The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Sponsored Content » An Ecosystem of Support: One Tuck MBA’s Path to Entrepreneurship

An Ecosystem of Support: One Tuck MBA’s Path to Entrepreneurship

Image for An Ecosystem of Support: One Tuck MBA’s Path to Entrepreneurship

Sponsored Content

Dartmouth Tuck’s MBA program stands out for its robust entrepreneurship offerings, catering to students eager to dive into the world of startups and innovation. In the last 15 years, approximately 10 to 12 percent of Tuck students have embarked on starting or joining an early-stage company immediately after completing their studies.

At the heart of Tuck’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is its Center for Entrepreneurship, a dynamic hub that provides students with invaluable resources, mentorship opportunities, and funding support for their entrepreneurial endeavors. Tuck’s MBA curriculum is carefully crafted to include courses covering essential topics such as entrepreneurial finance, venture capital, and startup strategy.

“Tuck not only has the infrastructure to support entrepreneurs, but you also have greater access to faculty; you’re not competing for those resources as you would at a larger school,” says Chris Moates, Tuck MBA ’23 and Founder/CEO of TeamUp Therapy. “Everyone is willing to help. Tuck alumni are just so excited to see another Tuck student go through the process and are ultra-responsive. I think a lot of that has to do with Tuck’s small size.”

Moreover, Tuck goes beyond the classroom by offering hands-on experiences through entrepreneurial projects, the Venture Learning Lab which helps students evolve their business ideas and grow their ventures, and a series of networking events and workshops. This comprehensive approach not only equips students with academic expertise, but also immerses them in real-world scenarios, fostering creativity, innovation, and strategic thinking essential for entrepreneurial success.

With a strong alumni network of successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders, Tuck’s MBA program provides a fertile ground for aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into impactful ventures. Many trailblazing entrepreneurs have walked Tuck’s halls, from Roger McNamee, Tuck MBA ’82, cofounder of Elevation Partners, to Tracy Sun, Tuck MBA ’05, cofounder of Poshmark, and Langley Steinert, Tuck MBA ’91, founder of CarGurus and a co-founder of TripAdvisor. Tuck alumni’s entrepreneurial pursuits have been rich and varied, like Carey Schwaber Armstrong’s, Tuck MBA ’10, venture, Tomo, a tech startup that facilitates the mortgage approval process, and George Cook’s, Tuck MBA ’17, loan crowdfunding platform, Honeycomb Credit. Andrew Olaleye, Tuck MBA ’13, created a network of freelancers to act as brand experts for customer support through his business, Chatdesk. Some Tuck founders have focused on their communities. Take Courtney Bragg, Tuck MBA ’18, who co-founded Fabric Health, which works with both insurers and healthcare systems to offer healthcare services to laundromat goers.

Out of this diverse and accomplished pool, and one year after graduating with his Tuck MBA, Chris Moates joins us to share his personal experience with entrepreneurship at Tuck. Read on for his insights into the program offerings, admissions and more.

Chris Moates, Dartmouth Tuck MBA Class of 2023, Founder & CEO, TeamUp Therapy

Age: 30
Hometown: Americus, GA           
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Yale University, Political Science
Pre-MBA Work Experience: Healthcare consultant, PwC Advisory, 2016-2018, Healthcare; Manager of Corporate Development, Make-A-Wish Georgia, 2018-2021, Nonprofit
Post-MBA Work Experience: Founder & CEO, TeamUp Therapy, 2023 – present, Healthcare Services (pediatric therapy)

Why did you choose to attend Dartmouth Tuck? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Every person I talked to from Tuck was obsessed with the school, the campus, and the people. A lot of schools are similar on paper, but Tuck had a lot more energy and excitement. I also knew I preferred to be in a setting close to the outdoors over the city. I had been to Hanover a few times while playing baseball for Yale, and I remembered thinking it was a beautiful campus.

Please elaborate on your entrepreneurial journey and your current role. What about your Tuck MBA experience prepared you for it?
In my second year at Tuck, I ultimately decided to focus on a problem that I’m passionate about. My youngest sister, Anna, has Down Syndrome, and pediatric therapy was a big part of her life growing up — but it’s gotten harder for kids with intellectual and developmental disabilities to access services, especially in rural areas like where I grew up. This year, my sister Ashley, who is a speech-language pathologist, and I started TeamUp Therapy. We currently offer speech-language therapy virtually in Georgia and hope to grow to serve families in different states and offer additional therapies.

What did you appreciate about the curriculum? Can you discuss a course or two that has been particularly relevant to your career?
I had a ton of support from the Tuck Center for Entrepreneurship — from the classes to the faculty.  Daniella Reichstetter T’07 really took me under her wing and helped me think through my ideas and what I wanted to do objectively. I was also in the pilot class of Eileen O’Toole’s Venture Learning Lab, and she was incredibly supportive and gave us the structure to start a business.

One of my favorite courses was Professor Aram Donigian’s Negotiations class. It provided me with a strong foundation in negotiating effectively—a skill crucial to my current role. I’m excited to return to Tuck this spring to share how these principles have been instrumental in the growth of TeamUp Therapy.

Managing Communications with Courtney Pierson and Healthcare Analytics with Lindsey Leineger were also highlights.

What activities during the MBA program influenced your growth the most (and how)?
Being part of ACTS, a Christian ministry at Tuck, was profoundly influential. It offered a supportive community that helped maintain perspective during the craziness of business school, and reinforce the importance of integrating faith with professional ambitions.

How did Tuck’s career services support your professional success?
Caroline Cannon, my career advisor at Tuck, was helpful during my entrepreneurial exploration at Tuck. She helped tease out different business ideas, and never once tried to push me to go a more conventional route. She has continued to be supportive of me and TeamUp Therapy, even post-graduation!

How did Tuck alumni support your professional success?
I’m always amazed by the responsiveness and general support of Tuck alumni. Emily Maine, Duncan Reece, John Parker, and Mark Potter were all strong sources of encouragement as I considered joining them down the healthcare entrepreneurship path. Andrew Chen and Wiley Osborse were crucial advisors as well.

If you had to summarize or highlight (in a sentence or two) why a prospective MBA candidate should consider Tuck for entrepreneurship, what would you say?
Tuck is an awesome school to explore entrepreneurship because it has a ton of resources and relatively few students take advantage of them. If you take it seriously, you can have disproportionate access to some amazing faculty and opportunities.

What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process to the Tuck MBA program?
Make sure admissions know how excited I am not only for Tuck, but to live in the Upper Valley.


Lauren Wakal
Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.