Curriculum

Yale SOM’s integrated curriculum, emphasizing a team-taught, integrated approach to problem solving, helps students understand the whole of the enterprise rather than individual functions and provides potential entrepreneurs with a deep understanding of how to develop and sustain a venture.  Yale SOM’s “raw case” format complements this approach by challenging students to evaluate problems on multiple dimensions.  The integrated core includes courses on The Innovator and Sourcing and Managing Funds, which tie directly to entrepreneurship.  In addition to the integrated curriculum, the following courses will be offered:


Global Social Entrepreneurship: India
MGT 529

Launched in 2008 at the Yale School of Management, the Global Social Entrepreneurship (GSE) course links teams of Yale students with social enterprises based in India. GSE is committed to channeling the skills of Yale students to assist Indian organizations to expand their reach and impact on “bottom of the pyramid” communities. Yale students partner with mission-driven social entrepreneurs (SEs) to focus on a specific management challenge that the student/SE teams work together to address during the semester. In five years, GSE has worked with 30 leading and emerging Indian social enterprises engaged in economic development, sustainable energy, women’s empowerment, education, environmental conservation, and affordable housing.

The course covers both theoretical and practical issues, including case studies and discussions on social enterprise, developing a theory of change and related social metrics, financing social businesses, the role of civil society in India, framing a consulting engagement, managing team dynamics, etc. The course is taught by Tony Sheldon, Lecturer in Economic Development and Executive Director of SOM’s Program on Social Enterprise.

All students will travel to India to work on-site with their partner SEs and for a convening of all the student/SE project teams.


Strategic Communication
MGT 553

The focus of this course is to increase one's competencies in oral communication and presentation. Developing and executing effective communication strategies is essential in a variety of business settings. Business leaders are often expected to present their message with confidence and clarity to employees, clients, partners, investors and the public. This highly interactive, practical course will help students develop confidence in public speaking through weekly presentations and assignments, lectures and discussions, guest speakers, simulated activities, and filmed feedback. Students will be given the opportunity to present both individually and as part of a team. We will explore the essentials of communication strategy and persuasion: audience analysis, message construction, communicator credibility, and delivery. Students at all levels of mastery of public speaking will benefit from this course.


Entrepreneurial Business Planning
MGT 618

Entrepreneurship is all about starting and running one's own business. In order to focus thinking and to help assemble the needed people and financial resources, many entrepreneurs write a business plan for their new venture. One of the best ways to learn how to write a business plan is to learn by doing -- a real plan for a real new venture. The work will be "hands-on," "learn by doing" in nature. Entrepreneurs should be flexible thinkers and highly motivated, with a large capacity for work. They must be persistent and able to thrive in an unstructured environment. Entrepreneurs should be confident self-starters with the ability to take the initiative, overcome obstacles, make things happen and get things done. This course is for six teams of five students each, who want to write a business plan for their own real new startup company. Students will enter their plans in the Y50K Business Plan Contest sponsored by the Yale Entrepreneurial Society. The scope of the work will include: doing in-depth market, product and competitor research; creating a strategy for a sustainable business; and writing and presenting a professional quality plan (including a financial model and deal structure).


Venture Capital & Private Equity Investments 
MGT 635

Investing in venture capital and in the equity of private companies is an apprenticeship business. Venture investors need analytic and quantitative skills, as well as broad knowledge of a range of business and financial disciplines. Successful investors need practice and a variety of experience, as well as good judgment and people skills. Course topics include start-ups and expansion stage venture capital, leveraged buyouts, and turnaround situations. Disciplines include business research (library skills), business and financial analysis, financial projections and equity valuation, verbal and written presentations, teamwork, and negotiating techniques. The course includes both lectures and in-depth case studies, with a strong emphasis on "learning by doing." Teamwork is actively encouraged to frame and solve problems, and to handle heavy workloads. Execution of case studies requires teams of students to do research on industries, segments and niches, to evaluate business plans, and to make financial projections and value equity instruments. Teams will make written and verbal presentations. Entrepreneur and investor teams negotiate and structure "deals" in a role-playing mode. Five students will be selected from this class to represent Yale SOM as a team in the National Venture Capital Investment Competition (against 35 other MBA schools).


Start-up Founder Studies
MGT 645

This is a seminar course for the advanced study of start-up founders’ experiences. Each class is devoted to a single topic related to the experience of start-up founders that is not covered in other entrepreneurship electives. The classes consist of readings, case studies, activities and lectures led by experienced founders. These are followed by student-led interviews of the entrepreneurs. Topics change yearly and may include building company culture, sales techniques, board management, founder disputes, start-up acquisitions, going public and others.


Start-up Founder Practicum
MGT 646

The purpose of this course is to provide full-time SOM students with a mechanism to work on their start-up ventures for credit, applying principles derived from their other coursework, particularly the integrated core curriculum. Students in this course articulate milestones for their ventures and work with faculty, staff, and mentors to meet those milestones. Generally, the course employs "lean" methodology. Admitted students are given working space in the Entrepreneurial Studies Suite of Yale's Evans Hall.


Entrepreneurship & New Ventures
MGT 655

Students learn to create and manage new ventures across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in this foundational elective. Through this course, students are introduced to emerging frameworks in entrepreneurship including “lean start-up,” “customer discovery,” and “design thinking”. These frameworks are used to identify and evaluate market opportunities for new products and services based on customer needs. The course also includes various practical aspects of new venture creation including legalities, financing, team building, and management.


Management of Software Development
MGT 656

Software is a ubiquitous component of the increasingly technology-driven economy: “Software is eating the world” in the words of John Hermann. Students in this course will learn 1) management of the software development lifecycle and 2) basic technology skills for creating modern mobile web applications. The management techniques will include hiring technical teams as well as planning, implementing, and maintaining software projects. We will focus on agile methods for software implementation including extreme programming (XP), scrum, and others. Students will use these techniques to develop a mobile web application in teams. The application will require an understanding of Linux, OS virtualization, networking, version control, databases, and programming (HTML, JavaScript, & CSS). No familiarity with these technologies is assumed, but would benefit the student. The course is most appropriate for students planning to found new ventures or work in leadership roles in the technology sector.


New Ventures in Healthcare and the Life Sciences
MGT 657

This course will give students a broad understanding of the major “new venture” opportunities in healthcare & medicine---healthcare delivery, healthcare IT, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and surgical techniques. In each of these areas, they will understand the canonical path to commercialization including how to identify opportunities; who the customers is; how to build interdisciplinary teams; and regulatory hurdles to commercialization. The course is designed for a diverse student body including students from management, natural sciences, and medicine. The course comprises lectures, raw cases, guest speakers, and in-class projects.


Impact Investing
MGT 849

This course will explore the current role of impact investing in developed economies, with particular focus on the United States. We will review the history and continuum of impact versus risk in impact investing. The course will broadly cover impact investing across multiple asset classes with a focus on venture capital impact investing. The creation and measurement of social impact, as well as the limited partner perspective will also be explored. Selected practitioners from leading firms and organizations will join for a portion of a number of classes to provide first-hand insight from a variety of perspectives. Assignments are created to mimic the real-world tasks and challenges in impact investing across multiple roles, debate the issues those in the field grapple with today and encourage students to explore how the industry can be expanded.


Managing in Times of Rapid Change
MGT 860

Top management today, and for the foreseeable future is living in an era of Creative Destruction, Joseph Schumpeter's prescient phrase describing the essential dynamics of modern economies. While the job for top management fifty years ago was to look after and control their operations, today's task is not only to efficiently operate and control their existing businesses, but also to change the composition of their portfolio of businesses ant the pace and scale of the market—which itself is changing five times faster than fifty years ago—without losing control of the enterprise. The new challenges causes top management to rethink the role of the CEO, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors. To explore these important changes, the class will discuss the record of change in American industry both at the industry and company levels. Specific case histories in media, health care, professional services and other industries will be discussed. The impact of the changing capital markets will be described. For satisfactory completion of the course, students will be expected to complete a short class project describing the challenges coming in an area of interest to them. In addition extensive class discussion is expected of everyone.


Global Social Enterprise
MGT 865

The spring Global Social Enterprise (GSE) course grows out of the GSE Student Club, which is the only student-run organization at SOM that brings together students interested in social enterprise with opportunities to provide pro bono consulting services to organizations in developing countries. Founded in 2004, the GSE club allows students to put their classroom knowledge to practical use and gain hands-on experience in the areas of international development and social enterprise.

The course is centered around a spring break trip, during which GSE participants work in groups of 4-5 to provide pro bono consulting services to private and nonprofit social enterprises in the selected country. During Spring-1, the course aims to foster a deeper understanding of the political, economic, and social climate in which the students will be working, as well as provide students with a tool set (e.g., business planning, financial statement analysis, competitive strategy, etc.) to better serve their clients. Upon returning to SOM after spring break, students will continue work on their projects during Spring-2 term. Students will present their findings and final deliverables to their clients and to the SOM community at the end of the semester.


Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship
MGT 896

This course will examine a variety of legal and strategic issues likely to arise in the course of forming an entrepreneurial venture and managing a growing firm. Students will learn how to use the law and legal tools to create value, marshal resources (human and financial), and manage risk and how to integrate legal and regulatory considerations into a firm’s overall strategy. Issues addressed include arrangements among the founders, intellectual property protection, venture capital financing, executive compensation (including tax considerations), securities regulation, and mergers and acquisitions. LAE will be of particular interest to students planning to become entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, investment bankers, chief financial officers, or directors of business development in large firms.


Entrepreneurial Finance
MGT 897

The course covers entrepreneurial finance from the perspective of the entrepreneur, including estimating capital needs, raising initial financing from angels, accelerators, venture capitalists or through crowd funding, negotiating terms, raising follow-on financing through debt or equity, and eventually managing an acquisition or public offering. The primary audience for this course is anyone who wants to understand better the financing of entrepreneurial ventures.


Real Estate Finance for Institutional Investors
MGT 899

This course concentrates on the five major types of institutional property investment: Office, Industrial, Retail, Hotel and Multifamily- and large-sized properties (>$50M). Each session will deal with the unique financial characteristics of a particular property type, via case study, modeling of cash flows, and income and expense analysis. The special market characteristics of each property type, buying, selling and current market conditions, will also be discussed. Because real estate can also be analyzed from the viewpoint of public and private markets and debt and equity markets, each session will also include a discussion of a financing or equity vehicle and its relevance to a particular property type. In addition to case studies which will require problem solving, students will be expected to be able to: a) model and value different property types, b) read and abstract leases and partnership agreements and c) understand, quantify and articulate the differing perspectives of investor/buyer, developer/seller and lender/syndicator. As appropriate, guest speakers will be introduced for the final 45 minutes of at least half the sessions. A final team project will require working in groups of 3-5 students on the same portfolio of diverse real estate assets, with recommendations to be made to an investor group at the final class.


GNAM Course: New Product Development
MGT 950

The percentage of sales of successful business organization tied to the successful introduction of new products and services is high. Given the fact that the failure rate of these introductions is also high there is a need for tools and techniques to manage the NPD process. This course will focus on the tools, techniques and best practices developed to support the development and marketing of new products.