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MBA Students

Tepper’s MBA Entrepreneurship in Organizations Track allows Tepper MBA students to focus on planning, funding and building a new business. This Track emphasizes three main areas: marketing, building a winning organization, and raising money for your venture. Students in this Track can also apply to the James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Fellows program, which enables them to participate in an executive guest-speaker, summer-internship and final-project program. Often, this final project results in an actual venture that students pursue after graduation.

45-880 Technology Commercialization and Business Development Strategy
Instructors – Arthur Boni and John Mather
Technology Commercialization and Business Development Strategy is offered in two minis at the Tepper School of Business. The first mini (45-880) is entitled “Technology and Business Development,” and the second mini (45-888) is entitled “Commercialization Workshop.” 45-880 is a prerequisite for 45-888. The course sequence is targeted at entrepreneurs and innovators who are interested in introducing innovations to the marketplace through start-up, emerging and established organizations. Class participants will learn how to evaluate, develop and “pitch” their opportunities and teams to investors and corporate executives in order to successfully acquire the resources necessary for market entry. Technology and Business Development (45-880) focuses on commercialization of disruptive technologies and on the development of appropriate business models and market strategies required to successfully introduce these technologies to the market, gain growth and capture dominant market positions. Commercialization Workshop (45-888) focuses on the work of student teams to develop strategic commercialization plans (content from 45-880) for specific projects generated by them or provided by the faculty.

45-881 Entrepreneurial Thought and Action
Instructors – Arthur Boni, Frank Demmler, S. Thomas Emerson, Dave Mawhinney or George White
This is the basic entrepreneurship course offered to MBA students at the Tepper School of Business. This course focuses on finding and screening a suitable entrepreneurial project and developing it into a complete business plan. Most of the work will focus on market research, product development, pricing, financial forecasting, management planning and other factors needed to create a strong business plan.

45-882 Entrepreneurial Business Planning
Instructor – Chris Cynkar or Frank Demmler
Entrepreneurial Business Planning follows Entrepreneurial Thought and Action (45-881) to form the base courses of the MBA Entrepreneurship curriculum. This course will expand on the concepts taught in Entrepreneurial Thought and Action by providing more specific actions that should be taken to implement the plans outlined in the first course. Within the content of this course, students will have an opportunity to pursue entrepreneurship through two varied paths – new venture creation and business acquisition. We will explore the elements that are common to both of these avenues of entrepreneurship (market research and surveying, financial evaluation, proper legal and operational due diligence, negotiating strategies and business plan development) as well as those elements that are unique to each path (business valuation, deal structuring and business growth).

The objective of this course is to provide students with the skills, contacts and paths to be able to pursue a career in entrepreneurship. The core activity of the course will be the development/expansion of a business plan built around an actual business opportunity. The course will require students to integrate material learned through a variety of separate disciplines in order to successfully evaluate small business opportunities. Students will need to rely upon their studies of marketing, legal issues, accounting, human resources, finance and strategy to fully evaluate a business opportunity.

45-884 Funding Early-Stage Ventures
Instructor – Frank Demmler
This course covers high-risk finance from the entrepreneurial and venture capital perspectives. You should consider this course if you are considering a career in entrepreneurship, venture capital or fields involved in financing early-stage ventures. This course studies the venture capital industry, analyzes how venture capitalists make their investment decisions, and looks at how an entrepreneur can favorably affect that decision process. You will also examine the due diligence process through a case study that allows you to negotiate the terms and structure of a deal.

45-885 Designing and Leading a Business
Instructors – Arthur Boni, Tim Cunnigham and Laurie R. Weingart
The objective of this course is to provide a perspective on leadership in entrepreneurial companies. The approach taken will cover the topic of business design and leadership from academic and experiential perspectives. The academic component will incorporate some lectures based on readings and also proceed in workshop format to provide a forum for discussing leadership topics and issues from the recent literature.

The forum will facilitate understanding leadership models and teams in various organizational settings ranging from emerging companies (startup to development stage to emerging stage) to more mature organizations (including major global organizations). Our perspective is to develop an understanding of the leadership skills needed to innovate. Accordingly, we seek to understand similarities and differences in leadership models that persist across the company life cycle. Students are also exposed to visiting entrepreneurial leaders in this module via the James R. Swartz Entrepreneurial Leadership Series. Topics to be discussed may include, but are not limited to: what leaders do, differences between leadership and management, leading change, models of leadership and teams, the way CEOs lead, and ethical leadership.

In the experiential component students will be expected to work in teams on several capstone projects in partnership with corporate sponsors or university-based partners at Carnegie Mellon. The students will focus on analyzing and implementing strategic, marketing, financing, or organizational development issues for startup, emerging, growth, or mature organizations. They will be designing the business through a series of stages over the semester. These organizations may be located in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley, Boston or other centers of innovation and entrepreneurship. The process will emphasize creating a pathway to achieving sustainable and profitable innovation and growth.

45-886 Biotechnology Industry, Structure and Strategy
Instructor – Arthur Boni
The objective of this course is to provide a business overview of the life science industry, its major market segments, financial structure and financial strategies. The course focuses on the following principal segments: biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostics, and drug discovery/biopharmaceuticals. Students are expected to develop an understanding of major industry issues and strategies for growth and innovation across all industry segments. Course lecturers consist of the entrepreneurs and leaders who have built and financed the industry, as well as the scientists who have spawned it.

45-907 Venture Capital and Private Equity
Instructor - Michael Ewens
Private equity and venture capital play an important role in the financing of high growth, innovative firms. This course covers the financial tools and methods required to select, structure and value such investments. Taking the perspective of an investor (venture capitalist), we will use the case-method to first study the structure of the private equity market with the aim of understanding the motivations of its actors. Next, we apply several financial valuation models to isolate entrepreneurial assets. The tools presented provide methods for accurately selecting business plans and structuring the equity ownership of start-ups. Finally, we will survey the available exit options and important considerations required for earning returns on entrepreneurial investments. The course will require the use of balance sheet analysis and both market-based and real option valuation models.

Please visit the Tepper School's non-Tepper Student's Course Requests page if you are not a Tepper student but wish to register for a Tepper graduate class.

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