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Course List

Course List

The entrepreneurship curriculum at the University of Chicago was born out of Chicago Booth with the first course dating back to 1998. Today, the university offers a wide range of entrepreneurship courses, which pair the fundamentals of finance, economics, and strategy with innovative hands-on learning.

Special Topics in Entrepreneurship: Developing a New Venture (New Venture Challenge)

Bus 34104 // Offered:

This course is designed to allow students who have advanced to the second round of the New Venture Challenge to develop their ideas into full business plans. Student teams will work largely on their own to develop their business plans.

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Entrepreneurial Internship Seminar

Bus 34105 // Offered:

Participating students are able to network with other interns and earn academic credit for their internship. As part of the course requirements, each intern is required to write a case about an important issue faced over the summer by the student’s employer as well as an analysis or solution to the case. Depending on the quality and evaluation of the analyses, certain cases may be incorporated into the curriculum for future case study.

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Commercializing Innovation: Tools to Research and Analyze Private Enterprises

Bus 34106 // Offered: ,

This course will focus on the strategy and tactics of forming, acquiring, and growing new ventures i.e., increasing shareholder value for business ventures funded with private equity. It is designed to aid those who are considering being part of an entrepreneurial project or evaluating such enterprises from the position of a public investor, private investor, or any stakeholder serving these emerging companies. The course will consider ventures representing broad sectors of the economy, including retail (both traditional and online), health care, telecommunications, consumer services, and businesses enhanced by the internet.

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Global Entrepreneurial Finance

Bus 34107

This course will use the case method (and some lectures) to study entrepreneurial finance across a variety of global contexts. We define “entrepreneurial” broadly as meaning pursuing opportunities.

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Social Enterprise Lab

Bus 34110 // Offered:

You will explore social entrepreneurship first-hand by working with local nonprofit enterprises and for-profit ventures that have a social mission. Students make strategic recommendations to the participating organizations and firms after careful analysis in order to leverage greater growth.

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Entrepreneurial Selling

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In the Entrepreneurial Selling course, you will learn how to acquire customers, use selling skills in different contexts, tell powerful stories, manage entrepreneurial sales processes, and us the key tools required for success in selling.

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New Social Ventures

Bus 34115 // Offered:

In this course, groups of students will develop an idea for an innovative, startup social organization. They will conduct research to create a detailed plan for its creation and growth and pitch the plan to faculty, social entrepreneurs, domain experts, foundation officers, and philanthropists.

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Building Internet Startups: Risk, Reward and Failure

Bus 34201 // Offered:

This course provides an overall understanding of entrepreneurship in the technology space and focuses on several concepts that are critical to expedite the pathway to identify viable business opportunities, grow an enterprise, and find a niche worthy of new business creation. The value of the course will be to present students with essential elements of disruptive innovation and entrepreneurship, specifically in the technology space, that they likely have not dwelled on in other forums.

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New Venture and Small Enterprise Lab

Bus 34701 // Offered: ,

You’ll work closely with senior management at early-stage companies on strategic and operational projects. You’ll be directly involved in helping them take their ideas to market. Students have worked on competitive analysis, marketing plans, market research, strategy development, consumer studies, pricing models, and marketing messaging for companies. The companies and enterprises that participate in the course represent diverse industries, including technology and biotech, as well as industrial- and consumer-based firms.

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Private Equity/Venture Capital Lab

Bus 34702 // Offered:

You’ll intern 15 to 20 hours a week on projects ranging from evaluating new market/business opportunities to specific issues and opportunities for portfolio companies. The classroom component features guest lecturers from private equity and venture capital companies.

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Taxes and Business Strategy

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This course provides students with a framework for thinking about tax planning. This framework has two principal advantages. First, it is designed to have value long after the next tax act. Second, the framework is portable, in that it can be applied to any set of tax laws – those of the United States or any other country. Although the course generally focuses on U.S. based transactions and planning examples, the underlying ideas are applicable in other jurisdictions. Once developed, the framework is applied to a variety of business settings. The applications integrate concepts from finance, economics, and accounting to achieve a more complete understanding of the role of taxes in business strategy. The course also includes periodic focus on the financial accounting ramifications of tax planning. Moreover, the course content has valuation related implications.

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Real Estate Lab: Real Estate Challenge 

Bus 34704 // Offered:

Selected students from the business schools of Chicago and Northwestern universities will compete in the Zell | Booth-Kellogg Real Estate Challenge. Historically, the Challenge topic has been a redevelopment proposal (often for a site owned by the City of Chicago); past sites have included properties located in areas such as: “Lakeside” (the former US Steel site), the proposed Olympic Village, the south loop, the “six corners,” Bronzeville and the near West Side.

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Entrepreneurial Discovery

Bus 34705 // Offered:

In both start-up entrepreneurship and corporate intrapreneurship, pursuing wrong ideas is wasteful of precious time, resources, and energy while identifying the “right idea” to pursue is really hard. This hands-on course led by two industry-proven entrepreneurs demystifies Discovery, the starting phase of Booth’s D4 innovation process. Through active but practical instruction, this “fuzzy front-end” course provides impassioned innovators with the tools needed to quickly determine which of their ideas are worth further pursuit.

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CleanTech Lab

Bus 34706 // Offered:

A new lab, the Clean Technology Lab, was added in 2010, designed to provide you with a strong foundation in clean technology through a hands-on learning experience. Throughout the quarter, student teams will work on a project with a leading clean-tech firm or research laboratory, such as UChicago Tech, IIT, Argonne, or the Chicago Energy Initiative.

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Developing New Products and Services

Bus 37201 // Offered: ,

The primary purpose of this course is to provide marketers with an in-depth understanding of current best practices in new product development. Topics covered include: stage-gate new product processes, new product strategy, platform strategy, opportunity identification, perceptual mapping, market research techniques for uncovering customer needs, idea generation and screening, writing new product concept statements, concept optimization, new product forecasting methods (including innovation diffusion models and simulated test markets), brand extendability, and new product launch plans.

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New Product and Strategy Development Lab

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This course complements Chicago Booth’s strong training in business theory by providing a problem-solving experience for a small but diverse group of students. The course accelerates the process by which students learn to manage themselves and others when developing solutions to real-world business problems.

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Technology Strategy

Bus 39101 // Offered:

This course focuses on strategic decision making in technology intensive industries. We will develop a set of tools which are crucial for the formulation and management of a winning technology strategy. The course focuses on the application of conceptual models that clarify the interactions between external competition, firm positioning, patterns of technological and market change, and the nature and development of internal firm capabilities. There is particular emphasis on building models for making strategic decisions in the context of significant technology, demand, and competitive uncertainty.

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Law 34301 // Offered:

In this course we will examine conflicts of interest in mergers and acquisitions, and especially in going private transactions in which publicly held companies are acquired by affiliates of private equity firms with the participation of the company’s management or by controlling shareholders. Both types of transactions raise conflict of interest issues because some of the company’s directors or officers, who are charged with protecting the public shareholders, may be accused of having interests adverse to those of the public shareholders.

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Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition

34302 // Offered:

Taught by Mark Agnew and Brian O’Connor, Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (“ETA”) will give students frameworks and real world solutions to use if they decide to pursue an acquisition of and lead a company. The class will walk through the life cycle of a typical path toward finding and running a business including information on fund formation, raising capital, searching for a company, buying a business, leading that business and then ultimately selling it. Approximately half of the course will go through critical points leading up to buying a business, while the other half will address some of the key issues executives face while running a company (identifying metrics, communicating with a team, interviewing, handling HR issues, etc). Although the main focus will be on buying and running a business, the class is designed to be applicable to many other career paths including private equity, venture capital and entrepreneurship.

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Entrepreneurship for Science and Medicine

BUSN 34501 // Offered:

This is an introductory course in entrepreneurship for science and medicine offered to graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, researchers, and faculty who are working at the University of Chicago, Argonne National Laboratory, and FermiLab. The course provides an introduction to the field of entrepreneurship, not only familiarizing participants with common topics and frameworks, but also introducing them to real-life entrepreneurs and investors. Given its audience, the course will have a special focus on entrepreneurship in scientific fields and how scientists can play a role in the commercialization of research and inventions from the lab. The goal of the course is to provide a greater understanding around what it takes to bring a research discovery or idea to market for a larger societal impact.

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Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity

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This course will use the case method to study entrepreneurial finance and, more broadly, private equity finance. The course is motivated by increases in both the supply of and demand for private equity.

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New Venture Strategy

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Improving your ability to assess the attractiveness of a new venture, anticipate the problems likely to be encountered as the business evolves, and predict its success or failure is the focus of this class. You will learn a set of qualitative models into which all entrepreneurial companies can be categorized.

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Building the New Venture

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Through class lectures, “game” assignments and real-world cases, you will learn how to raise initial seed funding, compensate for limited human and financial resources, establish initial brand values and positioning, leverage a strong niche position, determine appropriate sourcing and sales channels, and develop execution plans in sales, marketing, product development, and operations.

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