Is it smart to go to school for entrepreneurship?

9 aspiring tycoons tell FSB how the classes they took affected their businesses.

Tommy Taylor, 25
The Idea Guy
Tommy Taylor, 25
Howard University School of Business
MBA program

I always thought of myself as an innovator, and during my undergrad engineering studies at Carnegie Mellon, I felt compelled to cultivate my ideas by adding a business minor. When searching for grad schools, I learned that Howard University had a well-regarded MBA program for minorities. Through lectures and travel at Howard, I was able to meet top corporate executives, including a BET executive and the youngest business-made black millionaire in the world.

Johnetta Hardy, director of Howard's entrepreneurship program, told me about the FSB Business Plan Competition and helped me form a team to pitch my idea for digital billboards on the tops of taxicabs. Using our technology, companies will be able to advertise their products to a specific demographic based on the location of the given taxicab. My team included Omar Hashmi, who was focusing on marketing; finance whiz Meiling Assam; the articulate and driven Adonna Bannister; and Nyema Pinkney, who knows supply chain management.

Although we didn't win, the process definitely helped us. We decided to focus on an un-tapped foreign market - Beijing - and we're still seeking funding. Now I've got another project that might help me get noticed. I'm writing, producing, directing, and starring in my own cable TV comedy program in Washington, "The Tommy Taylor Show." At Howard, you learn that you can't just sit around and let things happen to you.
- As told to Jamie Carroll

The Professional

The Undergrad

The E-Learner

The Hybrid

The Idea Guy

The MBA

The Serial Entrepreneur

The Owner

The Heir
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.