WSJ: Harvard Kids Want to Be Like Mark

I was fortunate to grow up in Chicago in the 80s/90s and was even more fortunate that my mom’s business partner’s husband (got that?) was an executive with the Chicago Bulls. We got to go to lots of playoffs games and see the Bull’s win 6 NBA crowns. Everyone in Chicago wanted to ‘Be Like Mike.’

According to Vauhini Vara of the WSJ, lots of people at Harvard now want to ‘Be Like Mark.’ Mark Zuckerberg that is, as in Facebook. Vara has a nice piece that explains that Harvard is new to the entrepreneurship game (compared to MIT, Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, etc.) and that Facebook’s explosion has led to a cultural change on campus.

The piece profiles a handful of Harvard campus entrepreneurs and their ventures and explains how the school has had to revisit many policies regarding student run businesses over the past few years. From the piece,

Now, Harvard is taking steps to get ahead. In 2000, the university loosened a rule prohibiting students from running companies from dorm rooms, but it still required that start-ups notify the university of their existence and “gain approval.” Last year, it discarded the notification-and-approval rule, although some restrictions still exist.

In the past eight years, Harvard has introduced more classes, clubs and contests for entrepreneurs. Mr. Bottino says those decisions weren’t directly related to Facebook, but he acknowledges that Facebook’s success has given Harvard students a more-entrepreneurial bent.

This blog linked to Albert Park’s (of MIT) piece on Harvard’s entrepreneurial culture recently and early this week we spoke with current Harvard junior/entrepreneur Travis May of CollegeBusinesses.com. Travis is not profiled in the the WSJ piece, but we discussed many issues that are covered in the article.

 

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