The Acton MBA:Designed by and for Entrepreneurs
We’re looking for bold, aggressive and principled students who are driven to create, grow and lead successful businesses – and change the world.
If this sounds like you, check out our online Entrepreneurship MBA admissions process.
Conventional MBA programs are not well suited for people with entrepreneurial aspirations and personalities. The typical business school curriculum is full of courses that teach students how to be middle managers in large established corporations. Most of the top MBA programs emphasize traditional management, accounting, finance, marketing and human resources operations – as practiced by big businesses. They pay little or no attention to the requirements of small business entrepreneurship or the skills necessary for creating and building a startup company.
If you’re looking for a conventional business administration degree to become a cog in a bureaucratic corporate machine, devise incomprehensible financial derivative products, or qualify for a stultifying government job – Acton’s Entrepreneurship MBA program is not for you.
What is an Entrepreneurship MBA?
In contrast with other top ranked MBA programs, the Acton Entrepreneurship MBA is focused on learning about and experiencing the real-world business situations, challenges and solution processes needed to create, lead and grow a successful startup business. We don’t spend a lot of time on management theories, arcane legal or tax issues, or trendy human resources topics.
All Acton faculty members have entrepreneurial experience with successful businesses. They have first-hand knowledge of the key small business success factors — especially the “things the best business schools don’t teach”. Not surprisingly, Acton’s Entrepreneurship MBA curriculum is different than the coursework at the Harvard, Wharton or Stanford business schools.
Like the Harvard Business School, Acton employs the Case Method. Students are presented with an actual business problem from a real company, and are asked to propose and evaluate potential solutions. These alternatives are explored in a Socratic question and answer process that stimulates critical thinking and nurtures the ability to identify and evaluate the most important success factors — and make good decisions.
But at Acton, we also complement the Case Studies with authentic real-world business problem solving experiences. We teach Selling by sending students out in the community to make door-to-door sales. We teach Operations by having students work as a team in a simulated circuit board factory. In addition to providing realism and experience solving practical management problems, Acton’s Entrepreneurship MBA methodology provides students with dozens of immersive role-playing business experiences – complete with the team interactions, imperfect information and time pressure found in the real-world startup environment.
Apply Today – Acton MBA
Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur; and not every Acton applicant has the skills, temperament and drive needed for our Entrepreneurship MBA program. But if you’re good enough to be admitted, our faculty of experienced entrepreneurs will guide you through our process of learning how to assess and solve real-world business challenges. Just like they did when they built their successful businesses.
We’re very particular about who we admit to the Acton Entrepreneurship MBA program. The aptitude, experience and persistence of your classmates have a big impact on the value of the case studies, group discussions and problem solving teamwork.
Successful entrepreneurs need courage, grit and a never-give-up attitude. We’re looking for students who are bright, talented and driven. Our program involves a lot of hard work and the competition is intense – just like starting and running your own business. That’s why the Princeton Review business school rankings named Acton #1 in student competitiveness.
If you think you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, take the initiative and begin our online application process. We look forward to meeting you!
The Acton Entrepreneurship MBA Program
Our one year MBA program consists of two 5-month semesters, with a 3-week break in between.
First Semester: Online MBA Program (5 months)
At Acton your Entrepreneurship MBA experience begins at home, with a blended learning program (reading and online interaction). Prior to the beginning of the 1st semester, students receive an extensive pre-matriculation package including:
- Reading list of great books on business and life
- Tutorials on how our Case Method and business simulations work
- Exercises to familiarize you with our business simulations, financial/accounting and quantitative analysis models
Students are expected to begin the reading assignments and familiarize themselves with our online business simulation software and financial/accounting analysis tools prior to beginning the coursework.
The first semester Entrepreneurship MBA curriculum includes the following courses, taught concurrently during the 5 month term:
- Orientation and Experiential Learning (2 months)
- Introduction to a Life of Meaning (5 months)
- Operations I (4 months)
- Customers I (4 months)
- Cash and Valuation I (5 months)
During the first semester, students should plan to spend 20-25 hours a week in self-directed reading and working online with our content, business simulations, financial and accounting quantitative models. Mastery of the 1st semester material is critical to success in the 2nd semester, because of the intense pace of the 2nd semester work.
Although challenging and stressful, this requirement reflects the reality of the startup entrepreneur’s world. The dynamics of the small business environment frequently require leaders to make decisions and take actions promptly, using limited resources and based on incomplete and/or imperfect information. Acton Entrepreneurship MBA students must be prepared to deal with the 2nd semester workload and decision processes effectively and promptly. As in the real entrepreneur’s world, there’s seldom time to go back and learn the necessary skills.
There will be a three-week break between the 1st semester and the 2nd semester.
Second Semester: Full-Time On-Site at the Acton campus in Austin, TX (5 months)
The 2nd semester of the Entrepreneurship MBA program takes place at our campus in South Austin, and is more intensive. Students typically spend 80-100 hours a week in individual and group activities. This is a rigorous and realistic entrepreneur training program, not a country club for middle managers or I-banking wannabes. Our course titles embody the essential leadership, analytical and relationship skills that are needed to build and run a successful startup. We don’t have a course called ‘Business Administration’.
The 5-month 2nd semester includes the following courses (taught concurrently):
- Launch (2 months)
- Life of Meaning (4.5 months)
- Operations II (2 months)
- Customers II (14 weeks)
- Cash and Valuation II (3 months)
- Growth (2 months)
- People (3 months)
- Raising Money (6 weeks)
- Opportunity Recognition (7 weeks)
- Harvest (1 month)