Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (45881) – Course Description
Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (45881) is the introductory entrepreneurship course offered to Tepper School of Business MBA students and to graduate students from other CMU schools and colleges as places are available. The course is a prerequisite for Entrepreneurial Business Planning (45882), for Technology Commercialization and Business Development, Strategy and Workshop (45880, 45888), and for Designing and Leading a Business, 45885 (the Entrepreneurship in Organizations Track Capstone Project Course). The course focuses on developing an understanding of entrepreneurial thinking, idea generation, finding and screening a suitable entrepreneurial project, development of a competitive advantage and a suitable business model. The course also incorporates some fundamental aspects of building a team and financing the opportunity whether it is a technology based venture capital opportunity or other ventures more suitable for alternative funding vehicles. These latter two topics are included in more detail in subsequent courses. The course consists of a series of lectures, readings, cases, and discussions and also includes selected visiting entrepreneurs from time to time.
Teaching Objectives – The principal objective is for students to learn how entrepreneurs think and act in entrepreneurial ventures that span from startups to emerging companies to mature companies and to understand the role of entrepreneurs in the US and global economies. Entrepreneurial ventures include high-growth venture backed organizations, small and medium sized businesses (SME’s, entrepreneurship through small business acquisition), and organizations that deal with broadly benefit society (social entrepreneurship). Student learn how to employ the entrepreneurial process model: opportunity development, resource acquisition (people, partners, financial assets), and team development in all forms of entrepreneurial firms.
Expected Outcomes – Teams will learn how to select opportunities from many ideas that may be available to them. Each project team will develop an opportunity into a “plan” in the form of a venture opportunity screening guide. It is expected that students will learn how to apply a set of tools that include: Value proposition and Business Model development, SWOT analysis, Porter’s 5 Force Model, and Product Life Cycle.