This is a course about the strategies of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial firms. The focus is on the creation of technology ventures while corporate entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship will be also discussed. The goal of the course is to prepare students with a systematic understanding of the processes and mechanics, strategies and tactics, of entrepreneurship process and venture creation. This course should be of particular interest to those interested in commercializing a new technology via their own business, being member of the leadership team in a new technology company, or working in technology strategy consulting or venture capital firms. Through this course, students are expected to develop their passion and capability for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The course uses a learning-by-doing approach that combines classroom learning (lectures and case discussions) and real venture development practice. This integrative pedagogical approach aims to provide an opportunity for students to learn entrepreneurship effectively by combining (1) absorbed existing knowledge and (2) personal venturing process experience, through (3) scientifically-grounded analytical and critical thinking about the entrepreneurship process. We aim to treat the class as a community of would-be “entrepreneurs” or “innovators”, in which students are expected to actively exchange ideas, build friendships, motivate and support each other, practice theories, start up new ventures, and gain experience of success and failure together.
The course intertwines two elements. The first element is to discuss existing knowledge, fundamentals and concepts of entrepreneurship, including entrepreneurship itself, innovation, innovation strategy, uncertainty management, ventral capital, etc. The second element is to “Start a New Venture” through a required course project. We match the course project progresses with discussions of corresponding challenges and tactics involved in the process, including opportunity identification, team building, equity split, bootstrapping, early-stage marketing, raising capital, company valuation, exit and IPO, etc (see corresponding sessions in the syllabus attached). The first element is based on classroom learning, while the second is based on the practice outside the classroom. To facilitate hands-on learning, we discuss real successful and failed startup stories of Nike, Apple, Pandora, Zipcar, etc.