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  • Stanford School of Business Post 2

    Posted on May 13th, 2011 Patricia No comments



    Why bother adding the ecommerce program when the Internet already suffuses much of Stanford’s academic and professional culture? “We wanted to bring under one umbrella what we’re already doing or should be doing,” says Garth Saloner, professor of strategic management and economics, who will co-direct the new ecommerce program. “We want to be a leader in the area of ecommerce.” Michael Spence, GSB’s outgoing dean, who will co-teach a new ecommerce course with Saloner, adds: “the Internet affects all of business, and it’s changing business education…. We want to be part of that change, not just keep up with it.”

    Several current GSB students and recent graduates interviewed gave a thumbs-up to the school’s expanded ebusiness emphasis, saying it should better prepare them to be entrepreneurs in the Internet Age. “It’s a very good thing,” beams Meredith Unruh, 26, a second-year student who worked during the summer as a product manager at Guru.com, a San Francisco-based Web service geared toward helping independent consultants find and manage their work. Unruh moonlighted during her summer internship to write a case study on BabyCenter.com, a Website for new and expectant parents, for the forthcoming ecommerce class. She worked at the consulting firm Bain & Co. for three years before heading to Stanford.

    DiLullo and Lefcourt, the co-founders of online gift registry Della & James, developed their business idea for the Stanford Entrepreneurial Challenge in the fall of 1997. They further strategized their business plan through an independent study guided by Saloner.

    One of the Challenge judges, David Whorton, an associate from the prominent venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, sent them an effusive email after they won the first round, advising them to pull out from the competition and keep the plan to themselves-and Kleiner Perkins.

    The following May, the firm pumped $1 million into their venture and is participating in a second (undisclosed) round. Della & James already employs more than 70 people, several of them Stanford graduates. “It’s an incredible network,” Lefcourt says of GSB and its alumni.

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