Harvard MBAs recently launched about 150 micro-startups in what is considered the largest experiment in entrepreneurship ever, according to a Fortune magazine story. As part of the required curriculum, the school provided teams with an average of $5,000 in seed capital, as well as software programing services and a platform which allows students to trade shares of each other’s new companies. The magazine reports:
The ultimate goal isn't to encourage students to become entrepreneurs. Instead, it's to allow MBA candidates to apply the knowledge they have learned during their first year of study at Harvard. “It’s kind of like entrepreneurship with training wheels,” says Youngme Moon, a Harvard marketing professor and chair of the MBA program. “The idea is you are going to start something up, we are going to give you support and teaching along the way, but you … will experience everything in this process in an accelerated fashion.”
To debunk assumptions the school aims to launch the next Facebook, it instead tells students to save their hottest ideas for after graduation, and use the required course as an incubator for learning and failure.
While students were prohibited from creating businesses that sold weapons, pornography, alcohol or tobacco, or offered financial advice, there were some unique concepts, including an online matchmaking service that allowed people to set up their friends on dates. Yenta launched this week.
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Defunct for a quarter-century, the brokerage brand E.F. Hutton is coming back as a boutique run by former executives. [Businessweek]
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A Bank of England policymaker urged that banker bonuses be subjected to deferral and claw-back periods of 10 years. [Telegraph]
Occupy Wall Street protesters occupied a recent Wells Fargo shareholder meeting. [Bloomberg]