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Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Curriculum

Dream of founding your own company and running your own business, but unsure of where to start? The UW Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship offers you numerous opportunities to learn step-by-step the process of launching a new venture. Not only are there classes to introduce you to the landscape of entrepreneurship and the method of writing a business plan, but through our cornerstone Creating a Company coursework, you’ll apply your new-found knowledge of entrepreneurship in a real-world context! Whether it’s the strategic, financial, or marketing skills you’d like to learn to prepare for your future in entrepreneurship, we offer it.

Entrepreneurship Major (for business undergraduates)

Some people are just born to change the world. They see opportunities everywhere—from daily annoyances to society’s grand challenges. But we can tell you that it takes more than a great idea. It takes the savvy skill set, knowledge, and energy of an entrepreneur. If you’re a visionary with the passion and determination to shape the future, get the entrepreneurial business know how you need to achieve your goals with the Entrepreneurship Major! The Entrepreneurship Major is part of the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration degree (BABA) offered by the Undergraduate Program Office. Foster School students who pursue this major graduate with an in-depth knowledge of entrepreneurship gained through coursework and real-world experience.

Entrepreneurship Minor (open to all non-business UW undergraduates)

Entrepreneurs come from every discipline. They are adept at turning novel ideas into reality, and are not afraid of challenging the status quo or tackling the big problems in society and science. But the truth is that it takes more than an idea to be successful: it takes the knowledge, experience, and network of a smart leader. Students who pursue the Entrepreneurship Minor are creative and energetic, with a critical eye for opportunities and the passion and skill to follow through. Open to all non-business undergraduates, this 31-credit competitive minor offers students the opportunity to leverage their unique talents, as well as their new-found business knowledge, to achieve their startup goals.

Click on each heading to learn more about each undergraduate entrepreneurship course.

Intro to Entrepreneurship (ENTRE 370)

Introduction to entrepreneurial practices with an emphasis on learning how to find business ideas, how to evaluate their potential, and how to recognize the barriers to success. Exposure to the stresses of a start-up business, the uncertainties that exist, and the behavior of entrepreneurs.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
ECON 200
ECON 201
4 Alicia DeSantola Download Sample Syllabus

Creating a Company (ENTRE 472/473)

Working in teams, students develop a business plan for a new venture, present their plans to a panel of investors, obtain funding, run the business, and exit the firm at the end of the second quarter.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
Autumn & Winter
Winter & Spring
ENTRE 370 4 credits per quarter
(2-quarter class)
Alan Leong
John Hansen
Download Sample Syllabus

Entrepreneurial Marketing (ENTRE 455)

Examines the skills and tools entrepreneurs need for bootstrap marketing in their start-up firms. Students learn to identify target market segments, position their products, estimate demand, set prices, gain access to channels, and manage the issues of rapid growth.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
MKTG 301 4 Betsy Sperry Download Sample Syllabus

Entrepreneurial Finance (ENTRE 457)

Only available to business majors

Explores financial issues that face entrepreneurs, including the stages of financing, business cash flow models, and strategic positioning of the early-stage company. Examines the role of business angels, venture capital funds, institutional investors, strategic alliances, licensing agreements, and exit strategies.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
FIN 350B ECON 300 or ECON 300
Offered jointly with FIN 457
4 Download Sample Syllabus

Software Entrepreneurship (ENTRE 432)

A case- and project-based course, focusing on starting a software or hardware company. Guest entrepreneurs, lawyers, and financiers discuss market identification and analysis, planning the business, financing, and typical operating and administrative problems.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
None 4 Alan Leong Download Sample Syllabus

Grand Challenges for Entrepreneurs (ENTRE 372)

Grand Challenges for Entrepreneurs is a new course for business students, geeks, and other undergraduates who want to do something out of the ordinary. The world faces some extraordinary challenges in innovation, big data, food and water, energy, education, careers, poverty, etc. This course will explore those grand challenges—and the opportunities that come with them. Students will examine how solutions to these massive challenges can be researched, validated, and implemented using entrepreneurial creativity, opportunity recognition, business models, pivoting, and skilled execution.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
Winter None 4 Emily Cox Pahnke Download Sample Syllabus

Business Plan Practicum (Resource Nights) (ENTRE 440)

This practicum gives student entrepreneurs the opportunity to network with the founders/CEOs of companies, explore their entrepreneurial aptitude, and work through the details of their own start-ups. Provides structure, tools, and resources to start of company, and compete in the Dempsey Startup Competition.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
Winter None 2 TBD Download Sample Syllabus

Environmental Innovation Practicum (ENTRE 443)

Unique interdisciplinary course focuses on what it takes to develop innovative clean tech solutions to environmental challenges and creating exciting new business opportunities along the way. Speakers include top experts in science, engineering, social science, business, entrepreneurial finance, policy and law. Topics cover a wide range including alternative energy, food systems, green building, waste reduction, transportation, and more. Interested teams are invited to enter their solutions in the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge.
Listed under: ENTRE 543, ENGR 498A, and ENVIR 495

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
Autumn None 2 credit/no-credit Chris Primack Metcalfe Visit the Environmental Innovation Practicum tab for more information.

Health Innovation Practicum (ENTRE 445)

The goal of this seminar is to help students innovate and create solutions to the toughest health challenges we face –on a domestic or global scale. Students will form cross-disciplinary teams around project concepts chosen by the class and present the team’s solutions to classmates and a panel of expert judges who will score the presentations. Although not required, teams are invited and encouraged to go beyond the class to compete in the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Syllabus Instructor
Autumn None 2 Visit the Health Innovation Practicum tab for more information. Will Canestaro

Venture Investing (ENTRE 459)

This class presents a robust learning challenge, teaching you the fundamentals of venture investing and how to perform due diligence on real companies. You’ll have the opportunity to learn how to screen, evaluate (perform due diligence), analyze, and make recommendations on opportunities for investment.

Quarter(s) Offered Prerequisites Credits Instructors Syllabus
Winter None 4 Alan Leong