It’s rare to find a program that matches MBA and Ph.D. students together to help bring business ideas to life while offering credit towards a degree. TI:GER (Technology Innovation: Generating Economic Results) is just such a program, providing hands-on experience in technology innovation and entrepreneurship, including work with actual ventures.
The program, housed within the Georgia Tech Scheller College of Business, allows Full-time and Evening MBA students to earn a STEM concentration and allows Georgia Tech Ph.D. students from the Colleges of Computing, Engineering, and Sciences to apply their credit hours towards their minor.
What was your concentration/degree?
I was a Full-time MBA student focusing on entrepreneurship, operations, and finance.
How did you find out about the TI:GER program?
I heard about the TI:GER program while researching MBA programs that offered entrepreneurship-focused programming. The TI:GER program was the primary reason I chose to attend Georgia Tech instead of another school.
What made you decide to enroll in the program?
I chose to enroll in the TI:GER program because it mandates that you go beyond just learning the principles of entrepreneurship by applying ALL of them directly, working with a diverse team for multiple semesters on a single project. I am the type of person who learns best by doing something firsthand, so getting this type of experience was incredibly important in achieving my educational goals.
Did you already have an idea/product/invention you wanted to work on within the program? If so, what was it?
I did not have any specific idea when I started the program and was excited to see what opportunities others would bring to the program.
When you finished the program, did you have a product ready to go to market?
Yes and no. We had the framework and research for a product that would have been ready to go to market if there was a market available for the product. However, the technology our team worked on was too future-looking and required a certain level of power grid infrastructure that wasn’t yet in place in the United States.
Can you describe how your experience enhanced your career after graduating?
Beyond the basic knowledge gained, my experience broadened my perspective on all the options available to a prospective entrepreneur. I learned much more than I anticipated about investors, entrepreneurial finance, and how entrepreneurship is about much more than funding the next unicorn.
Ultimately, it led me to start an entrepreneurial investment firm (commonly known as a “Search Fund”) which enabled me to partner with experienced private investors and CEOs to buy the business that I currently operate as the CEO. It is a non-traditional path to entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurship is about finding the right fit for oneself, and the TI:GER program helped me learn this.
Would you recommend the program to others? If so, why?
I would recommend the TI:GER program to anyone interested in entrepreneurship, both for starting new businesses themselves and for learning how to work with entrepreneurs or on entrepreneurial teams. The immersive nature of the program, combined with the breadth of the material covered, makes for a powerful combination, regardless of whether you come into the program with any entrepreneurial experience. It is what you make it, and you must put in hard work to get the most out of it, much like being an entrepreneur.