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Curriculum

The Master of Science in Entrepreneurship curriculum is built on the same rigor as our MBA coursework, but is focused on the stages of entrepreneurial development (with an emphasis on strategy, marketing, and finance) and real-world practice.

Each quarter includes a lead course oriented around a set of challenges that are particularly salient in that stage of the entrepreneurial process. Each lead course includes a practicum project associated with a critical entrepreneurial milestone.

To complete your entrepreneurship education, we offer a variety of workshops in leadership, design thinking, lean business principles, and the art of the pitch so when you graduate you are ready for the next step in your career. Sign up for our mailing list to learn more.

Please note:

  • We do not offer an option to complete this program part-time.
  • Courses cannot be waived for prior academic and/or work experience.
  • Classes are open only to students enrolled in the program. Students cannot use tuition exemption for this fee-based program.

Program overview:

Duration: June 18, 2018 – June 14, 2019
Quarters: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Total Credits: 46
Program Type: Full-time, weekdays and some evenings
Class Type: Cohort-based, in-person
Course Sequence: Lock-step

MS in Entrepreneurship courses at-a-glance: 46 credits

Ideation:

ENTRE 563 Opportunity Recognition and Validation (4)
ENTRE 564 Competitive Strategy (2)
ENTRE 560 Essentials of Accounting for Entrepreneurs (2)
ENTRE 565 Entrepreneurial Marketing I (2)
ENTRE 575 Entrepreneurial Leadership – Leadership as a Personal Journey (1)
ENTRE 595 Venture Planning and Execution (1)
Workshops and Mentor Meetings

Formation:

ENTRE 567 Entrepreneurial Strategy and Decision Making (4)
ENTRE 561 Essentials of Finance for Entrepreneurs (2)
MGMT 547 Successful Negotiations (2)
ENTRE 575 Entrepreneurial Leadership – From Idea to First Customer (1)
ENTRE 595 Venture Planning and Execution (1)
Workshops and Mentor Meetings

Execution:

ENTRE 557 Entrepreneurial Finance (4)
ENTRE 568 Social Media Marketing (2)
ENTRE 562 Legal Essentials for Entrepreneurs (1)
ENTRE 540 Business Plan Practicum (2)
ENTRE 575 Entrepreneurial Leadership – From First Customers to Financial Viability (1)
ENTRE 595 Venture Planning and Execution (3)
Workshops and Mentor Meetings

Scale:

ENTRE 569 Strategies for Funding Ventures (4)
ENTRE 566 Entrepreneurial Marketing II (2)
ENTRE 570 Persuasion: Pitching, PR, Public Speaking (2)
ENTRE 575 Entrepreneurial Leadership – Leading change (1)
ENTRE 595 Venture Planning and Execution (3)
Business Plan Competition

Summer: 12 credits

Opportunity Recognition and Validation (4 credits)

The course objectives are two-fold: (1) to develop an awareness and understanding of the range, scope, and complexity of issues involved in startups; and (2) to gain insight into how entrepreneurs conceive, adapt, and execute strategies to create new enterprises. The course will be taught primarily through case discussions, supplemented with lectures and guest presenters. During the course, the participants will be placed in the role of an entrepreneur asked to address issues related to new venture creation.

Competitive Strategy (2 credits)

This course will introduce you to different aspects of the strategic decision-making process.

  • Analyze the attractiveness of the external business environment and the internal resources and capabilities of an organization in order to make important strategic decisions pertaining to starting a new venture.
  • Formulate a strategy for an organization or a business unit to compete effectively in the existing business environment or an emerging environment.
  • Describe the cause and effect relationships between strategic decisions, strategy implementation and business unit/organizational performance over time as it applies to startup ventures.
  • Recognize when a new venture needs to change its strategy and describe the process that should be employed in driving that change.

Essentials of Accounting for Entrepreneurs (2 credits)

This class familiarizes students with the fundamentals of finance and managerial accounting. Students will learn the mechanics of accounting as well as how to prepare and interpret financial statements. Using these skills, the class will learn principles of accounting decision making from the perspectives of both external investors and internal managers.

Entrepreneurial Marketing (2 credits)

This course focuses on the unique challenges of marketing in start-up organizations, and provides insights into the strategy and processes related to the launchings and promotion of new business ventures.

  • Identify and describe the challenges and opportunities of marketing for entrepreneurial organizations.
  • Assess market opportunities by analyzing customers, competitors, collaborators, context, and the strengths and weaknesses of a company.
  • Design effective marketing strategies to maximize a company’s chance of winning in these markets.
  • Learn the tools necessary to implement marketing strategy and improve performance.
  • Communicate and defend your own marketing recommendations and critically examine and build upon the recommendations of others.

Entrepreneurial Leadership – Leadership as a Personal Journey (1 credit)

The Entrepreneurial Leadership course will help students understand the principles and practices of effective leadership as an entrepreneurial venture moves through the life cycle of birth, growth and self-sustainability.

The first course in the sequence—Leadership as a Personal Journey—deals with the individual-level leadership issues associated with the venture founder. Students will gain a better appreciation of their current leadership strengths along with opportunities for growth.

Venture Planning and Execution (1 credit)

This course is intended to give students an opportunity to plan and execute on an entrepreneurial venture of their design. These activities should draw from and integrate frameworks and concepts learned through other courses in the MS in Entrepreneurship.

Workshops and Mentor Meetings

Autumn: 10 credits

Entrepreneurial Strategy and Decision Making (4 credits)

The aim of strategic management is to identify ways in which a firm can sustain profitability in the face of competition. This course deals with the understanding of competitive dynamics, i.e. the predictable patterns in which entities in a market—direct competitors, suppliers, consumers, and potential entrants—interact with one another to determine how economic value gets divided.

Essentials of Finance for Entrepreneurs (2 credits)

Finance deals with how individuals make consumption and saving decisions and how firms make investment and financing decisions. This class involves understanding how capital markets function. In the process, we learn some interesting and extremely useful frameworks and techniques that will be of great benefit to you in helping you as develop a competitive advantage over your peers and progress in your career!

Successful Negotiations (2 credits)

Despite the prevalence of negotiations in our lives, many people know little about the strategy and psychology of effective negotiations. The course allows participants the opportunity to develop these skills experientially and to understand negotiations in useful analytic frameworks.

  • Be able to recognize situations that involve negotiation, even when they aren’t the formal, at-the-table encounters most commonly called negotiations.
  • Be familiar with your own foibles as a negotiator, and able to control them.
  • Be able to anticipate actions that your counterpart will take and to respond appropriately.
  • Be familiar with the dynamics of power, of culture, of coalitions, of interests, of relationships, and of emotions that affect human interactions.

Entrepreneurial Leadership – From Idea to First Customer (1 credit)

The Entrepreneurial Leadership course will help students understand the principles and practices of effective leadership as an entrepreneurial venture moves through the life cycle of birth, growth and self-sustainability.

The second course in the sequence covers the leadership issues encountered at the earliest stages of a new venture. Concepts investigated include founder roles, motivating the early team, working with advisors and service providers, and balancing focus and flexibility.

Venture Planning and Execution (1 credit)

This course is intended to give students an opportunity to plan and execute on an entrepreneurial venture of their design. These activities should draw from and integrate frameworks and concepts learned through other courses in the MS in Entrepreneurship.

Workshops and Mentor Meetings

Winter: 12 credits

Entrepreneurial Finance (4 credits)

Entrepreneurial Finance is intended for individuals interested in careers in small businesses, family enterprises, entrepreneurial new ventures, and private equity and venture capital investing.

  • Assess company financial statements to identify strengths and weaknesses.
  • Prepare pro forma financial forecasts and cash budgets.
  • Estimate a company’s future need for external financing.
  • Value business opportunities using three techniques: discounted cash flow, comparable firms and trades, and the venture capital method.
  • Critically evaluate the terms and provisions in typical venture capital agreements.
  • Understand the issues associated with initial public offerings (IPOs)

Social Media Marketing (2 credits)

There has been an enormous rise in the way the internet has seeped into our lives. In today’s world, it is impossible for marketers to ignore the relevance of the internet. It is imperative for firms to understand how the digital medium can be used to market products and services, maintain customer relationships and monitor customer perceptions of the firm. Moreover, the internet has propelled a shift in traditional marketing principles and the customer now has enough power to accelerate the success or failure of products and services.

Legal Essentials for Entrepreneurs (1 credit)

This course is designed to give an overview of critical and fundamental aspects of U.S. contract law, types of business structures, and intellectual property law. You will work through a licensing exercise to bring everything together.

Business Plan Practicum (2 credits)

In preparation for the UW Business Plan Competition, guest speakers including venture capitalists/angel investors, entrepreneurs, attorneys, and alumni guide students through effective competition planning strategies. Topics include executive summary development, management team skill, market opportunity, competitive strategy, go to market strategy, traction, and the financials.

Entrepreneurial Leadership – From First Customers to Financial Viability (1 credit)

The Entrepreneurial Leadership course will help students understand the principles and practices of effective leadership as an entrepreneurial venture moves through the life cycle of birth, growth and self-sustainability.

The third course in the sequence explores leadership issues faced when growing an enterprise from a minimally functioning business to a business that delivers consistent value and financial return.

Venture Planning and Execution (2 credits)

This course is intended to give students an opportunity to plan and execute on an entrepreneurial venture of their design. These activities should draw from and integrate frameworks and concepts learned through other courses in the MS in Entrepreneurship.

Workshops and Mentor Meetings

Spring: 12 credits

Strategies for Funding Ventures (4 credits)

This course is intended to give students a better understanding of raising funds and working with investors in entrepreneurial markets. In contrast to public markets, such markets exhibit high turbulence, information asymmetry, and complexity. The course will provide an in-depth view of the fundraising process and the elements of deal making and working with investors, and should sensitize students to the strategic and people issues around venture finance.

Entrepreneurial Marketing II (2 credits)

This course focuses on the decisions that entrepreneurs make and the tools that they use to implement an effective marketing strategy. The attraction and retention of profitable customers must involve evaluating the value of the innovation offered, the way in which the innovation is distributed, how pricing is set and structured, and how consumer value is communicated. Second in a two course entrepreneurial marketing sequence.

Persuasion: Pitching, PR, Public Speaking (2 credits)

As an entrepreneur, your success is directly tied to your abilities to communicate effectively… particularly in the context of the “pitch.” This course is about entrepreneurship and the role that verbal communication, influence, and persuasion play in shaping your success starting, growing, managing, leading, and even exiting a venture. To make this course as practical as possible, we will have plenty of guest speakers and “judges” to share their perspective with you. These will be some of the most influential members of the Seattle startup ecosystem: CEOs, venture capitalists, tech company executives, journalists, attorneys, etc.

Entrepreneurial Leadership – Leading change (1 credit)

The Entrepreneurial Leadership course will help students understand the principles and practices of effective leadership as an entrepreneurial venture moves through the life cycle of birth, growth and self-sustainability.

The last course in the sequence examines leadership concepts helpful in navigating through the business, team, or cultural changes that can arise as a new venture evolves.

Venture Planning and Execution (3 credits)

This course is intended to give students an opportunity to plan and execute on an entrepreneurial venture of their design. These activities should draw from and integrate frameworks and concepts learned through other courses in the MS in Entrepreneurship.

UW Business Plan Competition

The UW Business Plan Competition is the marquee event for the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Washington Foster School of Business. In the past 20 years, the Business Plan Competition has:

  • Awarded $1.2 million in prize money to 139 student companies
  • Involved over 400 judges, mentors, sponsors, and supporters each year from the alumni and business community
  • Promoted student ideas and new venture creation
  • Provided an opportunity for business and science students to present new business plans to Seattle area venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and investors

Attend an MS in Entrepreneurship admission event