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White boards and Post-It notes are common in Startup Garage, the iconic course on entrepreneurship … [+] at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Courtesy of Stanford GSB

When it comes to MBA rankings, there was a big surprise this week on a debut list of the best business schools for entrepreneurship. It’s not only that Washington University’s Olin School of Business won top honors in the ranking by PoetsandQuants.com and Inc. magazine. It’s that Harvard Business School failed to even make the top ten.

Not surprisingly, several business schools in and around Harvard’s grounds solidly landed in that top group, including Babson College and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. And also, not surprisingly, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business crushes HBS in the ranking, while UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management also are in the top ten.

There’s no doubt that HBS has devoted substantial resources to entrepreneurship in recent years. Nor is there any doubt that the elitist nature of the school allows its student entrepreneurs access to angel investors and venture capitalists who gladly pour cash into HBS startups.

But the fact remains: Harvard Business School is largely a school that turns out MBAs for consulting firms, investment outfits, and tech companies. For every graduating MBA at HBS this year who started a business, there were nearly three times as many who went to work for a private equity shop, a leveraged buyout firm or a VC. The same ratio holds true for consulting and for MBA grads who joined the likes of Google or Microsoft.

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