Curriculum

Our curriculum is designed with the whole campus in mind. Most students will begin taking courses in entrepreneurship during their sophomore or junior year. In almost all cases, some seats in each class are made available to non-Williams School students.

BUS 245: iStartup

iStartup is designed to provide students at an early stage in their college career with a solid foundation in the basics of entrepreneurship and a sense of what it feels like to start and sustain a new venture. Course content includes readings, brief lectures, case discussions, individual and group projects, as well as a simulation of the startup lifecycle--from idea to exit and the stages in between.

BUS 340: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

A study of entrepreneurs, creation of new ventures, and the management of smaller enterprises. Emphasis is on the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, identification and analysis of opportunities for new ventures, special legal and tax considerations, acquisition of capital, and the traditional requirements of successful management as they apply to smaller enterprises. Extensive use is made of case studies and a major research/case analysis project involving a potential or actual business is required.

BUS 381: Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurship is an approach to creating system-level change though the application of entrepreneurial thinking and problem solving to social ventures, non-profit organizations, government institutions, and non-governmental organizations to create economic, environmental, and social value for multiple stakeholders. The purpose of this class is to (a) introduce students to the strategic thinking that forms the foundation of successful entrepreneurial ventures, (b) engage students in the application of these strategic tools and frameworks through case analyses and discussion, and (c) to encourage students to change the world in a meaningful way by thinking about a social venture of their own.

BUS 383: Technology and Entrepreneurship

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an understanding of process through which technological inventions are transformed into innovations. Key works from scholars in the field will guide class discussions on understanding why managing innovation is complex, cross-functional, and a historically-dependent endeavor. By the end of the class, students will have 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 will 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.

BUS 399: Entrepreneurship Capstone

A capstone course designed to expose students to a strategic perspective on business challenges in the context of entrepreneurial firms. Integrating concepts and analytical tools from functional disciplines (e.g., finance, marketing, accounting) in the diagnosis, analysis, and resolution of complex business situations, this seminar helps students develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to excel in either new ventures or in today's increasingly entrepreneurial corporate environments. Among other activities, students learn from case studies, class discussions, and working together to develop and present a business plan. 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 W&L's Business Plan Competition.