What options and avenues do you have to explore entrepreneurship during your INSEAD MBA?
Around 4% of our graduates each year are entrepreneurs, but did you know that approximately half of INSEAD alumni run their own companies at some point in their careers? Others join high growth ventures, lead entrepreneurial projects within corporations or focus on social ventures.
We're particularly proud of having been ranked #4 in PitchBook's 2023 MBA school rankings, which compares schools by tallying up the number of alumni entrepreneurs who have raised venture capital in the last decade.
So if you’re interested to explore these topics during your MBA, INSEAD is a great place to be!
The INSEAD MBA portfolio of currently more than 15 entrepreneurship electives (offered P3 to P5) are designed so you can match the courses to your career goals. Whether you want to start your own venture from scratch, become a social entrepreneur, a corporate intrapreneur or a turnaround specialist — no matter what you have planned for your career track, you will find a suitable set of courses that will give you the tools you need for a successful start.
“More than 15 entrepreneurship electives are designed so you can match the courses to your career goals.”
In addition to the electives, in between periods we offer field trips that focus on building businesses in a particular region such as China, India, Russia or Silicon Valley. Led by INSEAD faculty, these trips offer great opportunities to meet with a wide variety of local executives and investors, as well as INSEAD alumni living and working in that region.
The Rudolf and Valeria Maag INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship looks to promote entrepreneurial ambitions and activities within INSEAD. Three key activities under its realm are the Startup Bootcamp, the Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EiR) programme and the INSEAD Venture Competition (IVC).
Offered over a weekend in P1, the popular Startup Bootcamp is an intensive and interactive training designed to test your appetite and jump-start the adventure. Many business ventures started by INSEAD MBAs were originally formulated in the Bootcamp and further developed in the various classes.
“The EiR programme gives you access to experts who can help.”
INSEAD (EiR) programme
The INSEAD (EiR) programme connects MBA students with experienced entrepreneurs — many of them INSEAD MBA Alumni themselves — in a personalised, one-on-one setting to discuss related topics. Whether you are planning to create a new venture or are actively working in ventures while pursuing your studies, the EiR programme gives you access to experts who can help to redefine your questions on the path to better answers, provide insights and work with you to solve problems. We currently have 90 entrepreneurs across both campuses who cover a wide range of domains and industries. In addition, there is also a virtual EiR programme that allows students to meet EiRs via Skype, thereby expanding the network all over the globe.
INSEAD venture competition
The IVC is a flagship event that must not be missed! Open to both MBA and Executive MBA (EMBA) participants, it is a dynamic, multi-stage competition where teams compete for cash prizes to support the development of their new ventures. IVC teams receive mentoring from successful alumni entrepreneurs along the way and pitch their ventures to seasoned investors. Created as a biannual event in 2000, the previous 33 competitions have produced many successful ventures, including BlaBlaCar and Prodigy Finance among others.
The people around you
INSEAD MBA students come with a wealth of experience, knowledge and ambition, from all corners of the globe. There is a lot of networking involved with students from the three intakes (the one you are affiliated to, plus the two that overlap before and after you). You will meet many students who have an entrepreneurial background whether they come from accelerators, VCs, fundraising or start-ups. These same people might one day make great advisors too!
INSEAD Entrepreneurship Club
The student-run INSEAD Entrepreneurship Club (IEC) is one of the most happening clubs at INSEAD. They host speaker series, networking events and career treks as well as idea sharing and pitching sessions to provide support for students from the phase of business idea development and validation to actual business model implementation.
Thriving centres for entrepreneurship
Singapore is a thriving centre for entrepreneurship in Asia known for its supportive business environment. Registering a company in Singapore can be done in just one day, making it one of the world's most efficient places to start a business. This vibrant ecosystem presents exceptional opportunities to tap into Southeast Asia's immense digital commerce and climate-tech potential. The proximity of the INSEAD Singapore campus to Block71, a renowned entrepreneurial ecosystem, allows faculty members and alumni to collaborate on research, provide mentorship and support to startups, and organise networking events.
On the other hand, in Fontainebleau, a collaborative workspace called “The Mews” houses INSEAD’s aspiring entrepreneurs directly on campus, as a first step towards an incubator. Finally, there is LaunchPad, a hub specifically for the INSEAD community and designed to help students and alumni to connect to each other as well as to other entrepreneurs, business leaders, researchers, angel investors, venture capitalists and philanthropists. It is located inside the world’s largest start-up campus – STATION F in Paris