Our curriculum is designed with the whole campus in mind. The entrepreneurial journey for students from any major begins sophomore or junior year by taking courses described below. These courses are designed to challenge students through applying entrepreneurial approaches to problem solving, recognizing and organizing viable new venture opportunities in the marketplace. Inspired by these courses, students may also engage in a variety of co-curricular activities while assessing opportunities to explore in our capstone BUS340 Entrepreneurship course during their senior year. Although this course has a limited number of seats available for non-Williams School students, individuals from other majors may participate as part of a team taking the course.
iStartup is designed to provide students at any stage in their college career and from any major on campus with not only a solid foundation in "the basics" of entrepreneurship, but also a sense of what it "feels like" to start and sustain new venture. As a cocktail, iStartup would be one part Entrepreneurship 101 and one part Amazing Race. Course content includes readings, brief lectures, case discussions, and a semester-long simulation of a startup venture-from idea to exit and the stages in between.
This capstone course provides the opportunity for students to explore their own business startup ideas through writing a comprehensive business plan. Students participating in this course will participate in the W&L Business Plan Competition.
The Social Entrepreneurship course is open to students campus-wide. The course focuses on studying individuals and organizations that measure success based on social impact rather than the financial bottom-line. Social entrepreneurs make an impact through creating positive social change, fostering enhanced social and economic equality, and improving the human rights for individuals across the globe. The goals of this course are to introduce students to the structure, methods, and mindsets of the social venture community, engage students in the application of these methods and mindsets through not only case analyses and discussions, but also the proposal of a new social venture, and encourage students to change the world in significant and positive ways.
Technology and Entrepreneurship
This Spring Term course provides students with an understanding of process through which technological inventions are transformed into innovations. Key works from scholars in the field guide class discussions on understanding why managing innovation is complex, cross-functional, and a historically-dependent endeavor. By the end of the class, students gain an appreciation for the entrepreneurial mindset, key actors in the start-up process, and the means through which technology is commercialized. In addition to these discussions, students travel to Silicon Valley to not only meet individuals who are a part of the recent start-up/technology scene, but also visit key locations that capture the history and context of innovation in the San Francisco/Bay Area.
Entrepreneurship Field Experience
This co-curricular course is designed for the Venture Club, a student organization that provides pro bono consulting services to entrepreneurial businesses and entrepreneurial not-for-profits. Experiential learning draws from business fields, such as marketing, finance, accounting, e-commerce, database management, business strategy and human resources. Students gain real world experience through writing business plans, marketing plans, and strategic plans for real-world ventures.