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Life in our Classrooms

Q: How do you teach entrepreneurship?
A: Differently. 

Entrepreneurship isn’t learned by reading old textbooks and writing lengthy papers.

It’s learned by doing. By creating. By learning from others. By learning from successes. By making mistakes. By learning from mistakes.

We teach through case studies. We even bring in the entrepreneurs from those case studies to explain their decisions and how they affected the company at the time and into the future.

We teach with cross-disciplinary teamwork, pairing entrepreneurship students with non-business majors who look at problems through a different lens.

We teach critical thinking and problem solving. You will dive deeper into solving problems than ever before. And we’ll push you deeper.

We teach through successful alumni. Tommie entrepreneurs generously give their time back to the program that shaped who they are. Learn what’s working in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

We teach around your passion. We are a place for you to create solutions to problems that matter to you. We’ll learn about the problem you’re solving and show you how to make your passion grow. Your work will be meaningful to you and your customers.

We teach through critique. Students present business concepts multiple times to judging panels, learning new ways to solve the problems they set out to fix.

We teach through actual business creation. In your first class you will bring a product or service to revenue. You want to be an entrepreneur? You will be by the end of your first semester.

This is how we teach entrepreneurship.

Lemonade Stand

A child’s first way to make money is often learned in the front yard, selling Dixie cups of lemonade from a fold-up card table on a hot summer day. They use this lemonade stand to make a little money and wind up getting some basic exposure to running a business. Our entrepreneurship program moves the lemonade stand concept out of the front yard and into the real world.

In the first entrepreneurship class you take, Foundations of Entrepreneurship, you will create a business that brings value to the public. The businesses are small, but required to earn revenue by selling something.

Learning practical strategies will open your eyes to solving the world’s problems. You’ll learn the critical thinking process related to problem solving and gain confidence and an understanding that you don’t need to be born an entrepreneur, but can learn to become one.

The class is open to all sophomores and juniors on campus.

Learn more about the ideas that have grown out of this class:

Course Offerings

Our entrepreneurship curriculum prepares you to start your own business, purchase and expand an existing one, buy a franchise, go into a family business or work for an established company. You’ll learn to think like an entrepreneur: recognizing, exploring and exploiting opportunities.

As a graduate, you will be ready to face future needs of today’s business community: innovation, strategic thinking, problem solving and more. These skills are in high demand among employers seeking entrepreneurial thinkers and doers who can drive growth through innovation. Become a business leader and create your own opportunities.

Undergraduate Courses

Building on a set of core business courses, you’ll also learn to develop new market space, manage finances, launch a business and dive deep on entrepreneurial strategy and management. Elective topics include social entrepreneurship, franchising management, family business management and more.

Whatever electives you choose, you’ll learn to think creatively and seize opportunities that are important to you and create real value. These skills are important in all types of organizations, from a small start-up developing new products and services to large corporate settings.

Graduate Courses

As a UST MBA student with a desire to start a business, become an innovator in a corporate setting or manage a franchise or family business, you can tailor your MBA to have a focus on entrepreneurship. Work with your adviser to choose from the following courses to meet your goals:

  • New Venture Finance
  • New Venture Strategies
  • Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Managing a Growing Business
  • Launching New Ventures
  • Family Business Management

J-Term in Silicon Valley

During the January term, entrepreneurship faculty members take students to Silicon Valley for a two-week cultural immersion. Students in this course study how products and services are brought to market, gaining a different perspective in the hub of global entrepreneurship. The course inspires students to dream bigger, creatively solve problems and give them the confidence to do both.

See a two-day snapshot of the first J-term group to hit Silicon Valley in January 2015.

The 2015 trip was bookended by stops at Mainsail Partners, a growth equity firm that builds bootstrapped businesses into market leading companies. Vice President Ryan Kruizenga is a 2004 graduate who met with students their first day in Silicon Valley. At the end of the class, students presented their projects at Mainsail Partners, getting investment critiques and a better understanding how to move their projects to the next level.

Between the Mainsail visits, students learned from places such as Pivotal Labs, Plantronics, LinkedIn, IDEO and Hand Up.

Students blogged each day about their experiences and the unique things they learned.

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