Entrepreneurship at Stern

Stern offers a wide range of entrepreneurship opportunities. Whether you are looking to start your own company or join an existing startup as an early employee or cofounder, Stern has resources to help you achieve your goals. This post will explore some of the amazing centers, programs, and classes that Stern entrepreneurs can take advantage of during their time in business school.

Leslie E Lab
The Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab is a physical building in the heart of the Washington Square campus where aspiring NYU entrepreneurs from across all of NYU’s schools and colleges can meet to connect, collaborate, and tap into a vast array of resources to help develop their ideas and inventions into startup companies. Anyone currently at NYU can take advantage of the resources offered by the Leslie eLab, so it serves as a great place to meet current NYU students, faculty, researchers, and staff. In response to COVID-19, the eLab held virtual programming, workshops, and social events to help the NYU entrepreneurship community thrive during challenging times.

Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship
The Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship is a venture design studio within NYU Stern School of Business. The Berkley Center for Entrepreneurship exists to help foster entrepreneurship at Stern and provide support as entrepreneurs navigate the many challenges their new ventures encounter. The Center provides startup accelerator programs, mentoring, workshops and technical assistance, all designed to provide NYU students, alumni, faculty and staff with the skills and resources needed to discover and execute bold new ideas. The team members at the Berkley Center provide general advising services in addition to helping founders connect with subject matter experts in various functional areas such as branding, customer strategy, legal, prototyping, etc. The Berkley Center also hosts the Entrepreneurship Challenge and Stern Venture Fellows program.

Entrepreneurship and Startup Association (ESA)
ESA is a student-run organization with the mission to empower its members through unparalleled access to NYC’s vibrant entrepreneurial community. ESA provides education and information on the entrepreneurial resources available to Stern MBAs. By empowering and educating its members, ESA aims to position Stern as the broader NYU community’s hub for entrepreneurial activity.

Classes
Foundations of Entrepreneurship: This class is designed to increase the chances of entrepreneurial success by helping aspiring founders or startup employees identify and thus avoid a range of dilemmas all startups face. To do so, this class provides a broad introduction and overview of entrepreneurship based on a range of teaching methods including: academic research, cases, empirical data, videos, and guest speakers.

Managing the Growing Company: This course exposes students to the unique challenges of managing the growth of small businesses. It concentrates on building the company issues rather than start-up issues, although some cases and lectures explore start-ups as well. Included are studies of family businesses that have acute growth issues because of succession and family dynamics. It is designed for students interested in understanding the opportunities and problems involved in the management or operation of their own business, and it is also aimed at students considering employment in a small or midsized firm.

Endless Frontier Labs: Students will learn about the process of successfully taking new ventures to markets, including aspects related to development, management, and financing of ventures. The course will be centered on student observations of the interactions of startup founders & their potential investors. After familiarizing themselves with the startups’ ideas, students will apply basic analytical tools, drawn from management, econ, and finance to evaluate the size of markets, attractiveness of industries, financing options of early-stage ventures, sustainable competitive advantage of proposed strategies, and the risks and potential of ideas. Along with the experiential component, the course will introduce students to a framework for developing an entrepreneurial strategy.

If you are interested in a dynamic startup ecosystem with the resources, faculty, and alumni to help guide your experience, NYU Stern is a great place to begin or continue your entrepreneurship journey.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities at NYU

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.

These definition-expanding experiences are built into the curriculum: it’s not uncommon for professors to invite founders and industry leaders to class who always share an inside look at their companies and offer students a chance for Q&A. I’ve also found that some of these definition-expanding experiences happen more organically through conversations with classmates who come from many different backgrounds, industries, or geographies. Outside the classroom, there’s a plethora of resources on campus to take advantage of: the $300K Entrepreneurs Challenge, one-on-one coaching at the W. R. Berkley Innovation Labs or the Leslie eLab, and more. NYU has resources for entrepreneurial students and alumni regardless of what stage their company is at. As someone who has benefited from these resources in just a few months, I’d encourage any prospective student who is interested in entrepreneurship to look into these opportunities. I think you’ll be surprised at how much support exists for students and their startup ideas, even if you have no background in entrepreneurship at all. It’s definitely one of my favorite things about NYU and the Tech MBA program, and certainly something I’m planning to continue exploring!