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Graduate Entrepreneurship Courses

MHR 540 (AAE 540) – Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation and Technology

Prerequisites: Econ 301 or 311

Ideas and innovation have become the most important resource in today’s economy. Successful managers should know how to recognize, manage and generate technological innovation for sustained competitive advantage. This course uses economic concepts to illustrate the nature of technological innovation and how it transforms competition between firms and generates economic growth. Topics will include: historical and conceptual background of technology and innovation; economics of the intellectual property (IP) protection system; IP licensing, enforcement and litigation; the relationship between market structure and innovation; the diffusion of technological innovations; interaction between public and private sector innovation; current policy issues regarding the conflicts between IP rights, antitrust regulation, and consumer welfare; and globalization.

MHR 715 – Strategic Management of Innovation

Prerequisites: Graduate/Professional Standing or Member of Business Exchange Program

This introductory course explores key concepts, tools and questions about how to generate value from technology, with an emphasis on the life-sciences and engineering sectors. The goals of the course are to develop capabilities that will help students to connect novel technologies with market opportunities, refine strategic thinking about technology issues, and sharpen abilities when managing innovative organizations. The students will participate in an active learning environment that includes case discussions, exercises, hands on project and guest speakers. The content of the course is relevant for many technology-oriented and managerial roles. This course is open to graduate students from inside and outside of the business school.

MHR 722 – Entrepreneurial Management

Prerequisites: Graduate/Professional Standing or Member of Business Exchange Program

This course identifies the processes involved in starting and scaling a new venture including development of various funding strategies. It will also discuss methods of organizing, leading, and managing an entrepreneurial venture throughout the various stages of an entrepreneurial venture. Finally, it will present the alternative to developing an entrepreneurial venture via acquisition strategies including the use of a search fund process. The course includes a semester long group project where student teams work with existing entrepreneurial ventures to develop a strategic analysis and plan.

MHR 734 – Venture Creation

Prerequisites: Graduate/Professional Standing or Member of Business Exchange Program

The academic goal of this course is for the student to develop skills necessary for evaluating and creating a new venture. A prospective student should have a new venture idea and/or be willing to join other students to develop their ideas. Students will gain the ability to communicate the endeavor effectively through written and verbal presentations. At the end of this course, you will be able to evaluate business opportunities as both an entrepreneur and an investor, within start-ups and established companies. This course also treats entrepreneurship as a form of strategy. In today’s competitive environment, the size of a company does not correspond to entrepreneurship. Regardless of the type of company that you will work in or want to start, it is critical to have a strong working knowledge of entrepreneurial strategies.

MHR 738 – WAVE Practicum

Prerequisites: Graduate or Professional standing and MHR 715 or MHR 722 or MHR 734 or MHR 741 or Morgridge Entrepreneurship Bootcamp or Consent of Instructor

The course provides a select group of students with an intensive hands-on, team-based learning experience in the creation, management, and evaluation of entrepreneurial businesses. The course is taught as a seminar focused on students’ experiences working with their own ventures following the Lean Start-Up approach for customer/market discovery. Class time is structured to serve as a resource to the student teams based on feedback from the instructor and other students. This course is most useful for students that are interested in starting a new venture or in joining an existing firm in roles such as product management, brand management, innovation or venture investing.

MHR 741 – Technology Entrepreneurship

Prerequisites: Graduate standing

This course provides an introduction to the process of launching and running a technology venture. Technology entrepreneurship requires unique resources, skills, and techniques. The course begins with a general approach to entrepreneurial activities and then focuses on the specific tools and frameworks that help technology entrepreneurs identify the challenges of bringing novel innovations to market. A critical element in technology venturing is identifying and assessing entrepreneurial opportunities. We explore ways in which such opportunities can be resourced and how critical competencies for a high technology start-up are developed. Students address the strategies and business models available to technology ventures, as well as the special financing challenges that rapid growth and technology commercialization generates. A unique element of the course is the opportunity for students to opt into projects that directly connect with active technology ventures. Each student chooses between traditional learning activities and these optional immersive projects to explore technology entrepreneurship in the real-world.

MHR 632 – Introduction to Arts Entrepreneurship

Prerequisites: Graduate standing

Artists and other creative workers have long balanced their expressive work with business realities—marketing, contracts, funding, financing, patronage, and public engagement. Whether as independent contractors, sole proprietors, company founders, contract artists, project collaborators, board members, or volunteers, successful artists have wrestled with the life of an entrepreneur in a complex and ever-evolving industry. But what if the business side of artistic expression wasn’t just an inconvenience, but an integral part of the expressive palette? What if the tools of business were used with a craftsman’s hand to advance an artistic vision in more elegant and connected ways? This course will explore the dynamic interplay between artistic life and business strategy, and will feature compelling national figures who cross that line everyday. It will offer new perspective and foster new connections for an interdisciplinary group of students, and advance the role of “arts enterprise” on the UW–Madison campus.

MHR 636 – Entrepreneurship in Arts and Cultural Organizations

Prerequisites: Graduate standing

This course exposes students to topics and concepts in the emerging field of social entrepreneurship, a rapidly developing field where business models and market-based approaches are being developed to address needs of cultural and social enterprises. This course is designed to develop students’ understanding of the entrepreneurial process, including idea generation, team formation and leadership, value proposition design, market testing, funding mechanisms for social-purpose ventures, and alliances/partnerships between nonprofit organizations and businesses using a real-world examples and a project that illustrate the topics and stimulate thinking, discussion, and learning that, collectively, deliver significant insight into the theory and practice of entrepreneurship in the social sector.

MHR 977 – Emerging Entrepreneurship Theory and Research

Prerequisites: Ph.D. student & consent of instructor

The seminar explores research on entrepreneurship, building on classic readings in an interdisciplinary framework. The seminar offers doctoral students across the UW campus an opportunity to study and develop scholarly theories of entrepreneurial behavior and outcomes. The course approaches entrepreneurship as a fundamental social process of vital interest to scholars in many fields. Topics discussed in the course cover recent research in leading academic journals and include returns to entrepreneurship, experimentation, role of organizational context, spinouts and clusters, venture capital and funding, failure, founding teams, legal issues, and the role of modern technologies in entrepreneurship.

Finance 757 – Entrepreneurial Finance

Prerequisites: Finance 700 and Gen Bus 704

This course provides an introduction to the financing, valuation, contractual and exit environments facing high growth startup founders and institutional investors. The entrepreneurial finance life cycle begins with identifying the opportunity and separating viable ones from non-viable ones. The successful execution of viable ideas involves an appropriate team, a robust business and financing plan, and a suitable funding source – three aspects that jointly influence a startup’s trajectory. Students will be exposed to various valuation techniques and fundraising alternatives, and the course will explore how founder and investor incentives can be better aligned with contractual provisions. The course also explores financing and valuation across the different startup stages and concludes with exploring exit opportunities for founders and investors.