Entrepreneurship and Business

The mission of the Entrepreneurship and Business programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Science is to enable every engineering student to have the opportunity to integrate entrepreneurial and business studies into their technical degree programs.


We accomplish this by:

  • Organizing, expanding, and promoting the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship.
  • Connecting, enabling, and inspiring UVA engineers and alumni to see opportunities to create and grow innovative new ventures.
  • Creating an entrepreneurial community of students, faculty, and alumni.
  • Faculty

    W. Bernard Carlson, Department Chair and Professor
    Elizabeth P. Pyle , Associate Director for Technology Entrepreneurship
    Jim Cheng, Engineering Business
    David Slutzky, Science, Technology, & Society
    Milton Whitfield, Engineering Business

  • Business Fundamentals

    This single course introduces engineering students to the business basics that they will need in their technical and scientific careers. Taught by a team from the Darden School, the course covers leadership, accounting principles, marketing, and global issues. Designed for engineering students, this course explores key management and business concepts relevant to technology dependent enterprises. The purpose of this course is to enable you to reason about the role of business in a complex, dynamic, global environment. Specific course objectives include:

    • To understand the principles of value creation.
    • To be able to apply several frameworks for analyzing and discussing business issues.
    • To develop a general management perspective that includes the ability to formulate, analyze, and defend business decisions in ethical terms.

    Business is an ongoing conversation about both value creation and human interrelationships, so we will be covering a wide range of topics from management, finance, accounting, and organizational behavior.

    This course is open to all engineering students; you do not need to be enrolled in the engineering business minor. It will count as an elective in the Engineering Business minor. It cannot be taken as a substitute for COMM 2010. We anticipate that this course will count as an unrestricted elective in most engineering majors and that it does not satisfy any of the Science, Technology & Society course requirements.

  • Engineering Business Minor

    Thanks to gifts from the Clark Construction Group, Inc. and Bill Utt (SEAS ’79, ’80, Darden ’84), engineering students may pursue a minor in engineering business. The Engineering Business Minor provides engineering students the opportunity to learn how modern business organizations function. Students will learn business concepts and language that they will need to work and contribute effectively in the corporate world.

    The Engineering Business Minor [EBM] is a six-course [18 credit] program that introduces engineering students to the language and concepts of business. Students take three required courses: COMM 2010, Intro to Finance and Accounting; ECON 2010, Microeconomics; and STS 4810, New Product Development. These are complemented by three electives that are offered by SEAS, McIntire, and the Economics Department.

    The minor is very popular with SEAS undergrads who apply for the minor in the fall of their second year. We typically get 200 applicants, but because of the limited income thrown off by the endowment, we can only select 120 students from each class; we do so to ensure that we can provide enough seats in STS 4810 so that students can complete the minor in a timely fashion. Students in the minor generally have a GPA of 3.0 or better. We currently have over 350 students enrolled in the minor. This is about 15% of the undergraduate population, and the EBM is larger than any engineering major.

    Eligibility

    The Engineering Business Minor is available only to Engineering students. SEAS Students apply during the month of October in their second year. Doing so helps us match student demand with the number of seats available in the required courses. Students are selected for the minor based on their cumulative GPA and other factors.

    If a student would like to get a head start, it’s recommended that a student take ECON 2010 or 2020 since those courses do not require being enrolled in the minor. We also suggest that you look for an internship or job during the summer that helps you to learn about careers that combine business and engineering.

    Course Requirements

    The Engineering Business Minor requires the successful completion of three required courses and three electives.

    Students pursuing the minor should declare the minor as early as possible since COMM 2010 and STS 4110 are restricted to students in the minor. Students generally take STS 4110 in their fourth year of study.

    Required Courses (3):

    All students, regardless of graduating class, must take these 3 courses in the following recommended sequence:

    COMM 2010: Introduction to Financial Accounting,

    Recommended for either spring, second year or spring, third year

    ECON 2010: Principles of Economics: Microeconomics,

    Recommended for either fall or spring, first year

    STS 4810: The Business of New Product Development

    Recommended for either fall or spring, fourth year

    Electives (Students choose three): Be sure to check SIS for courses offered for a particular semester.

    The three electives, from the STS 2700 series courses or the STS 2800 series courses, can be taken in any semester beginning in the spring of your second year. Look under the “Courses” tab for course descriptions.

    COMM 2020: Introduction to Management Accounting
    COMM 2600: Leadership across Disciplines (best for SEAS students in spring)
    COMM 2610: Startup
    COMM 3200: Project Management
    COMM 3410: Commercial Law I
    COMM 3420: Commercial Law II
    COMM 3600: Principles and Practices of Arts Administration
    COMM 3660: Business of Consulting (J-term not currently offered)
    COMM 3800: Business, Government, and Society
    COMM 3810: Business Ethics
    COMM 3845: Foundations of International Business (requires 4th year status)
    COMM 4230: Information Technology in Finance
    COMM 4240: Electronic Commerce
    COMM 4650: Business, Politics, and Culture in the European Union (offered May term)
    COMM 4660: The Advice Business:  The Basics of Strategic Consulting
    COMM 4570: Topics in Finance: Investing in a Sustainable Future
    COMM 4821: Managing Sustainability Development
    COMM 4822: Investing in a Sustainable Future

    STS 3020: Science and Technology Policy for Interns

    ENGR 1800: Business Fundamentals for Engineers
    ENGR 4880: Business and Technical Leadership in Engineering
    ENGR 4599: Special Topics in Engineering: Business Intelligence

    CS 4753: Electronic Commerce Technologies
    CE 4000: Construction Engineering
    CE 4500: Special Topics in Civil Engineering: Introduction to Construction Management

    SYS 2057: Management of E-Commerce Systems
    SYS 3054: Argentina (J-Term)
    SYS 4000: Financial Aspects of Engineering
    SYS 4044: Economics of Engineering Systems
    SYS 5044: Economics of Engineering

    ECON 2020: Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics
    ECON 2060: American Economic History
    ECON 3030: Money and Banking
    ECON 4210 International Trade: Theory & Policy
    ECON 4350 Corporate Finance

  • Technology Entrepreneurship Minor

    Entrepreneurship at UVA is much more than a course or a classroom experience. It is a mindset that charges the students and faculty to challenge the status quo, create, innovate, and drive change. The Technology Entrepreneurship program coordinates a network of entrepreneurship-related programs and activities open to all students and emphasizes a practical, hands-on approach to entrepreneurship.

    We designed our program to train engineering students to know how to recognize and convert discoveries into products; business schools are not well equipped to study and teach how to advance knowledge-push innovations.

    The mission of this Entrepreneurship Minor is three fold:

    1) Prepare students to play crucial roles in the new venture community—whether as founders, funders, policy makers, technologists, or executives—thereby impacting positively the world in which we live and creating value of all kinds.

    2) Connect entrepreneurship efforts across multiple disciplines and Schools at the University of Virginia through a coordinated and collective curriculum.

    3) Experience with the tools, techniques, and transformations involved in new venture development (e.g., ideation and innovation, team building, product-market fit, financial and social return, policy and legal dynamics), involving not only start-up companies, but also new ventures within or launched by established firms.

    The curriculum of the minor provides students with an education in and experience with the tools, techniques, and transformations involved in new venture development. For example: innovation and design (e.g., ideation, design thinking, problem solution fit), management and operations (e.g., team building, venture modeling), financial and social return (e.g., venture capital, venture philanthropy and impact investing), and legal dynamics (e.g., incorporation, term sheets, intellectual property). The new venture community is defined broadly to include not only startup companies, but also new ventures operating within or launched by established firms. Furthermore, this community is defined so as to include both not for profit and or profit ventures.

    Eligibility

    The Entrepreneurship Minor is open by application to all undergraduate students at the University regardless of school of enrollment, major, or prior coursework.

    Applications are currently being accepted here.

    Acceptance into and declaration of the minor does not guarantee enrollment in the courses or completion of the minor, all courses are offered on a space-available basis.

    Courses may not be double-counted toward the fulfillment of the Entrepreneurship Minor (i.e., a single course should not fulfill requirements for greater than one distinct degree program), except in the case of Engineering School students who may double count one STS elective with the STS requirement for Engineering majors. Engineering students may not enroll and complete both the Engineering Business Minor and the Entrepreneurship Minor.

    Course Requirements

    Students begin the Minor curriculum with ENTP 1010: Startup class. The Startup class is a 14-week course-plus-experience designed to provide students with not only the basic tools and vocabulary of new ventures, but also a sense of what it feels like to start, fund, and manage such ventures. The course, by way of in-class case discussions and mentored workshops, introduces students to a broad range of issues faced by founders and funders of both for-profit and nonprofit ventures. The Startup class—open to first- and second-years students at UVA, regardless of school or major—is the result of a partnership involving McIntire’s Galant Center for Entrepreneurship, the Technology Entrepreneurship program at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative at the Batten School of Public Policy, and the i.Lab at the University of Virginia .

    A Concentration within the Minor is initiated by one of two courses—(a) STS 2810: Introduction to Technology Entrepreneurship (for the Technology Entrepreneurship Concentration) or (b) PPOL 3050: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (for the Social Entrepreneurship Concentration)—and then fulfilled via three elective courses from a portfolio of courses offered across Grounds: Finance, Operations, Law, and Design/Innovation.

    The curriculum of the Minor is completed via a Capstone course, which is be offered in two forms in an effort to match the nature of student demand: (1) Special Topics in New Ventures (ENTP 3000) and Launch (ENTP 4000). Students will select one of these options below:

    ENTP 3000:  Special Topics in New Ventures

    Each section of ENTP 3000, via guest speakers, discussions, and assigned projects, will introduce students to and engage students with new ventures in a particular sector (e.g., New Venture in Health, New Ventures in Impact, New Ventures in Education,etc.). Versions of these courses already exist at the University, offered out of a variety of Schools, and would simply be organized under or co-listed via a common course listing.

    ENTP 4000:  Launch

    The Launch course is a class as accelerator, through which a select group of admitted students would further develop over the course of a semester a venture of their own design. The course experience is comprised of not only a curriculum focused upon customer, product, and venture development, but also the mentoring of ventures by experienced founders, investors, lawyers, and other members of the new venture community.

    Elective Courses

    Students complete nine credit hours (usually three [3] courses) from the following list:

    ARCH 3070 Foundations in Design Thinking
    CHEM 2350 This Chemical Century
    COMM 1800 Making Business Work
    COMM 3420 Commercial Law II
    COMM 3790 Venture Capital and the Emerging Firm
    EDLF 2050 Innovation in Education
    HIUS 3162 Digitizing America
    MDST 3405 Media Policy and Law
    PPOL 3290 Social Innovation in Emerging Markets: India and South East Asia
    PPOL 3410 Social Innovation Imperative: Implications for Thinking Big and Having Impact
    PPOL 4550 Global Field Experience – Social Entrepreneurship in India
    PPOL 4730 Impact Investing
    PPOL 5225 Conscious Social Change
    SOC 3710 Organizations, Institutions, and Markets
    STS 1800 Business Fundamentals for Engineers
    STS 2730 Engineers and Art of the Deal
    STS 2820 Presentation Strategies for Entrepreneurs
    STS 2830 Start-Up Operations for Entrepreneurs
    STS 2850 Government and Entrepreneurship
    STS 2890 The Entrepreneur and History

    Additional course electives are pending approval. Other courses are approved by David Touve, Academic Director for the minor, in consultation with Professor Bernard Carlson (School of Engineering & Applied Sciences) and Professor Christine Mahoney (School of Leadership and Public Policy).

    Capstone Options

    Students choose one (1) course from the following to complete the minor:

    VARIOUS          Project-Based New Ventures Courses (e.g., PPOL 4735, BME 4550, STS 4110)
    ENTP 4000        Launch (by instructor permission)

    Consult the UVA Undergraduate Record for degree requirements and course descriptions.

  • Entrepreneurial Project Community

    Engineers and entrepreneurs don’t learn their craft by only sitting in lectures, and there’s rich extracurricular community of students pursuing entrepreneurial projects.

    Works in Progress is a community of students across the university who are pursuing an entrepreneurial project (a startup, a non-profit, a new device, a new club, etc). They don’t have regular meetings, a regular large gathering space, a listserv, or an executive board of any sort (because those pursuing projects don’t really have time for these things). This extracurricular opportunity serves to support the academic side of the university’s efforts, including the Entrepreneurship & Business program in the Engineering & Society Department.

    If you are currently pursuing an entrepreneurial project, here’s what we offer:

    • An online community that enables you to easily get in touch with anyone else in the entrepreneurial project community to ask for help in your pursuits, as well as an accountability function to help you persevere in your endeavor
    • Small weekly gatherings for those most dedicated to their projects to discuss progress with one another
    • A small physical space dedicated to those who are seriously working on their projects

    Elizabeth Pyle and Alex Zorychta, who you can ask for anything else you need regarding your projects, and between the two of them they can point you to the right person across the university and Charlottesville communities for you to get specific help.

    opportunities to help you prepare for entrepreneurial competitions or grants

    If you’d like to learn more, they’d love to meet with you in person to get to know you (and for you to get to know them) so they can help you with any goals you’re trying to accomplish.

    Works in Progress
  • Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

    Lee Buck
    Founder Blue Bright Ventures

    Zach Buckner
    CEO, Relay Foods

    Evan Edwards
    VP Product Development, Kaleo Pharma

    Doug Garland
    Chief Revenue Officer, Shazam

    Mark Hanson

    Steve Huffman
    Founder, Hipmunk; Co-founder Reddit

    Todd Kennedy
    Senior V. P., for Capital One

    David A. Leon
    Founder & Managing Member for DayWon, LLC

    Glenn McGonnigle
    General Partner, TechOperators

    David McLean
    General Partner, Sevin Rosen Funds

    John Muleta
    CEO, Atelum, Inc.

    Michael Pausic
    Founder, Foxhaven Asset Management, LP

    Rick Ramsey
    Investor/Entrepreneur

    Carl Showalter
    Founder and General Partner, Opus Capital

    Justin Turner
    Co-founder, Brownstone Real Estate Partners

  • Pike Technology Entrepreneurship Fellows Program

    The Pike Fellows Program provides support, guidance, and mentorship for early-stage University of Virginia student entrepreneurial projects that are based on developing or commercializing some form of novel technology by leveraging the existing resources of the surrounding UVA/Charlottesville network. Student projects will be well positioned for pursuing further development, including external funding or participation in an accelerator or incubator.

    The program is available to three to five student entrepreneurial teams. The highly selective program develops each team’s entrepreneurial potential and leadership skills through hands-on experiences, networking, mentoring, an initial $5000 stipend, and workshops on key topics in entrepreneurship. At the programs core is a mentored nine-month program with top-tier mentors. Teams will be given both a local entrepreneurial mentor of the Charlottesville community and an industry expert specific to their project.

    Program Highlights

    • Stipend (up to $5,000) for customer discovery activities, conferences, and prototyping
    • Fall Technology Entrepreneurship Debut where Fellows are publicly announced
    • Spring Pike Technology Entrepreneurship Expo including the Pike Fellows Showcase where top team will receive $50,000 cash award to be used toward continuing to develop the project
    • Networking opportunities that include unique access to investors and business leaders
    • Weekly Mastermind Group that bring together Pike Fellows, with prominent guest entrepreneurs every other week
    • Cohort and close community with current and past Pike Fellows
    • Hand-picked top-tier mentors for each participating team
    • Mentoring and guidance from entrepreneurial faculty and staff, business community members, investors, and C-level executives
    • Guidance and preparation help for internal and external entrepreneurship competitions.

     

    For more information, contact Elizabeth Pyle, who oversees entrepreneurship programs for UVA Engineering and the Department of Engineering & Society.