Empowered by the LBS MBA: Alisha’s Experience in Entrepreneurship

Alisha Chowdhury MBA2024, Co-President of the LBS Entrepreneurship Club, shares how being at LBS helped her create and shape the development of her app, Mongo

As I strolled through Sussex Garden at LBS, I knew there was only one thing I wanted to explore here: entrepreneurship. I wanted to build something that had impact, that mattered. Prior to my MBA, my life was in the fast-paced world of private equity. I spent the first 4.5 years of my career as a buy-side investor. But since I was a kid, I always had this irrepressible zest for creating and selling; whether it was crafting jewelry to raise money for non-profits or launching a charity initiative in high school, my entrepreneurial spirit was always there.

When I decided to pursue entrepreneurship finally after my career in finance, I was faced with a crossroad—to pursue an MBA and try to start a business through an MBA or to immediately start a business without an MBA—I chose the former. I have always been an avid lover of school and learning and knew that an MBA would provide much more than business knowledge; it would provide a community, education, lifelong friendships, and, at LBS, a global network.

Upon arriving at LBS, I completely immersed myself into all things related to entrepreneurship. I found my people in the Entrepreneurship Club during the club fair and wasted no time in applying for and becoming the Chief of Staff of the club, becoming the eyes and ears of entrepreneurship at the school.

Then came the pivotal moment in January 2023: winning the LBS Hackathon. This is where I created the Mongo App, a financial platform for university students. We used this prize money to bootstrap and build our platform. That summer, I went against the conventional path of taking on an internship and poured my summer into building Mongo. By late 2023, we had launched Mongo on the global app store.

But my entrepreneurship journey extended far beyond LBS; I tapped into London’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem. I joined female founder associations, connected with students across London and attended as many competitions as possible and events in the city.

However, as the end of 2023 was around the corner, I was left with a mix of pride at all of the achievements I made that year with Mongo and the daunting reality of entrepreneurship—the uncertainty and financial instability.

The Leadership Incubator at LBS played a pivotal part in my entrepreneurial and leadership journey in my second year of the MBA. I was admitted into the program because by my second year, I was elected as the co-president of the Entrepreneurship Club. In the Incubator, every individual receives a personal executive coach. As I was navigating the anxiety of starting my business, entering 2024, and running the Entrepreneurship Club, I found myself seeking my coach’s advice on a regular basis. It was through our one-on-one sessions I gained so much clarity and confidence in balancing all of my priorities and the uncertainties ahead.

Mongo’s journey has come a long way since the Hackathon. Looking back, I feel confident in my choice to pursue building Mongo through the MBA at LBS. The program didn’t just give me a solid foundation—it provided me with the resources, time, space, guidance and people to make my aspirations come true of becoming a founder.

Innovative, intrepid, evolving, collaborative, ground-breaking—these are the words that encapsulate my journey at LBS. Reflecting on the leap of faith into entrepreneurship, it was the MBA journey that helped me find Mongo.

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