Specialization in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

A management specialization in Entrepreneurship & Innovation provides a diverse set of options for students to hone their entrepreneurial skills.

4.0 credit units are required for the Entrepreneurship & Innovation specializaton.

One credit unit of a Management core course:
MGMT 104  Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management 1.0 cu
MGMT 111   Multinational Management 1.0 cu
MGMT 223  Business Policy 1.0 cu
MGMT 238  Organizational Behavior 1.0 cu
MGMT 272  Power and Politics in Organizations 1.0 cu

One credit unit of the foundation course in Entrepreneurship & Innovation:
MGMT 230   Entrepreneurship 1.0 cu
MGMT 235* Technological Innovation & Entrepreneurship 1.0 cu

*only M & T students can count this course toward the specialization.  All other students must take MGMT230.

Two credit units of:
FNCE   250  Venture Capital & the Finance of Innovation 1.0 cu
HCMG 391  Health Care Entrepreneurship 1.0 cu
LGST   213  Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship 1.0 cu
MGMT 212  Social Entrepreneurship 1.0 cu
MGMT 231  Entrepreneurial Venture Initiation  1.0 cu
MGMT 233  Strategies & Practices of Family-Controlled Companies 1.0 cu
MGMT 237  Management of Technology 1.0 cu (M & T students only)
MGMT 251  Consulting to Growth Companies 1.0 cu
MGMT 264  Venture Capital & Entrepreneurial Management  1.0 cu
MGMT 265  Culture of Technology  0.5 cu
MGMT 266  Family Enterprise Management  1.0 cu
MKTG 221   New Product Management  0.5 cu
MKTG 241   Entrepreneurial Marketing  0.5 cu
OPIM 314    Enabling Technologies  1.0 cu
OPIM 415    Product Design  1.0 cu
REAL 396    Real Estate Entrepreneurship  0.5 cu
WH 297X     Wharton Industry Exploration Program 0.5 cu

One independent study in a related topic may count toward the specialization. Written permission from the specialization advisor is required (see below for contact information).

  • For course days/times, see the course timetable on the Penn Registrar's website
  • Specialization Advisor: Nellie Gaynor - Associate Director, Wharton Entrepreneurship - 415 VH (215-746-6453)
  • For additional information on resources available to undergraduates interested in entrepreneurship see the Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs' website
  • For descriptions of courses offered by other Wharton academic departments, see individual departmental websites.


MGMT212 - Social Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Ian MacMillan
Semester: Spring
Prerequisites: MGMT230 recommended.

Description: The basic thesis of this elective course is that some societal problems, if attacked entrepreneurially, create opportunities for launching businesses that simultaneously generate profits and alleviate the societal problem. This approach generates societal wealth as well as entrepreneurial wealth. The course is distinguished from public sector initiatives to address social problems. Student teams are expected to develop a plan to launch a societal wealth generating business. The preference is for them to begin the course with already conceived ideas for entrepreneurial solutions to social problems. They may also join a team to work on a project proposed by a student who already has a business idea.

Format: Lecture, discussion, live case studies (discussions of progress reports of students own ventures)

MGMT 230 - Entrepreneurship
Instructors: Tyler Wry
Semester: Spring
Prerequisites: Completion of all business fundamental courses and second semester sophomore standing. Ideally you will also have mastered the concepts of business policy.

Description: MGMT 230 integrates the material introduced in the business fundamental courses and applies it to the design and evaluation of new ventures. The purpose of this course is to explore the many dimensions of new venture creation and growth and to foster innovation and new business formations in independent and corporate settings. The course addresses both a theoretical perspective on venture initiation and the application of writing an actual business plan.

Format: In this course you are asked to get out of the habit of being a receiver of ideas, facts, concepts and techniques, and get into the habit of generating ideas, identifying problems, analyzing and evaluating alternatives, and formulating workable action plans, thus putting March 2013 3/4 textbook knowledge into practice. Students will get this hands-on experience in the following ways:

  • Through the formation and ongoing work of venture teams that will design a comprehensive business development plan for a particular start-up company. Teams are expected to utilize the tools and analytical approaches discussed in class to their venture.
  • Through lectures and class discussions that are designed to familiarize students with the many dimensions of entrepreneurship and new venture initiation. Class format varies throughout the course: in some class sessions, there will be a lecture on specific topics; other sessions will consist of case discussions of a particular topic or a discussion of the business concepts that students are developing; guest speakers also lead and participate in some class sessions.

MGMT 231 - Entrepreneurial Venture Initiation
Instructor: Staff/New Hire
Semester: Fall
Prerequisites: MGMT230 (recommended). Students registering for this course should have already written a business plan or developed a detailed slide deck for their venture (or be planning to work with a classmate on his or her venture).

Description: MGMT 231 is an advanced sequel to MGMT 230 focusing on independent entrepreneurship and venture implementation. This is the advanced course in entrepreneurship, which builds upon an existing business plan and focuses on implementation of a business start-up. How do you actually put your business plan into action to launch a venture? The class draws from management theory on venture initiation and managing change and growth.

Format: Readings, discussion, and developing an implementation plan for a real venture.

MGMT 233 - Strategies and Practices of Family-Controlled Companies
Instructor: William Alexander
Semester: Spring
Prerequisites: None

Description: This course is designed for those persons who desire to understand the distinct strategies and practices of family-controlled companies and family wealth management. It will focus on shareholder decision making; financial and market driven options for long-run competitiveness, organizational structures, and management team issues; strategic planning from a resource-based perspective; transition planning for the corporate entity, wealth, leadership and relationships; family dynamics and communication issues; and leadership empowerment. The course is intended for those who plan to consult or provide professional services to family-controlled companies and for those planning a career in a family firm.

Format: The class is structured around topical lectures with frequent utilization of case studies. There will be in-class discussion, as well as on-site and off-site project work time.

MGMT 251 - Consulting to Growth Companies
Instructor: Eric Siegel
Semester: Fall
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing recommended.

Description: This course offers students a unique opportunity to develop consulting skills and entrepreneurial expertise by working as consultants to thriving entrepreneurial ventures in the Philadelphia area. This capstone course combines both fieldwork and class work and allows students to apply knowledge and skills acquired through other course work to real world issues that must be addressed by operating companies. An understanding of characteristics producing rapid entrepreneurial growth and skills related to effective communication and management of a business relationship are emphasized.

Format: Team term consulting assignment, lectures, case analysis, and small group discussions.

MGMT 264 - Venture Capital and Entrepreneurial Management
Instructor: Raffi Amit
Semester: Fall
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing recommended

Description: This course focuses on venture capital management issues in the context of a high-growth potential start-up company. The course is motivated by rapid increases in both the supply of and demand for private equity over the past two decades. The topic is addressed from two distinct perspectives: issues that relate to the demand for private equity and venture capital (the entrepreneur’s perspective) on the one hand, and issues that relate to the supply of capital (the investor’s perspective) on the other. As well, we will address management issues that relate to how the VC and the entrepreneur work together once an investment has been made, compensation issues, and governance issues in the privately held venture capital backed company.

Format: Case/discussion format, supplemented by lectures and guest speakers.

Requirements: Classroom participation, written case assignments, late midterm.

Materials: Required coursepack and supplemental recommended reading.

MGMT 265 - Culture of Technology
Instructor: Lori Rosenkopf
Semester: Fall
Prerequisites: Enrollment by permit only

Description: Academics, students and practitioners alike are fascinated by the culture of tech sector – its people, practices, and organization. In this course we explore this sector using a combination of research papers, press coverage, and practitioner involvement. Each class session will be devoted to discussion of a single research article, during which we will be joined via state-of-the-art videoconferencing technology by a Wharton alum from the tech sector whose expertise is relevant to the paper topic. Therefore, the learning objectives of this half-credit course are to:

  • Understand the managerial, organizational, and regional institutions that characterize the tech sector, with particular emphasis on the case of Silicon Valley
  • Bridge research and practice by critical analysis of academic research papers in conjunction with practitioner input
  • Forge connections with tech sector practitioners, particularly with our west coast alumni base

MGMT 266 - Family Enterprise Management
Instructor: Eric Schoenberg
Semester: Fall
Prerequisites: None

Description: This class will examine the causes and consequences of the creation of family fortunes, with a focus on the practical implications for family decision-making. We will discuss psychological characteristics associated with the typically entrepreneurial creators of family wealth; with their children, whose childhood development takes place in the context of growing businesses and accumulating wealth; and with their grandchildren and beyond, whose childhood development occurs in the context of established and often very public wealth, to build a comprehensive view of the interplay between family dynamics and economic decision making. Note that this class’ focus will be on behavioral aspects of family dynamics in a wide range of decision settings, rather than on management of an operating business per se. While this class will be particularly relevant to individuals aspiring to create their own family fortunes or whose ancestors have already done so, it will also be useful for individuals interested in foundation management, non-profit fund-raising or businesses catering to the very wealthy such as asset management and luxury retail.

Format: The class will consist of a mixture of lectures, case discussions and class exercises. Submission of several written case studies and a final paper are required.

WH297x - Wharton Industry Exploration Program: The San Francisco Bay Area Tech Sector
Instructor: Lori Rosenkopf 
Semester: Winter Break 
Prerequisites: None 

Description: The program will focus on entrepreneurship and technology, new product development, and the finance of innovation. It is designed to:

  • Provide students with an understanding of the Bay Area’s entrepreneurial and technology-focused business environment.
  • Help students gain a working knowledge of tech-sector business practices through lectures at Wharton | San Francisco and direct interaction with business managers.
  • Help prepare students for careers in the tech sector.
  • Connect students with alumni in the industry.

Format: This week-long, half-credit pilot program will feature visits to tech-sector businesses, lectures at Wharton | San Francisco, extracurricular activities, and networking opportunities with alumni in the Bay Area.