MBA alumni (Adriana Afonso, Maria Henkel, Joyce Jones and Elvira Tolen) who helped to launch CeO Forum and current MBA student Marsha Fils (fourth from left) in August during a tour of Ghost Hawk Brewery, operated by another MBA alumnus, Thomas Rachelski.

Rutgers MBA Program climbs to No. 10 in the world for entrepreneurship in Poets & Quants ranking

Among MBA programs at public universities, Rutgers holds the No. 2 spot for entrepreneurship based on the ranking.

The Rutgers MBA is the No. 10 program in the world for students who want to pursue studies in entrepreneurship, according to a new ranking by Poets & Quants. Among schools in the U.S. the Rutgers MBA program is ranked No. 7 and No. 2 among all public universities.

The ranking highlights the strength of a university-wide ecosystem enriched by interdisciplinary collaboration and Rutgers Business School faculty members who bring their own entrepreneurial experience into the classroom.

Poets & Quants considered programs at 38 schools and used 16 different data points to measure various parts of the entrepreneurial experience, including the average percentage of students launching businesses during their MBA program as well as the amount of accelerator space and startup award money available to MBAs.

The ranking puts Rutgers in the company of such schools as Olin Business School, Babson College, Rice University, Harvard Business School, Ross School of Business and Stanford University Graduate School of Business. 

“We are extremely proud to be ranked by Poets & Quants as one of the top 10 MBA programs in the world for entrepreneurship,” said Lei Lei, the dean of Rutgers Business School. “Our faculty collaborate across Rutgers to create an eco-system that fosters entrepreneurial thought and allows the ambitions of our student entrepreneurs to flourish.”

Mukesh Patel, who teaches entrepreneurship to graduate as well as undergraduate Rutgers students, said entrepreneurship goes through cycles of popularity. Often the trigger is a period of decline or disruption in the job market, he said. The pandemic is one of the most recent – and one of the largest disrupters – and has caused lots of professionals to leave jobs, change careers, or start businesses of their own. The same factors are making the study of entrepreneurship more popular.

Patel brings 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, small business owner, venture capitalist. He also brings the insights of someone who sits on boards helping to fund and grow startups. “It’s a 360-degree perspective,” Patel said.

Rutgers MBA students who pursue studies in entrepreneurship benefit from an expansive, interdisciplinary ecosystem that includes graduate-level courses that allow teams of students to identify opportunities to launch tech-related start-ups, to develop business plans and gain experience pitching to investors.

“The fact that Rutgers is a large institution with different schools and disciplines creates a compelling incubator for ideas." - Mukesh Patel, director of the Collaborative for Tech Entrepreneurship and Commercialization.

Patel is director of the graduate-level Collaborative for Tech Entrepreneurship and Commercialization. C-TEC is a microcosm of the popularity of entrepreneurship among Rutgers graduate students who come from engineering as well as business. In two years, the program has expanded from one semester to two and the cohort of students has quadrupled, forcing Patel to create a waiting list.

Following a model that is also used by The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development to train small business owners, the graduate students interact with venture capitalists, lawyers, and executive advisors.

In the past year, Patel and Doug Miller, an associate professor and associate dean of MBA programs, worked together to create a new student organization called CeO Forum. CeO is short for Chief Entrepreneurial Officer. The forum offers a unique networking platform for current students and Rutgers alumni by hosting executive speakers, networking events and case competitions.

“We’re so grateful to the many alumni and other entrepreneurs that mentor our MBA students. They’re the people that create the ecosystem of opportunities,” Miller said. “With many virtual meetings over the last 18 months, we’ve seen an expansion of the number of RBS alumni connecting with current students. Building a new business is all about networking.” 

Miller said the ranking also recognizes the value of having excellent facilities, including business incubator space, which Rutgers MBA students have access to in Newark, where the Newark Venture Partners is housed within Rutgers Business School. “Entrepreneurship is a way for Rutgers to interact in a positive feedback loop with the local community and companies,” Miller said.

Patel said the entrepreneurial ecosystem across Rutgers University fuels the MBA program’s strength in entrepreneurship. “The fact that Rutgers is a large institution with different schools and disciplines creates a compelling incubator for ideas,” he said.



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