The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Chicago Booth

Experiential Courses and Labs

A variety of Lab courses provide students with hands-on experiences designed to put classroom learning into practice.

New Venture Lab

The New Venture Lab (Bus 34701) is geared towards students interested in starting or working for new ventures. Teams of three to five students are paired with start-up companies and small enterprises and gain real-world experience by helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Under the guidance of the course instructor, students address challenges and opportunities and make recommendations that will have a lasting impact on the growth of the venture. The companies and enterprises that participate in the course represent diverse industries, including technology and biotech, as well as industrial- and consumer-based firms.

Elfman-Wareham Private Equity & Venture Capital Lab

The Private Equity & Venture Capital Lab (Bus 34702) allows students to complement their academic learning by working at a private equity or venture capital firm. Through a competitive application, matching, and selection process, students are paired with a firm for a 10-week internship, where they tackle specific assignments that range from evaluating a current portfolio company to identifying new opportunities for investment. The course is sponsored by Rick Elfman, '83, and Terri Wareham, '82. 

Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge

Launched in 1996, the Edward L. Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge (NVC) is the University of Chicago's premier start-up program, designed to help student teams turn ideas into a viable businesses. The NVC process begins in the fall with team building, networking, and ideation. In the winter, teams apply to the program by submitting feasibility summaries. Selected teams then advance to a classroom round, where they work on their businesses, practice pitching, develop a full business plan, and receive mentorship from investors and established entrepreneurs. The NVC concludes in May with a finals competition, where teams pitch to a world-class panel of investors and entrepreneurs. Prizes in the form of cash, legal services, and professional consulting are awarded. The NVC has expanded and now includes four tracks: Traditional, Social, Global, and College, which offer tailored programming to meet the needs of UChicago's diverse student body.Since it began in 1996, the NVC program has awarded more than $875,000 and helped launch more than 75 companies, which have gone on to raise $300 million in funding and have created over 1,300 jobs. Learn more about the NVC and companies formed through this program >

D4 Foundations

D4 Foundations (BUS 34705-01) is an experiential lab course launched in fall 2013 that teaches an entrepreneurial design method to discover pressing needs in complex problem areas that will enable the design of innovative solutions. During the Fall 2013 quarter, participants will work in interdisciplinary teams to identify latent, unmet needs in the areas of education and healthcare. By the end of the course, participants will have acquired the skills to 1) discover and develop ideas with a strong foundation in user-centered design, and 2) iteratively test and execute on ideas with the intent of making a meaningful impact to various industries. Participants will attend in-class sessions and have out-of-class group activities. Classes will teach elements of design thinking methodology and entrepreneurship education, including: problem framing, "needs-finding" research techniques, opportunity identification, prototyping, and customer development. Out-of-class activities will focus on action; participants will put classroom lessons into practice through fieldwork in healthcare or education settings. Prospective class participants should apply to participate in the course. Learn more about the D4 Foundations program

Entrepreneurial Internship Program

The Entrepreneurial Internship Program (Bus 34105) allows full-time first year students to participate in a subsidized internship with a start-up company over the summer with the option to develop their internships into case studies through an autumn-term course. Internships can be in traditional, global, or socially focused areas. The program is supported by the Donald Hamer, '58, Jim Hickey, '82, Rattan Khosa, '79, Immanuel Thangaraj, AB '92, MBA '93, and The Dean's Office, Chicago Booth.

Management Lab in New Product and Strategy Development

The Management Lab (Bus 37701) provides an unparalleled opportunity for students to master strategic thinking, management, and research skills in a hands-on environment. Student teams partner with high-level executives at some of the world’s leading companies to manage assignments in new product development, business strategy, and operational research, tackling assignments on par with those of the world’s premier consulting firms. Recent teams have worked on problems of international scope, which included sending teams of students overseas for extended periods of time to manage projects on site.

Social Entrepreneurship Lab 

In the Social Enterpreneurship Lab (Bus 34110), students explore social entrepreneurship first-hand by working with local nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that have social missions. After careful analysis, students make strategic recommendations to the participating organizations and firms in order to leverage greater growth.

CleanTech Lab

The CleanTech Lab (Bus 34706) is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in clean technology through a hands-on learning experience. Throughout the quarter, student teams work on a project with a leading clean-tech firm or research laboratory, such as UChicago Tech, IIT, Argonne, or the Chicago Energy Initiative. Projects may focus on operations, marketing, strategy, etc. or developing a commercialization plan for a clean technology the company has developed. Classroom lectures and discussions address issues faced by entrepreneurial organizations, introduce core principles and technologies shaping the clean-tech industry, and feature guest lecturers from industry experts.