Hello! To follow all of our team’s adventures working with amazing entrepreneurs across the country, check out our blog!

-Michael

We love to see our friends at Highland Brewing in the news! Oscar, Leah, and the whole team are such an amazing crew, creating jobs and supporting their community in Asheville NC.

We worked with Oscar, Leah and the team last summer - learn more about what we did here and watch Oscar describe to us what the American Dream means to him in this video from our time together.

Keep it up Oscar, Leah, and Highland!

Michael

"What am I doing for my community?" is the question that our friend in Fargo Greg Tehven from Emerging Prairie puts to each of us in this talk. We have multiple teams of MBAs Across America fellows headed to Fargo this summer, and we couldn’t be more excited to learn from and work with Fargo entrepreneurs!

MBAs Across America is honored to be the Financial Times Business Education “Feature of the Week“!

The FT’s Emma Boyde recently reached out to learn more about the “journey with a difference” that we’ve been on over the past year and a half, and our plan to build “a movement of MBAs & entrepreneurs working together to revitalize America.” That movement begins with the eight inspiring teams that have joined our inaugural class, and the visionary entrepreneurs they are now searching the country for. To the future!

See the full article here.

Almost exactly one year ago, our now friend Linda Abraham from the Accepted Blog reached out to us to chat and learn more about MBAs Across America. She was gracious enough to post the resulting conversation as a podcast, and now she’s done it again! Thanks so much Linda for being an early supporter of MBAs Across America. We look forward to talking against next April!

Here is the video Jennifer, Mayank, Peter, and Phil submitted with their application. Casey and I were struck by how personal their stories were and inspired by their clear passion for making an impact beyond themselves through their careers.

Meet Our First MBAx Fellows!

Hello friends of MBAs Across America!

Even before Casey, Amaris, Hicham and I got back from the first summer journey last year, we started thinking about how we would recruit the inaugural class of MBAs Across America Fellows. We knew that getting the right people onboard would be make-or-break. You can’t send just any four people in a car across the U.S. for six weeks to work with entrepreneurs and expect the results to be great.  After a few months of in-person info sessions, Google Hangouts, and phone calls, we we blown away to have over 70 individuals apply from twelve different MBA programs. We were ecstatic at both the number and quality of applicants. After a lot of careful thought, some tough decisions (all the teams were fantastic) , and using our four MBAx values  as a predictive lens for impact, we finished with eight incredible teams ready to go for this summer.

We think of our MBAx1 class (last year was MBAx0) not just as participants in a program but co-founders in this movement, and we are so grateful and excited that each of them has raised their hand to hit the road this summer in support of American entrepreneurs and their communities. We are so grateful for their passion and feel they represent our highest collective aspirations for what we all know the next generation of MBAs can and must be to meet the challenges of our time.

Over the coming weeks we will be introducing them to you here.  We are proud to introduce as the first of these the very first team of four that submitted their application, one of our two teams from Babson: Jennifer, Mayank, Peter, and Phil.

Jennifer Odera

Jennifer Odera

Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. I am a graduate of Les Roches School of Hotel Management in Switzerland and hold a Swiss Hotel Association Diploma as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in Hotel Management and Finance. I love to travel, meet new people and take on challenges, whether it be learning a new language, adapting to a different working culture, or leading a multicultural team. Over the duration of my undergraduate course and thereafter I worked with several hotel chains in the UK, France, Portugal and Qatar. Currently, I am working on a business idea and long-time dream of owning and operating a food service business which I intend to pursue full time upon graduating from Babson.

Mayank Arora

Mayank Arora

I was born and raised in a small town in India and have worked and lived in multiple metropolitan cities in my home country. I am a computer science engineer from Kurukshetra University. I have worked in Sustainability at a multinational business consulting and technology solutions company, Infosys. Due to my passion for sustainability, I love to find ways to integrate the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit into core business strategies. I am a developer at heart and like to turn business ideas into prototypes. Currently I am working on a new venture to improve energy efficiency in residential sectors. My long-term goal is to be a social entrepreneur.

Peter Cherry

 Peter Cherry

I grew up in New Canaan, CT and studied economics at Fordham University in the Bronx. During my time at Fordham I worked in fundraising for a McKinsey & Company foundation that trains human resources for health in Northern Tanzania. After Fordham, in 2011, I went to work for an international disaster relief agency called Concern Worldwide. I spent most of my time analyzing their donor base to forecast private funding and create more targeted donor segments to increase the effectiveness of direct and digital marketing campaigns. Upon graduating from Babson’s MBA program I am hoping to gain some private sector experience in non-profit consulting or social financial services. My longer-term goal is to use my experience in fundraising and finance to start a social enterprise that creates opportunities for victims of human trafficking. In my free time I enjoy running, photography, video editing and listening to good music with friends.

Phillip Lachman

Phillip Lachman

Born in Eastern Europe, I immigrated to the US in 1983 and grew up in Newton, MA. After obtaining my BS in Electrical Engineering in 2004 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I went off to Silicon Valley to work for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. While completing my MS in Electrical Engineering in 2007 from Stanford University, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of missile defense, satellites and classified systems, holding roles that encompassed project management, design, development, test and systems engineering. Upon graduation from Babson’s MBA program, I plan to join a tech startup, focusing on product development. Combining my engineering background with my business education, my longer term goal is to join a venture capital firm focused on nurturing the next generation of tech startups. In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis, golf and participating in philanthropic pursuits.

(Click the link above for the video)

Last Week Casey and I were honored to attend the Forbes Reinventing America Summit. It was inspiring to meet business owners, CEOs, investors, governors, mayors and entrepreneurs who are doing their part to revitalize America by creating jobs and being good stewards in their communities. On my way to get a second helping of dessert (see food tables I was aiming for in the background) I got the chance to share a bit about MBAs Across America. Thanks to the team at Forbes for their leadership in catalyzing a great conversation, for their hospitality, and for their support of MBAs Across America!

-Michael

With MBAs Across America’s Inaugural Class of Fellows, we are excited to be moving out of the “Form team” phase and into the “Coordinate” phase with the National Entrepreneur Search. This summer we will move to “Act” as each of our teams hits the road for their own six week summer journeys to work with visionary entrepreneurs across the country. Look out for more information soon about our teams.

We are searching for entrepreneurs with three key traits:

  • A place with a story to tell: we work with entrepreneurs in cities that are surviving & thriving against the odds and without the hype — whether in a hard-hit city, a Heartland hub, or a tiny rural town.
  • A business poised for growth: we work with manufacturers, tech startups, creative agencies, and even barbershops, but our entrepreneurs all have one thing in common: they want to grow.
  • A positive social impact: our entrepreneurs solve real problems and change lives in their communities every day, expanding what it means to be a “social enterprise”.

If you know any entrepreneurs like this, please direct them to our website to learn more about what to expect from an MBAs Across America team or to our contact form to apply directly.

Thanks!
Michael

ibmsocialbiz:

The collaboration pyramid

For enterprise-wide collaboration to happen, the community building and cooperation must stretch beyond any barriers such as organizations, time, and place. Groupthink, organizational silos, and structures cannot be allowed to limit the ability for one or several organizations to collaborate efficiently and effectively as enterprise. If the enterprise as a whole is not one single community, and if people don’t cooperate freely within and cross organizations involved in the enterprise, then enterprise collaboration will fail.

(via The Content Economy: Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants)

This graphic is a great illustration of the flow of resources to entrepreneurs throughout the country. We love New York, SF, and Boston but are excited about the opportunity to support entrepreneurs outside of those places! What if entrepreneurs everywhere had access to the best resources to grow their businesses? What if investors had access to the best entrepreneurs, regardless of their geography, to seek a return on their dollar?

theatlanticcities:

San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood; Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Kendall Square; Lower Manhattan: These are the dense, walkable neighborhoods that have become the new hubs of America’s tech scene, as the center of gravity for venture investment and start-up activity shifts from suburbs to urban centers.

-The Urban Shift in the U.S. Start-Up Economy, in One Chart