University of Tennessee

ENT 470 – Managing an Entrepreneurial Start-Up

3 credit hours

Start-up companies have a high failure rate. Acquiring and balancing limited resources, changing direction quickly, building a coherent team, developing an organization's culture from scratch, managing intellectual property, and creating new markets all test a wide range of managerial skills not usually demanded in one person within a larger organization. Whereas a large company has a strong and well-defined structure and ample resources to deal with unexpected challenges, a start-up usually has insufficient resources and/or management experience, yet it must deal on a daily basis with important and often unpredictable forces.

Students will be exposed to these tensions and experience through problem-based learning methods that illustrate what it is like to start and grow a new company. The course will provide students with the knowledge and experience to increase their likelihood of success whether as a principal in a small company or an investor representative.

Managing a Startup is a problem-based learning (PBL) course, where the learning is student-centered, with faculty acting primarily in the role of facilitators. Active learning happens in this course because students are engaged in the analysis of the complex situations that underlie startup companies. The course leverages the on-line course management system Canvas to define weekly learning objectives, support electronic delivery of assignments, and provide robust video content from entrepreneurs, investors and key employees, who provide additional insights into the management decisions and ethical dilemmas the leader of a startup faces.

  • ENT 350 with grade of C or higher.