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

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Entrepreneurship

ENTREPRENEUSHIP ANLYTC STRAT OF THE FIRM

EPS6300: Entrepreneurship, Analytics, and Strategy of the Firm 3 credits Blended This course provides an overview of the entrepreneurship method that will enable students to create, identify, assess, shape, and act on opportunities in a variety of contexts and organizations, while also introducing students to the use of analytics throughout the lifecycle of business applications. The method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A), 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. Topics will include: innovation uncertainty in the corporate environment, Design Thinking, Shareholder Value and EVA//Multi Business Strategy in Large Corporations, Industry Analysis, Ecosystems and Competitive Positioning and How Big Companies Make Decisions. Prerequisites: Admission in to the MSBA program. CAM students should contact Graduate Academic Services to pursue enrollment in this course.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND OPPORTUNITY

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

NEW VENTURE CREATION

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: EPS7200 Blended Learning MBA: (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: EPS7200 Two Year: EPS7200 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring

ENTREPRENEURIAL FINANCE

EPS7510 Entrepreneurial Finance formerly titled Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture 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 This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring

GREAT ENTREPRENEURIAL WEALTH

EPS7518 Great Entrepreneurial Wealth: Creation, Preservation and Destruction 3 credit graduate elective This course will explore the stages of great entrepreneurial wealth creation, preservation and destruction.  Topics will cover geographical and sector concentrations of great wealth formation, along with socio- economic conditions prevailing at the time of generation.  Particular emphasis will cover the detailed paths of notable entrepreneurs from the past century, along with the ethical dilemma and social contributions attributed to each of them.  This course will include topics such as:   -Wealth creation paths of famous entrepreneurs -Location, concentration, and flow of global wealth -Entrepreneurial traits/characteristics of the super-wealthy -Hedge funds and family offices -Wealth preservation methodologies -Factors contributing to wealth destruction

CROWDFUNDING

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.

MANAGING GROWING BUSINESSES

EPS7520 - MANAGING GROWING BUSINESSES 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.

M & A FOR ENTREPRENEURS

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.

THE PRINCIPLE OF OBJECTIVITY

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.

FAMILY BUSINESS JOINING FAMILY BUSINESS

EPS7536 Family Business: Joining Family Business Students who have taken EPS9550 cannot take this course. An all-consuming question, which often begs for a decision by young professionals is, "how do I know if I should do business with my family members or join my family's business?" Asking this question can stimulate a key inflection point decision in the life stage of individuals, business families and the businesses themselves. This course raises a number of straightforward and compounding questions around the decision inflection point as we explore how families and family members discover the power of family in enterprising and wealth creation: What resource and capabilities do I bring to my family - my contribution to the "power of f" in relation to the other family members? What are my personal career goals and do they fit with the vision of my family? Is working with family a real professional option for me? Do I have the relationship capital I need to work with my family? How do I address compensation and ownership issues that are important to me? Can I be an entrepreneur and start my own business with or without family? How do I clarify my role in the business when I can't get a clear conversation about it? Will I get professional feedback and leadership development so I can grow? What do I need to do to successfully work with other future generation siblings or cousins? Do I act like an employee, top management or an owner? Do I have to make this decision to work with my family right now? The Inflection Point Question Course is a blended learning option with online reading and conversation as well as a half-day "retreat" on Friday and Saturday. The retreat format is designed to provide 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. The topics and specific content taught in the class is determined by the issues surfaced through the personal cases. The primary deliverables for the class are (1) a mini-case write-up on your decision parameters on whether to work in the family business or to do business with your family member; (2) a reflective journal about where you are in your professional development and future/decision making; (3) on-line case comments and participation in blog threads; (4) designing a personal strategy plan on how the you will implement what they've learned in the class. Course Objectives 1. To expose student to thinking about themselves and family companies as a systemic pool of resources and capabilities - discovering their power in family enterprising. 2. To provide students with an opportunity to engage in a "retreat style" learning forum, providing a safe space for dialogue about relevant personal and professional family and business issues. 3. To assist students in thinking about both the "process and content" side of organizational life and decision-making - to move them beyond the normal rational linear decision model. 4. To have students interact with the process consultation approach, which draws its content and solutions from the experiences of the participants. 5. To enable students to reflect on their lives as a professional in the context of their family and have a high-level leadership development experience. 6. To expose students to a systems view of the family business where the family, business and individual family members interact to create the reality in which they live and make decisions. 7. To facilitate peer coaching between the students, as well as other family business professionals and career development specialist that will assist them in answering the question of whether or not to enter their family business.

ESSENTIAL PRACTICES IN FAMILY EPS

EPS7537 Essential Practices in Family Entrepreneurship 3 credit graduate elective This course is for MBA students who are already part of a family business. The purpose of the course understand the drivers of entrepreneurship within the family business context. While entrepreneurship is evident across many different business forms, research has demonstrated that there are significant differences in how entrepreneurship is enacted within family businesses. Students will be exposed the most recent thinking and research about how they can be more entrepreneurial within their own family businesses. Because all students in the class will be part of a family business, students will also be exposed to multiple viewpoints and examples of how different family businesses address these issues.

JAPAN: INSTITUTIONS AND ENTPRENEURSHIP

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

FUTURE TRENDS IN EPS VENTURES

EPS7539 Future Trends in Entrepreneurial Ventures 3 credits (100% online) Changing industry and market forces create scalable, emergent markets for new ventures. Entrepreneurs and Corporate Innovators 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 and Economic, Technology, and Organization) that are further expanded into twelve dimensions. The goal of this course is to create an understanding of how to develop entrepreneurial and innovative vision and action in order 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. Students will develop an understanding of the future that applies to her/his own innovation leadership vision; identify Key Future Factors that allow innovative leaders to address customer needs currently unmet; and develop an action approach to scale an opportunity with an assessment of future trends and markets.

TOOLS FOR EPS AND MANAGERS

EPS7541 Tools for EPS and Managers 1.5 credit graduate elective To be successful, Business Leaders need data to make decisions- profit margins, customer data, productivity measures- but what metrics are really important? This class focuses on five key business metrics ( customer acquisition costs, sales cycle timing and value, break-even points, profitability ratio's) that will help entrepreneurs access customers and capital. Understanding how to calculate and USE these tools will not only help you manage your business, but also teach you when you need to PIVOT for success. Drowning in Data and financial metrics? Confused about what ratio's really mean? This class will provide the "practical, hands on" tool kit you need. This class builds upon the core MBA concepts (pre-req EPS7200) and leverages this knowledge for strategic resource acquisition, whether customer, capital, or people. It is recommended for all students. This class will utilize a "blended" learning format--both on-line lectures (brain shark) and a traditional face to face component. Because of the format, it is also available to Fast Track Students. Prerequisite: EPS7200

TECH, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND DESIGN SWEDEN

Elective Abroad

BUYING A SMALL BUSINESS

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.

BUYING A SMALL BUSINESS: THE SEARCH EXP

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: EPS7200 Blended Learning MBA: (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: EPS7200 Two Year: EPS7200

WOMEN'S ENTREPRENEURSHIP & LEADERSHIP

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.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND GIG ECONOMY

The Gig Economy and the New Entrepreneurial Imperative EPS7552 1.5 credit elective Named by Forbes.com 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.

ON BECOMING ENTREP CONTEXT BASED EPS ACT

EPS7553: On Becoming Entrepreneurial: Context-based Entrepreneurial Action 3 elective credits This course drives students to uncover, develop, and put into practice Entrepreneurial Thought & Action (ET&A) regardless of the type of organization they are in. The tenets of the course are applicable in all organization but there is an emphasis on becoming and being entrepreneurial inside a large existing organization. Students will assess and develop their own entrepreneurial skills and learn how to apply them in their particular organizational setting (corporate, non-profit, government, etc.). The focus is on how to apply the concepts of ET&A and other frameworks in order to affect entrepreneurial outcomes in any organizational setting. Students will benchmark from existing research within Fortune 500 companies, popular press books, case studies, mini-cases, videos, experiential exercises, business press articles, and other relevant material. Prerequisites: None
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