Syllabus & Calendar

The sessions for this course are organized into three modules:

1-8: The Entrepreneurial Mindset and Opportunity
9-15: Assembling Resources and Managing Growth
16-20: Entrepreneurship and You

Session 1: Course Overview and Silicon Valley

Date: 
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Special Alert: In order to be considered for admission to E145, you must signup on Axess and attend this session (Session 1). We will notify each applicant of their status as soon as possible and clear the waiting list at the start of Session 2 on Thursday.

Session 2: Key Frameworks and Models

Date: 
Thursday, January 9, 2020

Summary:
What exactly is technology entrepreneurship?  We will give an overview of the process of creating and growing high potential ventures using several frameworks.  

Quote of the Day: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." Aristotle

Term Project (Policy on Term Project Assignments)

Accounting Basics Workshop

Date: 
Friday, January 10, 2020

Hour: 4:30 - 5:30 in Y2E2 105

Summary: We will review the basics of financial statements. As knowledge of basic accounting is useful for getting the most from E145, we will focus on the structure, terminology or process associated with financial statements.

Required Readings (if you don't have an accounting background)

Session 3: Creativity and Innovation

Date: 
Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Summary: Every entrepreneur faces endless challenges along the way. These problems never have one right answer, and often they have never been solved before. The only way for an entrepreneur to succeed is to view each challenge as an opportunity for a creative solution. The best entrepreneurs seek out challenges. The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity! In this class, we will focus on stirring up your creative juices so that you can tackle the challenges ahead. You will be given several interactive projects that have no right answer. You will be encouraged to work creatively with your classmates, to stretch your imagination, and to take some risks.

Session 4: From Idea to Opportunity I

Date: 
Thursday, January 16, 2020


Summary:

Session 5: Values and Principles in E-ship

Date: 
Tuesday, January 21, 2020


Summary:
This session examines the connection of entrepreneurship and ethics. Failure in startups is OK. Unethical behavior is not. Character matters more than ever in the coming 2020s.

Quote of the Day: “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” Roy Disney

Session 6: Global Marketing & Sales

Date: 
Thursday, January 23, 2020
Summary: This session examines strategy and entrepreneurship including the concepts of disruptive innovations and marketing. During the first part of the session, the importance and implications of the technology adoption life cycle are examined. We also survey the key elements of entrepreneurial marketing, including a compelling product/ strategy, product/market fit, a well-crafted positioning statement, competitive differentiation, and a subsequent go-to-market strategy including distribution, promotion, and pricing.

Session 7: Legal Matters + Venture Lab #1

Date: 
Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Session 8: From Idea to Opportunity II

Date: 
Thursday, January 30, 2020


Summary:
This is the last of three sessions where we discuss the differences between an idea and an opportunity. In this session, we examine the a sports franchise using the models and lessons we have learned so far in E145.

Quote of the Day:
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses." (Abraham Lincoln)

Study Questions (Policy on Study Questions)

Session 9: Venture Finance I (Sources)

Date: 
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Summary: How do entrepreneurs set priorities when gathering financial resources?  Today's session introduces the topic of venture finance.

Quote of the Day: "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." ~ Booker T. Washington

Study Questions
(Policy on Study Questions.)

Session 10: Venture Finance II (Staged Financings)

Date: 
Thursday, February 6, 2020
Summary: In this session, we will focus on understanding the progression of a company's staged financings, and the value of this financing structure to entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. The Dropbox case illustrates the exciting opportunities and challenges companies face in their formative years.


Quote of the Day: “If you would like to know the value of money, try to borrow some.“ Benjamin Franklin

Study Questions (Policy on Study Questions)

Session 11: Team Dynamics + Venture Lab #2

Date: 
Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Summary
In this mandatory session for all students so we have entire teams in attendance, we will start with a short lecture about the importance of people in new enterprises. We will then work through a process to improve the functioning of your own E145 team. We will learn about group dynamics and how to improve the functioning of teams and groups that you find yourself in, both during your educational experience and in your career.

As a reminder, the Venture Lab component of this session is a required, in-class meeting of your OAP team. You will use this time to work together on your project's next milestone and ask any questions of the teaching team.

Session 12: "Special Topics in Entrepreneurship" Midterm Debates

Date: 
Thursday, February 13, 2020

THIS CLASS STARTS AT 8:30AM

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.

Session 13: Founder's Dilemma I (Equity Splits)

Date: 
Wednesday, February 19, 2020


Summary Entrepreneurship is a team sport. What are the critical human resource issues for new ventures? The NanoGene case examines the big three: assembling a team, developing a compensation policy, and creating an innovative culture.

Quote of the Day: "Never, never, never, never give up." ~ Winston Churchill 

Study Questions (Policy on Study Questions)

Session 14: Founders Dilemma II (Culture)

Date: 
Thursday, February 20, 2020

Summary The Gusto case addresses one of the most subtle problems a company is confronted when scaling: Culture. As they go from the "office in a garage" to the large company headquarters, how do startups make sure they organization stays consistent and true to their values?

Quote of the Day:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams

Term Project:
(Policy on Term Project Assignments)

Session 15: Venture Finance III (Compensation)

Date: 
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Summary: Barbara Arneson must decide which job offer to take. With all other factors being equal, she is now down to a decision based on the value of the equity compensation offered by each company (i.e., the stock options). One company is a public company with easily gathered data on its financial status. The other company is a start-up which has only financial projections. This session is a great chance to learn about the four essentials of stock options: the length of the vesting period, the strike or exercise price, estimating the market price at some future point, and the number of shares currently outstanding at the enterprise.

Quote of the Day: “Fortune favors the prepared mind.” Pasteur

Session 16: OAP Preparations

Date: 
Thursday, February 27, 2020

Summary: OAP Dress Rehearsal. For extra credit, each team can pair with another by Monday evening, March 2, 2020 to do a dress rehearsal. This exercise is designed to both allow you to receive feedback on your presentation and let you practice giving constructive feedback to others.

There is no regular class on session 16, although we highly recommend that teams use this time to work on their OAPs.

Session 17: OAP Team Presentations

Date: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Summary: Opportunity Analysis Projects - Group A Only

Quote of the Day: "The secret of success is to do the common things uncommonly well." John D. Rockefeller

Details: Presentations are limited to 15 minutes per team including Q&A. Slides should be in standard PowerPoint format, with a recommended maximum of 8 slides per team. The most effective presentations are often the most succinct. A summary at the end of the presentation is often very powerful.

Teams must post their slides to their canvas (in either PDF or PowerPoint format) by 8:00am before Session 17.

Session 18: OAP Team Presentations

Date: 
Friday, March 6, 2020
Summary: Opportunity Analysis Projects - Group B Only

Quote of the Day: “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” Thomas Edison

Details: Presentations are limited to 15 minutes per team including Q&A. Slides should be in standard PowerPoint format, with a recommended maximum of 8 slides per team. The most effective presentations are often the most succinct. A summary at the end of the presentation is often very powerful.

Teams must post their slides to their canvas (in either PDF or PowerPoint format) by 8:00am before Session 17.

Session 19: Personal Business Plans

Date: 
Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Session 20: Course Summary

Date: 
Friday, March 13, 2020

Summary This session concludes our journey to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation by inviting all student teams to share their favorite "lessons learned" with classmates. The instructors will then make closing remarks regarding our hope that Engineering 145's bold objectives were achieved by students and faculty alike: