Ethics in Entrepreneurship

Imagine a future where every student of innovation & entrepreneurship is equipped to brave ethical complexity.

Where every student is trained in responsible tech innovation.

Where every leader has developed their personal principles.

STVP is committed to elevating applied ethics in entrepreneurship. We produce world-class teaching materials and research that empower students and enterprises to adopt effective values and principles and utilize them as founders and leaders.

Our Approach

STVP’s Ethics in Entrepreneurship project sets a new standard for entrepreneurship education and research by placing applied ethics at the core. Our approach:

The Challenge

Entrepreneurs shape every aspect of our lives. The effects of breakthrough technologies and disruptive enterprises cut across industries, institutions and academic disciplines. Traditionally, entrepreneurship education and research has made ethics an afterthought, at best. The next generation requires a robust toolkit for creating and scaling technology solutions.

The Opportunity

Join us in propelling a new era of entrepreneurship education and research! We aim to:

Change is possible. We’ve seen it happen. STVP, the Stanford Engineering Entrepreneurship Center, has advanced entrepreneurship education through collaborations with educators around the globe for more than 25 years. Learn more about this pivotal moment in entrepreneurship education and research.


Tom Byers

Professor, MS&E and Faculty Director, STVP

Tom Byers

Riitta Katila

Professor, MS&E and Faculty Director, STVP

picture of Riitta Katila

Brandon Farwell

General Partner, Xfund


Jack Fuchs

Lecturer, MS&E

Jack Fuchs

Anthony Ruth

Director of Strategic Communications, STVP

A Photo of Director of Marketing & Editorial for STVP

Xfund Ethics Fellows

Xfund Ethics Fellows, formerly PEAK Fellows, is an opportunity for Stanford undergraduate and co-term students to explore what it means to develop guiding values and principles in the context of entrepreneurial businesses. It will place students who are working in technology ventures into cohorts of eight fellow students. Through readings and bi-weekly meetings, each student will define a set of principles that resonates with them. These principles will be designed to guide fellows in the future as they shape teams and seek to align their career decisions with their values. The Xfund Ethics Fellows will come away with a heightened understanding of their own values, a close-knit community of peers, and the tools necessary to brave ethical dilemmas in the future.


Principled Entrepreneurial Decisions

This course (ENGR 148/248) examines how leaders tackle significant inflection points that occur in high-growth entrepreneurial companies. Students learn to develop principles as a powerful tool to face tough situations they will encounter in their lives and career. Cases and guest speakers discuss the business rationale for decisions taken and how their principles affected those decisions. A capstone project provides frameworks for students to develop their own set of principles.

Jack Fuchs co-teaches Principled Entrepreneurial Decisions (ENGR 148/248). (Image credit: Andrew Brodhead/Stanford Report)

Select “Purposeful Entrepreneurship” for ethics-specific courses.


Stanford eCornerTeaching Principled Entrepreneurship
Stanford eCornerThe Student Role in Shaping Entrepreneurial Ethics
National Academy of Engineering (NAE)Empowering Future Engineers with Ethical Thinking (featured in The Bridge: 50th Anniversary Edition)
Harvard Business ReviewThe Era of “Move Fast and Break Things” Is Over
Harvard Business ReviewEntrepreneurs and the Truth
Harvard Business ReviewIt’s Time to Define Your Company’s Principles
Academy of Management InsightsFacing an Ethical Dilemma? Try This Approach
Stanford InsightsAre You an Ethical Leader?
NYU Entrepreneurial InstituteEthical Entrepreneurship in Education
VentureWell4 Strategies to Integrate Ethics into Entrepreneurship Education
Videos & Podcasts
Stanford eCornerStanford Innovation Lab: The Entrepreneurship & Ethics Podcast
Stanford eCornerPodcast: Infusing Decisions with Principles
Stanford EngineeringThe Future of Everything Podcast: Riitta Katila: How diversity drives innovation
Martin Trust Center for MIT EntrepreneurshipMaking the Ethical Decision (Video & Podcast)
Harvard Business ReviewDeveloping Principled Decision Makers
Technology and Innovation ManagementPanel Discussion: Responsible and Ethical Innovation
HarperSystem Error: Where Big Tech Went Wrong And How We Can Reboot
Penguin Random HouseWhy Startups Fail: A New Roadmap for Entrepreneurial Success
WileyTrampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It
YaleEngineering Ethics
Applied Ethics Projects
Stanford Ethics, Society and Technology Hub, a presidential initiative at Stanford University
Center for Engineering Ethics and Society, a project of the National Academy of Engineering
Ethics Unwrapped, a project from McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin
Ethics in Entrepreneurship, non-profit founded by the Theranos whistleblowers
National Ethics Project, a project from the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University
Technology Ethics, a key focus area at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University

Listen to The Podcast Stanford Innovation Lab: Entrepreneurship & Ethics

Watch the Playlist 8 Videos for Educators To Use In Courses


We are grateful for the robust collaboration from colleagues at Stanford and around the world. A very special thank you to the students who’ve worked on Xfund Ethics Fellows. We could not be more fired up about ushering in a new decade of entrepreneurship education that integrates applied ethics.

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