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Ideas Tap Entrepreneurship to Improve Management Education

The lifeblood of the business world and business education, entrepreneurship is the engine that drives many of the winning ideas in GMAC’s Ideas to Innovation Challenge.

Systematically encouraging entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial thinking is a key component of at least five of the 20 prize-winning ideas in Phase 1 of GMAC’s Ideas to Innovation (i2i) Challenge, a two-part initiative aiming to find and then fund top ideas to improve management education. In Phase 2, GMAC’s philanthropic  Management Education for Tomorrow Fund now invites schools and other non-profit education providers to submit proposals to implement any of the top 20 ideas. The best ones will win grants from the US$10 million MET Fund.

 “As millennials look to business schools as the place to shape their entrepreneurial spirit into real-world skills, it’s natural that many of the best ideas to improve graduate management education look to entrepreneurship,” said MET Fund director Allen Brandt. “It’s worth noting that out of 650 ideas submitted from 60 countries, a disproportionate number of entrepreneurial ideas came from students. Students—from both the developed world and from emerging markets─see entrepreneurship as a promising vehicle for positive change.”

Of the top 20 Phase 1 ideas, which won those who submitted them a total of US$262,000, five include entrepreneurship as a central component:

  • The Hub Network, a cloud-based social application restricted to graduate students interested in entrepreneurial ventures around the world would serve as a virtual business incubator, by Chukwuma Nze of Nigeria, an MBA student at Loyola Marymount University College of Business Administration.
  • A business plan requirement, in which schools would have each student develop a full, well-rounded proposal for how the do something in the world better, by Dawn Iacobucci, professor of management, Vanderbilt University Owen Graeduate School of Management.
  • Practical entrepreneurship education, a mandatory one-year cross-functional entrepreneurship program in which students work in teams to identify a market need, create a business plan to meet that need, develop a demo and generate consumer interest in the product, by Patrick Cheung, associate at the MaRS Discovery District, an innovation center in Toronto, Canada.
  • World Issues Focus on Integrity Innovation, a course in which students, business leaders, and faculty analyze and create solutions to real-world problems by discussing business decisions and consequences, by Mariana Lebron, PhD candidate, Syracuse University Whitman School of Management.
  • Develop 60 management education programs in the developing world, a five-year plan to increase access to management education for underrepresented populations, supply talent for regional economies, bolster local academic prosperity, and increase global communications, by Richard Zhou of China, an MBA student at CEIBS.

Proposals to fund these or the other 15 winning ideas will be accepted through December 16. To find out more, go to or the GMAC MET Fund blog. Follow the Fund on Twitter at @GMACMETFund.


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