Tales in Possible

Accelerate Possible

Langone MBA student and entrepreneur Jon Katz leverages his education to launch a new venture, eDivv

The Stern MBA program has transformed me into a business executive with the skills and tools that I need to succeed as an entrepreneur.

“Having an MBA is huge when you want to start a business,” explains Jon Katz, an entrepreneur and student in NYU Stern’s Langone MBA for Working Professionals program. “I now see things from a top-level strategic standpoint in addition to understanding the fundamentals of finance, accounting, marketing and operations. I can analyze each one of these pieces and bring them together in a full strategy for the business, both long-term and short-term.”

Jon discusses his path as an entrepreneur at Stern

“I work full-time with my father at a start-up called Ektio, Inc.,” Jon says. “It’s an athletic footwear company with a patented ankle support technology which my father (a physician) invented. Before coming to Stern, I was gaining great start-up experience, but I didn't have the foundation of an MBA education to fall back on when strategic decisions had to be made. Now that I have that base, the way I mentally approach tasks has changed. I see things from new angles that I may not have seen before.”

Jon recently launched a new venture, eDivv.com, with his girlfriend and business partner Casey Casterline. “eDivv.com is an online marketplace for trading/bartering beauty products online,” Jon describes. “We launched on January 15, 2014. Things are going really well and more than 1,600 trades have already happened in just 3 months. We were recently accepted into an incubator program in Memphis, Tennessee, that offers the opportunity for mentors, business plan refinement and access to a wide range of institutional and angel investors. We’re excited about our early success and are working to continue that growth.”

Jon credits Stern for helping him launch his new venture: “Stern has been a great asset for me while building eDivv. The knowledge I gained from certain classes such as Competitive Strategy in the Marketplace, Brand Strategy and Advanced Marketing Planning helped me in forming my business plan and executive summary as well as analyzing the competition, all of the different challenges in the market and the overall industry. My professors have been a great resource. I spoke with my Advanced Strategy professor in October, about 3 months before we launched, and he was able to provide a lot of great insight that helped drive our business plan and monetization strategy. Beyond that, just having the confidence of being an MBA student at Stern is huge. Many people never take that first step in starting a business because they don’t have the confidence.”

“I’ve always been an entrepreneur and I love the idea of working for yourself and putting passion into what you do on a daily basis,” Jon explains. “Before Stern I was just an aspiring entrepreneur. The Stern MBA program has transformed me into a business executive with the skills and tools that I need to succeed as an entrepreneur.”