Across the School, inside and outside the classroom, there is great interest in entrepreneurship.
For MBA students, the focal point is the annual Business Plan Contest, which spawns not only innovative plans but successful enterprises. In fiscal 2010, a record number of teams and MBA students participated in the 14th iteration of the contest, which awards $25,000 in cash, together with in-kind services, to each of the winners, one for the business venture track and one for the social venture track.
OsComp Systems, which is commercializing a revolutionary gas-compressor technology developed in conjunction with MIT that drives natural gas into pipelines at a lower cost with greater efficiency.
Shantanu Agarwal (MBA ’10) and MIT Sloan School students Pedro Tomas Santos and Emmanuel Magani
Urban Water Partners, which will lease filters to water vendors in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to markedly improve access to clean drinking water for the city’s 3 million residents.
Porter Jones, MD (MBA ’11), Ajay Kori (MBA ’11), Aaron Matto (MBA ’11), and University of Utah medical students Jason Young and Justin Iwasaki
This year HBS extended entrepreneurial competition with the Alumni New Venture Contest, designed to support promising young organizations founded or cofounded by the School’s graduates. Seven HBS Alumni Club regions around the world selected seven finalists from more than 70 teams. Three HBS faculty members mentored the teams and led educational sessions during the finals, held on campus in tandem with the student contest. A panel of alumni entrepreneurs and venture capitalists judged the alumni contest.
The interest in the alumni contest is a reflection of the career paths of the School’s graduates. Approximately half of all alumni have become entrepreneurs within 15 years of graduation, and half of these have started two or more businesses. According to a recent HBS survey, more post-MBA entrepreneurs said that their current position represented their ultimate career goal than alumni as a whole.
Krishna Mahesh (MBA ’05) took top honors and the $25,000 cash prize at the inaugural Alumni New Venture Contest. Mahesh, representing the HBS Club of India, is the founder and CEO of Sundaram Medical Devices. Based in the southern city of Chennai, the company aims to apply the high engineering, quality, and cost-control standards of the Indian automotive industry to the development and manufacture of a low-cost but high-tech medical bed that benefits both patients and caregivers. With an estimated shortage of more than 3 million medical beds in India, Sundaram will address the needs of an extremely underserved market.