This summer, our schedules were packed with classes, meeting new people, industry treks, and evening events like happy hours, panel discussions, and receptions. As a Tech MBA student, a few of my main interests include entrepreneurship, startups, and early stage ventures. At NYU, there’s likely an event on campus that covers any one of these topics every week, but one of my favorites that kicked off summer was called B-School Disrupt.
B-School Disrupt showcases 10 entrepreneurs from NYU, Stanford GSB, and Harvard Business School, and each founder presents 2-3 minute pitches of their startup to the audience, as well as a panel of industry judges who ask questions and provide their perspectives. The event was followed by a networking reception that allowed attendees to connect with the companies.
I attended B-School Disrupt with 14 of my classmates, many of us with entrepreneurial aspirations of our own. In addition to the topics we discuss in the classroom and consulting with companies through Stern Solutions, it’s nice to hear about the businesses that students create and bring to life. A broad range of industries were represented and the startups were as different as they were interesting. People have some crazy ideas! For example, one startup created sustainable cleaning products that come in the form of a dissolvable tablet and reusable spray bottle, while another created a mobile app concierge service that returns your car for you at the airport. There was also a fashion retail brand that sourced its designs from artisans and designers in Africa.
Not only were the startups themselves diverse, but each entrepreneur had a different story. There were students who had just started their business, and others who had been working for years. Others worked full-time on their venture, while some juggled a different, full-time job and pursued their company part-time. I think I had a narrow definition of what it means to be an entrepreneur, but B-School Disrupt, along with the many other startup-related events and activities on campus, has helped expand that definition for me.