Whether you are starting a company, launching a new division in an established organization, or seeking to invest in new ventures, entrepreneurial skills are crucial to identifying and evaluating the factors that will make your undertaking a success. As organizations become leaner, more global, and more resource-constrained, the need to be flexible and adapt quickly to change is increasingly important across all business segments.
Chicago Booth's leading-edge entrepreneurship curriculum integrates all business areas including marketing, finance, operations, and strategy, and takes students beyond the classroom, allowing them to test themselves in real-world settings. Through courses, experiential learning, labs, and competitions, students get the practical tools and experiences needed to start, finance, and manage their own business, or to embark on a career in private equity. No matter your career path, you will benefit from entrepreneurial skills such as prioritizing resources, critical evaluation of new business or growth opportunities, building and motivating a team, understanding the customer, accessing capital, and assuring profitable growth.
You'll have the chance to explore activities outside the classroom in numerous ways that will also allow you to build new skills, relationships, and networks. These include:
- Private Equity, Entrepreneurial Ventures, and Venture Capital Club - The Private Equity, Entrepreneurial Ventures, and Venture Capital Club (PEVC) is a non profit professional student association organized for Chicago Booth Evening and Weekend MBA students. The PEVC's mission is to enhance Booth students' understanding of venture capital, private equity, and of building new ventures. We do this through a variety of year-round social events, invited presentations, and panel discussions featuring speakers from a wide range of industries.
- Technology Entrepreneurship Chicago - The mission of Technology Entrepreneurship Chicago (TECH) is to further educational, networking, and professional development opportunities for students interested in learning more about entrepreneurship in the technology sector.
You’ll have the option of taking courses that address your individual career choices. Samples include:
- Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity - You will explore private equity from a number of perspectives, beginning with the entrepreneur/issuer, moving to private equity - venture capital and leveraged buyout - partnerships, and finishing with investors in private equity partnerships.
- New Venture Strategy - Improving your ability to assess the attractiveness of a new venture, anticipate the problems likely to be encountered as the business evolves, and predict its success or failure is the focus of this class. You will learn a set of qualitative models into which all entrepreneurial companies can be categorized.
- Building the New Venture - Through class lectures, "game" assignments and real-world cases, you will learn how to raise initial seed funding, compensate for limited human and financial resources, establish initial brand values and positioning, leverage a strong niche position, determine appropriate sourcing and sales channels, and develop execution plans in sales, marketing, product development, and operations.
- Commercializing Innovation - This course will focus on the strategy and tactics of forming, acquiring, and growing new ventures i.e., increasing shareholder value for business ventures funded with private equity. It is designed to aid those who are considering being part of an entrepreneurial project or evaluating such enterprises from the position of a public investor, private investor, or any stakeholder serving these emerging companies. The course will consider ventures representing broad sectors of the economy, including retail (both traditional and online), health care, telecommunications, consumer services, and businesses enhanced by the internet.
You’ll study with professors who conduct groundbreaking research, collaborate with the entrepreneurial and private equity communities, and bring their own entrepreneurial experiences into the classroom.
- Waverly Deutsch, who won the Innovative Pedagogy for Entrepreneurship Education award from the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, serves on the board of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and Chicago Community Ventures.
- Steven Neil Kaplan, who was named one of Businessweek's top 12 business teachers in the country, has served on the boards of Illinois Venture Capital Association and Morningstar. He is widely published in academic journals and often quoted for his expertise in publications like the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
- Scott F. Meadow, a general partner in private equity for more than 25 years, has founded such projects as Sports Authority and Sunrise Assisted Living.
- Ellen A. Rudnick, who spent 25 years in business management and entrepreneurial activities, was primarily engaged in the health care and information services industries prior to joining the Chicago Booth faculty. Both her governance activities and start-up interests help her to bridge the gap in the classroom between the theoretical and the real world.
- Ira Weiss, who specializes in accounting topics, teaches advanced MBA courses in both tax strategy and entrepreneurship. He is also the faculty director of Hyde Park Angels, an angel investing group affiliated with the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship.
- Craig Wortmann, who brings 20 years of experience to the classroom, teaches sales and marketing strategy in an entrepreneurship selling course. He currently serves as CEO of Experience, a firm that helps companies build their sales and marketing engine.
- Luigi Zingales, a faculty member since 1992, is coauthor with Raghuram G. Rajan of Saving Capitalism from the Capitalists. The book received acclaim from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.