We are now at the apex of a trend I have described in my post about finding technical co-founders…a theme that everyone in the Valley knows by heart: ”technical founders win…and all MBAs are good for is writing business plans”. For many, having an MBA is actually a “disqualifier”.
In many respects, I deeply understand this perspective. I, myself, went and pounded through a couple thousand hours of Computer Science training in order to develop some technical skills myself…
All that being said, the MBAs from the Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) are putting up quite a fight. For some special combination of reasons (recession, ambition, intra-class inspiration), the 2010 GSB class is an incredible entrepreneurial class.
One of my favorite topics of discussion with other entrepreneurs from our class is talking about the successes of all of our classmates…or, at least, the ones we can think of on the spot. After enough of these conversations, I got to thinking…could I pull together the master list of all of our class’ startups? Well, the further I dig, the more impressed I am with what our class has come up with.
Below are some of the startups that have come out of the GSB class of 2010, who their GSB 2010 Founder was, a brief description, and (if public) the names of some key investors.
Formative Learning – Jason Lange – CEO & Co-Founder
Heritage Action America – Mike Needham
Human Flourishing Venture – Kevon Saber -
Identified.com – Brenden Wallace & Adeyemi Ajao
LiveLoop – Amal Dorai
MainStreetHub – A & Matt Stuart, Co-Founder & President
ModeWalk – Beatrice Pang, Co-Founder & CEO -
Nutmeg.co.uk - Nick Hungerford, Founder & CEO – online investment manager
MyEatClub.com - Kevin Yang & Rodrigo Santibanez – office meal delivery service. (First Round Capital, Lightspeed)
Namshi.com - Mohammed Mekki, Co-Founder – online footwear retail for Middle East.
Offerna.com – Abdullah Assal – over 390,000 FB likes, considered Egypt’s largest group deals site. (Ideavelopers)
Piazza – Pooja Naath
Pocket Gems – Daniel Terry
Proven.com – Pablo Fuentes
ReelAfrican – Victor Mallet, Co-Founder & CEO,
Rexly – Joel Resnicow, Founder & CEO,
Shelf – Emrecan Dogan
SnapROI – Mike Dorsey, Co-Founder & Director – online phone lead generation for SMBs
Treatful – Hoon Kim & Brent Looney
Weddington Way – Ilana Stern, Founder & CEO – bridesmade dresses
I’m defining “entrepreneur” as a founding member of the team. Meanwhile, special shout outs to several “very early hires”, ie Paul Bankhead at Aardvark, Tristan Walker at Foursquare, Brad Griffith at Zappedy, Adrian Kaplan at Pocket Gems, Ajay Prakash at ReBloom, Anuja Doshi at Identified, etc, as well as the search fund guys (you all probably deserve to be on here).
Finally, if you know of anyone I have missed, please let me know in the comments (below) and I will update the list accordingly. If YOU are an entrepreneur from GSB 2010 and I omitted you – I probably accidentally overlooked you or thought you were still in stealth, etc. Let me know and I’ll update this…
So next time someone tells you that MBAs are worthless in startups, then you can smile and confidently help them understand that different MBAs are different.
Well, that’s it. Rock on, fellow 2010ers. Keep crushing it.