The Story Behind Booth's Hottest Student Group

Erick Laseca, Class of 2017

Erick Laseca, Class of 2017

Whether you’ve heard of them or not, Booth’s Search Fund Club has grown explosively these past few weeks and has begun taking the quickly evolving industry by storm. According to Erick Laseca (’17), Founder and President, the Search Fund Club has gone from 0 to 150 in three weeks, with many of its new members coming from Booth’s Evening and Weekend community. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or interested in data-driven management, Booth’s fastest growing group should have something in store for you.

What is a Search Fund?

A Search Fund is an investment vehicle for young, aspiring entrepreneurs to search for, acquire, manage, and grow a company. The Search Fund model offers recent MBA grads from a handful of elite business schools the most direct route to running a company right out of business school,” states Laseca.

We all know how attractive it is to be an entrepreneur, but with only two percent of startups actually getting off the ground, the Search Fund model has proven to provide entrepreneurs with the tools to grow a business. In addition, given the nature of these businesses they are running, Search Fund companies have a 76 percent chance of launching a successful business.

The Search Fund model is an attractive entrepreneurial career path pursued by graduating students and young alumni, involving the acquisition and operation of a small to medium sized business. Interest in the model has grown significantly in recent years, with Search Fund formation accelerating at elite institutions, including Booth among the top three in the US,” according to Laseca.

Why Booth?

Despite Booth being a top three institution in its Search Fund programs, most of Booth’s entrepreneurial talent is more aware of the startup model through the rise in popularity of the Entrepreneurship concentration and activities like the New Venture Challenge. Few Evening and Weekend students are aware of the Search Fund model and Erick’s taken great pleasure teaching his peers.

“We attribute the rapid growth of the group to the growing popularity of the Search Fund model. MBA students typically have very traditional paths after graduating. You go into consulting, investment banking, private equity, corporate finance, corporate strategy or general management. There is nothing wrong with these, but MBA grads are looking for more exciting options while not exposing themselves to the huge risks of a startup,” states Laseca.

How to Get Involved

While a young group, there has been no shortage of events for the Search Fund Club. Having already hosted four, with the 3rd Annual Booth-Kellogg Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Conference coming up in October. The event, which sold out last year, will bring out 350 attendees, including top investors, and is a great opportunity to learn more about the space.

Mike Sharifi, Class of 2018

Mike Sharifi, Class of 2018

“If you want to learn more about the Search Fund space, or attend one of our events, you can join by visiting the Booth Groups page and typing “Booth Search Fund Club” in the search field. Membership is free for now,” encourages Laseca.

Mike is an Evening MBA Student and Director of Talent at Telnyx. His hobbies include running, volleyball, and exploring local restaurants.