Session 12: "Special Topics in Entrepreneurship" Midterm

Thursday, February 13, 2020


Summary: Entrepreneurship is more than simply numbers, frameworks, and technological innovations. It is an art that entails many nuances that are not readily apparent, each often revealing rich histories and powerful implications. Our midterm "exam" is an opportunity to explore one of four special topics in entrepreneurship through an individual writing assignment beforehand and subsequent class participation in a debate format.

Please choose your specific topic from those listed below, each of which is accompanied by a reading that pertains to it. Base your analysis off of at least one book, although you do not necessarily have to use one of the ​specific ​books that we have paired with your topic.​ To summarize, this midterm is a required part of the course, designed to be an individual assignment, and there is no make-up opportunity available.

During this session, we will have conversations and even debates in 4 breakouts about these topics for about 45-60 minutes each. Prepare yourself for participation in one of the debate topics by creating one page of notes that clearly articulates your point-of-view and supporting arguments. No more than 500 words please of bullets or narrative or a combination. Submit these notes by 8AM on the day of this session. When deciding which topic to choose, ​consider your decision using these ​perspectives:​
  • ​​​Critical thinking:​​ ​What is your opinion and position on the key debate question for the topic you have chosen for the midterm?
  • ​Self awareness:​​ ​How has your knowledge and interest in this topic changed because of the key insights from past E145 sessions and the reading below?

​​Each student must post a written submission of the midterm assignment by 8AM on the day of this session and then be prepared to participate during the in-class breakouts. Topic choices and choice of readings are:
  1. History of Entrepreneurship: Are entrepreneurs born or made? Can entrepreneurship be taught and learned? What has history taught us about these questions?
  2. Social Entrepreneurship: Is social entrepreneurship different than for-profit entrepreneurship? Why or why not?
  3. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Can the Silicon Valley startup ecosystem be replicated in other geographies? What are the key elements of a successful entrepreneurship ecosystem?
  4. Ethics and Entrepreneurship: What are the ethical challenges entrepreneurs need to confront given the current Silicon Valley climate?