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Entrepreneurship Minor

Developing valuable leadership and business skills within an interdisciplinary liberal arts environment.

Students are empowered to develop entrepreneurial skills through courses and academic projects, as well as outside of the classroom during events and venture accelerators. Courses are taught by skilled professors with deep real-life experience in business, social enterprises, and entrepreneurship. 

To fulfill the Entrepreneurship minor, students take four core required courses and a minimum of one elective course.

The minor is open to all undergraduate & graduate students across Tufts University. Students who have completed the minor's requirements should complete the minor certification form. No more than two course credits used toward a minor may be used toward any other requirement.

ENT course codes will replace ELS course codes for Fall 2020 & beyond!

We are excited to announce that ENT (Entrepreneurship) has replaced ELS (Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies) for 2020 forward. As a title, "Entrepreneurship" more clearly encompasses all of the courses offered within the minor. Any ELS courses that have been successfully completed will count towards the ENT minor. Students completing the minor's graduation requirements on or after June 2020 can receive the ENT minor. Students who matriculated in 2019 or earlier have the option to receive the ELS minor if that is preferred. Registration for Fall 2020 forward will use the ENT course coding, however, the numerical course identifiers will not change.

Current Number Course New Number as of Fall 2020
ELS 101 Entrepreneurship & Business Planning ENT 101
ELS 103 Entrepreneurial Finance ENT 103
ELS 105 Entrepreneurial Marketing ENT 105
ELS 107 Entrepreneurial Leadership ENT 107
ELS 141 Innovative Social Enterprises ENT 141
ELS 162 Creative Design Process of Products ENT 162
ELS 193 Entrepreneurial Business Law ENT 193
ELS 194.01 Special Topics: Internships ENT 194.01
ELS 194.02 Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (Fall) ENT 194.02
ELS 194.02 Entrepreneurship for Computer Scientists (Spring) ENT 194.02
ELS 194.04 Special Topics: Inside the Classroom ENT 194.04
ELS 194.05 Philanthropy, Social Enterprise, and Community ENT 194.05
ELS 194.06 Talent Management in Entrepreneurship ENT 194.06
ELS 194.09 Strategic Management in the 21st Century ENT 194.09
ELS 199.01 Field Study: Launching the Venture ENT 199.01


Declaring the Entrepreneurship Minor

Students must declare the minor with the Registrar’s office. Please visit the Major and Minor Declaration page to learn more about this process. You can complete this process at any point during your experience with the Entrepreneurship Minor.

After declaring the minor with Student Services and completing all required courses, students must then complete the Minor Certification Form below. Once the form is approved, we will return a signed copy to the student's email address. Students will then bring the signed form to Student Services before their graduation period's deadline.

Required Courses for Minor

ENT 101 - Entrepreneurship and Business Planning

This course will cover:

  • Investigating, understanding, and implementing the process of founding a start-up.
  • Elements of searching out new venture opportunities
  • Matching skills with a new venture
  • Competitive strategy
  • Intellectual property
  • Financing and operating a new venture

The focus of the course will be the development and presentation of a business plan created by teams of students with various academic backgrounds.

Instructors: Tina WeberJay Mixter, Josh Wiesman

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing.

Note: ENT 101.03 and EM 153 may be substituted for ENT 101.

ENT 103 - Entrepreneurial Finance

This course focuses on understanding how to construct the data and find appropriate financing for a startup venture. Various forms of financing are introduced: vendor financing, factoring, etc. Through a medley of tests, case studies, and team exercises, students exercise basic financial skills such as financial statement formulation, NPV analysis, and scenario analysis. The course focuses as much attention on how to reject a bad idea as support a good one.

The course is hands-on with a rigorous workload. This includes numerous problem sets, business cases, and a capstone term project where each student will create a fully vetted financial plan for a new product, service or business start-up. After taking this course, students will understand:

  1. How to analyze the financial statements of a company
  2. How to build pro forma financial statements for new product (or service) initiatives, department budgets within a company, or a simple business
  3. How to quantify and apply essential financial return metrics: net present value, internal rate of return, multiple on investment, payback and break-even analysis to vital business applications
  4. How to apply the core financial principles in evaluating a new product or business idea, and its impact on the financial health and performance of the businesses
  5. How to complete a simple valuation of a business
  6. How to utilize financial management, reporting, and analysis to improve business performance
  7. How to construct a financial business plan

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing. Prerequisite: ENT 101

Instructor: Frank Apeseche

ENT 105 - Entrepreneurial Marketing

This course focuses on institutional and product marketing methods used by start-up to medium-sized companies. After an overview of basic marketing principles, the course will cover the spectrum from day-to-day marketing activities of the entrepreneurial business to positioning and strategy. Students will learn to analyze, formulate, and implement marketing strategies, explore concepts for understanding customer behavior and creating an entrepreneurial marketing strategy, and learn the fundamentals of market research, pricing, and reaching and selling to customers.

Instructors: Jack Derby, Gavin Finn

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing. Prerequisite: ENT 101

ENT 107 - Entrepreneurial Leadership

This course is designed to help students develop their knowledge, confidence, skills, and self-image necessary to pursue entrepreneurial ventures in such domains as business, government, and public service. It provides a foundation in the fundamentals of entrepreneurial leadership, as well as a source of inspiration and energy in the art and science of taking visions and bringing them to reality.

Instructors: Beth McCarthy, Pamela Stepp

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing. Prerequisite: ENT 101

Note: EM 54 may be substituted for ENT 107.

Course Substitutions (May be taken in lieu of ENT 101)

BME 194 - Special Topics: Biomedical Entrepreneurship & Strategy

This course may be substituted for ENT 101.

This course focuses on offering valuable insight into translational research, strategic business planning, and inter-functional leadership critical to the successful development of biomedical innovation. Students will develop a detailed understanding of conceptual development through the commercialization of a med-tech product and start to build the vocabulary and knowledge-base necessary to become successful industry leaders. The course is designed to increase the student’s foundation in product development planning, strategic planning, presentation skills, interpersonal skills, decision-making, risk analysis, and business plan development by offering an in-depth perspective in biomedical entrepreneurship within the start-up or large corporate organization.  

Note: Undergraduates will be admitted with the permission of the instructor.

EM 153 - Management of Innovation

This course may be substituted for ENT 101.

This course will cover:

  • Knowledge and skill development for students who aspire to lead and manage innovation initiatives in technology-based companies.
  • Technology strategy and its role in the overall business strategy of commercial firms.
  • Role of innovation in entrepreneurial ventures and established firms.
  • Skills to present new product development proposals to senior management and/or prospective investors.

Instructor: Eli Cushner

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

Elective Courses

ENT 141/AMER 141 - Innovative Social Enterprises

Innovative Social Enterprises is structured to provide students a highly interactive exploration of core skills vital to social entrepreneurs.  Whether students aim to found social enterprises, join social enterprises, or possibly fund, regulate, or incubate social enterprises, they will come away with sharpened self-awareness and practices for innovative leadership in the social enterprise sphere.  We start with awareness (self, context, relationships) and move quickly to practicing requisite disciplines (asking questions; testing and reframing assumptions; forming teams and other alliances; identifying opportunities, risks, and resources; giving and critiquing pitches; making go / no-go decisions).  We will practice an iterative rhythm of weekly information gathering, sensing, assessment, and reframing, with emphasis on creating compelling value for multiple stakeholders.  Students will engage in individual reflection and pitching, as well as group discussion and three team pitch-offs. 

Instructor: Julianne Zimmerman 

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

Notes: Taught in Partnership with Tisch College; Cross-listed as AMER 141, TCS 141

ENT 162 - Creative Design Process of Products

The Creative Design Process of Products course covers the engineering process of product design from conception to pre-production of a new product. The course teaches the creative design process through lectures and the creation, engineering, and prototype of a novel product. Students learn to identify and evaluate a problem (opportunity) and sketch, create, develop, test, and select best prototyping strategies for their product. Basic project and risk management, engineering, and analysis skills are used to deliver a robust working product on time and on budget. Fundamental principles and practices are emphasized and explored including design specifications, Occam’s Razor, Abbe Errors (as it relates to design and design theory), professional responsibilities, and ethics. Students are assumed to be competent in basic problem-solving skills.

Instructor: Josh Weismann

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

ENT 193.01 - Entrepreneurial Business Law

Entrepreneurial Business Law is an interactive class featuring speakers from the private equity, venture capital, and investment banking worlds as well as executives who have exited through a public offering or sale of their company.  We will explore legal issues and considerations that are common to businesses as they are formed and throughout their business life cycle. The course will focus on several aspects relating to formation and seed and venture capital financing, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and securities laws considerations, as well as employment and intellectual property matters and governance considerations. There will also be opportunities to negotiate various financing and other transactions.

Instructor: Josef Volman

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

ENT 194.01 - Special Topics: Internships

Instructor: Elaine Chen

Restrictions on Enrollment: Registration requires department consent and must meet the following criteria.

  • The internship must be:
    • an unpaid internship during the Fall or Spring academic semester - Credit will not be given retroactively for past internships.
    • highly entrepreneurial in nature
    • approved by the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center Director
  • As part of your internship, you must:
    • complete 120 hours of work during the semester
    • find a ENT faculty member to act as sponsor
    • check in with the ENT faculty sponsor throughout the semester
    • submit a 5-page paper summarizing the internship experience at the end of the semester - The paper will be graded and will be considered when assigning the grade for ENT 194.01.

Process for Enrollment:

  • Students must send their internship proposals a minimum of 1 week prior to the end of course registration. The proposal should be 1-2 pages, concisely explaining the company, the internship role and responsibilities, and how this role is entrepreneurial. The proposal should include what the student is looking to gain from completing the internship.  
  • If approved, the student will receive permission in SIS to register for ENT 194.01.
ENT 194.02/COMP 150 - Special Topics: Entrepreneurship for Computer Scientists (Spring Semester)

This is an introductory entrepreneurship course for Computer Science students. The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship, develops an entrepreneurial perspective and provides a framework for learning the fundamentals of the essential elements of entrepreneurial ventures. This course is specifically directed toward software-related industries and products. Students learn how to develop their technical ideas into potential business opportunities, and to explore their likelihood of becoming viable businesses. They learn how to do market research, to develop go-to-market strategies, value propositions and to differentiate their products or services from actual or potential competitors. The course consists of a balance of lectures, projects, case studies and interaction with entrepreneurs and computer scientists who participate in entrepreneurial organizations. 

Instructor: Gavin Finn

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing. This course requires department consent (Computer Science major or minor). and a background in Data Science or Computer Science.

Notes: Taught in partnership with Tufts Department of Computer Science; Cross-listed as COMP 150

ENT 194.03 - Special Topics: Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Spring Semester)

This introductory course is designed for students who are ready to unleash their creative spirit to solve big problems with innovative solutions in an entrepreneurial setting. You will learn a variety of skills, including ideation techniques, basic principles of design thinking and more to help stimulate brainstorming and creativity. You will apply these skills in rapid ideation workshops, where you will repeatedly challenge your brain to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to real-world problems in startup, corporate, non-profit and government settings. You will develop creative problem-solving capabilities that can help you succeed in personal and professional settings.

Instructor: Elaine Chen

Restrictions on Enrollment:  All are welcome (especially first-year undergraduate students). We accept any undergraduate or graduate student with no significant design thinking, innovation or entrepreneurship experience to take this class.

ENT 194.04 - Special Topics: Inside the Classroom

Gain leadership and teaching skills by supporting an ENT faculty member in managing a core ENT course. By taking Inside the Classroom, you will assist in grading, coaching peers, organizing course work, attendance tracking, and observing group work.

Instructor: Elaine Chen

Restrictions on Enrollment: Registration requires department consent

Note: Receiving an "A" grade in the course you are supporting is a prerequisite. Additionally, permission/invitation by faculty is required. Limit 2 students per ENT class.

ENT 194.05 - Special Topics: Philanthropy, Social Enterprise, & Community

Philanthropy plays many roles in our communities, from alleviating crisis situations to encouraging strategic, systemic change. Nonprofit organizations are the intermediaries connecting donors to community needs. Working with a grant from former Tufts Trustee Nathan Gantcher, students have the opportunity to practice philanthropy by serving as a young adult grant-making board to award $25,000 to local nonprofits in the cities of Medford, Somerville, Cambridge, and Boston.

Instructor: Nancy Lippe

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

Note: Taught in partnership with Tisch College

ENT 194.06 - Special Topics: Talent Management in Entrepreneurship

This is a course focused on the most critical success factor in creating not just young startups and emerging companies, but also any business of any size. This course, taught by a highly experienced human resource executive, focuses on the entire chain of talent management from recruiting, hiring, and onboarding new employees to the overall personnel management of the business. This course outlines the strategic planning surrounding building the organizational structure while exploring the tactics of objective setting, hiring and firing decision making, compensation structures and reviews, and employee development. This course is open to undergraduates and graduate students who are interested in bringing an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset to both startups and corporate jobs early in their careers.

Instructor: Rachel O'Neil

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

ENT 194.09 - Special Topics: Strategic Management in the 21st Century

The course is designed for those students who aspire to directly or indirectly influence the strategic decisions of an organization through analytics-driven insights and imaginative reasoning. On the basis of a deep understanding of the emerging geo-economic, geopolitical, technological, and demographic trends, the course will examine how through intelligent use of a full range of analytical techniques including game & options theories, businesses must innovate and implement strategies in the context of a globalized economy.

Instructor: Partha Ghosh

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

ENT 199 - Entrepreneurial Field Study

This course enables students to apply the learning and skills acquired by other courses on Entrepreneurship. Students have the option of starting a new business based on an actual business plan or consulting in an actual start-up operation. Students that select the new business option will be expected to submit a project scope paper that would outline the elements of launching that could be accomplished within the term limits.

Instructor: Elaine Chen

Restrictions on Enrollment: Registration requires department consent. Prerequisite: ENT 101

NUTR 0280 - Food and Entrepreneurship

It is now appreciated that improving health through the consumption of healthy diets requires more than consumers’ knowledge regarding appropriate dietary. Healthy choices available throughout the food environment are needed, and this availability is dependent on the growth and success of businesses that promote healthy food options. This course focuses on the considerations involved in investigating, understanding, and implementing a nutrition-based business. Elements of searching out new venture opportunities, financing, competitive strategy, intellectual property, reimbursement, legal and regulatory matters will be explored. Student teams will develop and present business plans. The class will involve lectures, discussions, and prominent guest speakers who are entrepreneurs or industry leaders. Participation in this course will introduce participants to the multiple stages necessary to successfully translate ideas to businesses.

Instructor: Jimmy Edgerton

Note: Taught in partnership with Friedman School of Nutrition

EC 3 - Principles of Accounting

This course covers fundamental accounting principles, including theory, revenue determination, and interpretation and preparation of income statements and balance sheets.

Note: Open to freshmen.

EM 153 - Management of Innovation

This course may be substituted for ENT 101.

This course will cover:

  • Knowledge and skill development for students who aspire to lead and manage innovation initiatives in technology-based companies.
  • Technology strategy and its role in the overall business strategy of commercial firms.
  • Role of innovation in entrepreneurial ventures and established firms.
  • Skills to present new product development proposals to senior management and/or prospective investors.

Instructor: Eli Cushner

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

EM 52 - Technical and Managerial Communications

This course will cover:

  • Written and oral communications in the business setting.
  • Written communications including technical reports and papers, memoranda, and electronic communications.
  • Design and delivery of effective presentations.  
  • Informal communication styles and techniques.
  • Communication across cultures.

Instructor: Amy Hirschfeld

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

DR 0027 - Public Speaking

Introductory course exploring the fundamentals of clear, confident, and effective communications in one-on-one and group settings. Development of tension management skills, good breathing habits, awareness of body language, and the ability to engage an audience through a series of practical exercises. Specific vocal work focuses on tone, variety of pitch, rate, volume, and articulation. 

Instructor: Deborah Cooney

Note: Open to freshmen.

UEP 0130.01 - Negotiation, Mediation, & Conflict Resolution (Fall Semester)

This course covers techniques of negotiation and mediation as applied to conflict situations such as interpersonal differences, labor relations, environmental disputes, and international relations.

Instructor: Robert Burdick