Why I dropped out of Stanford Ignite

June 24, 2015
founders stanford y-combinator jagriti-yatra

January 2015 was interesting month in many respects. First, I had just completed a two week long train journey covering all corners of India. Next, after spending about two years in the fintech world, I came to accept the fact that it was time for me to explore other domains.

In between all this, something unexpected happened. Sometime late the previous year, I had applied for the Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Stanford Ignite program. The idea of being with hand picked smart people and being able to network with them over the weekend, and most importantly being taught by the Stanford faculty lured me into applying for it. And when Stanford decided to provide me with additional scholarship to attend the program, I was happy beyond my imagination. Little, had I known that I’d end up dropping out of the program a week before it started.

My dropout story started during the Jagriti Yatra, where I came across several entrepreneurs from all walks of life. The diversity in the class of “micro entrepreneurs” attending the train journey ignited the feeling within me that the skills of entrepreneurship are perhaps better learnt in real life than in classrooms. And perhaps, it’s wiser to learn a thing or two from an entrepreneur who’s seen the shit hit the fan, and recovered his/her business than to learn a thousand different things from a B-school professor who’s had no similar experience.

With all this going on inside my head, I ended up having two offers from two of the finest startups in India. Both of them were graduates of the famous Silicon Valley incubator, Y Combinator. After multiple twists and turns in deciding among the two offers, and moving back to Nepal to start something of my own, I decided to go for my current employer, mostly because of the vision the founders offered.

And it’s been around four months since I joined, and it’s been a fun journey. I’ve learned more about growth, shipping fast, talking to the customers perhaps more than what I would I have learnt in the Ignite program.