EEEN40300 Entrepreneurship in Engineering

Academic Year 2024/2025

This course provides real-world, hands-on learning on what it’s like to actually start a company. This class is not about how to write a business plan. It’s not an exercise on how smart you are in a classroom, or how well you use the research library to size markets. And the end result is not a PowerPoint slide deck for a VC presentation and the course is not an incubator where you come to build an “idea.”

This is a practical class—essentially a lab, not a theory or book class. Our goal, within the constraints of a classroom and a limited amount of time, is to create an entrepreneurial experience for you with all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage start-up. It will be hands-on talking to customers, partners and competitors as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a start-up actually works. You’ll learn how to use a business model to brainstorm each part of a company and customer development to get out of the classroom to see whether anyone other than you would want/use your product. Finally, based on the customer and market feedback you gathered, you will use agile development to rapidly iterate your product/idea and turn it into something customers would actually use and buy. Each block will be a new adventure outside the classroom as you test each part of your business model and then share the hard-earned knowledge with the rest of the class.

Class Culture: Communication in a start-up is very different from that in a university or large company. The culture is dramatically different from the university culture most of you are familiar with. We have limited time, and we push, challenge and question you in the hope that you will quickly learn. We will be direct and open—just like in the real world. We also expect you to question us, challenge our point of view if you disagree and engage in a real dialogue with the teaching team. This approach may seem harsh, but it is all part of our desire that you learn to challenge yourselves quickly and objectively, and to appreciate that as entrepreneurs you need to learn and evolve faster than you ever imagined possible.

Amount of Work : This class requires a significant amount of work on your part. Getting out of the classroom is what the effort is about. It’s not about the lectures. You will be spending a significant amount of time between each of the lectures outside your lab talking to customers. This is a customer-centric approach to understanding solving problems. This class is a simulation of what start-ups and entrepreneurship are like in the real world, with all its chaos, uncertainly, impossible deadlines, conflicting input, etc. This class pushes many people past their comfort zone. It’s not about you, but it’s also not about the class or the teaching team. This is what start-ups are like (and the class is just a small part of what it is really like). The pace and the uncertainty pick up as the class proceeds.

Team Organisation : This class is team-based. Working and studying will be done in teams. We want you before you come to the first class to think of ideas or products that you could use for this course. We will run an ‘Ideation’ process where we will help the class come up with ideas.

Team projects can be software, a physical product or a service of any kind. The teams will self-organize and establish individual roles on their own. There are no formal CEOs/VPs. Just the constant parsing and allocating of the tasks that need to be done. Besides the instructors and TAs, each team will be assigned a mentor to provide assistance and support. Suggested Projects: While your first instinct may be a web-based start-up we suggest that you consider a subject in which you are a domain expert, such as your graduate research. In all cases, you should choose something for which you have passion, enthusiasm and hopefully some expertise.

Show/hide contentOpenClose All

Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Understand dynamics of working in a team to foster innovation
Synthesize feedback from customers and markets into outcomes which affect decisions
Evaluate the various forms of finanical instruments available for technical innovation
Understand how to run a brainstorming process for idea generation

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities

15

Autonomous Student Learning

60

Lectures

24

Small Group

12

Total

111

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This course provides real-world, hands-on learning on what it’s like to actually start a company. This class is not about how to write a business plan. It’s not an exercise on how smart you are in a classroom, or how well you use the research library to size markets. And the end result is not a PowerPoint slide deck for a VC presentation and the course is not an incubator where you come to build an “idea.”

This is a practical class—essentially a lab, not a theory or book class. Our goal, within the constraints of a classroom and a limited amount of time, is to create an entrepreneurial experience for you with all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage start-up. It will be hands-on talking to customers, partners and competitors as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a start-up actually works. You’ll work in teams, learning how to turn a great idea into a great company. You’ll learn how to use a business model to brainstorm each part of a company and customer development to get out of the classroom to see whether anyone other than you would want/use your product. Finally, based on the customer and market feedback you gathered, you will use agile development to rapidly iterate your product and turn it into something customers would actually use and buy. Each block will be a new adventure outside the classroom as you test each part of your business model and then share the hard-earned knowledge with the rest of the class. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered

Not yet recorded.


Carry forward of passed components
No
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Mr Maurice Knightly Lecturer / Co-Lecturer