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E145 2008 General Information

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Course Objective

This course introduces the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship, which is a recent global phenomenon.  It has empowered individuals to seek opportunity in technological and business solutions when presented with what others see as insurmountable problems.

Technology entrepreneurship, in itself, is a spirited approach to business leadership that involves identifying high-potential, technology-intensive commercial opportunities, gathering resources such as talent and capital, and managing rapid growth and significant risks using principled decision-making skills. A technology entrepreneurial perspective is also a wonderful way of thinking in order to tackle new opportunities in government, social ventures, and life.

This course is designed to be approachable for undergraduates (and co-terminal students) from all majors, particularly science, engineering, and humanities students who seek to understand the entrepreneurial process. Topics introduced in this course are not only relevant to future managers, marketers, and investors, but to the future engineer and scientist in industry.

Through a collection of case studies, lectures, workshops, and projects that cover high-growth ventures in information technology, electronics, life sciences, green technology, and other industries, this course provides the student with the tools necessary to successfully identify a true business opportunity, and to start, grow and maintain a technology enterprise.

We will cover material organized in five modules over the ten weeks:

Time & Location

There will be one section offered during the Autumn 2008 term. It will be held MW 9:00-10:50a.m. The classes will take place in CERAS 300 and are co-taught by Professors Blank and Kosnik. Required workshops will be given on selected Monday evenings.


For information on admission, see the Getting In page.


4 units.  Letter grade only. Qualifies for the Technology in Society requirement for most majors in the School of Engineering.

Course Web Site and Email

Course Web Pages: Main page is at www.stanford.edu/class/e145

Class Distribution Email Alias: e145-class@lists.stanford.edu (received by all students and the teaching team).
This list is intended for class discussion and announcements.

Teaching Team Email alias: e145-staff@lists.stanford.edu  (received by instructor and TAs)
Use this list for questions or suggestions for the teaching team.

Homework Email alias: e145-homework@lists.stanford.edu (received by instructor and TAs).
This list is intended for homework submission only.

Course Approach

For specific lecture and discussion topics, please see the Course Calendar. For policies, see Policies.

This course incorporates both individual and group efforts. Students form study groups early in the quarter and meet regularly to prepare for class discussion. We encourage students to build groups with people from a diversity of majors.  Each group will be required to complete written case analyses throughout the quarter.  Teams are also required to complete a paper and in-class presentation regarding an "Opportunity Analysis".  In addition, students submit individual email assignments and complete a "Personal Business Plan" using methods learned in the course.  Group discussion is encouraged in preparing for both the team and individual assignments.  Note that learning to successfully manage group dynamics, including conflicts and roles, is a key educational component of the course.

Course Materials

Key Documents


Required Readings


Recommended Books
See supplementary list of optional, recommended readings

Optional Reading (on Reserve at Terman Library)


Seminars during Fall Quarter (optional)

Wednesdays 4:30-5:30PM, Skilling Auditorium

MS&E472 offers an amazing opportunity to learn from the people who are leading technology innovation in the valley and beyond. While not required, we strongly encourage you to attend these weekly seminars.

Grading Policy and Assignments

This course is available for letter grade only. See Policies for additional information. Grading will be determined using the following weighting system:

Individual (50%)

Team (50%)

  • Participation in class and in any online discussion (20%)
  • Written case analyses (20%) 

There is an opportunity to earn additional credit in E145. If your grade is on the “borderline”, this assignment will be taken into consideration:

Last modified Wednesday, 17-Sep-2008 20:51:44 PDT


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