Innovation and Entrepreneurship Curriculum

Track Required 


 Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The fundamentals of entrepreneurship and innovation are tools vital to success, no matter which career track you choose. This module provides you with a valuable introduction to the theory and practice of entrepreneurship and innovation. You learn the fundamental challenges to corporate innovation, together with the means to overcome them. Additionally, you cover pertinent elements to starting your own venture, from idea generation to commercialization. Created as a stand-alone module for all MBA students, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship module also serves as an overview for those considering the Innovation track. 


• The key components of innovation and starting a new venture. 

• How to innovate within an existing company. 

• Critique the major models and learn how well-laid plans can go awry. 

• Make informed choices about your interest in the Innovation track. 


This module features in-class discussion, group projects and presentations. Instructional approaches include case analyses, peer instruction and reflective writing exercises.

 Technology Entrepreneurship

Put your entrepreneurial ambitions in the technology field to the test as you pitch your ideas to a panel of venture capitalists. Jointly taught between the Sauder School of Business and the Faculty of Applied Sciences, this module provides you with an experience-based introduction into the process of starting a technology company, and includes a real-world simulation of initiating a technology start-up company. You will tackle the key issues involved in evaluating market opportunities, designing profitable business models, producing a solid business plan, raising capital, addressing legal considerations and developing a winning team.


• Work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams 

• Recognize viable market opportunities 

• Create a profitable business model and an executable business plan 

• Protect the intellectual property at the heart of their technology company 

• Successfully pitch your product, strategy and team to experienced technology venture capitalists 


Lectures, case-based class discussions, guest speakers and group projects including a pitch presentation to a panel of venture capitalists.

 Entrepreneurial Finance

Even the most brilliant business idea needs the financing necessary to bring the business plan to life. Enter the venture capital industry, a growing economic force that provides vital equity financing to privately-held companies. Taught by industry practitioners, this module provides an introduction to venture capital and venture capital-backed entrepreneurial ventures, as approached from the perspective of the entrepreneur seeking financing. You learn about the main challenges faced by venture capital practitioners, and gain practical insights into the venture capital industry, including positioning entrepreneurial ventures for financing, deal comparisons, key elements of the venture capitalist’s due diligence, deal structuring, negotiations and deal making, and exit strategies. 


• Understand the complexities of raising funds for novel ideas 

• Critically evaluate a business plan and identify key business and financing issues 

• Generate financial projections for start-ups 

• Perform alternative valuations methods for investment deals. 

• Negotiate terms sheets and prioritize contractual clauses 


This course will use a combination of case-study based discussion, lectures, guest speakers and a team project.

 Marketing Research

As a central tool in many areas of management—including entrepreneurship, strategy, IT and, of course, marketing—marketing research adds to your strategic repertoire of analytical tools useful for any business decision. This module provides you with a fundamental understanding of the nature and scope of marketing research problems, and the methods used to solve those problems, including focus groups, surveys, experiments and web-tracking paradigms. You approach marketing research from a managerial standpoint, focusing on rigorous analysis and interpretation rather than statistical calculations. You will, however, discuss the use of complex statistical tools, so please review your fundamental statistics knowledge beforehand. 


• Creatively develop and analytically critique marketing strategies, marketing research designs and the statistical methods used to provide marketing intelligence 

• Analyze business problems using statistically-based thinking 

• Use research information from a variety of sources to assess business opportunities and strategies. 


Lectures, case analyses and discussions, and group projects.

Choose from the recommended electives:

 New Product Development

Increasingly, companies rely on new products as a source of innovation and profitability—and often become the lifeblood of future growth. Utilizing case studies and project work, this module familiarizes you with the processes, tools, and best practices used in developing new products and services. You investigate reasons why new products fail, barriers to new product adoption, the use of stage gates and project planning tools, idea generation, design trade-off decisions, concept testing, and forecasting. The module focuses on developing the conceptual, analytical, and decision-making skills expected of managers working in new product development. It may be of interest to you if you plan to pursue a career in marketing, or are contemplating a career in project management, engineering or industrial design.


• Situations and challenges frequently encountered by New Product Development managers

• Industry concepts, tools and best practices

• Factors that influence success and failure at each product development stage.


This class features a mix of concept classes and case classes, in-class discussion, group project

 Growing and Exiting a Venture

Most new ventures fail from lack of customers, not lack of product. To be successful, entrepreneurs must establish a “customer development” strategy in parallel with the product development process. This module teaches you the customer development process in detail, bolstering your learning with examples of the process in action together with strategies to put it into practice. You learn to successfully manage sales, and marketing and business development in a new venture—both from the perspectives of a start-up company or as an existing firm entering a new market. Learn to answer difficult questions, such as: What is the market? Who are the customers? How do we build the team? Plus, guest speakers provide you with their invaluable experiences in developing customers.


• The customer development process, and how it allows for learning and discovery of customer needs without large amounts of cash or human resources

• How market type determines the behavior and activities of a new venture

• Successfully market and sell a new product into a new market

• Manage sales, marketing, and business development in a new venture.


This class features in-class discussion, guest speakers, group projects and presentations.


Think game-changing ideas are solely the domain of start-ups? This module will demonstrate how intrapreneurship—or internalizing innovative thinking within established organizations—can be a vital and necessary catalyst of growth. Utilizing the core principles of intrapreneurship, you learn how to overcome the limitations of existing corporate structures and boost the innovation quotient from within. You also discover how to identify transformational opportunities and leverage the corporate resources already in place—whether you eventually establish your own enterprise, work for a start-up or drive innovation within an organization.


• The similarities and differences between start-up and corporate entrepreneurs

• What works (and does not) in different organizational cultures and structures

• Improve a real-world client’s plan for growth using an intrapreneurial approach

• Integrate innovation into key business functions.


This class features in-class discussion, group projects and presentations. Instructional approaches include case analyses, peer instruction and reflective writing exercises.

 Change Management

What are the most pressing changes that companies face today? Which change strategies are most likely to succeed? Or to fail? As a leader, what can you do to orchestrate an efficient and effective organizational transformation? Managing Change is a lively, interactive course that taps into both current research and real business examples. Looking at organizational change from a human and process perspective, you engage a broad range of practical topics from strategic changes in mergers, global initiatives, great change leaders and stunning change failures. Understand the leadership challenges you will likely face as you direct employees, clients and shareholders through thorny change. In addition, you learn key skills for overcoming resistance to change and facilitating the transition process.


• The core dynamics of change in organizations

• Develop action plans corresponding to desired behaviours at different organizational levels

• Recognize why people often struggle with change

• Leverage organizational culture to prevent resistance and promote accountability

• Facilitate progress through visible leadership.


This class features lectures, in-class discussion, case analyses and a group project.

 Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship is about creating and leading organizations that strive to advance social change through innovative solutions. In this module, you gain an overview of the field of social entrepreneurship, outline the business structures used by social entrepreneurs, and illustrate the mechanics, tensions and realities of starting and/or managing a social enterprise. Discover how a number of organizations—and the entrepreneurs that led them—achieve lasting social change and examine the challenges inherent in social entrepreneurship. Social Entrepreneurship teaches you to identify the key similarities and differences between business and social entrepreneurship, assess the potential value of a social enterprise and develop best practices for successful social entrepreneurship.


• Define social entrepreneurship, and learn key differences between traditional and social enterprises

• How social entrepreneurs fund their enterprises and sustain them financially

• Understand and measure the impact and effectiveness of a social enterprise

• How social entrepreneurs create and spread innovation and change.


Classes are a combination of lecture, discussion, case work, and group presentations.

 Innovation and Sustainability

Sustainability is no longer at the periphery of business thinking: It is now central to the strategies and operations of companies the world over. The Innovation and Sustainability module focuses on corporate responses to the challenges and opportunities created by sustainability’s emergence as a social priority. You discover the external drivers that trigger sustainably-oriented innovation within organizations, from operational improvements to new product development. Learn to identify criteria and tools—including a review of best practices from leaders in sustainable product design—that deliver genuinely innovative sustainable products. Finally, you explore examples of broader social innovation initiatives where companies co-design new products and services in conjunction with external stakeholders, including NGOs and philanthropic organizations.


• Prioritise the key drivers of sustainable innovation for consumer-facing companies

• Develop a strategy for a specific company to improve their ability to identify new opportunities for product and service development

• Commission the use of tools and design processes for a company

• Evaluate social innovation projects and develop a social innovation strategy for a specific company.


This class is structured on the Bridge in, Pre Test, Participation, Post Test model, with a strong emphasis on class participation, the Socratic teaching method and independent learning.