Lindsay McCurren (MBA '19) grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and attended Michigan State. Prior to HBS, Lindsay spent over 6 years working in Corporate Finance at General Mills. Lindsay came to HBS with her family and is the chair of the moMBA group on campus. Lindsay is the founder of ReMana, which is reinventing the breast-milk storage process for women and providing products that will make the lives of busy moms much simpler.

I recently read something written by a female founder making the comparison between motherhood and entrepreneurship. These are two things I hadn’t thought to compare before but after reading through the thought process of a founder I respect so much, I realized how much it personally resonated with me.  

I entered HBS as a mom to two amazing kids, Aiden, now 5, and Avery, almost 3. Prior to HBS, I had never started a business, but I knew it was something I wanted to focus on while pursuing my MBA. I now know from personal experience how similar being a mother and an entrepreneur can be.
It Takes a Village – Resources for Moms at HBS 

Managing a household with kids, having a spouse that works outside the home, pursuing a degree and starting a company can be a lot to balance, especially in the RC (first) year. In fact, I didn’t start working on my business venture until the second semester of RC year since all I was busy taking in the experience during the first half of the year. Regardless of when you start, both roles – student mom and student founder – take a lot of support. I think the support I’ve received in both areas ranks among the most amazing parts of my experience at HBS.  

As a student mom, I chair the moMBA group which is a student club sponsored by Student Academic Services (SAS). We have an advisor and meet with each other to lend advice or a listening ear on some of the struggles that are unique to being a mom while in school.  We are also a part of the broader Crimson Parents student group which supports all students, parents, and families. Truly, the parents we’ve met through this group and the on-campus community have helped me survive my craziest days – especially when I have a meeting that conflicts with pick-up or a sick kiddo during class. They say it takes a village and, fortunately for me, the HBS village was ready for anything.  

Student Founders - Resources for Entrepreneurs at HBS 

As a student founder, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from fantastic faculty in the classroom, at Startup Bootcamp, and through an Independent Project focused on my business. I’ve also been involved in the programming provided by the Rock Center for Entrepreneurship which has been invaluable. The Rock Center is so supportive of founders working on businesses while in school from providing Summer Fellowships, coaches, mentors, and advisors to offering funding through the Rock Accelerator and Rock Incubator Programs. The funding my business has received from the Rock Center has been pivotal in allowing us to test our ideas and continue pushing forward. There is also the Harvard Innovation Lab where I’ve been fortunate to be in the Venture Incubation Program and have access to mentors, industry advisors, maker space and a supportive community of other founders.  

Motherhood & Entrepreneurship 

So why was the comparison between motherhood and entrepreneurship been so poignant for me? For starters, because they are two of the hardest things in life but also the most rewarding (for me motherhood takes the cake but being a founder is a great second). They both require you to figure out what you’re doing as you go, know when to take advice, and when to follow your gut. Figuring out an internal confidence that doesn’t get shaken when you mess up or miss something can be isolating and lonely at times – both entrepreneurship and motherhood require a lot of resilience to keep going each day even when the amount to get done seems overwhelming.  

The bright side of entrepreneurship and motherhood, at least at HBS, is that each comes with an incredible community along with some amazing faculty and programming. The days will be long but the motivation to make a huge impact is the same  whether it’s in shaping the life of another tiny human being or in changing the world with your business.