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Aug 23, 2019

Posted on
May 05 2011

Real Estate Entrepreneurship
This winter, Kellogg introduced a new course offering called Real Estate Entrepreneurship. William M. Bennett created and instructed the course through creating a framework for students to understand the lifecycle and process of leading a real estate project from the Principal’s role. Course content covered investment thesis creation, sourcing, underwriting, structuring, fundraising, and owning real estate investments.

The course featured several guest speakers, including James McCormick (VP at AMLI Residential), Josh Daitch (KSM ’01, SVP at Mesirow Financial), Ben Weprin (KSM ‘10, President at AJ Capital Partners), David Friedman (Managing Director at Wrightwood Capital) and Jonathan Glick (KSM ‘04, Managing Director at Incubation Capital Partners), each of whom weighed in on the industry practitioner views of the course topics. The course curriculum featured two recently published Kellogg Case Studies, which facilitated broad discussions on the feasibility, structuring, and risk adjusted returns inherent in specific real estate entrepreneur led investments

By the end of the course, student teams developed an investment memorandum, a pro-forma financial model, and a business plan in presentation form. Each team then presented its chosen opportunity to a panel of judges who acted as an “Investment Committee.” Judges Chris Kosonen (VP at Starwood Capital), Bryan McDonnell (KSM ‘06, Principal at Prudential Mortgage Capital Company), Ethan Meers (KSM ‘09, Vice President at KTC Properties LLC) and Jay Harron (SVP at Equity International) reviewed the opportunities. In true Kellogg spirit, groups were creative in their strategy selection and investment proposals which included a single multifamily property redevelopment, a broken luxury investment in Aspen, reinventing the office incubator concept in the Chicago Loop, and a Washington DC version of the East Bank Club. Investment strategies also stretched abroad advocating an investment in Indian Farmland and European Senior Housing. The winning proposal as chosen by the judges was a multifamily acquisition and renovation in the Old Town neighborhood of Austin, Texas.

According to Joe Robinson KSM ‘12, “the course emphasized integrating the strategy, underwriting, operations, and risk mitigation required to secure an equity investment in a real project.” Therese McGuire, Director of the Real Estate Program noted that, “The course provided additional breadth in the Real Estate curriculum and added to our leadership in creating new real estate cases for MBA education.” Bennett added, “By training MBA students to run real estate projects as Principals, we are creating leaders capable of acting as a real estate investment fiduciary for leading companies, or as founders of their own company.”

About the Author

This article was written by Michael Fishbein '12.