It seems that the world today is completely abuzz with startups and billions of dollars. However, what is interesting to note is that majority of the startups people desire to set up don’t actually pan out, either due to poor management, lack of money, or both.

The issue is usually on poor management for most of the startups, which brings me to the point of having a founder or a founding member who actually has an MBA degree.

Interestingly, in several articles and studies, notably this one from TechCrunch, it would seem that out of the 38 – excluding Facebook – billion dollar valuation companies,  there is a stunningly large percentage of companies that had founders and/or executives who had some form of education, tech or business.
However, with an ever-increasing number of founders and executives graduating from a technical college or university, why then the sudden interest in MBAs? Why add a link to them as part of the billion dollar club?

Unicorn Startups & MBA Graduates 

According to research, a staggering 33% of these billion dollar startups have at least a founding member with an MBA , and about 82% had, at least, one founding member OR current executive team member with an MBA.

Of course, these figures don’t take into account the thousands of other startups with less than a billion dollar valuation, but hopefully, the statistics above based on the 38 billion dollar startups will be a sticking point for you, dear reader.

Not surprisingly, these MBA holders from the startups also were from relatively more prestigious schools. MBAs from Wharton, Stanford, and Harvard Business School top the list, followed by the other schools.

So why all the buzz and momentum with MBA founders or executives?

MBAs And Unicorn Startups - Billion Dollar Relationships?

In recent years, in light of the tech buzz, many business schools probably saw that the new trend of business owners would belong less to the more uptight, rigid corporate world and be passed to the hands of the younger, more flexible generation of youths. It is believed that the staff of the business schools saw this coming relatively early in the tech craze, and so adapted their curriculum and syllabus to be tailored to cater to the new generation of technopreneurs.

Thus, the new generation of MBA holders also is capable of being equally as flexible, street smart and to a certain extent, eccentric enough to be able to understand and work with the founders of the tech companies.

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Of course, this is not to say that the modern MBA holders aren’t able to fit into the larger corporations in the world today; rather, they are more prepared and better equipped to go both ways, should any opportunity arise for them to put those skills to good use.

There are also cases where the founders themselves hold MBAs, which combined with foresight and hiring the right talent, have resulted in the million and billion dollar companies we see today.

However, if you don’t have a friend who holds an MBA, never fear! Having an MBA founder may not be available, but you could always find one sometime in the future after the founding. Remember that in the 82% listed above, not all had an MBA founder. Rather, some were hired after the company was founded and had the first products rolled out.

Of course, if you’re feeling like the Mark Zuckerberg of your area, you could also try to do it without an MBA or drop out of school. Of course, Facebook is perhaps one of the very few startups that didn’t have an MBA executive when it shot to over a billion dollars in valuation.

However, if you don’t have a million dollar idea yet, or if your ideas need some form of technical knowledge, please stay in school! This will help you build your skill sets as well as allow you to meet like-minded people. Once you’re ready, make sure you take the world by storm and create the company that you’ve always wanted to!

Also to help supplement your learning would be books on start-ups like “The Lean Startup” by Peter Thiel. We too provide basic entrepreneurial information that would be great for you if you’re just starting out on this journey!

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C.E.O @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is passionate about finance, education, women empowerment and children’s issues. Anna has been featured in CNBC, Forbes, The Straits Times, Business Insider, INC and The Peak Singapore. She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen). Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).