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Practical Business

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 People meeting around a conference table. By VIRIN


The purpose of the class is to provide an overview of basic business concepts and tools with a focus on practicality. The course will be project based, broken into three parts

  • Class case study over 6 weeks, looking at 1-2 companies
  • Small group project over 2 weeks on a company of the student’s choice
  • Project presentations over last two weeks

Class will be a mixture of lectures on key business topics (finance, operations, market research, etc.) as well as discussions with leaders across different industries who can speak to their first hand experience with each topic. Likely guest lecturers include: Jason Rathje (Stanford PhD), co-founder of AF Ventures; Max Shron, Director of Data at Warby Parker; Monish Kumar, Senior Partner & Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group; Nick Childs, co-founder of DIRT and creative whose work has appear in Superbowl commercials and the Sundance Film Festival; Bess Weatherman (Stanford MBA), former Head of Healthcare at Warburg Pincus.

Meet the Instructor(s)

Jonathan Bronson

Jonathan Bronson, Stanford in New York

Jonathan Bronson is a co-founder and Managing Partner at J2 Ventures, a venture fund which invests in dual-use, deep technology with national security applications. Prior to J2 Ventures, Jon worked at D. E. Shaw, initially in the Risk group and then as an investor with D. E. Shaw Renewable Investments (DESRI), where he focused on the development of utility scale solar and wind projects. Jon was also COO of the Health Tech startup Betterpath (now Backpack Health) and a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group. Jon earned his PhD in computational biology from Columbia University, where he developed open source software used to analyze time series data. He holds a MS and BA in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mohammed Badi

Mohammed Badi, Stanford in New York

Mohammed Badi is the President of Global Network Services (GNS) at American Express. In this role, he leads the company’s network-related businesses. Prior to this role, Mohammed was Chief Strategy Officer at American Express. He was responsible for the company’s medium-to-long term enterprise-wide strategy, running the company’s long-range planning process and ensuring alignment between the enterprise strategy, business unit strategies, and the M&A strategy.

Before joining American Express in October 2018, Mohammed was a Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he led the firm’s global Payments & Transaction Banking Practice. Mohammed had broad exposure to the strategic, operational, and organizational challenges facing the payments industry and worked with a number of fintechs, payments companies, and banks.

Prior to BCG, Mohammed worked with multiple technology start-ups. He cofounded a Silicon Valley medical device startup, was part of the pre-initial public offering team of a technology start-up, and worked as a scientist for several years with NASA’s Gravity Probe B Relativity Mission.

Mohammed earned his doctorate, Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and his Bachelor of Arts degree in French – all from Stanford University. He has served on the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University and is currently an adjunct professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business and Stanford University. He is a Trustee of the Tenement Museum of New York City.