Stanford Entrepreneurship Learning Paths

Find Your Path

Stanford offers an abundance of entrepreneurship courses, activities, and resources. It can be overwhelming! STVP, the Stanford Engineering Entrepreneurship Center, is here to help. We welcome students from any background, experience level, and field of study to accelerate their entrepreneurial learning journey. We provide transformative learning experiences that help you develop entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, mindsets, and networks.

Student Learning Paths

Photo of Jimmy Chen.

"My parents immigrated to the U.S. from China, and while I had a happy childhood, money was always tight. I attended Stanford primarily on a financial need-based scholarship. I found that I personally excelled at facilitating the work that needed to be done by taking project-based CS classes, which led to a PM career after graduation. I never considered myself an entrepreneur when I was at Stanford. I thought that was not really for me – that sounds risky. 

Four years out of college, I didn't have to worry about financial stability, but I realized how dissatisfied I was with the fact that most tech was built for the wealthy. I founded Propel to apply tech best practices to low-income families' needs. Over the years our product has evolved, but the core of it is still the same – applying the best practices of the software sector to the needs of low-income families as a way to create a dignified and positive experience as they navigate challenging financial circumstances." – Jimmy Chen, BS ’10 in Symbolic Systems, Founder and CEO of Propel, Winner of President’s Award for the Advancement of the Common Good

Jimmy Chen's Learning Path

“I had minimal experience with entrepreneurship before college, but Stanford has taught me to challenge what is considered possible by leveraging a beginner's mindset to identify problems and technologies for innovation, as well as implementing engineering principles and multidisciplinary thinking. STVP has provided great academic resources to explore entrepreneurship through technical and ethical lenses to implement positive change in the world. As a Latino student, being part of Stanford Latino was a great way to hear about the LATAM startup landscape and meet people from the industry.” – Jorge Armenta, MS&E, BS’23

Jorge Armenta's Learning Path

“Growing up, my dream job was to be an entrepreneur, but neither of my parents were business people. So I had no idea what a startup pitch should even look like when I took part in a BASES competition in my freshman year. Several design classes I took in my junior and senior years kindled my love for interactive interfaces and immersive technology that incorporated physical touch. These classes equipped me with a professional foundation in consumer hardware – and enabled me to eventually found my company Tangible. As a founder, there's no limit on what I'm allowed to be curious about, This allows me to question any constraints and focus on solving the "root problem", rather than build a "workaround solution". The chance to build something that could take an entire leap forward for humankind, as opposed to just a single step, was a huge draw for me to entrepreneurship.” – Akshay Dinakar, Product Design, BS’19, founder of Tangible 

Akshay Dinakar's Learning Path

STVP’s Approach

Courses

Design your entrepreneurial learning path with STVP-affiliated courses. We welcome students from any background, any experience level, and any field of study to accelerate their journey with STVP, the Stanford Engineering Entrepreneurship Center.
Course level definitions: Beginner Courses – All are welcome! No prerequisites. No prior entrepreneurial experience needed. Intermediate Courses – We recommend that before enrolling in an intermediate course, students either take one beginner course, participate in an entrepreneurship club, or engage in small-scale entrepreneurship or design thinking projects. Advanced Courses – We recommended that before enrolling in an advanced course, students take one intermediate course (or gain equivalent experience). Advanced courses usually involve intensive team projects. Doctoral Courses – Open to Ph.D. students. Please check course details for formal prerequisites. In some cases, prerequisites can be waived at the discretion of the instructor.
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MS&E 79SI
Values and Principles in the Workplace: PEAK Fellows
Tom Byers

Autumn

Extension of the PEAK Fellows program. Serves as an opportunity for students to explore what it means to create and work for principled, entrepreneurial businesses. Through readings and peer-led discussions, students will definentheir personal set of values and principles to serve as a guide in shaping future teams and workplaces. Prerequisite: admission to PEAK Fellows Program. See https://stvp.stanford.edu/peak-fellows.

ENGR 140B
Leadership of Technology Ventures
Tom Byers, Ann Miura-Ko

Autumn

Open to Mayfield Fellows only; taken during the summer internship at a technology startup. Students exchange experiences and continue the formal learning process. Activities journal. Credit given following quarter.

ENGR 140C
Leadership of Technology Ventures
Tom Byers, Ann Miura-Ko

Autumn

Open to Mayfield Fellows only. Capstone to the 140 sequence. Students, faculty, employers, and venture capitalists share recent internship experiences and analytical frameworks. Students develop living case studies and integrative project reports.

MS&E 140
Accounting for Managers and Entrepreneurs
John Lord

Spring

Non-majors and minors who have taken or are taking elementary accounting should not enroll. Introduction to accounting concepts and the operating characteristics of accounting systems. The principles of financial and cost accounting, design of accounting systems, techniques of analysis, and cost control. Interpretation and use of accounting information for decision making. Designed for the user of accounting information and not as an introduction to a professional accounting career. Enrollment limited. Admission by order of enrollment.

ENGR 140A
Leadership of Technology Ventures
Tom Byers, Ann Miura-Ko

Spring

First of three-part sequence for students selected to the Mayfield Fellows Program. Focuses on management and leadership of purposeful technology-intensive startups. Learning outcomes include entrepreneurial leadership skills related to product and market strategy, venture financing, team recruiting and culture, and the challenges of managing growth and ethical decision-making. Other engineering faculty, founders, and venture capitalists participate as appropriate. Visit http://mfp.stanford.edu for more about this work/study program.

ENGR 145
Technology Entrepreneurship
Alicia Sheares

Winter

How does the entrepreneurship process enable the creation and growth of high-impact enterprises? Why does entrepreneurial leadership matter even in a large organization or a non-profit venture? What are the differences between just an idea and true opportunity? How do entrepreneurs form teams and gather the resources necessary to create a successful startup? Mentor-guided projects focus on analyzing students' ideas, case studies allow for examining the nuances of innovation, research examines the entrepreneurial process, and expert guests allow for networking with Silicon Valley's world-class entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. For undergraduates of all majors with interest in startups the leverage breakthrough information, energy, medical and consumer technologies. No prerequisites. Limited enrollment.

MS&E 146
Corporate Financial Management
Blake Johnson

Winter

Key functions of finance in both large and small companies, and the core concepts and key analytic tools that provide their foundation. Making financing decisions, evaluating investments, and managing cashflow, profitability and risk. Designing performance metrics to effectively measure and align the activities of functional groups and individuals within the firm. Structuring relationships with key customers, partners and suppliers. Recommended: 145, 245A, or equivalent.

ENGR 148
Principled Entrepreneurial Decisions
Jack Fuchs

Winter

Examines how leaders tackle significant events that occur in high-growth entrepreneurial companies. Students prepare their minds for the difficult entrepreneurial situations that they will encounter in their lives in whatever their chosen career. Cases and guest speakers discuss not only the business rationale for the decisions taken but also how their principles affected those decisions. The teaching team brings its wealth of experience in both entrepreneurship and VC investing to the class. Previous entrepreneurship coursework or experience preferred. Limited enrollment. Admission by application: http://web.stanford.edu/class/engr248/apply.

CSRE 161P
Entrepreneurship for Social and Racial Equity (NATIVEAM 161)
Valerie Red-Horse Mohl

Spring

This course is designed for students of all backgrounds and provides an introduction to business ownership and an entrepreneurial mindset with a focus on operating businesses with racial equity as a core principle and/or within diverse communities with an aim to create social impact for future generations as well as profitability and sustainability models. The course will introduce the beginning elements of creating a business concept (formation, product, business strategy) as well as the additional overlay of social impact and cultural considerations. Types of financing as well as effective pitching will also be covered. Course materials will include instructor presentations, case studies, homework assignments, creation of students¿ own business concept plan and guest interviews with successful professionals working within social impact and diverse communities. Post COVID business considerations related to finance, policy and advocacy will also be covered.

MS&E 175
Innovation, Creativity, and Change
Riitta Katila

Winter

Problem solving in organizations; creativity and innovation skills; thinking tools; creative organizations, teams, individuals, and communities. Limited enrollment.

BIOE 177
Inventing the Future
Lisa K Solomon

Winter

The famous computer scientist, Alan Kay, once said, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." As such, we are all responsible for inventing the future we hope we and our descendants will experience. In this highly interactive course, we will be exploring how to predict and invent the future and why this is important by focusing on a wide range of frontier technologies, such as robotics, AI, genomics, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, 3D Printing, VR/AR, synthetic meat, etc. The class will feature debates in which students present utopian and dystopian scenarios, and determine what has to be done to inoculate ourselves against the negative consequences. Limited enrollment. Admission by application: dschool.stanford.edu/classes.

MS&E 178
Entrepreneurship: Principles & Perspectives
Ravi Belani, Emily Ma

Autumn, Winter, Spring

Entrepreneurship: Principles & Perspectives This course uses the speakers from the Entrepreneurial Thought Leader seminar (MS&E472) to seed discussions around core topics in entrepreneurship. Students are exposed to a variety of guest speakers and lecturers. Topics change each quarter based on the speakers but cover foundational concepts: e.g. resilience, discovery, leadership, strategy, negotiations. Reflection and experiential exercises are used to augment learning. Enrollment limited to 60 students. Application available at first class session.

MS&E 180
Organizations: Theory and Management
Kathleen Eisenhardt, Rosanne Siino

Autumn, Winter

For undergraduates only; preference to MS&E majors. Classical and contemporary organization theory; the behavior of individuals, groups, and organizations. Limited enrollment. Students must attend and complete an application at the first class session.

MS&E 182B
Leading Organizational Change II
Robert Sutton

Project-based course for students who wish to explore focused intellectual topics or applied questions pertinent to leading organizational change. Work is done in groups of three to five students that are formed prior to the start of class. Prerequisite: 182A or permission of instructor.

MS&E 182A
Leading Organizational Change
Robert Sutton

Spring

This course blends lecture, case discussions, readings about pertinent research, and hands-on projects to learn about what leaders and senior teams can do to bring about broad-based change in complex organizations. Topics include the role of the CEO and the senior team, organizational growth and scaling, organizational culture, organizational design, and innovation. The course focuses in particular on the causes and cures for dysfunctional organizational friction, and the related question what organizations ought to make difficult or impossible to do. Limited enrollment. For juniors and seniors, with preference given to students who have taken MS&E 180.

MS&E 188
Organizing for Good
Pamela Hinds

Winter

Grand challenges of our time will demand entirely new ways of thinking about when, how, and under what conditions organizations are "doing good" and what effects that has. Focus is on the role of organizations in society, the ways that organizations can "do good," the challenges organizations face in attempting to "do good", limitations to current ways of organizing, alternative ways to organize and lead organizations that are "good," and the role and responsibilities of individuals in organizations. Students will reflect on and refine their own values and purpose to identify ways in which they can "do good." This course has been designated as a Cardinal Course by the Haas Center for Public Service.

CHEMENG 189
Career Building: Entrepreneurship / Intrapreneurship, People, Innovation, Decision-Making and Impact
Joseph DeSimone, Crista Leigh Farrell, Prima Dewi Sinawang

Autumn

This course is designed to enable graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in science and engineering to hone strategies for career success. Drawing strongly on entrepreneurial principles and lessons from industry, the course complements the traditional curriculum by focusing on career-building tools that students need to improve their professional prospects and achieve their goals. Relevant for those who plan to pursue careers in academia and industry alike, a central focus will be on managing one's career as if it were a start-up, emphasizing principles that empower individuals to take more control of their futures: investing in yourself, building professional networks, taking intelligent risks, and making uncertainty and volatility work to one's advantage. Through a series of in-classroom presentations and interviews - with professors, entrepreneurs, executives, athletes, investors, and thought leaders from diverse fields and sectors - students will gain important knowledge and practical strategies, with course modules on topics such as ideation and innovation, the skill of self-advocacy, the fundamentals of negotiation, building and managing teams, and effective communication and storytelling. Additional modules will focus on biotechnology and deep tech start-up companies, as well as strategies for cultivating a successful academic career. The idea for this course emerged from the instructor's reflections on 30 years of research, teaching, mentorship, and deep entrepreneurial experiences spanning the gamut of approaches to translational science - academic discovery, invention, conceiving of and leading multi-institutional research centers, building research and business teams, launching and financing start-ups, building business models to advance real-world applications of cutting-edge science, and seeing through research-based companies to success (including growing an idea into a multi-billion dollar company). For this course, students will be expected to complete relevant reading assignments, participate actively in class dialogue, and complete regular writing assignments focused on course topics as they relate to one's own career-building needs and professional aspirations. Students may also have opportunities to lead class discussions on topics of interest.

MS&E 193
Technology and National Security
Herb Lin

Autumn

Explores the relation between technology, war, and national security policy from early history to modern day, focusing on current U.S. national security challenges and the role that technology plays in shaping our understanding and response to these challenges. Topics include the interplay between technology and modes of warfare; dominant and emerging technologies such as nuclear weapons, cyber, sensors, stealth, and biological; security challenges to the U.S.; and the U.S. response and adaptation to new technologies of military significance.

CHEMENG 196
Creating and Leading New Ventures in Engineering and Science-based Industries
Ricardo Levy, Howard Rosen, Valerie Niemann

Spring

Open to seniors and graduate students interested in the creation of new ventures and entrepreneurship in engineering and science intensive industries such as chemical, energy, materials, bioengineering, environmental, clean-tech, pharmaceuticals, medical, and biotechnology. Exploration of the dynamics, complexity, and challenges that define creating new ventures, particularly in industries that require long development times, large investments, integration across a wide range of technical and non-technical disciplines, and the creation and protection of intellectual property. Covers business basics, opportunity viability, creating start-ups, entrepreneurial leadership, and entrepreneurship as a career. Teaching methods include lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and individual and team projects.

ENERGY 203
Stanford Climate Ventures
David Danielson, Joel Moxley, Jane Woodward

Winter, Spring

Solving the global climate challenge will require the creation and successful scale-up of hundreds of new ventures. This project-based course provides a launchpad for the development and creation of transformational climate ventures and innovation models. Interdisciplinary teams will research, analyze, and develop detailed launch plans for high-impact opportunities in the context of the new climate venture development framework offered in this course. Throughout the quarter, teams will complete 70+ interviews with customers, sector experts, and other partners in the emerging climatetech ecosystem, with introductions facilitated by the teaching team's unique networks in this space. Please see the course website scv.stanford.edu for more information and alumni highlights. Project lead applications are due by December 11 through tinyurl.com/scvprojectlead. Students interested in joining a project team, please briefly indicate your interest in the course at tinyurl.com/scvgeneralinterest.

ENERGY 203A
Big Ideas & Open Opportunities in Climate-Tech Entrepreneurship
David Danielson, Joel Moxley, Jane Woodward

Autumn

The purpose of this seminar series is to educate students on the key elements of 8-9 of the highest greenhouse gas emitting sectors globally, and open technical challenges and business opportunities in these problem spaces that are ripe for new climate-tech company explorations. Students are encouraged to take inspiration from the weekly lecture topics to incubate high-potential concepts for new companies, and apply to continue developing these concepts in student-led teams through the winter and spring quarter course, ENERGY 203: Stanford Climate Ventures. Weekly seminars are delivered by course instructors and outside industry and academic experts. Please visit scv.stanford.edu for additional information.

ME 208
Patent Law and Strategy for Innovators and Entrepreneurs
Jeffrey Schox, Diana Lin

Autumn

This course teaches the essentials for a startup to build a valuable patent portfolio and avoid a patent infringement lawsuit. Jeffrey Schox, who is the top recommended patent attorney for Y Combinator, built the patent portfolio for Twilio (IPO), Cruise ($1B acquisition), and 300 startups that have collectively raised over $3B in venture capital. This course is equally applicable to EE, CS, and Bioengineering students. For those students who are interested in a career in Patent Law, please note that this course is a prerequisite for ME238 Patent Prosecution.

ENGR 208
Patent Law and Strategy for Innovators and Entrepreneurs
Jeffrey Schox, Diana Lin

Autumn

Patent Law and Strategy for Innovators and Entrepreneurs (ENGR 208). This course teaches the essentials for a startup founder to build a valuable patent portfolio and avoid a patent infringement lawsuit. Jeffrey Schox and Diana Lin are partners at Schox Patent Group, which is the law firm that wrote the patents for Coinbase, Cruise, Duo, Joby, Twilio and 500+ other startups that have collectively raised over $10B in venture capital. This course is appropriate for students with EE, CS, or BioENG, AERO, or Physics backgrounds. For those students who are interested in a career in Patent Law, please note that this course is a prerequisite for ME238 Patent Prosecution. There are no prerequisites for this course, but the student must be at the senior or graduate level.

EARTHSYS 213
Hacking for Climate and Sustainability
Chris Field, Brian Sharbono, Steve Weinstein

Winter

The challenges of addressing climate change and sustainability require urgency as well as innovative solutions. Startups operate with speed and urgency, 24/7. In recent years they have learned not only how to effectively innovate but also how to be extremely efficient with resources and time, using lean startup methods. Participants in this class develop the skills required of a mission driven entrepreneur by tackling a critical problem in climate and sustainability as part of a team of engineers, scientists, social scientists, MBAs, and law and policy experts. Teams will engage pressing climate and sustainability problems and learn how to apply lean startup principles ("business model canvas," "customer development," and "agile engineering") in developing solutions. Students will take a hands-on, experiential approach to explore options for solutions and needs for stakeholders. The process of exploring options will require participants to engage deeply and to learn how to work closely with policy makers, technologists, government officials, NGOs, foundations, companies, and others interested in solving these problems, while demanding that teams continually build iterative prototypes to test their understanding of the problem and solution hypotheses. For more information on problems and sponsors as they are added and to apply for the course, see https://h4cs.stanford.edu/. Applications required in November. Limited enrollment.

MS&E 240
Accounting for Managers and Entrepreneurs
John Lord

Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer

Non-majors and minors who have taken or are taking elementary accounting should not enroll. Introduction to accounting concepts and the operating characteristics of accounting systems. The principles of financial and cost accounting, design of accounting systems, techniques of analysis, and cost control. Interpretation and use of accounting information for decision making. Designed for the user of accounting information and not as an introduction to a professional accounting career. Enrollment limited. Admission by order of enrollment.

ENGR 245
The Lean LaunchPad: Getting Your Lean Startup Off the Ground
Steve Blank, Jeff Epstein, Steve Weinstein, Mar Hershenson

Winter, Spring

Learn how to turn a technical idea from a lab, research, or vision into a successful business using the Lean Launchpad process (business model canvas, customer development, running experiments, and agile engineering.) Hands-on experiential class. 15+ hours per week talking to customers, regulators and partners outside the classroom, plus time building minimal viable products. This class is the basis of the National Science Foundation I-Corps with a focus on understanding all the components to build for deep technology and life science applications. Team applications required in March. Proposals may be software, hardware, or service of any kind. See course website http://leanlaunchpad.stanford.edu/. Prerequisite: interest in and passion for exploring whether your technology idea can become a real company. Limited enrollment.

CEE 246A
Web3 Entrepreneurship: Future Models of Value Creation Connecting the Real and Digital Economy
Michael Lyons

Winter

In 2021, web3 and blockchain startup companies received over $30B of venture capital investment, typically raising money at abnormally high valuations. Today, web3 startup valuations remain elevated as compared to other innovative technologies. Which aspects of web3 are likely to create long-lasting, positive global impact? Which aspects of web3 resemble the dot-com bubble? This seminar will evaluate these questions through lively discussion with invited guest speakers from prominent web3 startups, influential venture capitalists, and other significant ecosystem members. Topics covered include web3 infrastructure, DeFi, DAOs, and NFTs.

CEE 246D
Climate and Sustainability Fellows Seminar
Pedram Mokrian and Jeff Wong

Autumn

The challenges associated with climate change and sustainability are seemingly ubiquitous throughout the broader entrepreneurship, venture, and innovation ecosystem today. But is entrepreneurship for climate and sustainability really unique? In what ways is it different from other forms of entrepreneurship? This seminar course, only open to members of the current Mayfield Fellows ( https://stvp.stanford.edu/mayfield-fellows-program), Accel Leaders ( https://stvp.stanford.edu/alp), Threshold Ventures Fellows ( https://stvp.stanford.edu/tvf), and PEAK Fellows ( https://stvp.stanford.edu/peak-fellows) cohorts, offers a deep dive into issues that are specific to climate and sustainability-focused entrepreneurship. The course will be led by STVP faculty and practitioners, and will invite prominent venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and innovators for weekly discussion and thought leadership sessions. Members of the current fellows cohorts should express initial interest in joining this fellows seminar here - https://forms.gle/j7tRGcEWAVasCYRv8. Instructor permission required to enroll.

CEE 246
Venture Creation for the Real Economy
Raymond Levitt, Michael Lyons, Pedram Mokrian

Spring

A project-based course where teams of 4 prepare for the fundraising and launch of an entrepreneurial venture in the 'real economy', i.e. startups targeted toward users in construction, manufacturing, health care, transportation, energy. Students acquire the experience of an early-stage entrepreneur as they progress through stages of team building, opportunity assessment, product-market fit analysis, business model architecture, product planning and development, go-to-market strategy, financial modeling, and fundraising planning. The course structure includes weekly workshops, guest presentations from seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts, weekly meetings with the teaching team, and one-on-one support from dedicated business mentors/coaches. The course heavily leverages detailed online material from the SCPD Idea-to-Market program. The experience includes three pitches to panels of VCs and other industry experts starting with Opportunity Assessment, then Operations and Financial Modeling, and finally wrapping with an Investor Pitch to Silicon Valley VCs. By the end of the class, successful students will be equipped with the knowledge and network to evaluate and create impactful business ideas, many of which have been launched from this class. Open to all Stanford students, with a preference for graduate students. No prerequisites. For more information and team application, visit the course website: https://cee.stanford.edu/venture-creation.

ENGR 248
Principled Entrepreneurial Decisions
Jack Fuchs

Winter

Examines how leaders tackle significant events that occur in high-growth entrepreneurial companies. Students prepare their minds for the difficult entrepreneurial situations that they will encounter in their lives in whatever their chosen career. Cases and guest speakers discuss not only the business rationale for the decisions taken but also how their principles affected those decisions. The teaching team brings its wealth of experience in both entrepreneurship and VC investing to the class. Previous entrepreneurship coursework or experience preferred. Limited enrollment. Admission by application: http://web.stanford.edu/class/engr248/apply

MS&E 249
Corporate Financial Management
Blake Johnson

Autumn, Winter

Key functions of finance in both large and small companies, and the core concepts and key analytic tools that provide their foundation. Making financing decisions, evaluating investments, and managing cashflow, profitability and risk. Designing performance metrics to effectively measure and align the activities of functional groups and individuals within the firm. Structuring relationships with key customers, partners and suppliers. Recommended: 145, 245A, or equivalent.

CEE 250
Product Management Fundamentals for the Real Economy
Anand Subramani, Jiaona Zhang

Winter

This course teaches students how to apply product management skills to create products and services for the "real economy." Students will learn the basics of product management and the product lifecycle and design a product in a team setting. They will also learn iterative product development with an eye towards applying those skills towards products that produce real economic value for society as well as the entrepreneurs. This course includes instruction from seasoned industry veterans and guest speakers. Students will be guided through identifying an opportunity, designing a solution, launching a product, and building a roadmap. The content is tailored to students interested in developing real products and delivering solutions within startups, established companies, non-profits, governments, and non-governmental organizations. The goal is to teach students the fundamentals of product management and equip them with the knowledge to make meaningful progress on some of the biggest challenges facing society. This course requires an application due to limited enrollment. Application link: https://forms.gle/a2yznB3M7q8GS1pC9. Application deadline: Tuesday, January 4, 9PM PST

MS&E 270
Strategy in Technology-Based Companies
Kathleen Eisenhardt

Winter

For graduate students only. Introduction to the basic concepts of strategy, with emphasis on high technology firms. Topics: competitive positioning, resource-based perspectives, co-opetition and standards setting, and complexity/evolutionary perspectives. Limited enrollment. Students must attend and complete an application at the first class session.

MS&E 271
Global Entrepreneurial Marketing
Lynda Kate Smith, Victoria Woo

Introduces core marketing concepts to bring a new product or service to market and build for its success. Geared to both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs alike who have a passion for innovation. Course themes include: Identifying markets and opportunities, defining the offering and customer experience, creating demand, generating revenue, and measuring success. The team-based final focuses on developing a go-to-market strategy based on concepts from the course. Learn about managing self, building culture and teams, strategically think about your contribution as entrepreneur or intrapreuneur to an organization, community or society at large. Highly experiential and project based. Limited enrollment.

MS&E 272
Entrepreneurship without Borders
Chuck Eesley, Vimbayi Kajese

Spring

How and why does access to entrepreneurial opportunities vary by geographic borders, racial/gender borders, or other barriers created by where or who you are? What kinds of inequalities are created by limited access to capital or education and what role does entrepreneurship play in upward mobility in societies globally? What are the unique issues involved in creating a successful startup in Europe, Latin America, Africa, China or India? What is entrepreneurial leadership in a venture that spans country borders? Is Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurship possible in other places? How does an entrepreneur act differently when creating a company in a less-developed institutional environment? Learn through forming teams, a mentor-guided startup project focused on developing students' startups in international markets, case studies, research on the unequal access to wealth creation and innovation via entrepreneurship, while also networking with top entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who work across borders.

MS&E 273
Venture Creation for the Real Economy
Raymond Levitt, Michael Lyons, Pedram Mokrian

Spring

A project-based course where teams of 4 prepare their entrepreneurial venture for fundraising and launch. Students acquire the experience of an early-stage entrepreneur as they progress through stages of team building, opportunity assessment, product-market fit analysis, business model architecture, go-to market strategy, product planning, financial modelling, and fundraising planning. The course structure includes weekly workshops, guest presentations from seasoned entrepreneurs, weekly meetings with the teaching team, and one-on-one support from a dedicated industry mentor. The experience culminates in three pitches to panels of VCs and other industry experts. By the end of the class, successful students will be equipped with the knowledge and network to create impactful business ideas, many of which have been launched from this class. Open to all Stanford students. No prerequisites. For more information, visit the course website: https://web.stanford.edu/class/msande273. Enrolment by application: https://web.stanford.edu/class/msande273/apply.

MS&E 274
Dynamic Entrepreneurial Strategy
Edison Tse

Spring

Dynamic Entrepreneurial Strategy: Primarily for graduate students. How entrepreneurial strategy focuses on creating structural change or responding to change induced externally. Grabber-holder dynamics as an analytical framework for developing entrepreneurial strategy to increase success in creating and shaping the diffusion of new technology or product innovation dynamics. Topics: First mover versus follower advantage in an emerging market; latecomer advantage and strategy in a mature market; strategy to break through stagnation; and strategy to turn danger into opportunity. Modeling, case studies, and term project.

MS&E 275
Secret Foundations of Scalable Startups
Ann Miura-Ko

Winter

Explore the foundational and strategic elements needed for startups to be designed for "venture scale" at inception. Themes include controversial and disruptive insights, competitive analysis, network effects, organizational design, and capital deployment. Case studies, expert guests, and experiential learning projects will be used. Primarily for graduate students. Limited enrollment. Admission by application. Recommended: basic accounting.

MS&E 276
Entrepreneurial Management and Finance
Tom Byers, Trevor Loy

Autumn

For graduate students only, with a preference for engineering and science majors. Emphasis on managing high-growth, early-stage enterprises, especially those with innovation-based products and services. Students work in teams to develop skills and approaches necessary to becoming effective entrepreneurial leaders and managers. Topics include assessing risk, understanding business models, analyzing key operational metrics, modeling cash flow and capital requirements, evaluating sources of financing, structuring and negotiating investments, managing organizational culture and incentives, managing the interplay between ownership and growth, and handling adversity and failure. Limited enrollment. Admission by application. Prerequisite: basic accounting.

MS&E 277B
Entrepreneurial Leadership
Tom Byers

Spring

This course sequence is part of the Accel Leadership Program which accepts 24 technically-minded students from across Stanford. The program focuses on how to lead entrepreneurial ventures, with a focus on startup strategy, organizational structure, securing resources, operating models, and how to build an effective team. There will be skill-building workshops as well as living case studies with startup founders. Each student will be on a team that will tackle a real world business problem for a high growth venture and present their findings to the class. The selection process will run during Fall quarter 2020, and applications will be available at https://stvp.stanford.edu/students

MS&E 277A
Entrepreneurial Leadership
Tom Byers

Winter

This course sequence is part of the Accel Leadership Program which accepts 24 technically-minded students from across Stanford. The program focuses on how to lead entrepreneurial ventures, with a focus on startup strategy, organizational structure, securing resources, operating models, and how to build an effective team. There will be skill-building workshops as well as living case studies with startup founders. Each student will be on a team that will tackle a real world business problem for a high growth venture and present their findings to the class. The selection process will run during Fall quarter 2020, and applications will be available at https://stvp.stanford.edu/students

MS&E 278
Patent Law and Strategy for Innovators and Entrepreneurs
Jeffrey Schox, Diana Lin

Autumn

Patent Law and Strategy for Innovators and Entrepreneurs (ENGR 208). This course teaches the essentials for a startup founder to build a valuable patent portfolio and avoid a patent infringement lawsuit. Jeffrey Schox and Diana Lin are partners at Schox Patent Group, which is the law firm that wrote the patents for Coinbase, Cruise, Duo, Joby, Twilio and 500+ other startups that have collectively raised over $10B in venture capital. This course is appropriate for students with EE, CS, or BioENG, AERO, or Physics backgrounds. For those students who are interested in a career in Patent Law, please note that this course is a prerequisite for ME238 Patent Prosecution. There are no prerequisites for this course, but the student must be at the senior or graduate level.

MS&E 280
Organizational Behavior: Evidence in Action
Robert Sutton, Rosanne Siino

Winter, Spring

Organization theory; concepts and functions of management; behavior of the individual, work group, and organization. Emphasis is on cases and related discussion. Enrollment limited. Spring Quarter section is restricted to HCP and NDO students.

CHEMENG 289
Career Building: Entrepreneurship / Intrapreneurship, People, Innovation, Decision-Making and Impact
Joseph DeSimone, Crista Leigh Farrell, Prima Dewi Sinawang

Autumn

This course is designed to enable graduate students and advanced undergraduate students in science and engineering to hone strategies for career success. Drawing strongly on entrepreneurial principles and lessons from industry, the course complements the traditional curriculum by focusing on career-building tools that students need to improve their professional prospects and achieve their goals. Relevant for those who plan to pursue careers in academia and industry alike, a central focus will be on managing one's career as if it were a start-up, emphasizing principles that empower individuals to take more control of their futures: investing in yourself, building professional networks, taking intelligent risks, and making uncertainty and volatility work to one's advantage. Through a series of in-classroom presentations and interviews - with professors, entrepreneurs, executives, athletes, investors, and thought leaders from diverse fields and sectors - students will gain important knowledge and practical strategies, with course modules on topics such as ideation and innovation, the skill of self-advocacy, the fundamentals of negotiation, building and managing teams, and effective communication and storytelling. Additional modules will focus on biotechnology and deep tech start-up companies, as well as strategies for cultivating a successful academic career. The idea for this course emerged from the instructor's reflections on 30 years of research, teaching, mentorship, and deep entrepreneurial experiences spanning the gamut of approaches to translational science - academic discovery, invention, conceiving of and leading multi-institutional research centers, building research and business teams, launching and financing start-ups, building business models to advance real-world applications of cutting-edge science, and seeing through research-based companies to success (including growing an idea into a multi-billion dollar company). For this course, students will be expected to complete relevant reading assignments, participate actively in class dialogue, and complete regular writing assignments focused on course topics as they relate to one's own career-building needs and professional aspirations. Students may also have opportunities to lead class discussions on topics of interest.

EE 292H
Engineering, Entrepreneurship & Climate Change
Leslie Field

Spring

The purpose of this seminar series course is to help students and professionals develop the tools to apply the engineering and entrepreneurial mindset to problems that stem from climate change, in order to consider and evaluate possible stabilizing, remedial and adaptive approaches. This course is not a crash course on climate change or policy. Instead we will focus on learning about and discussing the climate problems that seem most tractable to these approaches. Each week Dr. Field and/or a guest speaker will lead a short warm-up discussion/activity and then deliver a talk in his/her area of expertise. We will wrap up with small-group and full-class discussions of related challenges/opportunities and possible engineering-oriented solutions. Class members are asked to do background reading before each class, to submit a question before each lecture, and to do in-class brainstorming. May be repeated for credit.

MS&E 293
Technology and National Security: Past, Present, and Future
Herb Lin

Autumn

Explores the relation between technology, war, and national security policy from early history to modern day, focusing on current U.S. national security challenges and the role that technology plays in shaping our understanding and response to these challenges. Topics include the interplay between technology and modes of warfare; dominant and emerging technologies such as nuclear weapons, cyber, sensors, stealth, and biological; security challenges to the U.S.; and the U.S. response and adaptation to new technologies of military significance.

EDUC 295
Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Education Technology Seminar
Sergio Monsalve, Ryan Brennan

Spring

(Same as GSBGEN 391) The last 2 years have created significant challenges and opportunities in education innovation; there has never been a more pressing and urgent need in our history to foster entrepreneurship in education by leveraging new technologies. This course will help you develop the skills and strategies necessary to effectively create and evaluate educational services and education technology startups much like educators, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and venture capital investors do. Some questions we will discuss include: How do entrepreneurs, educators, and VCs evaluate and grow successful education and edtech startups? Why do most startups in edtech fail, and what are the key ingredients for success, especially in today's challenging times? What does it take to get venture capital financing in edtech? Each week will feature a different edtech entrepreneur as a guest speaker; these leaders hail from a variety of innovative for-profit and non-profit education technology startups. As we hear from the speakers, we'll evaluate all aspects of their invention, particularly in the context of emerging distance learning and hybrid learning trends. A fundamental question we'll explore in this course is how educators and technologists can better collaborate to leverage the scale and impact of technology to improve educational equity and access. This course will be taught in person; attendance at each session is required. The maximum capacity is 40 students. Juniors, Seniors and graduate students of all Stanford schools are welcome. A small application will be required in order to create a balanced, diverse, and collaborative student composition. More on the instructor, course and syllabus can be viewed here: https://monsalve.people.stanford.edu

CHEMENG 296
Creating and Leading New Ventures in Engineering and Science-based Industries
Ricardo Levy, Howard Rosen, Valerie Niemann

Spring

Open to seniors and graduate students interested in the creation of new ventures and entrepreneurship in engineering and science intensive industries such as chemical, energy, materials, bioengineering, environmental, clean-tech, pharmaceuticals, medical, and biotechnology. Exploration of the dynamics, complexity, and challenges that define creating new ventures, particularly in industries that require long development times, large investments, integration across a wide range of technical and non-technical disciplines, and the creation and protection of intellectual property. Covers business basics, opportunity viability, creating start-ups, entrepreneurial leadership, and entrepreneurship as a career. Teaching methods include lectures, case studies, guest speakers, and individual and team projects.

MS&E 296
Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition
Steve Blank, Joe Felter

Autumn

Technology, Innovation and Great Power Competition (INTLPOL 340) This course explores how new technologies pose challenges and create opportunities for the United States to compete more effectively with rivals in the international system with a focus on strategic competition with the People's Republic of China. In this experiential policy class, you will address a priority national security challenge employing the "Lean" problem solving methodology to validate the problem and propose a detailed technology informed solution tested against actual experts and stakeholders in the technology and national security ecosystem. The course builds on concepts presented in MS&E 193/293: Technology and National Security and provides a strong foundation for MS&E 297: Hacking for Defense.

MS&E 297
"Hacking for Defense": Solving National Security issues with the Lean Launchpad
Steve Blank, Joe Felter, Steve Weinstein, Tom Bedecarré

Spring

In a crisis, national security initiatives move at the speed of a startup yet in peacetime they default to decades-long acquisition and procurement cycles. Startups operate with continual speed and urgency 24/7. Over the last few years they've learned how to be not only fast, but extremely efficient with resources and time using lean startup methodologies. In this class student teams will take actual national security problems and learn how to apply lean startup principles, ("business model canvas," "customer development," and "agile engineering) to discover and validate customer needs and to continually build iterative prototypes to test whether they understood the problem and solution. Teams take a hands-on approach requiring close engagement with actual military, Department of Defense and other government agency end-users. Team applications required in February, see h4d.stanford.edu. Limited enrollment.

ME 301
LaunchPad: Design and Launch your Product or Service
Perry Klebahn, Jeremy Utley

Spring

This is an intense course in product design and development offered to graduate students only (no exceptions). In just ten weeks, we will apply principles of design thinking to the real-life challenge of imagining, prototyping, testing and iterating, building, pricing, marketing, distributing and selling your product or service. You will work hard on both sides of your brain. You will experience the joy of success and the (passing) pain of failure along the way. This course is an excellent chance to practice design thinking in a demanding, fast-paced, results-oriented group with support from faculty and industry leaders. This course may change your life. We will treat each team and idea as a real start-up, so the work will be intense. If you do not have a passionate and overwhelming urge to start a business or launch a product or service, this class will not be a fit. Refer to this website for up-to-date class and office hours information: https://www.launchpad.stanford.edu/

ME 306B
Engineering-Design Capital-Formation Theory in Practice
Gregory Horowitt, Ade Mabogunje, Larry Leifer, Neeraj Sonalkar, Phillip Wickham

Spring

Engineers, Scientists, Entrepreneurs, and Investors tasked with the intentional creation and delivery of new knowledge, products, services, and experiences to large markets need an understanding of the capital formation process. Students will learn frameworks and theories underlying design thinking for capital formation. Four perspectives will be considered ¿ design as cognitive agility, design as social alignment, design as reflective awareness, and design as multiphase flow. Students will practice high performance team behaviors for capital formation, and they will engage in multiple projects to apply theories to practical situations.

ME 368
d.Leadership: Leading Disruptive Innovation
Perry Klebahn, Kathryn Segovia, Jeremy Utley

Winter

d.Leadership is a course that teaches the coaching and leadership skills needed to drive good design process in groups. d.leaders will work on real projects driving design projects within organizations and gain real world skills as they experiment with their leadership style. Take this course if you are inspired by past design classes and want skills to lead design projects beyond Stanford. Preference given to students who have taken other Design Group or d.school classes. Admission by application.

MS&E 370
Current Topics in Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Kathleen Eisenhardt

Autumn, Winter, Spring

This course will cover focused exploration of contemporary readings and classics as relevant in strategy, innovation and entrepreneurship such as platforms, ecosystems, institutional logics, and strategic "games" in nascent markets. The course will include both content and methods discussions, including theory-building from multiple cases. PhD students only. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

MS&E 371
Innovation and Strategic Change
Riitta Katila

Winter

Doctoral research seminar, limited to Ph.D. students. Current research on innovation strategy. Topics: scientific discovery, innovation search, organizational learning, evolutionary approaches, and incremental and radical change. Topics change yearly. Recommended: course in statistics or research methods.

MS&E 372
Entrepreneurship Doctoral Research Seminar
Chuck Eesley

Classic and current research on entrepreneurship. In this class, we will focus on questions of how entrepreneurship may exacerbate or alleviate inequalities in society across race/ethnicity, gender and class. How do institutional environments shape who engages in entrepreneurship and how successful they become? We will read literature from economics, sociology and strategy/management that has theoretically and empirically examined the phenomenon of entrepreneurship. Limited enrollment, restricted to PhD students. Prerequisites: SOC 363 or equivalent, and permission of instructor.

BIOE 375
Biodesign and Entrepreneurship for Societal Health
Narges Baniasadi, Lyn Denend

Spring

Addressing societal health and the environmental/social/economic determinants of health is a new frontier of entrepreneurship to improve global and public health at scale. In this hybrid seminar-based and experiential course, you will learn about the scientific and economic challenges and opportunities for innovating in these areas. You will also design solutions and ventures aimed at tackling specific societal health problems. Our instructors and guest speakers are inspiring innovators and leaders in the fields of entrepreneurship and health.

BIOE 376
Startup Garage: Design
Stefanos Zenios

Autumn

A hands-on, project-based course, in which teams identify and work with users, domain experts, and industry participants to identify an unmet customer need, design new products or services that meet that need, and develop business models to support the creation and launch of startup products or services. This course integrates methods from human-centered design, lean startup, and business model planning. Each team will conceive, design, build, and field-test critical aspects of both the product or service and the business model.

BIOE 377
Startup Garage: Testing and Launch
Stefanos Zenios

Winter

STRAMGT 356/ BIOE 376 teams that concluded at the end of fall quarter that their preliminary product or service and business model suggest a path to viability, may continue with STRAMGT 366/ BIOE 377 in winter quarter. Teams develop more elaborate versions of their product/service and business model, perform a series of experiments to test key hypotheses about their product and business model, and prepare and present an investor pitch for a seed round of financing to a panel of seasoned investors and entrepreneurs.

ME 378
Tell, Make, Engage: Action Stories for Entrepreneuring
Barbara Karanian

Autumn, Winter, Spring

Individual storytelling action and reflective observations gives the course an evolving framework of evaluative methods, from engineering design; socio cognitive psychology; and art that are formed and reformed by collaborative development within the class. Stories attached to an idea, a discovery or starting up something new, are considered through iterative narrative work, storytelling as rapid prototyping and small group challenges. This course will use qualitative and quantitative methods for story engagement, assessment, and class determined research projects with practice exercises, artifacts, short papers and presentations. Graduate and Co-Term students from all programs welcome. Class size limited to 21.

BIOE 394
Innovate for Planet Health: Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Planet and Societal Health Challenges
Narges Baniasadi

Spring

Addressing climate change and environmental/social determinants of health are the next frontiers of innovation and entrepreneurship. In this seminar you will learn about scientific and economic challenges and opportunities in innovating in these areas. Speakers are inspiring entrepreneurs and leaders who are addressing planet and global health challenges through their work. The instructor, Dr. Narges Baniasadi, is a successful serial entrepreneur (co-founder of Bina, acquired by Roche) who now focuses on purposeful entrepreneurship.

EALC 402T
Entrepreneurship in Asian High Tech Industries (EASTASN 402T, EE 402T)
Richard Dasher

Spring

Distinctive patterns and challenges of entrepreneurship in Asia; update of business and technology issues in the creation and growth of start-up companies in major Asian economies. Distinguished speakers from industry, government, and academia.

MS&E 472
Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders’ Seminar
Ravi Belani, Tom Byers, Emily Ma

Autumn, Winter, Spring

Learn about entrepreneurship, innovation, culture, startups and strategy from a diverse lineup of accomplished leaders and entrepreneurs in venture capital, technology, education, philanthropy and more. Open to all Stanford students. Required weekly assignment. May be repeated for credit.

MS&E 489
d.Leadership: Leading Disruptive Innovation
Bob Sutton

Winter

d.Leadership is a course that teaches the coaching and leadership skills needed to drive good design process in groups. d.leaders will work on real projects driving design projects within organizations and gain real world skills as they experiment with their leadership style. Take this course if you are inspired by past design classes and want skills to lead design projects beyond Stanford. Preference given to students who have taken other Design Group or d.school classes. Admission by application.

These courses are a curated list of Stanford entrepreneurship offerings. The Stanford Graduate School of Business provides an MBA student perspective. Explore Courses offers an expansive list with the ability to search by quarter and key term.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m unsure which courses to take…

 
  • I’m not an engineering student. Can I take STVP-affiliated courses?
    • Yes! We encourage students from any Stanford school, discipline, major, background, and experience level to take STVP-affiliated courses and develop their entrepreneurial knowledge, skills, mindsets, and networks.
  • I’m curious about venture capital (VC) and finance. Which classes do you recommend?
    • MS&E 472 – Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders’ Seminar
    • MS&E 140/240 – Accounting for Managers and Entrepreneurs
    • MS&E 145 – Introduction to Finance and Investment
    • MS&E 146/249 – Corporate Financial Management
    • Courses in the Economics department and the Graduate School of Business may also be helpful.

I’m looking to pursue entrepreneurial learning outside of the classroom…

 
  • Which student organizations should I join? How do I join them?
  • Which STVP fellows program is right for me?
    • Every STVP fellows program will connect you to a vibrant network of fellows and mentors, while you develop skills in entrepreneurial leadership and venture creation.
      • Mayfield Fellows Program – Learn to lead principled and responsible tech ventures while participating in a paid summer internship with mentorship from experts and peers. Runs Spring through Fall for Stanford undergrad and co-term students.
      • Accel Leadership Program – Build the leadership skills to solve real-world problems in a program anchored on case-based team learning. Runs Winter through Spring for Stanford juniors, seniors, and grad students.
      • Threshold Venture Program – Develop leadership skills for the venture ecosystem. Runs Winter through Spring for Stanford Engineering master’s students.
      • PEAK Fellows Program – Develop principles for entrepreneurial leadership. Runs Summer through Fall for Stanford undergrad and co-term students.

I’m working on a startup…

 
  • In which classes can I work on my startup idea?
    • ENGR 145 – Technology Entrepreneurship
    • ENGR 245 – Lean LaunchPad
    • MS&E 273 – Venture Creation for the Real Economy
    • ME 301 – LaunchPad: Design and Launch your Product or Service
    • MS&E 272 – Entrepreneurship without Borders
    • MS&E 297 – Hacking for Defense
    • BIOE 376 – Startup Garage: Design
    • BIOE 377 – Startup Garage: Testing and Launch
    • CSRE 161P – Entrepreneurship for Social and Racial Equity
    • EARTHSYS 213 – Hacking for Climate and Sustainability
    • BIOE 375 – Biodesign and Entrepreneurship for Societal Health

Acknowledgements

Our sincere thanks to Brandon Farwell, General Partner at Xfund, for supporting learning paths and the Stanford Entrepreneurship Network, and to Fenwick for supporting STVP-affiliated courses taught by adjunct faculty, in partnership with Management Science & Engineering.

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