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Entrepreneurship Minor

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

The Entrepreneurship Minor is the most popular minor on campus, drawing students from both the School of Arts and Science and the School of Engineering. Students learn to work and think like entrepreneurs and speak the language of business by taking the equivalent of 5 dynamic courses taught by award-winning entrepreneurs and investors.

The Entrepreneurship Minor is anchored by our foundational course, ENT101 “Entrepreneurship and Business Planning,” where you will learn the skills needed to start a new venture over the course of a semester. You will then have the opportunity to choose from over 16 additional courses to round out your skillset, covering topics such as finance, marketing, leadership, law, team management, and sector-specific topics.

The ENT minor will help you develop the mindset and skillset you can apply to your life after graduation – whether it is graduate school, starting or working for a startup or small business, joining a larger organization (for-profit or non-profit), or even joining a government agency.

Exciting upgrade to the minor in Fall 2022

Starting in Fall 2022, students will have increased flexibility in how they earn the minor. The requirements to complete the Entrepreneurship Minor (ENT Minor), effective from September 2022 onward, are listed below. These changes are 100% backwards compatible with the legacy requirements. If you have already planned your courses with the legacy requirements, you will automatically qualify for the minor under these new requirements.

Unless marked “Fall only” or “Spring only”, ENT courses are offered year round. For details on AY2022-2023, view the Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 ENT course pages.

Please note that no more than 2 courses used towards the minor may be used towards any other degree requirement.

Required Foundational Course (3 credits)

There is no better way to understand how to create, plan and run a business than to learn how to start one. In this course, we will introduce the core mindset and skillset behind new venture creation. Students will learn how to systematically explore their own passions and desire for impact to find problems worth solving, team up with other students with similar industry or sector interests, and learn how to build a new, standalone venture by building and pitching one in the course of the semester. Students will learn tools and frameworks from practicing entrepreneurs. The mindset and skillset you will learn will form a strong foundation for you to further explore additional topics in innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

Upon completion of the course, students will have learned to speak the language of business. Specifically, they will:

  • Learn to be nimble, agile, iterative and how to “fail fast”
  • Understand the basic principles behind innovation and new venture creation, including but not limited to:
    • Exploring their own sense of purpose, and finding problems that are important and worth solving, with the potential for significant impact
    • Analyzing market opportunities and selecting a target market segment
    • Understanding your market and customer
    • Building a solution that is different and better than the alternative
    • Developing a go-to-market strategy and business model
    • Building a marketing plan to raise awareness & generate leads
    • Learning how to make money and build a financially sustainable venture
    • Understanding what it takes to build and contribute to a high performing team, and the logistics around building a company
    • Effective presentation skills

Instructors: Elaine ChenTina Weber

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing.

Note: Special Topics: Biomedical Entrepreneurship & Strategy (BME 194), Entrepreneurship for Computer Science (ENT 151), or Special Topics: Consumer Product Ventures (ENT 161) may be substituted for ENT 101.

Course Substitution Options for ENT 101

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.

This course may be substituted for ENT 101.

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

This course may be substituted for ENT 101.

This course covers the entrepreneurial process from conception to birth of a new venture focused on a consumer product. It looks at both process and people involved in assessing ideas, exploiting opportunities, gathering resources, and converting concepts into businesses. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which students can apply their different skill sets and abilities to enter and succeed in business. The course seeks to help students think through the career path that makes the most sense for them given their particular backgrounds and aspirations in both entrepreneurial or corporate environments.

Instructor: Josh Wiesman

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

Core Courses (at least 6 credits)

This course focuses on developing and applying the financial skills that are needed to successfully manage commercial and social enterprises. Students will learn how to construct a financial business plan for a startup, analyze and contrast the financial statements of existing companies, and evaluate business opportunities to optimize financial outcomes and avoid financial peril. Students will also learn about the different forms of company financing and how professional investors and lenders evaluate companies. By the end of the course, students will understand how to financially position a company to maximize its potential of raising appropriate capital. The course is taught through a variety of readings, problem sets, case studies, and team exercises. It is hands-on.

This course has a rigorous workload. This includes the numerous problem sets and Harvard Business School cases previously mentioned, as well as a capstone term project where each student will create a fully vetted financial plan for a startup or existing company. After taking the course students will gain a mastery of how to:

  1. analyze the financial statements of a company
  2. build pro forma financial statements for new product (or service) initiatives, department budgets within a company, or a simple business
  3. quantify and apply core financial return concepts such as net present value, internal rate of return, multiple on investment, payback, ROI, leveraged versus unleveraged return, dilution, and break-even analysis to vital business applications
  4. apply the financial principles to evaluate a new product or business idea, and its impact on the financial health and performance of the business
  5. complete a simple valuation of a business and construct its enterprise value, market value of equity, post-money value, and pre-money value

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

Note: It's recommended that students complete an accounting elective prior to this course.

Instructor: Frank Apeseche, Andy O'Brien

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

Marketing isn’t Sales, and Sales isn’t Marketing, but they are both joined at the hip since every product, every service and job needs to “sold” in order to close any deal.  Our “Science of Sales” course explores process, tools, technology, metrics and most importantly, the people that are required to actually sell, close orders and bring in revenue.

Instructors: Jack Derby

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing.

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

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

Note: Developing Leaders in a Civic Context (CVS 107.01) and Engineering Leadership (EM 54) may be substituted for ENT 107.

Course Substitution Options for ENT 107

This course may be substituted for ENT 107.

This course, offered by Civic Studies within Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences, integrates and applies concepts from adult development and learning, leader(ship) development, and organizational behavior to build capacity for social change. Students will learn how to create effective strategies to develop individuals, teams, and organizations to address complex challenges.

This course may be substituted for ENT 107.

This course will cover:

  • Development of knowledge, skills, and mindset essential for leading programs and teams in a business organization.  
  • Creating high-performance teams and shared visions
  • Cultural differences in leadership style 
  • Ethical considerations
  • Fostering creativity and communicating to inspire
  • Influencing without authority
  • Managing conflict and organizational change 
  • Understanding personalities of self & others and emotional intelligence

Additional Elective Courses

This class is designed for undergraduate students, particularly Freshmen and Sophomores, who have not taken an ENT core course and are interested in learning more about innovation and entrepreneurship. Focusing on tools and techniques to promote creativity and innovation, you will develop capabilities that can be applied to everyday problem solving, launching new ventures, and working in businesses and non-profit organizations. We will engage in rapid ideation workshops where you will repeatedly challenge your brain to come up with novel solutions and innovations. You will be exposed to a variety of tools to help stimulate brainstorming and creativity. During the semester, we will study different types of innovation and use “design thinking” to address a series of real-world problems with creative solutions.

Instructor: Jay Mixter

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.

The multi-disciplinary perspective of innovative, technology-based design process for societal and community influence. Elements and principles of design from the product development process, thought and emotion, ethics, and responsibility. Experiments to explore failure and iteration, reflection for self-discovery and innovation. Articulation and expression via written, oral, and pre-recorded audio and video presentations showing the measurable impact of solutions as societal benefits.

Instructor: Ron Lasser

Restrictions on Enrollment: None

Note: This is an elective for SMFA, A&S, and SOE as ENT109 or EE193-4. Cross-listed as EE193.4.

Innovative Social Enterprises is structured to provide students with a highly interactive exploration of core skills vital to social entrepreneurs. 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, individual and team pitching, and active discussion. This course is designed to equip students with a practical discipline of asking effective questions. Whether students aim to found social enterprises, join social enterprises, or possibly fund, regulate, or incubate social enterprises, they will come away with sharpened agency and actionable practices for innovative leadership in the social enterprise sphere.

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

This course covers the design process of a consumer product from ideation to the pre-production of a new product. The course teaches the consumer-centered design process through lectures and the creation, engineering, and prototyping of a novel product. Students learn to identify and evaluate a problem (opportunity), create, develop, test (with consumers), and select the 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. Students are assumed to be competent in basic problem-solving skills.

Instructor: Josh Wiesman

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

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: Joe Volman

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

"Introduction to Making" (15.351) is a highly immersive, hands-on introductory course for undergraduate and graduate students in any course of study. If you are curious about how to make physical things, make them work and integrate them with electronics/software, you've come to the right place. You will gain knowledge of common fabrication techniques - foamboard, 3D printing, laser cutting, electronics, Arduino programming and more. You will then use this knowledge/skill while working on an individual final project that leads up to the "Demo Day."

Instructor: Mac Cameron and Elaine Chen

Restrictions on Enrollment: All are welcome (especially first-year undergraduate students). No experience necessary!

There is not one path to entrepreneurship.  In this course, students learn and unlearn what it means to be an entrepreneur and the various paths one can take towards entrepreneurship. Whether starting in a traditional corporate job, joining a startup, creating content as influencer on social media platforms, working on a social problem, or monetizing your side hustle, students will learn from experts in the field how to leverage their experiences at Tufts and beyond to progress towards their ultimate goals. Students will engage in discussions and workshops to understand their narrative and envision their entrepreneurial future.

Course takes place from October 31 to December 12 (7 meetings)

Instructor: Philip Ellison and Alex Ocampo

Restrictions on Enrollment: No restrictions on enrollment: Undergraduate & graduate students welcome. Limited seats available to first-year undergrads.

Nonprofits are a valued engine for community engagement and innovation across the country.  They play a highly visible and essential role in meeting community needs, and they serve as laboratories for experimental, innovative strategies supporting individual opportunity and community equity objectives. This increasingly complex sector is built on the desire to do good through scalable, sustainable organizational strategies that deliver impact. Students in this course will learn about what it takes to be a successful nonprofit: vision, resources, leadership, and execution. Through case analysis, press analysis, group discussions, and interactions with nonprofit leaders, you will learn how entrepreneurship and philanthropy are deeply intertwined in healthy, high-performing organizations. Students will also develop the skills to assess the connection between nonprofits, social change, and justice through direct conversation with grantmakers and nonprofit leaders, and will devise a grantmaking strategy and award funding to local nonprofits through a grant from former Tufts trustee Nathan Gantcher. 

Instructor: Usha Pasi

Note: Taught in partnership with Tisch College

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

The Entrepreneurial Internship allows students to earn credit while working as an intern for their company sponsor during the semester. Under the guidance of a faculty member serving as an entrepreneurial advisor, students have a chance to apply concepts learned in the classroom and acquire new skills as they address real-life challenges.

In this course, the student assumes an employee role in the company. Internships typically involve students serving in a functional role with an entrepreneurial focus, such as product management, entrepreneurial marketing, and sales.

This internship will be graded according to the rubric outlined in the syllabus.

Instructor: Elaine Chen

Click here to see the syllabus for details on requirements and the enrollment process.

Classroom Operating Officers, known as COO’s receive course credit for providing leadership and student support for Entrepreneurship courses. By taking Inside the Classroom, you will assist in coaching peers, organizing course work, attendance tracking, and observing group work.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Registration requires department consent

Pre-requisite: Having taken the course you are proposing to support and earned an "A" grade is a prerequisite. Additionally, permission/invitation by faculty is required. Limit 2 students per ENT class.

Faculty expectations:

  • COO Selection should be made prior to the start of the semester, ideally by the end of the previous semester
  • The opportunity should be announced in class and Canvas site to encourage multiple candidates
  • The student should have successfully completed the course prior to accepting the role of COO
  • Faculty should email name and Tufts ID number for the COO’s to to provide special permission in SIS for the student to register for ENT194.04 Special Topics- Inside the Classroom
  • The selected COO’s should be added to Canvas as assistants and announced to the class with a description of the role and responsibilities
  • The COO grade should be determined by the quality of fulfillment of the COO expectations

COO Expectations:

  • COO must register for ENT194.04 Inside the Classroom at least 2 weeks prior to the start of the semester
  • COO must submit a work plan with agreed-upon objectives within 2 weeks of the start of the semester
  • COO must submit 1-page formal reflections halfway through the semester
  • COO must submit 1-page formal reflections at the end of the semester, highlighting what the COO gained from the experience along with recommendations
  • Time commitment is 6-9 hours a week, inclusive of class time
  • Assist with course prep and provide input on the syllabus
  • Act in an advisory capacity to students and respond to student inquiries in a timely manner
  • Provide guidance and motivation to students and communicate expectations on projects and assignments
  • Review papers and projects, provide feedback, lead discussions, and participate in assessments; faculty is responsible for assigning grades
  • Negotiate and resolve conflicts
  • Support faculty to create a quality learning experience for students

Instructor: Elaine Chen

This immersive course enables students to apply the learning and skills acquired by other courses on Entrepreneurship to the creation and development of their own new venture. Under the guidance of a faculty member serving as an entrepreneurial advisor, students have a chance to apply concepts learned in the classroom and acquire new skills as they address real-life challenges.

In this course, the student assumes a co-founder role in the venture. The student will operate with the mindset of a business owner (responsible for overall strategy and operations for all aspects of the venture), not a functional leader (responsible for one department such as marketing, sales, engineering, or the like).

The new venture that the student is building can be for-profit, not-for-profit, or in the context of a government agency/university/association.

This field study will be graded.

Instructor: Elaine Chen

Click here to see the syllabus for rubric, restrictions, and the enrollment process.

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.

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

Note: Open to freshmen.

An introduction to fundamental ideas of corporate finance and their connection to economic principles through basic theory, cases, and applications. Not open to students who have taken or are currently taking Economics 150 or its equivalent.

Prerequisite: Economics 5 or Economics 8.

This course will cover:

  • Organization of companies and engineering groups.
  • Financial fluency, including time value of money, return on investment, income, and cash flow statements, and balance sheets.  
  • Management of people and organizations.
  • Project and program management techniques and tools.
  • Management of research, development, and design.
  • Operations management, including manufacturing operations and supply chains.

Restrictions on Enrollment: Must have at least Sophomore standing

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

This course may be substituted for ENT 107.

This course will cover:

  • Development of knowledge, skills, and mindset essential for leading programs and teams in a business organization.  
  • Creating high-performance teams and shared visions
  • Cultural differences in leadership style 
  • Ethical considerations
  • Fostering creativity and communicating to inspire
  • Influencing without authority
  • Managing conflict and organizational change 
  • Understanding personalities of self & others and emotional intelligence

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

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

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

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, students must complete the Minor Certification Form. This can be completed before you have finished all required courses and before you have received final grades. 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.

ENT course codes have replaced ELS course codes for Fall 2020 & beyond!

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.

Entrepreneurship Courses (ENT Prefix)

Students interested in studying innovation and entrepreneurship are welcome to take ENT courses whether or not they are planning to declare the ENT minor. We have a portfolio of courses, each of which offers an enriching experience for students curious about the entrepreneurial method.

All ENT courses include the following class attributes:

BFA-Social Science, LA-Distribution-Social Sciences, SoE-HASS-Social Sciences.