Accelerators Are the New B-school
Turns out, more and more young entrepreneurs favor the business contacts gained via start-up accelerators over those from business schools.
According to The Wall Street Journal, alumni from accelerators like Y-Combinator and TechStars said that they gain "dozens" to "hundreds" of contacts within the tech and business industries upon leaving their respective programs. Those contacts, they claim led to potential investors, customers, or product testers.
Mixpanel founder Suhail Doshi, for example, attributed much of his software company's success to the contacts he gathered while attending Y-Combinator, the outlet reported. After graduating from the accelerator in 2009, Doshi dropped out of Arizona State University and began asking people on Y-Combinator's listserv to try out Mixpanel at a reduced cost.
"The alumni network is possibly the most valuable asset YC founders have," Doshi told The Journal.
More evidence: earlier this year, Wefunder co-founder Nicholas Tommarello, who earned a business degree from Babson College and attended business accelerator TechStars, told news site BostInno that "co-working and accelerators are far more useful for building a network than an MBA program." In fact, according to the website, Tommarello met his fellow Wefunder co-founders from his time and his connections at TechStars.
And, let's face it, business schools don't always bring out the entrepreneurial spirit. Last year, a Stanford Business School professor admitted that business schools can snuff the passion out of aspiring self-starters.
But don't count MBAs out too quickly. As Inc.'s Jessica Stillman pointed out earlier this year, earning a business degree can still be a worthwhile experience with the proper planning.