Course Review: New Venture Creation
The strength of Babson’s entrepreneurship curriculum can not only help students derive invaluable insights into the process of launching a new business, but can also compel ideating entrepreneurs to turn their dreams into realities. I participated in a class this fall, New Venture Creation, which directly applied the school’s Entrepreneurial Thought and Action methodology to the daily coursework of its students.
The class is offered as an elective to students who have already completed the majority of Babson’s core MBA curriculum and enables students to apply learned business concepts to their very own ideas and start-ups. The coursework helps students grasp the finance, marketing, and salesmanship techniques necessary to get their ideas off the ground and is designed to provide the necessary nudge to entrepreneurs who may have been sitting on an idea but procrastinating its implementation. The course helps students by enabling collaboration with entrepreneurially-minded classmates and by granting students access to a series of successful and fascinating guest speakers who openly share their personal stories and answer student questions.
The class’s first assignment is to pitch a new business idea to other enrolled students, with the goal of selection to lead one of approximately 12 teams. Each student enrolled in the class is required to give a ninety second “pitch” to his or her fellow classmates and students vote to determine which ideas will become projects for the semester and beyond. Students whose projects are selected work with classmates to plan the project’s launch and to address the challenges it might face during its launch. A panel of professional entrepreneurs and investors is brought in for the penultimate class session to offer feedback to the teams selected to present.
I thoroughly enjoyed this class and participating in the early stages of what could someday become highly successful enterprises. The course provided insight into ventures created by students from around the world as well as a broad view of start-ups in a diverse set of industries. For instance, proposed concepts this fall covered, 3D printing, candy, drones, a shared-economy application similar to Uber and Airbnb, and an anti-aging skin care solution leveraging human stem cells.
I recommend this class to anyone with an idea that needs action, or to anyone looking for a little entrepreneurial inspiration.