I received an email from Sramana Mitra today with her ten most popular blog posts of 2011. Many of them had to do with entrepreneurship education. This then led me to an old post of hers asking whether bootstrapping is taught in bschools. Whats most interesting are the comments on the posts. First a snippet from the post and then some comments:
It is my observation that not bootstrapping and not validating their ideas with customers before going out to raise financing is one of the most common causes of the Infant Entrepreneur Mortality IEM disease. And b-schools seem to be spreading the IEM virus by encouraging entrepreneurs to raise VC money as an essential success factor. This led me to write the recent Forbes column, Why B-Schools Set Up Entrepreneurs To Fail?
Some comments on bootstrapping at business schools:
I find that most B-school students are brought up with the mindset that you need to raise money to succeed. Many top schools have venture incubators and make it a big deal to be recognized and seeded by their centers of entreprenurial excellence. Bootstrapping I feel, is taken for granted. That is, if anyone could bootstrap, they already would before looking for funding. This is so incorrect.
My name is Trey Goede and I am an entrepreneur and adjunct professor in the 16th best Entrepreneur Department of the Business School at St. Louis University. We spend considerable time on bootstrapping across the entire curriculum as we move students through feasibility studies and full business plans as part of course work. We also draw on our own experiences in business, as full time professors, or adjunct like myself. I personally have bootstrapped every company that I have started or been a part of, and typically find very creative ways to do so. Bootstrapping is a very necessary business practice, especially in light of the current economy. At St. Louis University, we apply real world bootstrapping examples and scenarios to impress upon students the need to conserve cash and be fiscally responsible(frugal!).
There is a lot of self promotion in the comments, but a lot of value surrounding how and where bootstrapping is taught and not taught. One would think the more bootstrapping there is, the higher the likelihood of ventures being created (versus business plan creation)?