Turing down IB FT offer to run my startup?
Sort of a unique situation here, but would appreciate any insight.
However, all through college I've had a startup, but recently during Coronavirus quarantine I spent a lot of time on it and really got it going. Currently, I have ~40k in revenue for the year and am on track to make just under 100k this year. It's a software company, so I could theoretically keep scaling it. I think it's reasonably likely I could grow it slowly- say, I could be doing 300k in revenue in 3 years. There's a slim chance it could grow really fast and get over $1M+ in revenue, and obviously there is also a chance that it blows up and next year I get 0 revenue.
I'm really on the fence about whether I should give up on the startup and go work my IB job. My fear is that I'm working at a non-top bank, so my exit ops will be somewhat limited. On the other hand, going to work at a startup is a huge risk, I'd be turning down a guaranteed $100k+, and if the startup flops I would feel like a complete clown. However, being my own boss at a startup would be awesome, and I think if things work out even somewhat, I could just get an MBA or try to get a VC job if I wanted to go back into the finance world in a few years. I would also need to renege on my FT offer, which I don't think is a huge deal because it's not like I'm going to a different bank, but could this possibly haunt me later if I wanted to go into IB/MBA/other finance eventually? Also, it would pretty much be impossible to keep the startup up and running while working in IB. I could basically put it on hold (and make 0 revenue during my IB stint) and try to get it back up to speed in 2 years, but I worry about competition and if I don't innovate at all in two years I could definitely lose the edge.
Let's say my startup fails in two years- do you think I could get back into IB as someone with 2 years of experience running a startup? I have a reputable IB SA on my resume, but I imagine it would be hard to get back into IB without the help of campus recruiting. On the other hand, I'm worried that this is my one shot to scale this startup and if I go into IB, I might regret it forever.
Would appreciate any advice. Thx