On the sixth floor in a brick building near the birthplace of Jack London in San Francisco’s China Basin, a small team of buzzing entrepreneurs represents this shift. It’s a classic microcosm of Northern California. Matt Schwartz, who earned his MBA from Stanford in 2017, and his team are using one of the highest forms of technology--artificial intelligence--to solve a big issue: food waste. To do so, Schwartz has launched Afresh Technologies, which has software to help grocers stock the correct amounts of such perishable products as produce, meats, and bread.
The Schwartz-breed of MBA is not uncommon anymore, says Stefanos Zenios, Stanford professor of entrepreneurship. “We are adding in our curriculum models in which we inspire entrepreneurs to think about social responsibility for their venture,” says Zenios, who is the architect of Stanford’s infamous Startup Garage course and oversees the Stanford GSB Venture Studio.
“And it’s not something we’re doing just for social venture,” Zenios adds, “it’s something we’re asking of every student who goes through our startup garage course to think about their responsibility to society as they’re starting their ventures. So we wanted to be more mindful about how their venture will be perceived by their main stakeholders beyond investors.”