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Where is Entrepreneurship Really Taught?

Between Y Combinator’s Startup School, the influx of seed fund incubators, the list of legendary mentors and investors and the dotcom bust’s school of hard knocks, is there really any reason to go to grad school? At ReadWriteWeb we’re supportive of lifelong learning and universities that coach entrepreneurs, but a recent post by Venture Hacks founder Naval Ravikant has us wondering, “What is the value in grad school?”

Ravikant suggests that incubators and accelerators like YCombinator and Techstars are the new grad school.

He writes, “In some ways, it’s better,” and that unlike business schools, YCombinator pays entrepreneurs, which allows founders to be their own boss and encourages original work.

In addition to Ravikant’s points, the fact that every incubator participant is connected to advisors through a financial agreement means the group may be motivated to maintain their network and share contacts. Nevertheless, before dismissing the idea of grad school altogether, it’s good to remember many of the top entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley are MIT, Harvard and CalTech grads (including some of the Venture Hacks team). Perhaps the argument here is not so much about incubators over traditional institutions, but in the value of good mentors that have a stake in your success and do not rest on the laurels of a tenured position.

As a startup entrepreneur, what is the best lesson you’ve ever been taught and who taught it to you?

Photo Credit: Duncan Hull

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