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Entrepreneurship Courses

The entrepreneurship courses have been developed for students who have an interest in new venture creation by starting their own company or working to innovate within an existing firm. Entrepreneurship electives at Rensselaer are highly experiential. In many cases, students will work on developing a new idea into a viable business.

Impactful Innovators (MGMT 4965/MGMT 6956) Fall or Spring term View the Fall 2020 guest talks here
The goal of this 1 credit course is to introduce students to the variety of ways that innovators change the world, encouraging students with compelling stories from the lives of entrepreneurs. By featuring individuals directly involved with various aspects of the technology development and commercialization process, the class will help students project such stories onto their own lives, either working as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur.

Starting Up A New Venture (MGMT 4530/6630) Fall or Spring term
An understanding of the process for taking an idea from paper to product launch is gained through team-based experiential learning in this class.  Students will start the semester working on an assigned team with an assigned invention to understand the basic process then the bulk of the semester will form their own teams and work on a student-spawned idea for a business. This experiential learning process is enhanced by extensive conversations with potential customers and oral presentations to the class on a routine basis. The basics of entrepreneurship will be taught by examples in class via lecturer, guest speakers and video interviews. The foundation of this class is based on the Lean Startup Methodology which is promoted by the National Science Foundation and entrepreneurs around the world.  

Practicum in Management (MGMT 4900/6840) Fall or Spring term
A problem-solving experience in a business enterprise or public organization in which the student works individually or in a team project. Prior to the start of the internship a list of the learning objectives for this internship will be provided by the student to the faculty mentor. Upon completion of the internship, a written report of the outcomes of the internship and a detailed description of how the learning objectives were met will be provided by the student to the faculty mentor.

Making Business Happen (MGMT 6530) Fall term
This graduate level course is organized around the process of understanding customers and making informative, persuasive verbal presentations.  Topics include product and service knowledge, prospecting, approach strategies, presentation materials and formats, handling customer questions and objections, closing accounts, reaching decisions and servicing customers.  The course also examines the common problems confronting first-line and second-line sales managers including employee recruiting, training, performance evaluation and feedback, compensation, goal setting, leadership, supervision and coaching.  Finally, the course includes an in-depth study of advanced selling concepts including relationships management, negotiation, use of technology to enhance selling efficiency and effectiveness, and national account management. The course includes role-playing and case studies.

Principles of Technological Entrepreneurship (MGMT 4520/6620) Fall term
An introductory graduate course in initiating new technology-based business ventures and developing them into self-sustaining and profitable enterprises. Examines the processes of idea generation, opportunity recognition, product development, and customer / market research in the context of a technology startup. The course also examines entrepreneurial strategy and the basics of entrepreneurial finance.  The class is a mix of theoretical knowledge and experiential work, with students working in teams on the development of a new technology business. 

Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MGMT 4510/6640) Spring term
This course focuses on three key goals: providing increased insight into the cognitive foundations of entrepreneurship, offering practice in applying creative thinking to the task of formulating ideas for new products or services, and presenting basic information about the organizational process of commercializing such innovations. These goals will be achieved through a combination of assigned readings, in-class exercises, and individual and team projects. In addition, the course will include contributions from guest speakers who will share with the class their own experiences and expertise.

Entrepreneurial Finance (MGMT 6260) Fall term 
The overall objective of this course is to understand how entrepreneurs and investors create value, noting that their interests do not always coincide. This involves learning about topics which trace out the “venture capital cycle”: opportunity recognition; valuation and evaluation; negotiation; structuring financing contract; managing investment; exit strategy. This course is structured into three modules: valuation, private equity market, and harvesting entrepreneurial value.

Introduction to Technological Entrepreneurship (MGMT 4520) Fall or Spring term
An introductory course for initiating a new business venture and developing it into a self-sustaining and profitable enterprise. Provides understanding of the process whereby a person decides to become an entrepreneur, screens opportunities, selects an appropriate product/market target, and obtains the necessary resources. Also, provides the theoretical and practical knowledge for the preparation of formal business plans for the development of new products, processes, and services and for the financing of new enterprises.

Corporate Entrepreneurship (MGMT 6700 ) Spring term
Organizations that increase their capacity for entrepreneurship build a foundation for long-term competitiveness. This course examines how organizations can build management systems to enable entrepreneurial activities while simultaneously addressing current operational concerns. This tension differentiates the corporate entrepreneurial challenge from the start-up venture. The course focuses on both the organizational and project levels, studying how organizations can build an entrepreneurial capacity and how project champions can ensure their projects are effectively evaluated, supported, and managed.

Commercializing Advanced Technologies (MGMT 6590) Spring term
This 3-credit course views potential breakthrough innovation from the perspective of the project manager, either in the firm or as a startup organization. The course offers methods and frameworks for commercializing nascent technologies that offer potentially breakthrough value to the market and, therefore, enormous reward for the firm. Additionally, legal and ethical consequences are considered.