IA20020 Essentials of Entrepreneurship: Action and Mindset

Academic Year 2021/2022

***Most UCD Innovation Academy modules are delivered online in the 2021/2022 Academic Year.

Classes will run from 9.30am –4.30pm each day with a combination of live online classes (9:30 to 13:30) and self-directed learning or group activities in the afternoon.

See https://www.innovators.ie/undergraduate-electives/ for more info and testimonials from our students.***

In a rapidly changing world, people in all sectors need to think more creatively, innovatively and entrepreneurially in order to develop new ventures, create sustainable solutions to real problems, make effective decisions and improve existing organisations, . In this module, the learner will be introduced to key theories, models and concepts of entrepreneurship which can be applied in real-world settings.

The entrepreneurial mindset focuses on who you are, what you know and who you know rather than what you need. It is an approach where action trumps everything, where the focus is on our own experience of doing and learning from doing rather than procrastination. The entrepreneurial mindset believes that collaboration, team working and community resilience promote success. It is a mindset that views calculated risk as key to success. The entrepreneur sees failure as a means to learn rather than a lack of success. The entrepreneurial mindset refers to a specific state of mind which orientates human conduct towards entrepreneurial activities and outcomes. Individuals with entrepreneurial mindsets are often drawn to opportunities, innovation and new value creation.

The module is highly experiential and students will work on developing and pitching new venture concepts.

This module is suitable for students from any discipline and for those who are interested in both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship (innovating within organisations).

The module objectives are as follows:

• To Identify and explore introductory concepts of entrepreneurial endeavour
• To familiarise the learner with the concept & core elements of an entrepreneurial mindset and how this can be applied in innovative real world contexts.
• To equip the learner with the necessary knowledge, skill and competence to utilise an entrepreneurial mindset in an applied setting.

Timetable and Schedule

This modules is run at least once during each Trimester. For exact dates and times please copy and paste this link into your web browser - https://www.innovators.ie/undergraduate-electives/

UCD Innovation Academy

At the UCD Innovation Academy, we are a group of Educator Practitioners with extensive real-world experience as academics, business and social entrepreneurs, tech thinkers, creative professionals and design thinking practitioners. 
We take an action-oriented approach to learning, with a combination of individual and group tasks and activities including discussions, presentations and reflection. All of our teaching is grounded in academic rigour, but our focus is on ‘learning by doing’ in a real-world context.
**Enrolment in an Innovation Academy module means a commitment to active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at all scheduled classes** 


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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module, learners should be able to:

• Demonstrate a practical understanding of how entrepreneurial thought and action may be applied to opportunities of all kinds including new ventures as well as innovation within existing organisations
• Develop the ability to understand the fundamental concepts and tools that help develop entrepreneurial ventures and that may be applied to real world situations and opportunities
• Gain an understanding of the fundamental skills of creativity, teamwork and communication necessary for the successful development of an idea
• Develop the ability to see new opportunities
• Develop, define and clearly communicate a new venture concept or initiative in an efficient, effective and compelling manner
• Recognise the value of feedback to enhance problem solving.

Indicative Module Content:

Entrepreneurs view the world around them in terms of problem-solution fit. The entrepreneurial mindset is to first and foremost clearly define the problem-to-be-solved. This is discovered by observing and talking to potential customers or users about their needs, wants, pains and gains. This is the difficult part. Only after that do you move on to the easier part whereby you ideate a number of alternative, creative solutions to the defined problem. The mindset is to then carry out tests or experiments to identify the best solution by prototyping minimal viable products (MVPs). This cycle of trying to find 'fit' is very much an iterative process.

This module will embrace the ideas and concepts above by facilitating students to practice key innovation and entrepreneurial tools and techniques and develop life-skills including creative confidence, curiosity, communication, collaboration and commitment. This module will also enable student teams to develop a commercial, social or community venture. The module will allow students to apply tools and techniques to their own ideas for new ventures.

Students will identify and define problems-to-be-solved (jobs-to-be-done, pains and gains) and develop prototyped solutions using key tools and concepts such as:

• Customer discovery interviews, observation and secondary research
• Generating innovative solutions for problems defined through ideation, empathy mapping and customer journey mapping
• Value proposition design and articulating value for chosen customer segments
• Business Model Canvas
• The Effectuation Process (Sarasvathy 2008)
• Prototyping, experimentation and testing
• Iterating and pivoting a concept
• Pitching and Presenting in a safe environment

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Small Group






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
On completion of this module, participants should be able to:

• Active/task-based learning
• Peer and Group work
• Reflective Learning
• Enquiry & Problem-based learning
• Student Presentations
• Case Study Learning
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

IA 20010

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
IA40470 - Entrepreneurship

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Presentation: Team Project Presentation Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Assignment: Reflection Report Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Continuous Assessment: Online and offline tasks and activities Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Attendance: This module requires active participation and engagement, which necessitates attendance at ALL scheduled classes (80% attendance is required to pass this component) . Throughout the Trimester n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
Repeat Within Two Trimesters
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given to students upon request. This will include feedback based on their participation during the module and deliverables.

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers
by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur

The Lean Startup
by Eric Ries
Name Role
Ms Jacinta Owens Lecturer / Co-Lecturer