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Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® at Babson College

Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (ET&A™)

Act, Learn, Build

As the No. 1 leader in entrepreneurship for 26 consecutive years, Babson is globally recognized for our one-of-a-kind Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™) methodology through our conferences and classes —available both in person and online — that teach undergraduates, graduates, and executives to balance action, experimentation, and creativity with a deep understanding of business fundamentals and rigorous analysis as the ideal approach to creating economic and social value.

But what does that mean?

Using entrepreneurship as a way to look at the world, we can solve more than just business problems. ET&A™ is a proprietary methodology. You can apply it to innovating within a large corporation, raising a family, creating a charity, solving global social issues, or starting a business. Our courses and events teach you how to apply this proprietary method so that you can create, identify, assess, shape, and act on opportunities in a variety of contexts and organizations.

Start with the Means at Hand

Because you are empowered to take action, you can control the future. By starting with who you are, what you know, and whom you know, you can work with what you have to pursue your idea. But, you first have to stop worrying about what you want to accomplish and focus on what you want to do next.

Take the First Step

From one action, you’ll get new data and information that you can use to guide further action and reassess and adjust your goal as necessary. And, then you’ll take the next step. And, the next, and the next, until you’ve overcome obstacles, adapted to others, and accomplished your goal—though likely it’s not the one with which you started.

Make a Difference

Above all, what you do matters and can make a difference. ET&A is a method of social change that allows you to value purpose as much as profit. By understanding yourself in the context of social, economic, and environmental issues, you have the ability to balance prediction and creation to take action on issues that would ordinarily stump you.

Get Started

The good news is we don’t believe entrepreneurial leaders are individuals who are born with this set of characteristics. You can learn to act and think entrepreneurially to create the future you want.

And, you can only learn it at Babson.

 

Babson Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (ET&A™): Annual Conference at Babson College:

B.E.T.A. Challenge

The Blank Center’s B.E.T.A. (Babson Entrepreneurial Thought & Action®) Challenge recognizes major milestones Babson businesses have achieved by taking action.

Winners of the graduate, undergraduate, and alumni B.E.T.A. Challenge each win a grand prize of $20,000 in cash plus​ “services in kind” donations from corporate sponsors respectively. In addition, $2,500 is awarded to the two other finalist ventures in each of the three competitions. Applicants compete for prizes by demonstrating success in achieving major milestones by taking action.

 

Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (ET&A™): Classes at Babson

Babson’s proprietary method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™), is teachable and learnable. As a result, our students gain the ability to balance action, experimentation, and creativity with a deep understanding of business fundamentals and rigorous analysis as the ideal approach to creating economic and social value.

EPS3524 – Made in Japan: Culture & Opportunities

4 credits (in-person)

This course is built on two major themes: 1. Cultural excursion Provide students to have an in--depth look and a chance to experience Japans culture, in other words, its institutional environment (i.e., formal and informal rules of the game). -- Students will have opportunities to examine this through various dimensions that constitute the diversity and complexity of the country’s cultural/institutional environment today: Metropolitan vs. suburban, Modern--contemporary vs. old—fashioned, Young--emerging vs. mature—established, High vs. low tech, etc. 2. Entrepreneurial opportunities Encourage students to practice Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™) within the cultural/institutional environment in Japan. -- Students will work in teams to conduct observations, identify problems and opportunities, design an entrepreneurial initiative, and assess its impact (including stakeholder analysis) and feasibility in various contexts/perspectives: Location—based, Industry—based, Interest/theme--based, etc. The entire course is designed on the concept of interactive learning through site visits, mini projects, and individual/group research.

EPS3531 – Failure is good; ACT, LEARN, BUILD, REPEAT

4 credits (in-person)

EPS3531: Failure is good: As long as you, act, learn, build and repeat 4 Advanced Management Credits Among the building blocks of Entrepreneurship education, this course focuses on failure. Is it relevant? Should we even care? Is it important? Does it even matter? The assumption is YES, and we will examine this hypothesis by exploring academic journal articles, learning from case discussions and rom experiences of entrepreneurs including my/yourself. After all, Entrepreneurial Though and Action® (ET&A™) will not necessarily make any given effort more successful (at least no research so far). ET&A does not guarantee success; some (but not all) will fail. But knowing how and under what conditions failure can be good, employing ET&A will enable more individuals to try, try sooner, often fail sooner, try more times/multiple simultaneous ventures thus making personal success more likely and sooner. These in turn will increase the aggregate number of successful ventures for society as a whole. In essence, the course will shed positive light on the dark side of entrepreneurship. There is often good in failure-how so? There is often a better way to fail- how so? Entrepreneurship permeated Babson College; it is considered the liberal arts of business education. Keep an open mind, think outside of the box, re-evaluate view of failure and intellectually challenge your peers as well as yourself! Prerequisites: None

EPS4520 Silicon Valley Tech Ventures

4 credits (in-person)

This course focuses on the process of applying Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™) and using action and reflection to better understand how technological innovation impacts business and venture creation. Our primary goal will be to develop an understanding of the key components of successful technology-based entrepreneurship. In addition to focusing on the action steps for developing a venture, we will also examine the concepts of design thinking, funding, and entrepreneurial ecosystems. The course is based in San Francisco, the epicenter of technology companies. This context offers a unique opportunity to gain a more experiential understanding of technology-based entrepreneurship.

EPS4525 Living the Social Entrepreneurship Experience

4 credits (in-person)

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® (ET&A™) 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: SME and EPS3501 This course is typically offered in the following semester: Fall

EPS4530 Living the Entrepreneurial Experience

4 credits (in-person)

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® (ET&A™) 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: None This course is typically offered in the following semesters: Fall and Spring

EPS4534  Entrepreneurship and your family business

4 credits (in-person)

Entrepreneurship and your family business is about taking action and executing upon a real entrepreneurial opportunity within students family businesses. Students put Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™) 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: No course pre-requisites. Students in their third and fourth year are encouraged to register for this course. Students in their first and second years need permission from the instructor. This course is typically offered in the following semester: Spring

EPS6300: Entrepreneurship, Analytics, and Strategy of the Firm

3 credits (in-person and online)

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. Babson’s proprietary 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.

EPS7200 Entrepreneurship & Opportunity

3 credits (in-person)

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. Babson’s proprietary 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"

EPS 7538 Japan: Institutions and Entrepreneurship

3 elective credits (elective abroad)

Program fee is paid to Glavin Office – program fee includes: accommodations, breakfast, ground transportation, program planned meals and cultural excursions. Not included: tuition, international flight, single supplement (fee: $1,100 - NOTE: limited singles available, additional singles may be available at a higher rate), visa costs, additional meals and personal expenses.

This course is built on two major themes:

1. Institutions – Business and Society

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.

2. Entrepreneurship and Opportunity

Encourage students to practice Babson’s proprietary method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™), within the institutional (e.g., social, political, cultural) environment in Japan. 

The entire course is designed on the concept of interactive learning through site visits (e.g., company visits including offices and manufacturing facilities, guest speakers), cultural-experience mini projects, and individual/group research."

EPS7553: On Becoming Entrepreneurial: Context-based Entrepreneurial Action

3 elective credits (in-person)

This course drives students to uncover, develop, and put into practice Babson’s proprietary method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and 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. 

EPS9507 Food Entrepreneurship

1.5 Intensive Elective (in-person)

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 Babson’s proprietary method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and 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).

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."

EPS9555: Public Policy Entrepreneurship

Intensive elective

1.5 credits (in-person)

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?

Public Policy Entrepreneurship is a 1.5 credit intensive elective focused on applying Babson’s proprietary method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™), 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 Babson’s proprietary method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™), 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 country or NGO.

MBA7201 Capstone: The CEO

"StartUp Foundations (in-person teamwork)

The StartUp Foundations SLE will focus on Babson’s proprietary method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™), team building, and technology. In addition to sessions on Ideas and Barriers to Innovation, students will participate in a competitive, computer-based simulation (Techmark), develop processes that will support virtual and in-person teamwork, take their first classes in Entrepreneurship and Leadership, and attend a variety of networking events."

MBA7603-E01: Special Topics –Global Enterprising

3 credits (in-person)

This course addresses the ways in which entrepreneurial value creation is affected by (and sometimes inspired by) social institutions and national business systems. In the proposed Miami Blended Learning program, we will provide students a chance to study the business environment of Latin America. The goal is to encourage students to practice Babson’s proprietary method, called Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (ET&A™), within the institutional (e.g., social, political, cultural) environment in Latin America."

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