not many people get the opportunity to obtain a Master's degree. I would hate to pass up this opportunity.
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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 04 May 2011, 15:02
IMHO, going to get an MBA with the purpose of going into Entpr. Is a bit of wasted time and money. For those who are lucky enough to create a profitable idea, there is very little to be gained from a MBA, name brand or not.
Being an Entpr. Is one hell of a ride. There is no way to really prep for it and a degree is certainly not going to make or break it, you wil just know more than Joe blow inventor. But if Joe blow inventor was really on fire for his idea, it would be a successful venture almost regardless... There are so many resource you can tap nowadays to help you with a business knowledge gap. I mean shoot- in the time it took me to write this post, I could have made my own LLC (not really but you get the idea).

Not all things in life are black and white, but Entpr. Is like the Nike slogan.... Just do it!

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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship [#permalink] New post 23 May 2011, 09:32
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MIT will have much better entrepreneur program at INSEAD. INSEAD is basically a factory for consultants in Europe and Asia. MIT has a great entrepreneur program, especially in technology. They host an annual start up challenge/elevator pitch contest, which attracts a lot of VCs. The parent institution is known for spinning off technologies. Even if you are don't doing a tech startup, you can learn a lot from that entrepernuerial atmosphere.
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Re: MIT vs INSEAD vs Entrepreneurship   [#permalink] 23 May 2011, 09:32
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