Curriculum

Fall Semester (6 cr.)
 Spring Semester (6 cr.) Summer Semester (3 cr.)
ENTR 600 Entrepreneurship Cornerstone Experience (0 cr.) ENTR 603 Entrepreneurship, Venture Financing & the Law (3 cr.)  ENTR 605 Entrepreneurship Pitch Experience (3 cr.)
ENTR 601 Ideation Adventure (3 cr.) ENTR 604 Sales and Marketing for the Entrepreneurial Firm (3 cr.) 
ENTR 602 The Entrepreneurial Manager (3 cr.)  

Course Descriptions

Entrepreneurship Cornerstone Experience (0 credits)
Students attend a short but intense orientation prior to start of the Ideation course (time commitment: 3-4 hours). The orientation includes a cornerstone experience that introduces students to each other, faculty instructors, local professionals, mentors, and the Program Directors. The ultimate goal of the experience is to excite and motivate students in their pursuit of the ENTR degree. This will be primarily geared toward the full-time certificate students, but all students in the Ideation course will be invited.

ENTR 601 - Ideation Adventure (3 credits)
Opportunity recognition and exploitation are an important component of the entrepreneurial process. In this course, students will learn the basics of opportunity recognition and exploitation, including applying design thinking in identifying pertinent stakeholders, overcoming likely market and legal roadblocks and building the entrepreneurial team. They will create a feasibility analysis for a new start-up venture or a corporate venture within their existing organization. As part of the feasibility analysis, students will learn how to conduct a "voice of the customer" analysis to properly vet their idea. Lastly, students can "road test" their feasibility analysis by participating in the Pittsburgh Start-up Weekend and/or Duquesne University New Venture Challenge (DNVC).

ENTR 602 - The Entrepreneurial Manager (3 credits)
New ventures require the application of managerial discipline across all functions. In this course, students will learn how to integrate all business functions - marketing, finance, operations, human resources, information systems, accounting, etc. - into a start-up or corporate new venture. As part of the learning process, students will transform their feasibility analysis to a working business plan by conducting industry and market research, leveraging including how to engage initial stakeholders such as suppliers, customers, etc. To facilitate this process students will learn critical tools such as a business model canvas (BMC), minimal viable product (MVP), etc.

ENTR 603 - Entrepreneurship, Venture Financing & the Law (3 credits)
Students will evaluate legal entity choices (partnership, corporation, or LLC), capital structure (debt/equity), tax elections (e.g., S corporation), and co-owner protections. Legal options related to intellectual property (IP) protection (e.g., copyright, trademark, patent, and trade secret law) as well as key IP protection forms (e.g., non-disclosure, invention assignment, and employee confidentiality agreements) will be reviewed. Students will learn about early-stage funding and how to engage investors, including by understanding and using relevant legal terminology (e.g., preferred stock provisions, liquidation preferences, dividends, voting rights, ratchets, and waivers of director conflict of interest). Finally, this course will review legal and regulatory matters (e.g., complying with SEC filings), as well as the basics of contract law.

ENTR 604 - Sales and Marketing for the Entrepreneurial Firm (3 credits)
Start-ups, as well as larger firms, face a variety of marketing and sales challenges when commercializing new products or services. This course focuses on marketing fundamentals, market research, and sales force planning and execution in an entrepreneurial environment and is intended for students who work in, want to work in or aspire to create such a context. Developing a marketing plan and identifying initial customers is another major milestone, both in new ventures and existing firms launching new products or services. In this course, students learn how to translate business plans into actionable sales and marketing strategies and tactics. They also learn the first steps to take to initially engage customers, which could include piloting, prototyping and/or co-developing a product/service. Students will also learn how to develop pro forma financial projections that include marketing and sales analyses.

ENTR 605 - Entrepreneurship Pitch Experience (3 credits)
This project-based signature course gives students the tools to develop and present actionable business plans. Students will be put into teams based on their interests and goals, then work online and use video conferencing technology to create a business plan for either a new start-up or for the launch of a new product/service within an existing firm. At the end of the semester, students come to campus for a live "pitch experience." Each team submits a written business plan and makes a live presentation to a panel of judges followed by Q&A. Students will be given guidance about how to organize their presentations and have a copy of the judges' rubrics for evaluation. In essence, this parallels the process found in the Duquesne New Venture Challenge (DNVC) business plan competition.