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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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices 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.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.