Learning Entrepreneurship from all Angles: Courses at Yale SOM, Yale College, and other Graduate Schools


Courses at Yale SOM: 

Entrepreneurship & New Ventures (MGT 655)*

Students learn to create and manage new ventures across the public, private, and non- profit sectors in this foundational elective. Through this course, students are introduced to emerging frameworks in entrepreneurship including “lean start-up”, “customer discovery” and “design thinking”. These frameworks are used to identify and evaluate market opportunities for new products and services based on customer needs. The course also includes various practical aspects of new venture creation including legalities, financing, team building, and management.

Venture Capital and Private Equity Investments (MGT 635)

Investing in venture capital and in the equity of private companies is an apprenticeship business. Venture investors need analytic and quantitative skills, as well as broad knowledge of a range of business and financial disciplines. Successful investors need practice and a variety of experience, as well as good judgment and people skills. Course topics include start-ups and expansion stage venture capital, leveraged buyouts, and turnaround situations. Disciplines include business research (library skills), business and financial analysis, financial projections and equity valuation, verbal and written presentations, teamwork, and negotiating techniques. The course includes both lectures and in-depth case studies, with a strong emphasis on “learning by doing.” Teamwork is actively encouraged to frame and solve problems, and to handle heavy workloads. Execution of case studies requires teams of students to do research on industries, segments and niches, to evaluate business plans, and to make financial projections and value equity instruments. Teams will make written and verbal presentations. Entrepreneur and investor teams negotiate and structure “deals” in a role-playing mode. Enrollment limited to 42 second-year SOM students. Heavy workload. Five students will be selected from this class to represent Yale SOM as a team in the National Venture Capital Investment Competition (against 35 other MBA schools).

Global Social Entrepreneurship: India (MGT 529)

Launched in 2008 at the Yale School of Management, the Global Social Entrepreneurship (GSE) course links teams of Yale students with social enterprises based in India. GSE is committed to channeling the skills of Yale students to assist Indian organizations to expand their reach and impact on “bottom of the pyramid” communities. Yale students partner with mission-driven social entrepreneurs (SEs) to focus on a specific management challenge that the student/SE teams work together to address during the semester. In five years, GSE has worked with 30 leading and emerging Indian social enterprises engaged in economic development, sustainable energy, women’s empowerment, education, environmental conservation, and affordable housing. The course covers both theoretical and practical issues, including case studies and discussions on social enterprise, developing a theory of change and related social metrics, financing social businesses, the role of civil society in India, framing a consulting engagement, managing team dynamics, etc. The

course is taught by Tony Sheldon, Lecturer in Economic Development and Executive Director of SOM’s Program on Social Enterprise. All students will travel to India to work on- site with their partner SEs, and for a convening of all the student/SE project teams. As with the International Experience and the Global Network Immersion Week, students will be responsible for covering the costs of their round-trip airfare to India and related expenses (such as visa and immunizations). The School will cover in-country travel, hotel and related costs. Course enrollment is by application only. Students accepted and enrolled in GSE will allocate 100 of their fall course bidding points towards the course.

Entrepreneurial Finance (MGT 897)*

The course covers entrepreneurial finance from the perspective of the entrepreneur, including estimating capital needs, raising initial financing from angels, accelerators, venture capitalists or through crowd funding, negotiating terms, raising follow-on financing through debt or equity, and eventually managing an acquisition or public offering. The primary audience for this course is anyone who wants to understand better the financing of entrepreneurial ventures.

Programming and Entrepreneurship (MGT 659/CPSC 113)*

Techniques for advanced software development, management, and entrepreneurship that are used to build software start-up companies.

Management of Software Development (MGT 656)*

Students in this course will learn 1) management of the software development lifecycle and 2) basic technology skills for creating modern mobile-friendly web applications. The management techniques will include hiring technical teams as well as planning, implementing, and maintaining software projects. We will focus on “agile” methods for software development, using these methods to develop a mobile web application in teams. The course will build a foundational understanding of version control, databases, and programming using HTML, JavaScript, & CSS. Some experience programming would be beneficial, though not necessary for the motivated student. The course is most appropriate for students who will have leadership roles in industries being disrupted by technology, or who are launching new ventures with a web component. The course is open to all Yale students.

New Ventures in Healthcare and the Life Sciences (MGT 657)*

This course will give students a broad understanding of the major “new venture” opportunities in healthcare & medicine—healthcare delivery, healthcare IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and surgical techniques. In each of these areas, they will understand the canonical path to commercialization including how to identify opportunities; who the customers is; how to build interdisciplinary teams; and regulatory hurdles to commercialization. The course is designed for a diverse student body including students from management, natural sciences, and medicine. The course comprises lectures, raw cases, guest speakers, and in-class projects.

Start-up Founder Studies (MGT 645)*

This is a seminar course for the advanced study of start-up founders’ experiences. The course meets once per week for 80 minutes. Each class is devoted to a single topic related to the experience of start-up founders that is not covered in other entrepreneurship electives. The classes consist of readings, case studies, activities and lectures led by experienced founders. These are followed by student-led interviews of the entrepreneurs. The topics change yearly. In the Fall of 2014, scheduled topics include building company culture, sales techniques, board management, founder disputes, start-up acquisitions, going public and others. Admission to the course is application only and is limited exclusively to entrepreneurs who have started a new venture prior to the beginning of the course.

Start-up Founder Practicum (MGT 646)*

The purpose of this course is to provide full-time SOM students with a mechanism to work on their start-up ventures for credit, applying principles derived from their other coursework, particularly the integrated core curriculum. Students in this course articulate milestones for their ventures and work with faculty, staff, and mentors to meet those milestones. Generally, the course employs “lean” methodology. Admission to the course is restricted to students in a full time program at Yale SOM who have formed a venture prior to the beginning of the class. Not all team members must take the class. Admitted students are given working space in the Entrepreneurial Studies Suite of Yale’s Evans Hall.

International Entrepreneurship (MGT 652)*

Entrepreneurship is one of the most vital driving forces behind economic growth, social development, as well as individual and regional wealth. Entrepreneurship is occurring in developed as well as in emerging markets, across both commercial and social sectors, and in communist as well as democratic political systems. Even though, U.S. is still ranked #1 in the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), the gap is rapidly narrowing. In fact, in places like China, India, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet States, the speed of entrepreneurial growth is outpacing the traditional entrepreneurial hotbeds like Silicon Valley, New York, and Boston.

Entrepreneurship & Sustainability (MGT 568)*

The challenges encompassed by sustainability are vast. From climate change, energy, water and food to poverty and human rights, our society needs innovative solutions. At the same time, more and more talented individuals are seeing opportunities to create new business organizations, products and services that can be successful in the marketplace, while simultaneously helping people and the environment (doing well by doing good). This class is designed to explore the landscape of the ‘sustainopreneur’. The class is split between four sections (roughly 25% devoted to each section): 1) We explore the challenges encompassed by sustainability with emphasis on opportunities for business solutions and emerging business trends in the space in order to set the stage for student business ideas. We will also discuss the resource constraints, market forces and non-market forces that are creating these challenges/opportunities. 2) We present some of the common tools and concepts used by sustainopreneurs such as life cycle analysis, green technology, lean engineering, circular economy, social media, platform technology and B Corporation status and discuss the applicability, strengths and weaknesses of each. We will also explore

concepts of leadership and innovation in the context of sustainability. 3) Not all sustainopreneurs are ready to start their own business and so we will discuss the role and opportunities for intrapreneurs to create change within large companies in support of social and environmental protection. 4) The final section of the class will focus on student business ideas. We will use the final classes for ideation sessions, peer review and feedback from topic area experts within and outside of Yale.

*Indicates recently added course

Note: Startup Founder Practicum is the only listed course not open to undergraduates

Courses at Yale College and other Graduate Schools:

Interactive Design (ART 369)

Interactive design explored through the development of projects that are based online. Concepts of prompt, feedback, and variable conditions; Web-specific design issues such as navigation and pacing, as well as design for variable sizes and devices; best practices in code craft and design. The Web as a social ecosystem in which time and performance play important roles. Instruction in HTML, CSS, and some Javascript.

Launch: Architecture and Entrepreneurialism (ARCH 3239)

This seminar studies the designer as entrepreneur. The artistic desires and aesthetic practices of the architect are entirely different from that of the entrepreneur. While the architect frequently wishes to make a singular, autonomous, object as expression of self, the entrepreneur wants to project onto a viral market the multiple, changeable desires of others in the form of both objects and aesthetic regimes.

The Economics of Innovation (ECON 410)

Study of forces that drive the process of innovation. Creativity and creative destruction; the innovator’s dilemma; incentives to innovate; competitive advantage; industry evolution; intellectual property. Use of both formal theoretical models and quantitative empirical studies, as well as descriptive studies from management strategy and economic history.

Engineering Innovation & Design (ENAS 118)

An introduction to engineering, innovation, and design process. Principles of material selection, stoichiometry, modeling, data acquisition, sensors, rapid prototyping, and elementary microcontroller programming. Types of engineering and the roles engineers play in a wide range of organizations. Lectures are interspersed with practical exercises. Students work in small teams on an engineering/innovation project at the end of the term.

Creativity & New Product Development (ENAS 323)

Study of green engineering, focusing on key approaches to advancing sustainability through engineering design. Topics include current design, manufacturing, and disposal processes; toxicity and benign alternatives; policy implications; pollution prevention and source reduction; separations and disassembly; material and energy efficiencies and flows; systems analysis; biomimicry; and life cycle design, management, and analysis.

Green Engineering and Sustainable Design (ENAS 360)

An overview of the stages of product development in a competitive marketplace, with simulation of the process in class. A hands-on approach to creativity and the development process.

Behavioral Marketing Strategies (GLBL 522)

This course discusses strategies to address the challenges of marketing new products and behaviors to poor consumers in emerging markets.

Social Enterprise in Developing Economies (GLBL 305)

Harnessing the power of markets in the fight against poverty. The use of social enterprise to foster local empowerment and establish the building blocks of regional economic development. Measuring the impact of grants and program-related investments from philanthropic organizations and for-profit corporations. Students design summer research projects.

Startups and the Law (LAW 20664)

This course is intended to give students a thorough look at legal issues faced by start-up companies. We will follow a semi-hypothetical company throughout its lifecycle, with the students creating its capitalization table and updating it through several rounds of financing and an acquisition. We will focus on corporate matters and have several sessions on related matters including intellectual property and executive compensation. Permission of the instructors required.

Medical Device Design and Innovation (MENG 404)

The engineering design, project planning, prototype creation, and fabrication processes for medical devices that improve patient conditions, experiences, and outcomes. Students develop viable solutions and professional-level working prototypes to address clinical needs identified by practicing physicians. Some attention to topics such as intellectual property, the history of medical devices, documentation and reporting, and regulatory affairs.

Comments are closed.