Company/description: Living Strategies Inc., a Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, national elder-care planning, placement and management company
Education: MBA in entrepreneurial management from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business
Background: For six years, he was a health-care lawyer. Now he's an entrepreneur, running Living Strategies (www.livingstrategies.com) and employing 12 full-time staffers, plus five people who consult part time. Gatti started his company in 1998, right out of the graduation gates.
What an entrepreneurial education taught him: "The old saw that your business is going to take longer and cost more than you ever expected it to is just the truth. It doesn't matter if you've got a great group of employees, like we do; it does cost more and take longer than you ever expected. But you just need to persevere, push against the rock and keep moving. Eventually, you'll make it."
What it couldn't teach him: "How to do it. There is no blueprint for it, and I don't think there can be a blueprint for it."
How his peers are faring: "At Wharton, there's a significant component of students who go into the traditional consulting program. Those people are generally doing well. Others, who didn't go into the real world with their eyes wide open, are scrambling a bit." Gatti has hired some of those Wharton scramblers, and he doesn't have any egg on his face. Sorry-bad joke.
Is he glad he went? "Living Strategies couldn't have been built without an MBA and experience at Wharton," says Gatti, who concedes that even if it had, the company wouldn't be as effective as it is.
Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.