497-117: Applied Entrepreneurship: Developing Skills that Propel the Startup

Meeting Days/Time
Mondays from 6:25 to 9:05 pm
Christopher Bernard (ID) (christopher.bernard@gmail.com), Jessica Barnes (ID) (barnes@id.iit.edu) and Erik Van Crimmin (ID) (erikvan@gmail.com
Appropriate Majors
All interested students are welcome
Business Innovation

Popular culture and the main stream awareness of entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Must and Marc Andreesen have mythologized the role of the entrepreneur and how durable, scalable startups are built and evolve into high growth businesses. This gives budding entrepreneurs and unrealistic sense of what is required to build new ventures.

The goal of this project is to debunk common cultural beliefs about startup culture and how new businesses are created and provide a leadership and operational template for creating new business ventures in a course environment composed exclusively with applied, hands on learning.

Students will learn in and participate in the activities that entrepreneurs must engage in when researching, defining and building new opportunities for market through an entire product and service development lifecycle. Students will learn of the standard resources, programs and critical research and publications that entrepreneurs rely on. Students will learn how to apply principals and methods towards developing their own startup ideas.

There are three areas where we will leverage prior work and build upon to accomplish these objectives:

  1. The course created by Stanford and Y Combinator for entrepreneurs;
  2. The 3-Day Startup program as an introductory deep dive into applied learning; andThe application of Google Ventures Sprint model to drive a deep, team focused collaborative learning.

The first half of the course will focus on an overview of entrepreneurship practice, leveraging the 3-Day Startup Methodology with problem definition and teams established by the instructor. Here students will learn the fundamentals of new business ideation and design with an Introduction to 3-Day Startup and an overview of lessons from Y Combinator. Students will then participate in applied workshops focused on ideation, team formation, customer discovery, rapid prototyping and pitch development.

The second half of the course will allow students working in agile teams to fully develop their own ideas for a new business, product or service by leveraging the sprint framework developed by Google Ventures. The IPRO teams will be exposed in depth to the methodology and practice of mapping and targeting, sketching, remixing and improving and then moving into decision making and storyboarding. This will be followed by applied practice in prototyping and testing.

The course will also rely on the following books to further inform and enrich the student experience:

  • Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
  • Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
  • The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership: A New Paradigm of Sustainable Success
  • Zero to One: Notes on Startups or How to Build the Future
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things

The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age.

Course Downloads:

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