Chicago Booth is just a finance school, right? Wrong. In the past, we have discussed the strengths of the school’s marketing program, to some readers’ surprise. We also feel that not enough applicants are aware of Chicago Booth’s robust “hands-on” entrepreneurial offerings, which are available through its Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Where to begin?
Chicago Booth’s practical academic programs extend into the field of entrepreneurship with the school’s “New Venture and Small Enterprise Lab.” Herein, students work within a host firm or take on a dedicated project in a class designed to train those who intend to ultimately join start-ups or provide consulting services to them. In addition, the Polsky Center sponsors the annual Edward L. Kaplan New Venture Challenge, a business plan competition that in 2016 awarded capital in spaces including legal advocacy and cause marketing.
Further, entrepreneurially minded Chicago Booth students can apply for funding from the Hyde Park Angels (HPA), a group of former Chicago Booth Executive MBA students who make investments in start-ups—in 2016, for example, the group invested more than $8M. Although the HPA is an arms-length organization and does not source investments exclusively from Chicago Booth, it maintains a connection to the Polsky Center, which supports the HPA’s mission. So, students hoping to get in front of the HPA’s investment committee will have a built-in networking advantage. Further, the HPA offers students the opportunity to intern as associates and gain venture capital experience while pursuing their MBA at Chicago Booth.
Believe it or not, we are just scratching the surface here. Again, Chicago Booth is most definitely not “just a finance school.”
For more information on Chicago Booth and other leading MBA programs, check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.