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.
Sample courses in the entrepreneurship curriculum are outlined below. Current Chicago Booth students can access the full course catalog by logging in to the Booth intranet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.