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Graduate Courses

The Course Catalog includes course descriptions of all courses offered by F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business. For descriptions of the courses offered in the current or upcoming semesters, please see our Course Listing

 Graduate Course Catalog




EPS7200 Entrepreneurship & Opportunity Entrepreneurship & Opportunity (E&O) – This course provides an overview of the entrepreneurship method that will enable you to create, identify, assess, shape, and act on opportunities in a variety of contexts and organizations. The method, called Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (ETA), is teachable and learnable, but is not predictable. This is a results-oriented course that emphasizes early action in order to test and refine new venture concepts.


EPS7500 New Venture Creation (formerly Entrepreneurship) This course integrates many of the concepts, tools and practices of entrepreneurship. Students will learn to be superior opportunity assessors and shapers, to understand the integration of people and process in entrepreneurship, to write, articulate and present a new venture execution plan, understand the alternatives and trade-offs in financing, starting and operating a venture, and gain a better understanding of their personal entrepreneurial capabilities. Students will engage in feasibility assessment, venture viability analysis and resource acquisition. Students will learn how to conduct rigorous business-planning, and also how to network for resources and to be able to communicate about a new venture in a confident, articulate and effective manner. The course builds on foundation concepts from the Opportunity and Entrepreneurship courses, and is designed for students seriously considering launching a new venture in a variety of contexts (e.g. corporate, family, organization, franchise) or students planning to work in an early stage venture. Prerequisites: Evening: EPS8150 or EPS7200 Fast Track: MBA7335 or (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: MBA7210 or EPS7200 Two Year: MBA7320 or EPS7301 or EPS7200 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring


EPS7510 Entrepreneurial Finance formerly titled Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture Blended Learning MBA electives will open up to Non-Blended Learning MBA students on March 11th at noon. F2F Meeting Dates- Saturday, July 23rd and Friday, August 19th Focuses on raising seed and growth capital from venture capital, business angels, investment banking, and commercial banking sources; and financial problems unique to the small- and medium-sized firm undergoing rapid growth. Examines actual proposals made to venture capital firms, particularly in terms of their financial viability. Course also examines financial management for entrepreneurs over the life of a business project. Includes financing start-ups, financial planning for the nonpublic smaller enterprise, going public, selling out, bankruptcy, sources of capital, and other related topics. Prerequisite: NONE


EPS7519 CROWNFUNDING 1.5 credit graduate elective This hands-on course gives participants the opportunity to plan a crowdfunding campaign for a creative project or entrepreneurial venture. Online crowdfunding builds community around innovative projects by organizing stakeholders and leveraging in-person and online social networks. Goals of crowdfunding include stakeholder alignment, concept testing, product pre-selling and venture de-risking. Teams work to design a crowdfunding campaign which may be executed following the course. The focal point of the course is the planning, production and refinement of a pitch video. The course integrates emerging research on crowdfunding and ongoing developments in the industry.


EPS7520 Managing Growing Businesses F2F Meeting Dates - Saturday, June 4th and Friday, July 1st. Blended Learning MBA electives will open up to Non-Blended Learning MBA students on March 11th at noon. This case-based course is designed to provide insight into the challenges and opportunities accompanying growing an entrepreneurial company. The course provides the concepts and framework necessary to enable entrepreneurial management in organizations of all sizes and types. It is intended for individuals interested in managing growth in their own companies as well as those growing an existing company by creating value through innovation and opportunity capture. The course focuses on the decisions entrepreneurs must make to recognize and capture opportunities, obtain and allocate resources, challenge and direct personnel, and adapt personal goals and corporate strategies to a changing business environment. In this process, the course examines management challenges commonly encountered at different stages in the life-cycle of an entrepreneurial business, including start-up, growth, change of direction, and harvest. Prerequisite: Evening: EPS8150 or EPS7200 Fast Track: MBA7335 or (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: MBA7210 or EPS7200 Two Year: MBA7320 or EPS7301 or EPS7200 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring


F2F Meeting Dates - Friday, April 8th and Saturday, May 7th EPS7530 M & A FOR ENTREPRENEURS (3 credits) This course focuses on the strategies and process entrepreneurs and business leaders employ in various types of acquisitions or divestitures (leveraged buyouts, management buyouts, ESOPs, etc.). The course is centered around $10-500 Million revenue companies and its content is applicable for students pursuing either entrepreneurial opportunities or corporate positions where they may be called upon to acquire or divest a division or product line. We take a strategic view throughout the course discussing and evaluating all phases of the acquisition process: Acquisition planning and targeting, Valuation alternatives, Leveraged Buyouts, ESOPs/Partnerships, Financing buyouts, Tax, legal and accounting issues, Letters of Intent, Due Diligence, Negotiating an agreement, International markets, Lessons to be learned from failed acquisitions, Managing the leveraged company Course Prerequisites: A basic knowledge of accounting and finance will be helpful in understanding valuation, income statements and balance sheet issues.


EPS7532 The Principle of Objectivity 1.5 credit elective Entrepreneurship is defined as a mindset; a way of thinking and acting. Central to this mindset is the principle of objectivity. Objectivity about oneself and the current situation empowers a leader to see clearly, make sound judgments, lead others and execute effectively. The challenge is that most of us cannot be objective about how we related to ourselves, situations or the other people in our lives. It is simply the nature of the mind! This is what we tend to do: We experience through our senses a fact whether it is an object, a person, an action, or a situation. In an instant, we project our own fears, mental models and background onto that fact. The result: We see something other than what it is, a misperception or; one object or situation is mistaken for another or the value of an object or circumstance is exaggerated; seen for more than it is. With all that going on, how can we see things clearly, make sound judgments and be effective leaders? The goal of this course is to help you to develop your mind-set and mental focus to engage the people, business challenges and performance expectations with the clarity of mind to maximize your overall effectiveness. In out discussions we will talk about objectivity, a mindset that will help you react appropriately to changing dynamics, make sound decisions and improve your relationships with your colleagues. We will apply this framework to the entrepreneurial process and the corporate environment. You will work together to craft a customized personal framework from which to build a successful career.


EPS7538 Japan: Institutions and Entrepreneurship This course is built on two major themes: Institutions – Business & Society and Entrepreneurship and Opportunity. Provide students a chance to experience, and have an in-depth look at Japanese business and society – how institutions (i.e., formal and informal rules of the game) shape/govern business and society. Encourage students to practice Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (ET&A) within the institutional (e.g., social, political, cultural) environment in Japan. Travel Dates: May 23rd-June 4th, 2014 (arrive in Japan May 24th) Pre-departure Academic Session Dates: April 19th, 2014, 9:00-1:00 May 3rd, 2014, 9:00-1:00 *Attendance Mandatory at both sessions Babson Electives Abroad Orientation Dates: April 28th, 2014 5:00-6:30 April 29th, 2014 5:00-6:30 *Attendance Mandatory at ONE of these sessions


EPS7545 The Entrepreneurial Extension: Buying a Small Business This course will delve deeply into the challenges, process, and risks of buying a small business. Students will explore the intricacies of planning, evaluating and negotiating to buy a small business from a family-controlled or privately-owned enterprise. All aspects of financing and equity structure alternatives plus the industry peculiarities of acquiring a small business will be explored via cases, discussion, and an individual research paper. This course is geared specifically to buying a small business and links with EPS7530 (M&A for Entrepreneurs) which focuses on a broad understanding of middle-market company M&A and is geared to students looking to buy a business in the future or students entering the corporate or advisory world. No prerequisites are necessary for this course. It is recommended that students also take EPS7530 (M&A for Entrepreneurs) in order to develop a deep understanding of the M&A process.


EPS7546 Buying a Small Business: The Search Experience This course compliments EPS 7545 (Buying a Small Business) and EPS 7530 (M&A for Entrepreneurs) by allowing students interested in buying a business the opportunity to conduct a live search under the supervision of their Professor. Enrollment in or successful completion of either of the courses listed above is a prerequisite for this course. The latter stage of the MBA program is an excellent time to conduct a business search. Students can learn from their experiences, share lessons with fellow students and actually find a serious business acquisition opportunity within a three-month semester. The course will include group seminars and private sessions with the Professor for planning and review of the individual search plan. Students are expected to spend 30-40 hours during the semester conducting a serious search. Group seminars will cover the following areas: - Self Assessment - Definition of the Search Objectives - Preparation of a Business Plan for the Search - Preparation of a Communications and Target Plan - Opportunity Risk and Opportunity Process - Strategies for Information, Due Diligence & Negotiations - Keeping the Deal Alive - The Closing Process Prerequisite: Students who enroll in this course must be currently enrolled in EPS7530 or EPS7545 or have completed one of these courses in a prior semester AND also have completed Evening: EPS8150 or EPS7200 Fast Track: MBA7335 or (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: MBA7210 or EPS7200 Two Year: MBA7320 or EPS7301 or EPS7200


EPS7547 Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership: Perspectives, Organizational Policies and Personal Actions 1.5 credit elective Women’s Entrepreneurship and Leadership is about contemporary women’s roles in creating and leading organizations. The course examines the issues, challenges and opportunities women face in leading or creating companies, explores organizational policies that facilitate women’s advancement and participation in companies, and helps students develop strategies for effectively managing their leadership or entrepreneurial career. Multiple perspectives are considered: macro environmental, business policy and individual leadership.


The Gig Economy and the New Entrepreneurial Imperative EPS7552 1.5 credit elective Named by as one of The 10 Most Innovative Business School Classes in the country, this module introduces students to the entrepreneurial skills to navigate the "gig" economy of sequential jobs and temporary consulting work-and how to shape a work life where long-term full-time corporate jobs are increasingly obsolete. Students will develop the skills to develop an entrepreneurial career plan, create a personal brand and public identity, market their skills, and create engaged social and professional networks. Students will also evaluate case studies of new business models and successful companies built around a gig workforce, and analyze the competitive, structural and cost implications as well as the broader economic and societal implications.


EPS 7574 Marketing for Entrepreneurs This course is an advanced elective, with the objective of providing a practical workshop and guide for those who are interested in starting small companies. This course is interdisciplinary and covers topics ranging from strategic marketing to finance and leadership. It contains hands-on guidance and instruction in the process of tuning one's business plan, value proposition and strategy so as to achieve short term success. The objective of this course is to move away from the abstract and closer to the real environment. Half of the semester's time will be spent evaluating and adjusting team plans proposed by students. Often, this will involve the creation of real marketing materials including brochures, advertisements and direct mail pieces and will also involve real research outside of the class environment. Prerequisite: Evening: MKT7000 or MBA8520 or EPS7200 Fast Track: MBA7335 or (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: MBA7210 or EPS7200 Two Year: MBA7320 or EPS7301 or EPS7200


EPS 7575: VENTURE GROWTH STRATEGIES 3 credit elective The course focuses on the opportunities and challenges involved in the management of growth in entrepreneurial settings, either in an individual company or as part of a larger corporation. Growth is the ultimate resource constrainer, stretching all systems in a company to the limit and often beyond. Consequently, this course will emphasize management "at the limit" of what students may have already learned in other functional courses. It will provide students with a series of frameworks, analytical skills and techniques, and decision-making tools that can be used in growing entrepreneurial businesses. The course relies on non-traditional, experiential learning methods in addition to the usual case-based method. While some classroom meetings will include case discussions involving growth-related issues, the central part of the course is a sophisticated international simulation exercise known as the Sigma Challenge. This simulation is used by leading companies worldwide as an innovative training tool because of the rich experience it provides to participants. The Sigma Challenge is different from most other simulations because in the Sigma Challenge the teams start with a "clean slate" in planning their strategies and, equally important, the simulation is extremely responsive to the different strategies undertaken by the participating teams, thus providing participants with a dynamic learning experience which reflects real-world conditions and outcomes. The simulation takes place during eight of the regular weekly classroom meetings. During the simulation students work in teams. Each team is asked to manage the growth of a multi-product company from a single undifferentiated, imported product to a portfolio of differentiated products. Management decisions will involve strategy, marketing, finance, production, technology, R&D, and other functional areas. The course thus provides students with an opportunity to apply functional skills they have learned in other courses to build a growing company in an exciting, highly competitive, and rapidly changing environment. Guest speakers will provide further insight into the opportunities and challenges of growth. The course is particularly useful to students who have interests in one or more of the following areas: (1) growing their own entrepreneurial companies, (2) managing the growth of existing companies in an entrepreneurial fashion by emphasizing innovation and opportunity capture in a dynamic environment, and/or (3) helping companies manage their growth through consulting assignments. Prerequisite: NONE A lab fee will be required for the simulation materials and use of the simulation software. This course is typically offered in the following semester: Spring


XXX7580 Independent Research ******Independent research is available for all academic divisions.Registration is manual for students through Graduate Programs and Student Affairs****** Independent Research provides an opportunity to conduct in-depth research in areas of a student's own specific interest. Students may undertake Independent Research for academic credit with the approval of a student-selected faculty advisor, the appropriate division chair, and Graduate Programs and Student Affairs. Please note that a student is responsible for recruiting a faculty advisor through the student's own initiative and obtain the advisor's prior consent/commitment before applying for an independent research project. Authorization for such a project requires submission of a formal proposal written in accordance with standards set forth by the Graduate School. The research project normally carries 1.5 or 3 credits. For more information and a proposal outline please visit:


EPS8573 Entrepreneurship Intensity Track (EIT) ****THIS COURSE REQUIRES ACCEPTANCE INTO THE EIT PROGRAM. Registration is Manual for students who have been accepted into the program***************** EIT is focused on developing and enhancing student knowledge and experience in order to maximize their prospects for starting a successful business soon after graduation and keeping the doors open five years later. The course combines readings, discussions, lectures, conceptual tools, and guest speakers, all with an emphasis on the practical steps that students need to get their businesses up and running and keep them that way. EIT provides an intense experience for student exploration of a business opportunity as well as discovery of their entrepreneurial zeal. Students will engage in an academic and reality-based curriculum that includes both classroom and outside class activity, thus emphasizing entrepreneurial action as well as entrepreneurial thought. During the course, students will develop a timeline specific to starting their business; identify and meet with customers; interact with guest speakers; meet individually with professors; identify, attend, and report back on networking events relevant to their business; and have the opportunity to interact with other EIT class members who are similarly working on starting their businesses. Students will also work with an outside mentor who will choose a student to work with based on the student’s own presentation of their business. Prerequisite: Completion of 1 of the following: (EPS7500, EPS7530, EPS7545, EPS7546, or EPS7574) This course is typically offered in the following semester: Spring


Meeting Dates: January 9th and January 16th (8:15 AM - 5:45 PM) DROP DEADLINE: January 9th by 11:59 PM EPS9512 Future Trends and Entrepreneurial Ventures 1.5 credit intensive elective Future Trends and Entrepreneurial Ventures Changing industry and market forces create scalable, emergent markets for new ventures. Entrepreneurs who can grasp future trends have a distinct advantage in being able to focus their efforts where opportunities and markets converge. In this course, we will scan the future in Three Areas (Business/Economic, Technology, & Organization) that are further expanded into twelve dimensions. The goal of this course is to develop an understanding of how to develop entrepreneurial vision and action to scan, identify, and test future customer needs, design products and services to meet those needs, and build support from the entrepreneurial eco system including investors and business partners.


Meeting Dates: October 2 (8AM - 5:20 PM) October 3 (9AM - 5:00PM) DROP DEADLINE: October 2nd by 11:59 PM EPS9551 CRITICAL QUESTIONS FACING BUSINESS FAMILIES: A COACHING RETREAT 1.5 credit Intensive Elective - How do I move from a parent-child to a professional-peer relationship with my parents? Topics include, how to build relationship capital in the family, living with your family history, understanding the goals for effective communication, developing next stage communication skills, learning to have hard conversations, how to stop acting like a child, how to get your parents to start acting like a peer, giving and taking feedback in the family, creating a self-coaching family team, creating sibling unity, having successful family meetings, and many more.


EPS 9553 - FAMILY BUSINESS TO NEXT STAGE OF GROWTH Meeting Dates: Friday, March 4th (8:30 AM - 5:00 PM) and Saturday, March 5th (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM) DROP DEADLINE: March 4th by 11:59 PM Growth is the necessary condition for a trans-generational enterprising family. This course will explore the challenges and complexity of growth in the generational context of the family. The inflection point question, "How do we take the family business to the next stage of growth?" requires that families discover the "power of f" in wealth creation. The question of growth raises additional questions for reflection and conversation: o Do you have a compelling multi-generational vision for growth? o What is the difference between an enterprising family and traditional family business? o What are the constraints to growth in your family business? o How does the family context create a unique "entrepreneurship to the power of f"? o What is your "power of f" familiness advance performance model? o How does your governance support or constrain growth? o How do your planning capabilities support growth? o How do you align the family risk profile for growth? o What do you do if family shareholders don't want to grow (but don't know it)? o How do you establish an ownership strategic options continuum to support growth? The Inflection Point Question Course is a Friday/Saturday "family retreat" format that provides personalized coaching to participants based upon their individual family cases - family members are welcome to join students. The Goal is to stimulate deeper personal and professional Reflection…facilitate peer collegial Conversation…set participants up for Collaborative decision making in the family…and lead to an action plan for Execution by the students on their goals.


F2F Meeting Dates - Friday, July 29th - 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM Saturday, July 30th - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Saturday, August 6th - 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM EPS9555: Public Policy Entrepreneurship Intensive elective 1.5 Credits COURSE DESCRIPTION: The fiscal cliff. Congressional gridlock. Sequester. A growing multi-trillion dollar deficit. The curtailment of local services and the threat of local community bankruptcies. Policy challenges at all levels—local, regional, national, international. Have you ever wondered how your Babson MBA skills can be applied to help policy-makers meet these challenges effectively and intelligently and how you can get involved now or later in your career as a policy-maker yourself? EPS 9555: Public Policy Entrepreneurship is a 1.5 credit intensive elective focused on applying Entrepreneurial Thought and Action to answering these questions. The course makes extensive use of guest speakers, including government officials and public and private sector executives who share their practical experience in using entrepreneurial thinking to create innovative solutions to public policy challenges. Recent speakers have included a governor, a lieutenant governor and college president, a state secretary of housing and economic development, a state secretary of health and human services, venture capitalists, private charitable foundation board members, a board of selectman chair, a town executive director, and a founder of Mass Challenge and directors of the Mass. Institute for Political Leadership. Public Policy Entrepreneurship focuses on how governments, private companies, NGOs, and economic development organizations can apply entrepreneurial thought and action to accomplish their goals. Course topics include: • how MBAs can get involved in applying their professional skills to public policy challenges at different points in their careers either as a part-time volunteer or on a full-time basis • how governments can create conditions to encourage private sector entrepreneurship • how private companies can work more effectively with government entities in accomplishing their goals • how government agencies can become more entrepreneurial in order to accomplish their objectives The course uses lectures, readings, videos, and podcasts to provide students with analytical frameworks and practical knowledge which they can apply in developing solutions to policy issues. In the course final paper, students assume the role of a government official or NGO executive and detail how they would apply entrepreneurial principles in creating solutions to challenges facing their state or city or NGO. *THERE IS PREWORK FOR THIS COURSE