AFFORDABLE DESIGN AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
**Students must be Juniors or Seniors to take this course
EPS4515 Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship
1.4 billion people live on less than $1.25 per day (The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2009). While the problems afflicting the poor are great, there is power in thinking small - how a simple, focused innovation can change an individual life, a personal choice or a system.
Affordable Design and Entrepreneurship (ADE) is an international, experiential social entrepreneurship and design course where students work in partnership with communities in India, Ghana, Morocco and Alabama to co-create and test innovation concepts and sustainable business models. The focus is on income generation and meeting daily human needs through new product and service design and development but the scope considers the cultural appropriateness of design choices and their impact on social venture success. This includes how design can impact the desirability and viability of innovations in different problem-opportunity contexts, examined in the innovation phases of observation, conception, strategic planning and implementation.
A joint offering by Babson and Olin College, the course integrates core elements of user-oriented collaborative design and engineering design with entrepreneurial opportunity shaping and venture strategy. Babson and Olin College students work collaboratively in cross-functional teams to exploit their respective expertise and strengths. Starting with ethnographic research, venture teams collaborate first-hand with local communities on focused issues to identify addressable problems and to evaluate and test potential innovation solutions. Mixing entrepreneurship and design pedagogies, the course takes a systems view considering how design choices in product/service design and business model design can enhance-or diminish-a social venture's impact.
The course is run as a virtual firm where students work on distributed teams to develop social ventures by engaging with partner organizations, prioritizing programs, and setting and pursing goals while deploying modest amounts of seed capital. The course is time-intensive but rich and immersive. Students travel once per semester to partner sites to build relationships, learn about local culture, understand and map needs, identify stakeholders, perform experiments and tests, and collect information on local infrastructure and value chains.
(a) Prerequisites: FME1000, EPS3501, Junior standing
Students must be juniors or seniors to take the course.
Can be taken to fulfill the "Living the Entrepreneurship Experience" requirement.
EPS4510 Entrepreneurial Finance (formerly EPS3511)
This course focuses on the various aspects of funding and managing entrepreneurial ventures through the various stages of business growth and focuses on understanding business models and kinds of organizations and the various ways these can be financed (i.e corporate, technology, non-profit). Students will learn: 1) the value of pro forma financial planning and what if analysis; b) the various ways to fund and manage the growing firm from inception through harvest with a particular emphasis on deal structure and risk/reward scenarios for different investor types. The class will utilize cases based on real world companies from various industries to cover topics in investment analysis, financing the entrepreneurial firm, managing the growing business and harvesting. Frequent guests ranging from entrepreneurs, private equity venture capital, banking and legal professionals will bring the entrepreneurial experience to life in this course
Prerequisite: (MCE and OEM) or SME & EPS3501
This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Spring
ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND OPPORTUNITY
EPS3501 Entrepreneurship and Opportunity
EPS3501, EPS3502, EPS3503, EPS3530 and BRC3501 are equivalent courses. Students can take only ONE of these courses.
This course concentrates on identifying and evaluating opportunities for new business. The primary purpose is to investigate concepts tools and practices associated with identifying or creating new venture opportunities. Students will explore ways to shape and evaluate the viability of these opportunities by understanding key industry factors, market and competitive factors and customer needs. Students will gain a better understanding of personal entrepreneurial capacity, team building and management, and are augmented with readings, guest speakers, videos, and software simulations. Student teams will do at least two opportunity feasibility assessments.
Prerequisites: MCE or SME2011, SME2012, SME2013
EPS AND NEW VENTURES IN CHINA
Entrepreneurship and New Ventures in China
4-cr General Credit
(Note: This course is equivalent to EPS3501, EPS3502, EPS3503 and EPS3530. Students can take only one of these courses. BRC3501 satisfies the pre-requisite for EPS350x and in meeting the Entrepreneurship concentration requirement of EPS350x.)
This four-credit entrepreneurship elective is part of the 16-credit Russia-China program. The course will introduce students to the nature and process of assessing and shaping entrepreneurial opportunities in China. It will build on the Liberal Arts China elective, enabling students to apply their understanding about China's cultural, political, social and economic environment to understand drivers of entrepreneurship and to identify and assess entrepreneurial opportunities.
Near the end of the 1970s, entrepreneurship was introduced as a supplement to China's socialist economy, and the government has increasingly acknowledged the key economic role played by the private sector. This provides a relevant and unique context through which to study entrepreneurial activity. We will examine the distinct qualities of entrepreneurship, and the factors that influence new venture creation in this diverse and rapidly changing economy. We will accomplish this, not just through discussions, readings and cases, but also through immersion in the culture and direct contact with Chinese entrepreneurs.
We will visit entrepreneurial firms and to other entities involved with entrepreneurship, such as investors and government officials.
Students will maintain a journal reflecting on their visits and experiences from an entrepreneurship perspective. They will write a paper analyzing an entrepreneur and their own entrepreneurial capacity. They will work in teams to conduct a qualitative assessment of customers and write a feasibility plan for a entrepreneurial opportunity in China.
Prerequisites: OEM & MCE
Co-requisites: BRC3502, BRC3601 and BRC3602
Concentration mandatory course for Entrepreneurship, equivalent to EPS 3501
LIVING THE FAMILY BUSINESS EXPERIENCE
EPS4534: Living the Family Business Experience
EPS4534, EPS4530 (formerly EPS3530), EPS4531, EPS4532 and EPS4533 are equivalent courses. Students can only take one of these courses.
Living the Entrepreneurial Experience Family Focus is about taking action and executing upon a real entrepreneurial opportunity within students’ family businesses. Students put Entrepreneurial Thought and Action into practice by acting on their ideas in order to advance a real opportunity for value creation within their family business. Key elements of the process involve both primary and secondary research through engaging family members, prospective customers, experts, suppliers, stakeholders, and investors. Students are challenged to test ideas and gain a clearer understanding of the complexities involved with mixing entrepreneurial efforts and family dynamics. Course readings and cases will provide supplemental background. Core to the class experience is the question - how do you build and lead a venture or entrepreneurial opportunity within a family business? Students will set milestones to move their idea forward, working with family members and peer advisors. The core is “action based learning” which will result in pivoting your idea based on information gained in experimenting and testing assumptions. The course has multiple deliverables related to key actions and decisions in marketing, finance, customer service and operations. Students are expected to work independently as well as interdependently with members of their own family and family business in the course. Contact time for this course will be split between in-class sessions and out-of-class individual meetings with the instructor.
Prerequisite: (OEM and MCE) or SME & EPS3501
This course is typically offered in the following semester: Spring
LIVING THE SOCIAL EPS EXPERIENCE
EPS4525: Living the Social Entrepreneurship Experience
EPS4525, EPS4530 (formerly EPS3530), EPS4531, EPS4532, EPS4533 and EPS4534 are equivalent courses. Students can only take one of these courses.
Living the Social Entrepreneurial Experience is about solving "people and planet" problems while generating societal and economic value. Building on the foundation from EPS 3501, this course is action focused, where you will execute on a real opportunity in teams. Students put Entrepreneurial Thought and Action into practice by developing, taking and building on key action steps to advance their own social venture or on projects for existing social enterprises. Key elements of the process involve secondary research and engaging experts, stakeholders, analogous/complementary ventures, and investors/donors to enrich understanding of the social entrepreneurship landscape and test ideas. Course readings and cases will provide supplemental background. Core to the class experience is the question - how do you build and lead a social venture? Students will set milestones to move their venture forward, working with both with external mentors and peer advisors. The core is “action based learning” which will result in pivoting your venture based on information gained in experimenting and testing assumptions. The course has multiple deliverables related to key actions and decisions in marketing, finance, customer service and operations. Students are expected to work independently as well as interdependently with other social entrepreneurs in the course. Contact time for this course will be split between in-class sessions and out-of-class individual meetings with the instructor.
Prerequisites: (OEM and MCE) or SME and EPS3501
This course is typically offered in the following semester: Fall
MKTG FOR ENTREPRENEURS
Marketing for Entrepreneurs
This course provides an in-depth study of entrepreneurial marketing strategies for the 21st century. It examines how start-up and small/medium-size companies reach the marketplace and sustain their businesses, within highly-competitive industries.
Recognition is given to the need of management to operate flexibly, make maximum effective use of scarce resources in terms of people, equipment and funds, and the opportunities that exist within new and established market niches.
Classes focus on a combination of brief lectures, extensive case study analyses and a term-long group assignment involving student-generated entrepreneurial product or service offerings.
Prerequisites: OEM AND MCE or SME
NEW TECHNOLOGY VENTURES
New Technology Ventures
EPS3501, EPS3502, EPS3503 and BRC3501 are equivalent courses. Students can take only ONE of these courses.
Creating a new venture that has technology as a basis for its products or services presents special challenges. On one hand is the "push" of new technology, as evidenced by the plethora of scientific invention and technological innovation. On the other hand is the "pull" of the market as it presents new entrepreneurial opportunities. Other key challenges present themselves in areas of intellectual property protection, team building and funding opportunities. In this course we will explore entrepreneurship in technology industries in depth with the hope of penetrating the popular veneer, and uncovering the guts of starting a growing new technology ventures. Of course, there is a lot about new technology venturing that is common to all new venture creation, and also the qualities entrepreneurs demonstrate are valuable in a wide spectrum of life's activities.
A unique aspect of this course is its desire to include students from both Babson as well as the F.W. Olin College of Engineering. Particular value from this intermingling will be evidenced in the true interdisciplinary nature of the course field project teams that are formed, and the ability for students to begin to develop networks of relationships outside their individual domains of business or engineering.
Primary Course Objectives:
1. To investigate the components, tools, and practices of technology entrepreneurship: identifying new venture opportunities, evaluating the viability of a new business concept, calibrating risk of successful technology development, protecting intellectual property, building a team that possesses the attributes necessary for success, obtaining appropriate financing, writing a business plan, and developing an investor presentation, creating an entrepreneurial culture that increases the odds of success, and creating liquidity for shareholders.
2. To identify and exercise entrepreneurial skills through classrooms debate and assignments.
3. To introduce students to a variety of technology entrepreneurs. Case studies are used as tools for discussion, and are augmented with readings and guest speakers.
The core project for this course will be the development of a technology based business plan. Students will form teams to explore a business opportunity, and develop a business plan and investor presentation.
Prerequisites: OEM and MCE or SME2011, SME2012, SME2013
RAISING MONEY-VC, ANGELS & INCUBATORS
EPS3540 Raising Money-VC, Angels & Incubators
This class concentrates on developing a knowledge of the asset classes in early stage funding, both equity and debt, including money from family and friends, angels- both individual and networks- early and mid stage VC, private equity, incubators- both for profit and not for profit- and debt from venture debt funds and special commercial banks. Much of the class is taught from the entrepreneur's perspective but it will also cover the dynamics of starting and running a VC fund since many of the investor classes rely heavily on the VC when making investment decisions. Case material, lectures, frequent exercises/presentations and guest speakers will provide future entrepreneurs with a detailed understanding how investors think, analyze and behave so that entrepreneurs can understand the deals they make with investors and how to manage the process to a mutually beneficial conclusion.
THE ULTIMATE ENTREPRENEURIAL CHALLENGE
The Ultimate Entrepreneurial Challenge
Formerly EPS3510 and EPS3579
This highly competitive course, patterned after the Donald Trump TV show, "The Apprentice," involves intense TEAM competition and problem solving. Students will elect CEO's, negotiate to acquire team members and compete for ten weeks to determine the ultimate winner. We will test your skills in strategy, marketing, negotiation, management, finance and the actual utilization of "out of the box thinking." The assignments will be based on actual business and case studies. In many cases, the entrepreneurs, or their representatives who are involved in that particular case, will come to class to judge the students on their presentation of solutions. Answers to solutions will be discussed in class.
The class will be open to both graduate and undergraduate students who possess "out of the box thinking" abilities and are creative and want to be successful entrepreneurs. The students are treated as customers and their input will be solicited as to subjects covered. Last year, these subjects were selected.
Understanding what it really takes to be a successful entrepreneur
Starting and growing a business
Creating an entrepreneurial team
Eureka Ranch creativity
Financial analysis and tax planning
Selecting the right management style for yourself
Methods to develop inspiration and the tools to achieve success and confidence
How to take calculated risks
Other timely subjects
What You Will NOT Do
Have the Professor lecture to you for long periods of time.
Have chapters to read and then go over the chapters in class.
Have students hog air time.
Learn formulas that you have to memorize.
Have boring classes.
I believe in business, as in life, nothing is ever handed to you.
So, in this class, you will work harder than you have before. But, if you believe you have the passion to learn to be a successful entrepreneur, this is the class for you.
This class will come as close as you can get while in college to be challenged to come up with the most successful solutions to the real problems you will encounter in the real world.
The Professor will share the knowledge he has obtained in over 30 years of business expertise to assist you in learning the essentials you will need to be successful.
Students will also have one-on-one time with the Professor.
Prerequisites: FME1001 or MOB1000
This course is typically offered in the fall.
BABSON EPS DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE
CXD1201 BABSON ENTREPRENEUR DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE
4 credits - general credit
Develop your skills as a passionate, self-motivated entrepreneur within a close-knit driven community. If you already have an idea that you want to grow, this is the program to help make that happen. Don't have an idea? You'll learn to identify opportunities and act on them.
In the classroom, you will learn how to grow your commercial or social venture and develop tools and resources for your business. Most significantly, through lessons of corporate citizenship, you will discover how your business ideas fit into the greater world picture.
Attend engaging classroom discussions, collaborate across businesses and meet with business leaders and Babson undergraduate and graduate student mentors.
Discovering how to position your business idea into the greater world picture through corporate citizenship and business development is the primary objective of EPS1501. The feasibility of the right business idea and learning to identify opportunities and the methodology to successfully act on them. Classroom activities and discussion will focus on learning how to grow your commercial or social venture, and to develop tools and resources for a business.
Each student will acquire a unique understanding of the entrepreneurial process - a process of opportunity recognition, resource marshalling, and team building driven by business methodologies in idea generation, feasibility analysis and business plan communications.
S.AFRICA:EPS,CULTURE IN DEVL ECONOMY
EXP3555 S. AFRICA: EPS, CULTURE, & SOC IN DEVELOPING ECONOMY
4 CREDITS (GENERAL CREDIT)
This experiential, global service learning course will introduce students to the culture, history, politics, and economy of South Africa. Students will engage in in-depth study of South Africa's culture, history, politics, and economy before leaving for a 3 week in-country experience. The pre-trip phase will consider the effects of colonialism and apartheid rule on South Africa, as well as its development in the post-apartheid period (1994 - present). We will pay particular attention to the role of small-scale entrepreneurship in restoring balance to the segregated, oppressed communities of people classified as "black" and "colored" under the apartheid regime. Students will consider approaches to economic development in the post-apartheid period, including the effects of community and government programs and policies.
While in South Africa, students will teach two week-long developmental entrepreneurship classes to students at eight local high schools in impoverished communities. We will travel to Capetown to visit major cultural, geographic, and historical sites on the weekend between teaching sessions, and students have the option of doing a safari experience at the end of the trip.
Course credits will be divided into pre- and post-trip work: half of the credits will be earned through reading, writing, and other coursework in preparation for the in-country experience, and half of the credits will be earned through a reflective research essay to be produced upon returning from the trip.
Prerequisites: OEM and MCE
CULTURE, SOCIETY AND EPS IN DEVL ECNMY
ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE EPS
**Students must be Juniors or Seniors to take this course
EPS4523 Environmental and Sustainable Entrepreneurship (FORMERLY EPS3523)
4 credit (General Credit)
Like never before, corporations and consumers around the world are confronting the realities of climate change, energy consumption, and economic growth. At its most fundamental level, humanity's demand for energy in order to grow and prosper is set hard against the realities of climate change and the impacts of business-as-usual on the environment. A new generation of opportunity obsessed, environmentally passionate entrepreneurial leaders will go beyond business-as-usual and identify and commercialize the green, sustainable businesses of the future. Many believe this green transition will be the equivalent to what information technology was when it was booming.
The course will guide students through a historical "walk" which will provide the context of how we got here, understand what the drivers of change are in environmental businesses and understand how the carbon economy will affect business. Students will be better able to analyze, identify and shape opportunities in key industries as they relate to the environmental economy: energy (wind, solar, geothermal, etc.), water, waste, food, etc. This course will be carbon neutral and students will calculate their carbon footprint.
GREAT EPS WEALTH:CREATION,PRSV,DEST
EPS3505 Great Entrepreneurial Wealth: Creation, Preservation and Destruction
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 and 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. The course also discusses the rise and fall of great family dynasties in the section of wealth destruction.
Current practice of wealth generation, preservation and destruction methodologies will be reviewed, covering hedge funds, family offices and entrepreneur impropriety. Participants of this course will be expected to enhance skills in identifying market opportunity and wealth generation techniques as well as gain greater insight on interpersonal and market forces that contribute to wealth evaporation. Ethical dilemma, including a thorough discussion of high profile industry scandals, will be explored along with factors contributing to fraud and investor impropriety
LIVING THE EPS EXPERIENCE (GENERAL FOCUS
EPS4530: Living the Entrepreneurial Experience
EPS4530 (formerly EPS3530), EPS4525, EPS4531, EPS4532, EPS4533 and EPS4534 are equivalent courses. Students can only take one of these courses.
Living the Entrepreneurial Experience is about being in action, individually or in pairs, while executing upon a real entrepreneurial opportunity. Building on the foundation from EPS 3501, in this course, students put Entrepreneurial Thought and Action into practice by developing, taking and building on key action steps to advance their own venture or on projects for existing enterprises. Key elements of the process involve both primary and secondary research while engaging prospective customers, experts, suppliers, stakeholders, analogous/complementary ventures, and investors. Students are challenged to test ideas and gain a clearer understanding of the interdisciplinary complexities involved within the entrepreneurial landscape. Course readings and cases will provide supplemental background. Core to the class experience is the question - how do you build and lead an enterprising new venture? Students will set milestones to move their venture forward, working with both external mentors and peer advisors. The core is “action based learning” which will result in pivoting your venture based on information gained in experimenting and testing assumptions. The course has multiple deliverables related to key actions and decisions in marketing, finance, customer service and operations. Students are expected to work independently as well as interdependently with other entrepreneurs in the course. Contact time for this course will be split between in-class sessions and out-of-class individual meetings with the instructor.
Prerequisites: (OEM and MCE)
This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring
SOC EPS BY DESIGN
EPS4527 Social Entrepreneurship by Design (formerly EPS3527)
This course integrates user-oriented collaborative design and entrepreneurship for the purpose of developing new products or services that contribute to the solution of a social problem. User-oriented collaborative design is a proven five phase process designed to help you create products or services based on user needs; understanding the user is central to the design process. Yet designing new products and services for social sectors adds layers of complexity. The user is one among many stakeholders to which your product must provide value. Thus you will design products that yield both an economic and social value for multiple stakeholder groups, but you must determine who the most important stakeholders are and focus wisely in the design process. Determining economic and social value is an entrepreneurship exercise. In Social Entrepreneurship by Design, students aim to uncover and design potential value for all critical stakeholders. This is critical because addressing social problems typically requires collaboration, partnerships, alliances and even special funding. The chief aim of the course is to understand and apply a design process with far-reaching implications for social activists and social entrepreneurs. While the problems of the world are large, the course forces students to focus on challenges that are narrowly-defined and potentially solvable. Because the course is experiential, students are expected to engage multiple stakeholders to motivate their entrepreneurial approaches and solutions.
For Babson students: MCE and EPS3501 (either can be taken prior to or with EPS4527)
For Wellesley or Olin students: SUS1201
VENTURE GROWTH STRATEGIES
EPS 4521: VENTURE GROWTH STRATEGIES
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: OEM and MCE
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