Ivey gets entrepreneurs beyond the classroom

Running a company takes a wide lense view of a business. Some business owners get a company passed down to them from their parents through succession planning while others start one themselves. "One in three dreams becomes a reality," says Karen Mazurkewich in the Financial Post.
Ricky Zhang, an MBA student at University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business, has not yet graduated but he has already launched a financial-services company, Trans-Asia Investment Partners, with a plan to broker deals between Chinese investors and real-estate funds in Canada. Mr. Zhang, a former associate for AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp., formulated a plan before starting classes in London, Ont., but he said school contacts were necessary to get it off the ground.
"The most difficult thing for me was in Canada, no one trusted me. I have no relatives here, so the school alumni is the only assets I could rely on initially," he said.
Mr. Zhang spent months in the classroom honing the plan. He and his team have identified two sources of revenue: Chinese investors who will pay his company a consulting fee and developers and fund managers in Canada who will pay referral fees and have lined up contacts with immigration agencies and foreign-study consultants.
Ricky had Ron Close to help him at Ivey:
"A couple of team leaders get religion about their idea and are excited enough to go out and try to raise financing," said Ron Close, a professor of entrepreneurship at Ivey, who helps students find mentors and money. The advantage of incubating a project inside school is that you have the time to work through the angles whereas "most entrepreneurs are winging it," he said. The downside is that some team members view it as an exercise and not a calling.

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