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Start-up funding is back, it would seem, and no more so than for business school alumni with great ideas. Alumni from the University of Chicago’s Booth school of business prove the point: eleven companies started by Chicago Booth students received more than $85 million in venture capital funding during the past year.
In June, for example, Braintree, which helps businesses process credit card payments, received $34m in funding from Accel Partners. The company, founded by Bryan Johnson, a 2007 Booth graduate, won the 2007 New Venture Challenge at the school. Other New Venture Challenge winners that received funding this year include GrubHub, an online service for ordering restaurant food (2006) and Bump, which developed the Bump smartphone app (2009).
“Entrepreneurship is thriving at Chicago Booth,” according to Steven Kaplan, faculty director of Chicago Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship. Since the start of the school’s New Venture Challenge in 1996, 65 companies have raised over $180m in funding and have created nearly 1,000 jobs, reports Prof Kaplan.