Berkeley EMBA Program Prompts Leap into Entrepreneurship

By Susan Petty

Berkeley Executive MBA Student Orion Parrott, founder of LendsnapOrion Parrott takes big leaps. Big leap #1: enrolling in the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. Big leap #2: leaving his product line manager position at Teledyne Microwave Solutions. Big leap #3: founding Lendsnap, a start-up that streamlines complicated financial transactions by linking loan applicants’  financial statements and employment information, eliminating the documentation headache.

“Lendsnap is my opportunity to improve the world in a visible way, to touch peoples’ lives, and it’s fair to say I wouldn’t have done that without the Berkeley EMBA Program,” he says. “The program—from class assignments to our professors and my classmates—is a concierge service of the best learning opportunities available.”

Here are just a few of the ways Orion has leveraged what he calls the ecosystem of great minds at Berkeley-Haas: He met several of the people working with him on Lendsnap through the Haas Alumni Network. One of his classmates is both an advisor and an investor.

Lendsnap is my opportunity to improve the world in a visible way.


Lendsnap also participated in the California Dreamin’ Conference at Chapman University and LAUNCH, UC Berkeley’s startup competition. These opportunities afforded Orion “exceptional mentorship and connections with the inspiring entrepreneurs on the other teams.”

And now, Lendsnap is one of a cohort of startups admitted to the Berkeley SkyDeck accelerator. “This puts a world-class network of mentors and advisors within reach, and it puts us side-by-side with other innovative companies building the future,” says Orion. “I feel more immersed than ever in the San Francisco Bay Area startup culture, and I know that the relationships I’m making here will continue to shape my own journey.”

One of Orion's exposures to entrepreneurship in the Berkeley EMBA happened during the program's Silicon Valley Immersion Week. Take a look at our view of Silicon Valley. 


Our View of Silicon Valley

 You can also find tips from Orion on building a founding team at UC Berkeley's Scalable Startups blog.




Susan Petty
Susan is Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. She has nearly twenty years of experience in marketing and advertising, having worked in several different industries including technology, travel, healthcare -- and many others from her media planning days at J. Walter Thompson where her clients included Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Nestle, and Ford. She enjoys advising prospective students and guiding them through their personal MBA experience.