Is it smart to go to school for entrepreneurship?

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

Dmitriy Peregudov, 32
The Serial Entrepreneur
Dmitriy Peregudov, 32
Babson College
Evening MBA program

I was born in Russia and studied engineering at a university in Moscow. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. But at the time, about ten years ago, you had to be very brave to start a company in Russia because of organized crime. If you succeeded, mobsters might come after you for "royalties."

After graduation I moved to the U.S., joining my father in Portland, Maine. I worked as a software engineer, and in 2002, I started an online gift and flower business in my spare hours (goodchoiceflowers.com).

I knew I needed polish, so I enrolled in Babson's evening MBA program. I kept my full-time job and continued to work on my startup, mostly on weekends. Two nights a week I drove two hours each way from Portland to the campus outside Boston for classes. There were two things I hoped to get out of Babson. First, I wanted to become a better salesperson. Growing up in Russia, I had always heard that America had the greatest sales culture. I also wanted to do some networking.

I achieved both goals. A course on professional selling was one of my favorites. I learned that you help people make buying decisions rather than forcing a sale on them. I also met my current business partner, Brian Goss, in my very first class. He and I teamed up to start On-site Videos (onsitevideos.com), a service that enables a company to feature a virtual spokesperson on its website. Onsite will have close to $2 million in sales this year. We have some prestigious clients, such as Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills. I still own the online flower business, but now someone else runs it.
- As told to Justin Martin

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 LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. 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.