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Fall 2020 Entrepreneurship Electives

The Program on Entrepreneurship offers a range of courses each year to complement the Yale SOM core curriculum. By combining theoretical frameworks with practical experiences, these courses help students understand the whole of the enterprise, rather than individual functions, and provide potential entrepreneurs with a deep understanding of how to develop and sustain a venture. The following elective courses will be offered in Fall 2020:

Program on EntrepreneurshipSemester-long Courses 

MGT-646: Start-up Founder Practicum – Jennifer McFadden 

The purpose of this course is to provide full-time Yale 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. Admission to the course is restricted to students in a full time program at Yale SOM who have formed a venture prior to the beginning of the class. Admission is by application only and is limited to Yale SOM students and joint degree students. To apply for Fall 2020, please fill out the application at and provide all relevant supplementary documents. Applications are due by 11:59PM on 8/10 and students will be notified of admission into the class by 8/15. No bid points will be applied to this course. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer McFadden, Lecturer and Associate Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at

MGT-656: Management of Software Development – Kyle Jensen 

Students in this course will learn how to manage software development teams through the process of building a basic web application. We will discuss “agile”, continuous delivery, “devops”, and related management practices. Along the way, students will acquire elementary software development skills for creating consumer web applications including both front-end development (typically HTML, JavaScript and CSS) and back-end development (typically Google’s Go language). The coursework in MGT656 typically includes homework (mostly programming assignments completed individually), pre-class quizzes, in-class exams, and a group final project. Some experience programming is beneficial, though not necessary for the motivated student. The course is open to all Yale students. In some semesters MGT660 is offered as an advanced version of this course. For more information, see the class website at (offline between semesters).

Fall-1 Courses

MGT-631: Social Entrepreneurship in Public Health – Teresa Chahine 

This is a case based course about innovation and entrepreneurship for health equity and drivers of health. Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, racism, gender and other biases and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, healthy foods, safe environments, and health care. We refer to these as drivers of health. COVID-19 has brought to light for many the complexities in drivers of health, and the role of entrepreneurship and cross-sectoral collaboration in eliminating health disparities.

MGT-874: Patterns in Entrepreneurship – A.J. Wasserstein

Using the Socratic case method, this course will explore several of the many ways to be an entrepreneur. MBA students frequently express interest in doing something entrepreneurial after completing their graduate degree program. Most MBA students with an interest in entrepreneurship consider only a narrow range of potential business opportunities. This course will highlight the multiple ways to become an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship, using HBS Professor Howard Stevenson’s definition of ”pursuing an opportunity beyond the resources controlled,” is a big tent. Although Silicon Valley technology ventures and flashy consumer products startups receive most of the attention in the media and on campus, there are other ways to jump into the entrepreneurial arena. This course explores six distinct patterns in entrepreneurship (and there might be many more), some of which fly under the radar of many MBA students. This course will not advocate any single pattern of entrepreneurship over the others; rather, the course will encourage students to discover the best potential path for themselves using a ten-step framework for analysis.
There is no right or wrong pattern in entrepreneurship – aspiring entrepreneurs owe it to themselves to learn about and contemplate a variety of options. Then, with better information and a higher degree of confidence, they can rigorously evaluate which entrepreneurial path best suits their specific interests, needs, and goals. Additionally, aspiring entrepreneurs should factor risk and lifestyle into their decision-making process. Which form of entrepreneurship has the highest probability of success, however you define it? And which one will best accommodate the lifestyle you envision for yourself? This course will require active participation in class. Please be prepared and committed to engage in class. If you do not enjoy contributing in class, this might not be the right course for you.

MGT-838: Entrepreneurship and the Art Market – Magnus Resch

The art market is enormously seductive. The multi billion dollar market, sensational auction battles, rich and beautiful clientele and extravagant vernissage events fuel this glamorous appearance. The reality, however, is not quite so. Entrepreneurs in the art world find it tough and complex, and many are struggling. 30% of all galleries run at a loss, while over 90% of all artists can’t live from their practice. How can entrepreneurs achieve success in the art world? Why is the artist KAWS successful and Al Diaz not? Why does Gagosian turn over a billion, while the average gallery makes only $200k? What impact has the internet had on the art trade? Can auction houses and art fairs be replaced by new models after Covid-19? The objective of this course is to give students first hand insight into the life of entrepreneurs in the art market. This will be achieved through a thorough theoretical analysis, and experts from the field are invited to give first-hand insights. Students will direct and shape these guest lecture sessions and will host lively discussions to challenge the expert’s view, exercising a critical reflection of the market and developing their own perspective.

Fall-2 Courses 

MGT-665: Principles of Entrepreneurship – Balazs Kovacs

In the Principles of Entrepreneurship (PoE) course, we will explore various aspects of the entrepreneurial process. While this course is clearly well-suited for those planning to launch their own venture, PoE is equally important for those interested in joining a new venture as an early employee and those hoping to bring an entrepreneurial mindset to an established employer (e.g., large corporation or family business). Despite the misconception that people are either naturally entrepreneurial or not, these skills can be learned. Through an experiential learning methodology—applying concepts and frameworks learned in class to real-world scenarios—we will develop this toolkit throughout the term. We will explore topics related to: (1) opportunity recognition/idea generation, (2) business models, (3) the founding process, (4) teams, and (5) early employees, using a mix of case studies, self-assessments, and simulation exercises. Compared to some other Entrepreneurship courses at SOM, this course will cover more theory and research. The course is open to non-MBA and non-SOM students as well.

MGT-671: Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition – A.J. Wasserstein 

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an opportunity to explore being an entrepreneur by purchasing a company, rather than starting one from scratch. The readings and class discussions will help students understand how to purchase a business, finance an acquisition, and operate and grow a business. The cases and conversations will help students understand what it is like being a young, first time CEO and what types of challenges and issues will be encountered. The general course structure will follow the lifecycle of an entrepreneur who purchases a business to operate. The first few session will explore the concept of entrepreneurship through acquisition and how this compares to different forms of entrepreneurship and its pros and cons. How to purchase a business and what type of business to purchase will be examined. How to operate and grow a business as a young, first time CEO will be considered. What happens when a business works well and when it does not work well will be discussed. Finally, how and when to sell a business and what that means for the entrepreneur and business will be reviewed. This course will require active participation in class. Please be prepared and committed to participate in class. If you do not enjoy participating in class, this might not be the right course for you.