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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

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EPS7200 Entrepreneurship & Opportunity F2F Meeting Dates: April 28 and April 29 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: 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


EPS7510 Entrepreneurial Finance formerly titled Financing the Entrepreneurial Venture F2F Meeting Dates: Saturday, February 11th and Friday, March 10th 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


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: Friday, February 10th and Saturday, March 11th 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: 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


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


Required WebEx Sessions 7:30 - 8:30 PM EST September 7th September 21st October 5th October 19th Please copy and paste this link in your browser and you will see a presentation by Professor Daniels on this course:[streamerType]=auto 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.



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: EPS7200 Fast Track: (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: EPS7200 Two Year: EPS7200


EPS 7574 Marketing for Entrepreneurs: Field Projects The course allows students to apply the principles discussed in the advanced marketing curriculum to real marketing and business problems experienced by participating companies. This provides a practical workshop experience for students who want to gain experience launching a marketing campaign. To accomplish this, students will be introduced to a variety of local businesses in need of a marketing and/or customer outreach campaign and will interact, in teams, with their client company as if they were part of a professional marketing consulting firm. Upon selection of a client company to work with, student teams will spend the first half of the course identifying their client’s brand position, business opportunities and challenges as well as their client’s customers’ needs and values. They will then present the client with a proposed tactical marketing campaign that the team will launch for the company. Upon approval of the marketing proposal, student teams will work with their client to launch the marketing campaign. These campaigns might range from an integrated social media/web based program to a sales outreach initiative. In addition to running the campaign, students will learn how to get traction through a range of customer acquisition tactics, both online and offline, inbound and outbound. Students will complete the semester by analyzing the results of the campaign and presenting a longer-term marketing strategy that the business can deploy. Goal of the course include: • Developing a marketing proposal for a local business • Creating and launching an actionable marketing campaign for a business or organization • Learning how to develop and deploy appropriate customer discovery tools to identify customer and market needs, problems and opportunities • Developing critical problem solving skills related to marketing and go-to-market strategies to address growth challenges or opportunities. Prerequisites: 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***************** For students who plan to open their own new business right after graduation EPS 7500 or EPS 7545 is required to refine the business opportunity and define the market potential, Students selected for the EIT: Launch course will engage in an academically rigorous and reality-based curriculum that includes both classroom and outside class activity. Students will also work with an outside mentor, the mentor will choose a student to work with based on the students own presentation of their business. Ultimately, students must incorporate the business, choose a location, determine and have in place a go to market strategy, execute a product or service appropriate to their market, are expected to fund or be funded on their own merit and launch the business before, or shortly after, completing their MBA program. Students should be those who can stand on their own and have the will to make it happen in a challenging environment. While there will be a vast amount of advice students should keep in mind that this business is theirs and it's success is completely dependent on what they make of it. Prerequisite: Completion of 1 of the following: (EPS7500, EPS7545, EPS7546, EPS7530 or EPS7574) AND Evening: EPS7200 Blended Learning MBA: (ECN7201 and MIS7200) One Year: EPS7200 Two Year: EPS7200 This course is typically offered in the following semester: Spring


EPS9507 Food Entrepreneurship 1.5 Intensive Elective Meeting Dates: Thursday, April 6 Friday, April 7 Friday, April 14 DROP DEADLINE: Thursday, April 6 by 11:59 PM Over the last five years, the global food industry has been both expanding and reorganizing rapidly. Once fringe products are migrating to the middle as alternative food goes mainstream. Without question, consumers are driving industry change with major print, television and online media contributing to greater consumer awareness of the industry and how their individual and familial food decisions serve to shape it. Understanding U.S. food-industry dynamics is crucial to food entrepreneurship, regardless of one’s home market, because foreign markets and multinationals see the U.S. as setting the future of food. Players globally are watching the U.S. for indicators of new food trends, products and business models. While barriers to entry in the food industry are relatively low, the hurdles ahead for new farmers, food makers, distributors, and retailers are substantial. Food incubators and accelerators have ballooned as a new “food entrepreneur services” (my term) segment follows the proliferation of new entrants and significant dollars have begun migrating to them from the tech sector. However, be they corporate or independent, food incubators and accelerators are startups themselves. All are young, and the field is fragmented and confusing. This highly experiential intensive MBA elective ‘Food Entrepreneurship’ will focus on the anatomy of the food entrepreneur’s journey from initial idea and course-setting through meaningful survey of market landscapes into relevant management and supply chain activities. Course materials and assigned readings are drawn from five years of firsthand research in the field. Guest experts and entrepreneurs visiting class will help us to dig deeper into particular questions and dynamics. Focus will include both internal and external reflection and navigation of challenge and opportunity sets. This course is applicable to students who already have a business idea or venture in development as well as to students who are simply curious about the food industry as a potential career sector. For students in building mode, this course will accelerate their networks and understanding of market forces and future trends, and illuminate their next smart action steps. For students in exploration mode, this course will arm them with the right questions and frameworks to learn efficiently from and with industry experts and current entrepreneurs. We will practice the Babson method of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (ET&A) extensively in the classroom: in our engagements with industry experts exploring traditional and emergent models for doing business; during in-class exercises borrowing from Food Sol’s signature model of the Quick Service Incubator; and in the final team deliverable of a business recommendation presentation. Students enrolled in this course will accomplish the following objectives: Acquire a nuanced understanding of the current state of the food industry, its component parts, and the food system surrounding it Interact with field experts on food trends, market dynamics and the food system (including adjacent sector opportunities) Rapidly problem-solve in service to a local food business (representatives from each business will be present in class to engage with the students on their feedback and ideas) Sense market opportunities and inflection points, and identify territory for smart collaborations As an intensive elective, we will not be able to address every paradigm in the global food industry. This course will elucidate the landscape and system frameworks, and a lengthy reading list and online resources will help students to organize the field of content and resources. Topics such as the history of food, food product marketing, finance, industry mergers and acquisitions, and food science will not be covered, beyond anecdotally. The intent is an immersive experience into the food industry for the purposes of identifying, creating or furthering opportunities within it.


EPS9512 Future Trends and Entrepreneurial Ventures 1.5 credit intensive elective F2F Meeting Dates: Friday, January 6th and Saturday, January 7th 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: Friday, November 18th and Saturday, November 19, 2016 DROP DEADLINE: Friday, November 18th 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, April 21st 8:30 AM-5:30 PM Saturday, April 22nd 9 AM- 5:30 PM DROP DEADLINE: Friday, April 21st 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.
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