MBA News: Entrepreneur MBAs Discuss the Value of Student Networks

Most aspiring MBAs already understand the value of a wide alumni network, but those who hope to establish a new venture before graduating (or soon after) should also be aware of the importance and power of one’s MBA student community while still in the program. London Business School (LBS) alumnus Nitzan Yudan, who contributed to mbaMission’s “What I Learned At…” series in 2014, recently told the Financial Times how he benefitted from the input and assistance of his fellow LBS students while developing his company, FlatClub. The premise of FlatClub is to assist individuals in providing and/or finding accommodations for medium-term stays in cities like New York and London while remaining within a specific alumni circle. While at LBS, Yudan launched the company among fellow students—and saw the listed apartments expand from the initial five to 70 in two weeks. Today, approximately 10% of LBS’s alumni and students use FlatClub. “The hardest challenge of an entrepreneur is doing the first sales,” Yudan told the Financial Times. “LBS provided me with these.”

Vikas Narula, a graduate of the Global Executive MBA program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, had a similar experience when establishing his venture Keyhubs, a management software and consulting company. He received seed funding with the help of a classmate and reached out to his entire class via email for support and feedback—decisions that helped him successfully launch the company. Indeed, Narula explained to the Financial Times that one of his tips for MBA students and candidates is to reach out, as he did: “I wanted to be sure that they [fellow classmates] were aware of my work, as they could become customers or might know people in their network who would make good customers.”

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