How 2016 Wharton MBA Grads Flocked To Uber, Twitter And Start-Up Firms

By Erin Arvedlund

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Start-ups are growing in popularity among Wharton MBA’s. Both New York-based Custora and San Francisco-based Fundbox were both founded by Wharton MBAs where many 2016 Wharton grads now work. In addition, was founded by a Wharton MBA candidate who did not finish the program.

About 10 percent of the Wharton School’s 2016 MBA grads went to work as entrepreneurs — either at businesses they founded themselves or other start-ups — compared with a fraction of Wharton MBAs a decade ago.

Recent alumni of the University of Pennsylvania school are working at such firms as Twitter, Uber,, NerdWallet, Snapchat, Wealthfront, a robo-adviser competing with conventional Wall Street asset-management firms, and the Philadelphia-based, health-care-related Aledade.

Of the 850 students in Wharton’s 2016 graduating class — those who got their degrees between June 1, 2015, and May 31, 2016 — 50 are self-employed or are starting their own businesses, compared with 36 in the Class of 2015, according to the latest survey of MBA hiring and compensation provided by Wharton.

“What we’ve seen is that the number of students joining a start-up or starting a business — the group pursuing entrepreneurship — is about 10 percent of the class. It’s a significant number. Ten years ago, it might have been in the single digits,” said Michelle Hopping, director of employer services, MBA Career Management, at Wharton.

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