All in + MBA

A huge part of the VC job surrounds the entrepreneurship. Only former entrepreneurs will be able to interview a startup team and detect potential fatal issues in the team work. Only former entrepreneurs understand the anxiety/dynamics of different rounds of startup fundraising that they know what the best angle is for them as a VC to work with a particular startup. Only former entrepreneurs know why hiring in a startup is even more crucial than in a big corporate and how a VC could help the portfolio company in this regard. Only former entrepreneurs know that working capital is not just "Current Asset minus Current Liabilities" on the Balance Sheet but rather a living hell when a startup is growing like crazy but there's only $10k left in the bank account. Even former entrepreneurs that didn't make it to IPO know a tech IPO process more than any non-M&A investment banker since they would have gone through some IPO evaluations when they worked on the exit of their own firms.

What's more important: only former entrepreneurs know that the future is unknown, since they have at one point of their life helped change the existing industry structure and created a micro — or major, if your last name happens to be Zuckerberg or Brin — new future off the set path. And because former entrepreneurs know this so well, they would be able to stay truly open-minded about any crazy proposals and recognize better the kind of people able to execute those proposals.

At the risk of angering my fellow MBA classmates, frankly I don't really see the point of going through an MBA program to become entrepreneurs. It's more often a liability than an asset. In fact, CS183B is taught at undergrade level. And if you absolutely want to become an entrepreneur, it's always better to use that 50,000€ – or in the case of the top US programs, twice of that amount – you've worked so hard to save and the precious two school years to start your company already.

The way this question is posed seems to predestine the answers to be negative. As an MBA candidate myself in the HEC Paris programme that puts quite some emphasis in entrepreneurship, I do have to elaborate a bit more on this topic, mostly qualitatively. But your gut instinct is right — at this moment I don't think MBAs make for better entrepreneurs than non-MBAs.

The main problem is most of the tools that an MBA student acquires in the program are designed for corporate environment, not startups. Take the notorious NPV (Net Present Value) for example. The idea of calculating an NPV number for a certain project, be it a new one or replacement one, just goes fundamentally against entrepreneurship.