When I was at Harvard Business School (HBS) in the early 1990s, entrepreneurship was an afterthought. When I joined the venture-backed Internet start-up Open Market in the spring of 1995, I was one of only a handful of graduates that joined a start-up out of business school (at a fraction of the salary of my classmates, I might add!)
Today, the entrepreneurship department is the largest department at HBS. Students aren't just joining start-ups, they're creating start-ups. The annual business plan contest is a huge draw and it is estimated that as many as 40-50 start-ups are created each year by students coming out of the school. Today, 50% of all HBS alumni describe themselves as entrepreneurs 10-15 years after graduation.
I always love my visits back on campus, interacting with the students, judging business plan contests and hearing about the latest faculty research. That's why, when one of my former professors invited me to join HBS as an "Entrepreneur in Residence" at HBS, I eagerly agreed. It's a very part-time gig and will not take away from my day job in any way, but instead will give me a chance to learn from all the brilliant faculty and students running around campus.
I will be working, in particular, with Noam Wasserman, who runs a great course and blog about "Founder's Dilemma". Noam's research in choices founders make and his very popular course will be a great learning environment for me as well.
So if folks have any answers to the question, "What would I advise HBS students who want to become entrperneurs", let it 'er rip!