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October 2012 Archives

16 October 2012

Cool New Venture Studio Opens

I recently toured the GSB's new Stanford Venture Studio, which opened this past summer. Created by the GSB's Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Venture Studio is a place for graduate students across Stanford University to practice the entrepreneurial skills and concepts they are learning in the classroom. Early-stage entrepreneurs often complain of isolation, and the Venture Studio provides an instant community where teams can share skills, test ideas, and get feedback and inspiration. In addition to peer-to-peer interaction among the teams, the Venture Studio offers practical workshops, peer feedback sessions known as Start-up Mob, small-group Q&A with company founders, one-on-one advisory sessions, and practice pitch sessions. The Studio serves as both a hub for the entrepreneurial community to participate in events open to the entire student body and as a dedicated workspace for graduate student-led teams from any school at Stanford. There is an application process to use the Studio, and student teams are then given 24/7 key card access. The Venture Studio is not an incubator; it does not take an equity stake in return for services and does not accept teams who are currently selling products or services.

During the summer, 17 multidisciplinary teams (about 50 students) worked on ventures spanning multiple sectors, including healthcare, education, hospitality and tourism, media and entertainment, financial services, big data, real estate, consumer products and service, energy, and agriculture. Katie Fifer '13, an entrepreneurial student who worked in the Studio this summer, commented, "I've learned a tremendous amount not only about tactical things (user interface design, SEO, etc.), but also, more importantly, about managing team dynamics. We're all figuring out day-to-day how we build our teams and all the most interesting challenges come from trying to get those teams to operate at a high level. I know I'm learning far more because I'm surrounded by people trying to figure out the same things."

Besides all the amazing projects going on in the Studio, what also amazed me was how quickly this space was created. The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies started working on the concept last spring, and within a couple of months, a pilot of the Studio was launched. But that's pretty much how things work around here.

Students in Stanford's Venture StudioAn interdisciplinary group of Stanford graduate students in the Venture Studio.

25 October 2012

Class Profile for Stanford MBA Class of 2014

The Stanford MBA Program welcomed 398 new students to campus this academic year. As you may have noticed, the only real constant in Stanford MBA class profiles from year to year is that almost every statistic changes, and the Class of 2014 was no exception. There are many reasons for these fluctuations. With our small class size, even two students can, and do, shift a percentage here or there. But the most relevant factor is that our candidate pool is ever-changing.

These fluctuations also speak to our admission process: we don’t admit categories; we admit individuals. There are no quotas or targets in the admission process, and each applicant is evaluated entirely on his or her own merits. This is why we consider a class profile illustrative, rather than informative. In truth, there is no metric that can measure character.

Since we admit person by person, rather than group by group, we never know a priori what a class profile will reflect. Though the admission criteria remain constant, there were minor shifts in the Class of 2014 profile, including:

· The representation of international students increased to an all-time high of 42%, comprising 53 non-U.S. countries.

· U.S. minority representation reverted from last year's 20-year high of 27% to a more typical level of 20%. All types of diversity matter at Stanford. Our outreach efforts will continue to foster students whose unique perspectives will enhance our learning community.

· The breadth of undergraduate study continues to dazzle us. This year, a few more engineers and humanities majors joined the MBA program, with a handful fewer students who studied business.

· The industry mix changed slightly, but the absolute number both of schools, (especially non-U.S. institutions), and of organizations represented, reached an all-time high. Two-thirds of our new students are the sole person to come directly from that organization.

· Work experience in the class increased slightly to 4.2 years from 4.0 years. This is a peak for the last decade.

>> Read the Class of 2014 profile