NYU Stern - Entrepreneurs Exchange Club
Brian Malkerson talks about entrepreneurial success at NYU Stern
Brian Malkerson worked as a consultant at Mercer Management Consulting and in private equity at J.H. Whitney, before starting an MBA at NYU Stern. He eventually hopes to start his own company and so wants the MBA experience to contribute as much as possible to his dreams. As co-president of the Entrepreneurs’ Exchange Club (EEX), he talks about the main goals of his club, important factors in entrepreneurial success, and important speakers from TechCrunch and OMGPOP.
What are your club's big initiatives this year?
Last year for EEX we wanted to do a few things. For one, continue to partner with startup organizations in NYC and serve as a hub for entrepreneurship activity (see answer to question below for organizations). We also coordinated events with other schools (e.g. Columbia) and we met with a startup camp in Europe and a soon to be formed VC backed accelerator in Rio. All of these initiatives focus on bringing interesting opportunities to our members. We also wanted to start providing instruction for more startup focused skill-sets that business schools tend to lack. Similar to the NY startup SkillShare (whom we also partnered with for the RaiseCache event), we invited in speakers to teach students specific skills (e.g. Technology for startup Business CEOs, Biz Dev for startups, etc.).
What is the mission and long-term goal of the Entrepreneurs' Exchange Club?
Our mission is to engage startup activity at NYU and within the broader NYC community to give students a platform to successfully start their own company or get experience joining other successful startups.
What companies are you partnering with?
We (EEX) partner with Entrepreneur's Roundtable, UltraLight Startups, NYEBN, Sourcepad, Raise Cache. These groups help bring top industry professionals to speak as well as great events where NYC startups pitch to VC panels. Because we host all of these events at NYU (NYU also hosts the NY Tech Meetup, the largest meetup in the country) it provides a great networking / educational access to our students.
How many members do you have?
~1500+ (including alums - ~350 full-time current students)
A bit about your personal background: what were you doing pre-MBA?
I did management consulting in New York (I worked with companies ranging from airlines to large software firms: IBM, SAP, CA) and then I worked in Private Equity in Connecticut
Where do you see yourself after you complete your MBA?
Working at a startup, and eventually starting my own company. Also, actively helping others in what they are working on. I hope to stay involved and active in the NYC/NYU startup community.
Who is the most exciting speaker you've had this year?
We had Dan Porter interviewed by former TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld at our annual summit right after Dan sold OMGPOP to Zynga for ~$200M. OMGPOP had been close to going bankrupt and pulled off a remarkable turnaround (not to mention he re-hired employees he had to let go earlier right before the acquisition so they could benefit too).
What would you say is the most important factor in entrepreneurial success?
The ability to believe in an idea so passionately that even though most people will tell you that you will likely not succeed, you continue on and inspire others to join / help you.