2021-2022 Undergraduate Bulletin

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The university-wide entrepreneurship minor at Daniels focuses on action, decision-making, experimentation, and hypothesis testing in the face of an uncertain future within a business context.  Students who complete the entrepreneurship minor will understand how to shape the business, economic, political, and social context along with the creation of their products or services.  To help students understand how to start successful businesses or to innovate within existing businesses, the entrepreneurship minor offers courses from several different perspectives such as financial, legal, marketing, and leadership.

entrepreneurship Minor

The minor in Entrepreneurship is available to all University of Denver undergraduate students. BUS 1440 The Fourth Industrial Revolution is prerequisite for all Entrepreneurship minor courses. Business students take this course as part of the Business Core, and only require an additional 20 hours in order to complete the minor. 

Prerequisite Course 1
BUS 1440The Fourth Industrial Revolution4
Entrepreneurship Sequence
Required courses
EVM 3350From Idea to First Dollar Sale4
EVM 3380Leadership, Management, and Execution4
Select 12 hours of elective courses:
Planning the New Venture
The Innovation Ampitheater
Business Law for Entrepreneurs: Legal Issues for Emerging Businesses
Project Management
Creating Your Digital Presence
Ethics in Entrepreneurship
Primary Research
The Perfect Pitch
Accounting For Entrepreneurs
Financial Statements For Entrepreneurs
Sketch and InVision
UI/UX Design
Market Discovery and Product-Market Fit
A/B Testing
MVP Build and Validation
Cloud Technologies
Real Business Cases in Entrepreneurship
Topics in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Independent Study
Directed Study
Metrics & Financial Tools for an Emerging Business: Accounting and Finance for the Emerging Business
IELLC: Mindsets and the Design Process
IELLC: Consumer Insights, Design and Business Issues
IELLC: Building Our Own Business or Non-Profit
Introductory Game Design
Topics Mechanical Engineering (Entrepreneurship through 3D Printing)
Submit other elective requests to Joshua Ross, Faculty Director of Entrepreneurship
Total Credits24

1: This course will not show up in the minor area for business students. Business students take this course as part of the Business Core, and only require 20 additional hours in order to complete the minor. 

EVM 3350 From Idea to First Dollar Sale (4 Credits)

This course is based on actually starting a company, launching a product, creating a market, and learning how to embrace failure and manage uncertainty. As hands-on course, student teams will actually create and run their own startups. All types of businesses are welcome: retail, services, technology, hospitality, etc. Class discussion, presentations, and guest speakers will explore the principles of planning, testing, measuring, analyzing, and rapidly iterating. Startups require significant effort, commitment and passion. This class is no different.

EVM 3370 Metrics & Financial Tools for an Emerging Business: Accounting and Finance for the Emerging Business (4 Credits)

Students are taught to link physical activity occurring in the business venture to the movement of numbers on financial statements. They draft 3 years of flexible profit and loss, cash flow, and balance sheet statements; Year 1 is monthly, Year 2 is quarterly, and Year 3 is one annual period. Students learn how to visualize the activity, metrics, and assumptions needed to support the customer experience they intend to build and how these numbers flow through their financial statements including: Generating revenue leads; Convert leads to sales; Producing the product/service; Delivering the product/service; Converting customers into repeat business; Set-up and maintain Quick Books. Cash impact of corporate governance costs (indirect) are included, such as risk management (insurance), employee benefits and compensation, facilities, technology, legal and capital expenditures, etc., understanding the tax implication of setting up different governance devices and understanding recapitalization and its implications. Students learn to identify activity metrics to drive cash basis break-even for daily, monthly, and annual periods. They will also learn how to create a Use of Funds Statement linked to their proforma'd financial statements. Students will learn different types of financing and under which circumstances these types are used-credit cards, factor loans on inventory, bank loans- including small business administration loans, angel funding, and venture capital funding. Exit strategies like M&A and IPO will also be covered. Prerequisites: BUS 1000.

EVM 3380 Leadership, Management, and Execution (4 Credits)

Every entrepreneur is a leader. Having the ability to lead is an essential skill for everyone who wants to either run their own business or have a leadership role in an existing business. This course is designed to help you identify and develop competencies necessary to be an effective leader, no matter what your starting point is. This class helps you grow awareness around your strengths and interests, as well as the challenges and opportunities in current business landscapes to help you develop a leadership style that is relevant to both. We’ll begin by developing your WHY statement, which helps you determine what you believe, what matters to you, what problems you want to solve and for whom you want to solve them for. This is essential no matter what business opportunity you create. We’ll then use design theory and our text, “Designing your Life,” to help you build a well-lived, joyful, entrepreneurial life. One that has the traits that fit you and entail mastery, autonomy and purpose (the essentials of good work). You’ll learn through others by having a mentor meeting, presentations by local entrepreneurs and peer presentations. You will share your knowledge with others by presenting your own mini “TED Talk” at the end of class.

EVM 3400 The Innovation Ampitheater (1 Credit)

Want to start your own business and invent your own future but haven’t landed on a great product/service idea? Already have a business and want to expand into new spaces and offerings? This course is for people who answered yes to either of those questions. The Innovation Amphitheater takes you through 16 proven strategies and techniques to help you innovate into new spaces and find opportunities. You’ll explore such strategies as cross-overs, combos, slivercasting, inside-out, old school and retro, and many more.

EVM 3401 Project Management (1 Credit)

Learn the basic fundamentals of project management, focused specifically on high-performing teams while starting and running an early-stage business. Explore how to implement proven project management concepts and techniques using popular tools like Trello and Asana. 1 credit hour. Prerequisite: EVM 3350.

EVM 3402 Creating Your Digital Presence (1 Credit)

Creating awareness of your new business venture is one of the most important tasks in the early stages of building your business. Creating awareness by driving traffic through and to your digital presence is essential. To help you as you embark on an entrepreneurial effort, this courses focuses on building an integrated digital presence with a website, Facebook Business Page, Twitter account, Pinterest account, and an Instagram account.

EVM 3403 Ethics in Entrepreneurship (1 Credit)

Creating a business for the sake of generating profit is not enough. Businesses must contribute to the betterment of society through social, environmental, and financial gains. This course will help you build the right vision for your business by 1) engaging you in ongoing reflection and dialogue about your ethical responsibilities in product and service innovation, and 2) helping you understand cognitive, behavioral, and principled approaches to ethical issues in product and service innovation.

EVM 3404 Primary Research (1 Credit)

To be successful in your business venture, you need to make data-driven decisions. Much of that data can come from internal operations or perhaps secondary sources. But, to truly be successful, you need to gather, analyze, and make decisions based on primary research data from your external market. In this course, you’ll learn the basic tenets of performing primary research activities including defining your market segment, building a primary research instrument, gathering data using a primary research instrument, analyzing the data, and making recommendations.

EVM 3407 The Perfect Pitch (1 Credit)

Essential to most new business ventures is the ability to raise capital, most notably from angel investors and venture capitalists (VCs). Raising capital starts with the “pitch,” a presentation that is exciting, informative, realistic, and addresses what funds are needed, how they will be used, and how the investor will financially benefit from providing the funds. This course will help you learn how to create the perfect pitch for your new business venture. We will review both successful and unsuccessful pitch presentations. As well, several angel investors and VCs will be present in multiple class sessions to discuss how they evaluate pitches.

EVM 3408 Accounting For Entrepreneurs (1 Credit)

Accounting is an activity in any business that measures, processes, and communicates financial information and transactions. This vitally important activity will help you track your expenses, recognize your revenue, and in general keep an accurate and detailed view of the financial strength of your business. In this class, you’ll learn how to process operating expense transactions (e.g., advertising and payroll expenses) and revenue transactions (both actual sales and sales on credit). You’ll also learn how to appropriately handle the depreciation of long-term assets like vehicles and buildings. Finally, you’ll learn how all of these transactions enable you to build a balance sheet for your new business venture.

EVM 3409 Financial Statements For Entrepreneurs (1 Credit)

Of the four major financial statements, the most important to a new business venture are the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows. Knowing how to build and interpret these are critical to your success during not only the early stages of spinning up your business but throughout the lifetime of your business. In this class, based on a wide variety of financial transactions, you will learn how to build and interpret an income statement and a statement of cash flows. (It is assumed that you already know how to build and interpret a balance sheet.) You’ll also learn how to build a proforma income statement and statement of cash flows, based on the financial projections of your new business venture. Prerequisite: EVM 3408 (minimum grade of C-).

EVM 3413 Design Thinking (1 Credit)

Design Thinking is a creative problem solving process that builds your ability to first see and then solve human-centered opportunities. It starts with empathically looking at frustrations inside and around your organization, then moves through a variety of brainstorming sessions to build customer centric solutions. Design Thinking is a wonderful tool to help you monetize the human capital in your organization. Once we know the process, we will ask students to bring real challenges into the classroom where we will use Design Thinking to build potential new products, services and solutions.

EVM 3414 Market Discovery and Product-Market Fit (1 Credit)

Market discovery is about identifying opportunities that you believe are worth exploring. Some markets have already been established; others have yet to be created. Is the product right for the market? Is the market right for the product you want to build? This course is for people who are eager to use their existing ideas or develop new ideas to improve an existing market or discover a new market. We will study the market discovery and product-market fit for companies such as Uber, AirBnB, Tesla, Snap and Slack. You will learn how to quickly identify and test product-fit for your target market.

EVM 3417 Branding and Messaging (1 Credit)

Branding is an essential element for any startup. Your brand is created by you and grows as your business grows. It’s more than a logo, colors, and fonts contained in a style guide. It’s the experience that you create for your customers. It’s something your business should aspire to. Something memorable. And as you work though this course, you will get an understanding of what it takes to build the brand for your business.

EVM 3420 Cloud Technologies (1 Credit)

Welcome to the Cloud! What is the cloud, is it a thing, a concept, a nifty term? If you are starting a new business, thinking about starting a new business or improving the efficiencies in an existing business, you need to understand the available technologies and tools in the Cloud.  Where do I host my website, how do I handle accounting, where is the email server, how do I track customers, how do I share information, what tools are available for customer support? These are just a few questions the Cloud will solve efficiently and cost effectively.  The Cloud has dramatically changed the competitive landscape for startups by reducing the cost of starting a new business. The Cloud removes costly equipment, software and support expenditures; with the Cloud, you pay for what you use. This course will focus on identifying, analyzing, and implementing Cloud technologies to help run your business.  Here are some of the topics we will explore and discuss: flexible costs, how and when to implement these tools, is your data safe, comparing similar services, improving collaboration.

EVM 3421 Intellectual Property Issues for Startup Businesses (1 Credit)

All businesses have assets, both tangible and intangible, and these assets must be managed, nurtured, accounted for, and protected. Among the most important of those assets today fall in the realm of intellectual property (IP) and are protected through mechanisms such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents. As a business owner, you must be aggressive and vigilant in ensuring that your most important IP assets are protected, as they are an important part of your brand portfolio. This class will introduce you to the role of copyrights, trademarks, and patents as tools for protecting your intellectual property. In doing so, you will learn about your rights as an IP owner and – equally as important – your responsibilities for not infringing on the IP assets of other organizations.

EVM 3422 Startup Legal Issues (1 Credit)

Starting a business involves a host of activities, from product/service development, to marketing, to sales and service. At the foundation of all of these activities are legal considerations. Legal considerations for startup businesses range from establishing a form of business operation, to registering with the government and obtaining the appropriate licenses, to filing sales taxes, to the management of employees (hiring, contracts, etc.), and a host of other essential activities. To get your business off “on the right foot,” this course introduces you to the legal considerations that are vitally important to your success.

EVM 3424 Visualizing & Presenting Data (1 Credit)

Being able to tell a compelling story, in particular with data, is a skill that is rarely taught. Today, most people either adopt reports that have existed in an organization for as long as time, or they create flashy reports using the latest tools. In most cases, neither of these reports give the end users what they want. This course will focus on giving you the tools to create purposeful reports by helping you answer the age old question around any design... Form, Fit and Function.

EVM 3425 Rapid Prototyping - 3D Printing and Laser Engraving (1 Credit)

The purpose of this course is to empower students to more effectively develop their creative and entrepreneurial capacities utilizing the tools of rapid prototyping. Students will identify appropriate rapid prototyping technologies to apply to unique situations. Curriculum over the course of the day progressively builds by presenting more challenging problems. At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to turn ideas into solutions that add value to a product, process, or service.

EVM 3428 Developing a WordPress Website (1 Credit)

What is WordPress? What is a CMS? What is Open Source? Is it a concept or a nifty term? If you are starting a new business or thinking about starting a new business you need to understand the available technologies and tools to build and manage a website. Where do I host the website? How do I create and update the website? What tools are available? These are just a few questions we will answer in the WordPress Grind. The WordPress Grind has been designed from a beginner’s perspective. The goal is to provide a step-by-step tutorial for creating and publishing a WordPress website. The class will cover the conceptual framework of Open Source and Content Management Systems (CMS) and lead into the fundamentals and tools required to build and manage a WordPress website. At the conclusion of this grind, you will be able to develop, publish, and manage you own WordPress website.

EVM 3430 Retail, Distribution, and SCM (1 Credit)

If you have ever walked into a retail store or shopped online and wondered what it would take to create this for yourself, including setting up the store, purchasing inventory, setting prices and deciding the layout, or just wondered how this all came together to create a viable business then this Grind is for you. If you are in the process of manufacturing a product or would like to know what goes into the supply chain to create and price your product then this Grind is for you. If you want to learn what to consider when choosing a distribution method(s) to get your product(s) to market then this Grind is for you. The RSDM Grind has been designed from a new entrepreneur’s perspective. The goal of this grind is to understand the steps and process for marketing, pricing, and selling for students that want to create a product or students developing a retail store that sells products manufactured by a third party or developed in-house.

EVM 3431 Emotionally Effective Leader (1 Credit)

Did you know emotional and social skills are four times more important than IQ when considering success and prestige in professional settings? Emotional Intelligence (EI) can be confusing. What does it mean? Is it fluffy stuff or something really tangible? Now more than ever, employers and clients are seeking leaders who display emotionally intelligent thinking, decision making and actions. How do you know if you meet those requirements? Up until recently, EI was a “gut assessment” of someone’s ability to control their emotions or care about someone or something. Now, we have a valid and reliable way of understanding our emotional intelligence and that of others. We can even measure the EI of teams! It turns out EI is quite complex. Research has distinguished 12 components of EI including: self regard, self actualization, self awareness, emotional expression, assertiveness, independence, interpersonal relationships, empathy, social responsibility, problem solving, reality testing, impulse control, flexibility, stress tolerance and optimism. Want to know how you score in these areas? EI is a “talent” that, unlike IQ, can be learned and improved throughout one’s life. In the Emotionally Effective Leader Grind, you will have the opportunity to assess your own EI through a valid and reliable EI talent assessment. Revealing your strengths and weaknesses, you will learn how to build your own EI and maximize the magnitude of your impact within the organizations or teams you lead.

EVM 3432 Getting to Know Your Customer (1 Credit)

Would you date a person you don’t know? Much like finding the right partner, developing lasting relationships with customers requires time and energy up front. You need to get to know who your customers are and what they value before they will develop lasting relationships with your brand. For example, Peloton’s 2019 ad campaign “The Gift that Gives Back” was designed to highlight the benefits of a customer’s fitness journey. However, it received a lot of criticism in the media for being offensive. In the end, the negative publicity seemed to help strengthen the brand – why? Perhaps it’s because Peloton paid close attention to what their customers care about. Peloton customers value their fitness and wellbeing, and the discourse in the media highlighted how Peloton could support their journeys. This course on Getting to Know Your Customer will introduce students to tools and data sources that can help with segmenting and targeting, developing personas that represent different customer groups, and mapping out customer journeys to better understand the underlying customer experience.

EVM 3433 The Sales Process for Entrepreneurs (1 Credit)

Sales is critical for the success of most startups and every sales process is different based on the organization, product, service and revenue model. Revenue is key to the success of any business venture, and therefore selling is pivotal to success. We’ll discuss the role of selling in a variety of different business models, noting the differences and similarities, and then explore the sales process. Successful selling requires knowledge of the customer and his/her needs, as well as a deep understanding of the product or service being represented. Exploring ways to overcome objections and close a sale are also critical to producing revenue. This course uses lecture, videos, a classroom guest and an interactive exercise to teach the sales process and will give you a framework for evaluating customer needs, pitching your product or service, overcoming objections and closing sales.

EVM 3435 How To Realistically Fund Your Business (1 Credit)

Essential to most business ventures is the ability to raise capital to fuel growth. If you are starting a business the capital comes from friends, family, angel investors, venture capitalists (VCs) and hard work. The capital raising process requires a degree of thoughtful planning, rapid execution, and unforeseen pivots & audibles along the way. If executed properly then it allows you to run your business! The best investors offer more than just a check, becoming trusted advisors and “Sherpas” who accompany entrepreneurs along their startup journey. This course will help you learn how to identify the best funding options (bootstrap, loans, credit cards, investors…) for your business. You will learn how to create a flexible capital formation plan that complements your human capital and tech roadmaps for a new or existing business venture – whether you are a single founder, co-founder, or early employee. We will review the basic elements of a cap table, types of capital and types of investors/advisors required for a young company to grow.

EVM 3436 High Performing Teams (1 Credit)

All new start-ups, scale-ups, and other organizations are much more likely to not only survive but also thrive with high performing teams. High performing teams optimize decision-making and execution, as well as attract, develop, and retain the best talent. High performing teams can be the difference between business venture success and failure. Of course, great leaders are essential to high-performing teams, so you will also learn what makes a leader excel as well as the differences between managers and leaders.

EVM 3437 Design For The Digital Economy (1 Credit)

Essential to any new business venture is the ability to design and create a brand that resonates with customers. The design process usually starts with the brief, or a set of requirements needed by the venture, and how these designs will be used in the venture. This course will help you learn how to create the branding palette and identity for your new business venture. We will review the elements of both successful and unsuccessful historical product designs and campaigns, and we will critique the concepts that you create during the class. This is a highly collaborative class, and you’ll deliver your final package as a group.

EVM 3438 How to Identify, Evaluate & Beat Your Competition (1 Credit)

Every business has competitors, from large corporations, “main street” businesses, start-ups… they all compete for customers and market-share. Even The University of Denver competes for students. Leave The Competition Behind is for people who like to win and don’t like to lose. In this class, you will study strategic frameworks and tools that you can use to identify, understand, and dissect your competitors, the levers that you can pull to beat them (like price, quality, service). We will identify and discuss front-line tactics you can use to outwork your competition. We will explore and discuss real life cases and personal stories from various industries to illustrate the key concepts used by professionals in competitive analysis and strategy. You will apply these concepts during the breakout sessions where we will take on the Media & Entertainment industry.

EVM 3439 Social Entrepreneurship (1 Credit)

Social entrepreneurship is simply applying entrepreneurship principles to societal challenges. This can be for-profit, non-profit, social business, or even not an official organization at all. The consistency across all these is the desire to make society better. Finding a problem that gives you purpose is a challenge in itself, as you cannot simply think about it. You need to create a life that allows you the freedom to find this purpose, and then successfully devote yourself to this purpose. In addition, if your goal is to make society better, you want to avoid the trap of working on one problem while actively contributing to others. So the ideal social entrepreneur creates an organization and life that offers a net improvement to society. This involves learning to “socially” manage others, environmental impact, finances, etc. The Social Entrepreneurship course is for people that are eager to improve the world. We will incorporate concepts from finance, management, psychology, and even neurobiology. You will learn how to find the problem you wish to work on, and how to be more successful in addressing that problem.

EVM 3700 Real Business Cases in Entrepreneurship (4 Credits)

The Real Business course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to examine entrepreneurial business challenges through case studies, guest speaker, discussions and field experience. In addition to standard entrepreneurial start-ups, the course will cover international start-ups, gender issues relating to start-ups as well as fostering an entrepreneurial spirit in large organizations. Throughout the course, entrepreneurship will be examined from the perspective of business challenge as well as career choice. Prerequisites: EVM 3351 and degree checkpoint 2.

EVM 3704 Topics in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (1-4 Credits)

This course is custom designed to address topics that are currently in demand, such as social entrepreneurship, financing the startup after the Wall Street greed bust, finding angel investors and venture capitalists in Colorado, preparing for a pitch to investors, moving beyond startup stage, and others. Prerequisites: EVM 3350 (minimum grade of C-).

EVM 3710 Innovation/Creativity-Business (4 Credits)

This course is about identifying and creating customer needs, looking for innovative ways to address these needs, and pursuing those approaches that appear to have real profit potential. There are exercises to address and stimulate creativity, discussion of organizations that are considered to be creative businesses, and critical evaluation of the hurdles they face and the techniques they use. The course also includes innovative approaches to organizational effectiveness. Cross listed with EVM 4710. Prerequisites: LGST 2000 and degree checkpoint 2.

EVM 3980 Entrepreneur Internship (0-4 Credits)

Initial for-credit entrepreneur internship experience for students pursuing a business major and/or entrepreneurship minor, creating the opportunity to acquire meaningful work experience in a supervised, practical setting. Prerequisite: BUS 1440 (minimum grade of C-).

EVM 3991 Independent Study (1-10 Credits)

Student devises and completes a special learning project under faculty supervision. Topic and outline must be approved by supervising instructor and department. Prerequisite: EVM 3351.

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