March 4th, 2012
With the success in recent years of such companies as the Gilt Groupe and Rent the Runway, the fashionista community at Harvard Business School (HBS) is no longer flying under the radar. A recent Xconomy article highlights the significant number of fashion tech start-ups coming out of HBS. These include Snapette, BaubleBar and Birchbox, among others. This may reflect the increase in the number of women at HBS over the years—up to 39% for the Class of 2013 from a recent historical average of 30%—as well as an increase in the percentage of students pursuing entrepreneurship right after graduation. Over the past three years, this number has hovered at approximately 10%, which is similar to what it was during the last Internet bubble. HBS is also building up its resources for students interested in starting a business, including increasing the number of entrepreneurship electives and programs at the Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship. For instance, the Minimum Viable Product Fund provides mentorship and seed funding to students working on a start-up. So if you are interested in the business side of new fashion-related ventures, consider giving HBS a strong second look.