The Entrepreneurial Experience (ENTR-967-0)
This course counts toward the following majors: Entrepreneurship & Innovation
This course offers a unique blend of theoretical constructs and practical experience as they relate to emerging businesses. Analytical methodologies and management processes used in large corporations are not directly applicable to emerging companies that are often cash and resource poor. Classroom lectures and discussion focus on growth strategies, marketing, management and financing of small enterprises given limited resources.
Classroom instruction and discussion is augmented by actual experiences with emerging ventures. Teams composed of 3-5 students will work on a specific project with a growth enterprise during the 10-week course. Projects include researching new markets, new channels and customer acquisition tactics; developing marketing and/or pricing strategies; and analyzing operations to increase efficiencies. Companies selected for the course are chosen for their proximity to Chicago so that students have the opportunity to meet and work closely with the entrepreneurs and thereby immerse themselves in an entrepreneurial environment.
Students are expected to work 6 – 8 hours out of class each week. This includes team and client meetings, independent and group research, interviews, presentation preparation and more. Individual team meetings are scheduled with the professor at least every 2 weeks.
Project management is a key focus of the class. Many of the entrepreneurs have not used consultants before and consequently, students are expected to guide the consulting process and insure that deliverables meet the client’s expectations. Part of each class is devoted to discussing strategies and actual project issues in order to arrive at desired results.
The ultimate objective of the class is to provide students with a hands-on experience in an entrepreneurial venture. This type of immersion is insightful for students considering founding a company, working in a start-up, consulting to small business and/or providing services or products to small businesses.
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