The Babson College MBAs Behind These ‘Startups That Disrupt’

Startups That Disrupt

What’s the key ingredient to dominating entrepreneurship MBA rankings? Entrepreneurs.

This year, Poets & Quants, together with Inc. magazine, developed a new ranking of the best MBAs for entrepreneurship. Two Babson College entrepreneurs and their startups made the cut as part of its roundup of the most disruptive startups of 2019. The list features BikeLord, the brainchild of Jake Maude MBA’19 and Ty Filsinger ’19, and Jamani Corp., founded by Jacob Fohtung MBA’19, MS’20.

“For MBAs, startups have become a means to pursue social good, a platform to connect resources, and create communities,” says Poets & Quants. “In a fail fast, fail often, and fail forward universe, these MBA-run firms are innovating, serving, executing, and wowing. In the process, they are creating new markets, breaking down barriers, or simply tormenting incumbents.”

BikeLord – Jake Maude MBA’19 and Ty Filsinger ’19

Burned by a bad bike-buying experience, Jake Maude knew there had to be a better way. He built an app to connect used bike buyers and sellers, and developed the online marketplace while earning his MBA.

“The Babson MBA has helped me tap into some incredible resources from faculty and staff,” he told Poets & Quants. “We have numerous professors who have said they are only a phone call away whenever we need them. If they can’t help us find a solution to a problem, they most certainly know someone who can help!”

While at Babson, Maude participated in the Summer Venture Program and took Managing Growing Businesses with Senior Lecturer Edward Marram. Both experiences were fundamental to BikeLord’s growth. “The biggest lesson I learned was that when you are the founder, you need to make difficult decisions,” said Maude. “Sometimes, there is no one to tell you which way is right except your own gut.”

Jamani Corp. – Jacob Fohtung MBA’19, MS’20

Jacob Fohtung’s vision is to turn his startup, Jamani Corporate Group into the leading think tank, networking, and investment platform for emerging markets in Africa. In order to get a firsthand understanding of the trends in entrepreneurship and investing in these emerging markets, he hit the road.

In addition to traveling to research in the field, Fohtung conducted more than 20 interviews with accomplished entrepreneurs and investors from around the world, including Peru, Thailand, South Korea, and Taiwan. The outcome? A thesis for how to sustainably build an impact investment fund that will deliver long-term benefits to the African community.

As a student entrepreneur, Fohtung made the most of his faculty mentors. “I received a lot of support and advice from Babson faculty members such as Dr. Wiljeana Glover, who provided me the opportunity to travel to Uganda in the summer of 2017,” says Fohtung. “I was exposed to the challenges of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa.”

“Dr. Philip Kim helped me understand emerging markets,” Fohtung told Poets & Quants, “and Dr. Jonathan Sims provided me with the framework of solving problems from the ecosystem level rather than focusing on one stakeholder within it.”

Posted in Entrepreneurial Leadership

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