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.

Accounting for Entrepreneurship: From Start-up Through IPO

Bus 30121 // Offered:

This course provides the core set of tools needed to effectively provide the accounting functions for private, entrepreneurial companies. The course follows the life-cycle of a company that begins life as a start-up, and the course covers the accounting-related financial metrics that are needed by an entrepreneur.


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Innovation Leadership

Bus 34108 // Offered:

This course is designed for students who want to create things, break things, and be a leader of change in their organizations. Designed as a skills-based class, this course will arm you with the tactical tools needed to identify and execute innovation opportunities. In this class, innovation is defined broadly to include new products and services, new business or revenue models, a dramatic change in go-to-market approach, an operational innovation, or any other step-change initiative. The course explores the structural and cultural challenges that large organizations face when executing breakthrough innovation or making a major change. However rather than learning theoretical best practices for corporate innovation, the class will instead focus on learning tools so that you can influence better innovation outcomes. By the end of this class you will have developed actionable skills that will make you a more effective innovation leader while having the confidence to act boldly.

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Life Sciences: Innovation and Finances

Bus 34205 // Offered:

Healthcare comprises over 1/6 of US GDP and is growing at more than double the rate of the rest of the economy. It is a sector where innovation can be measured in lives saved. One of the goals of this course is to remove the perceived barrier to entry to a career in the life sciences. Cases and guest speakers have been selected to highlight a wide range of backgrounds. This class is for students considering a career in healthcare whether as an entrepreneur, an investor, an executive, or on Wall Street.

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Cryptocurrency and Blockchain: Markets, Models, and Opportunities

Bus 34304 // Offered:

Fundamentals of cryptocurrency as a type of money or asset, and the technology upon which it is based, present new business models, markets and opportunities.

Weekly topics include:

  • WEEK 1: Introduction
  • WEEK 2: Competition, Governance and Technology
  • WEEK 3: Trading, Exchanges and Markets
  • WEEK 4: ICO’s, STO’s and Regulation
  • WEEK 5: Crypto-enabled Business Models
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Lab to Launch

Bus 34709 // Offered:

Lab based innovations have contributed the most important advances to humanity, from energy that power our lives to medicine that cures disease. Billions of dollars are spent each year developing lab based innovations, with new discoveries happening every day. However, limited effort is place on commercializing these discoveries, which could create global scale impact and vast wealth creation. A major reason for this is that the toolset required to be successful in this arena is much different than web/digital companies, which is currently the focus of most people or traditional corporate management.

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The Fintech Revolution

Bus 35123 // Offered:

Between the 11th and the 14th century three legal innovations changed the economic and financial history of the world: fiat money (11th century in China), double entry accounting (14th century in Italy), and limited liability corporations (11th century Italy). Accounting, banking, financing, and monetary policy as we know them today were all the result of these innovations. Blockchain, virtual currencies, and smart contracts promise to trigger an-equally important revolution in the 21st century. This course will walk the students through the challenges and the opportunities this technology offers, as well as the regulatory problem it raises. After a brief introduction on the technology itself, the course will focus on

1) the changes digital currencies will bring to monetary policy and financing;

2) the changes the blockchain technology will bring to accounting, trading, and investment banking;

3) the opportunities provided by peer-to-peer lending.

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Building the New Venture

Bus 34103 // Offered: , ,

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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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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Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity

Bus 34101 // Offered: , ,

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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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 Selling

Bus 34111 // Offered: , ,

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 Product and Strategy Development Lab

Bus 37701 // Offered: , ,

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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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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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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New Venture Strategy

Bus 34102 // Offered: , ,

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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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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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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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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Taxes and Business Strategy

Bus 30118 // Offered: , ,

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Introduction to Venture Capital: A Toolkit for Analyzing and Financing Startups

34502-01 // Offered:

The Introduction to Venture Capital class is a combination of Professor Meadow’s Commercializing Innovation and Entrepreneurial Finance + Private Equity classes taught at Chicago Booth. This class will serve as a comprehensive introduction to the world of venture capital and equip you with the tools to analyze a private enterprise (startup). The first half of the course will focus on “building intellectual proof of concept” – a research- and data-driven approach to communicating the strategy and underlying economics of a new venture in an effective manner. The second half of the course will focus on the venture capitalist’s perspective on financing new enterprises and provide you with an understanding of valuation, security design, term sheet design, and the legal documentation and negotiation process that occurs around a startup financing event and exit. You’ll learn the methods of analysis to make the proper judgment from the investor’s point-of-view. The course will require that you develop primary and secondary research skills, a data-driven approach to creating referenceable projections, presentation skills, negotiation skills, and the ability to do meaningful analysis (i.e. to think creatively and logically).

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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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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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