In recent decades, entrepreneurship has provided a rushing current of innovative products and services feeding into the American economy and accelerating its growth. This course is designed to prepare the student to enter that turbulent, exciting stream, whether as an entrepreneur, key executive or investor. The motivated student will learn how to: identify new business opportunities; value new ventures; develop a sound operating model; understand venture capital financing; assemble and motivate a management team; explore legal issues; hone management disciplines appropriate for small companies; and evaluate potential harvesting options. Each week the class reads a case about a new venture start-up and discusses what the entrepreneur did right and wrong. The course includes a module on acquisition valuation and financial modeling, as many new ventures today involve buyouts using leverage or angel/private equity funding. These skills will open the doors of entrepreneurship opportunity to professional managers who have never invented anything. The course methodology includes readings, class discussion, guest speakers, written assignments and a field project either consulting with or planning a new venture.
In a related course, Entrepreneurship, students will cover much of the same basic ground but instead of reading and discussing cases, will form project teams and prepare a business plan for a new venture. Some class sessions are devoted to team presentations of different sections of the business plan and using the class as a sounding board. In other sessions, successful entrepreneurs will give guest lectures telling their stories and providing insights into the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship.