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Cornell University


Thursday, October 26, 2017
Want to learn more about entrepreneurship?

Are you thinking about taking an entrepreneurship course? Below is a selection that might interest you if you want to learn more about the business side of science or are thinking about a career in new product development, consulting or management. Bob Karpman and Mike Roach are staunch supporters of the BEST Program.

There are many more courses available at Cornell (see Entrepreneurship@Cornell for the complete list) and we can recommend a short list specifically for STEM PhD students and postdocs to make your search a little easier. Please consult the course catalog for enrollment and meeting times, as those listed might not be up to date.

AEM 6145 Business Management Fundamentals for STEM Graduate Students (3 cr.) Robert Karpman: This is the new full-semester course developed from "Business as a Second Language" offered previously as a mini-course. Meets early in the morning so you can get back to the lab! Basic business and management skills are necessary to advance your career no matter what area of STEM discipline you plan to pursue. The purpose of this course is to provide the skills necessary to present a strong business case for any new biomedical or life science technology. Like any foreign language, "business eeze" has its own vocabulary, grammar principles and culture. The course will be presented in a similar fashion utilizing STEM case studies to emphasize and immerse the student in business and managerial principles. Outcomes:

  • Discuss the components and importance of a financial statement. Calculate the cost and benefit of new equipment.
  • Differentiate between marketing and advertising. Recognize his/her own personal strengths and weaknesses.
  • Converse confidently with those involved in the technology "business".
  • Determine the value of new biomedical technology from a business perspective.
  • Prepare a strong business case for any new biomedical device or technology.
  • Explain the difficulties in getting new technology into the healthcare marketplace.


Each of the courses below use a variety of learning techniques, including academic and management readings, case studies, and, most importantly, class discussion and experiential learning assignments.  The primary assignments include individual case study questions and an experiential team project to analyze the strategy and provide strategic recommendations for a technology company.  There are no exams for these courses.

AEM 6395 Technology Strategy (Jan 24-Mar 16, 10:10am-11:25am) Michael Roach This course introduces the fundamental strategy concepts and tools that enable firms to manage technological innovations for competitive advantage. It does so by first considering the sources of technological change and how to leverage technologies to create firm value. It then examines the various mechanisms for extracting value from technologies, both legal (e.g., patents, trade secrecy, etc.) and strategic (e.g., lead time, complementary assets, etc.). We will explore the fundamentals of technology strategy through readings and case studies in both established and entrepreneurial firms across a range of technology-based industries. This course is designed for students who intend to pursue careers in entrepreneurship, consulting, new product development and finance where new technologies and intellectual property are important sources of competitive advantage.

AEM 6385 Entrepreneurial Strategy (Mar 19-May 9, 10:10am-11:25am) Michael Roach This course explores the fundamental strategy concepts and tools needed to manage a technology-based entrepreneurial business. Through this course, students will develop an ability to think strategically about the choices facing technology ventures, including how to choose between different markets, technologies, and business models, how to identify and develop the resources and capabilities required to commercialize new technologies, whether to compete or cooperate with incumbent firms, and how to protect ideas in competitive markets. This is not a course in how to start a business or how write a business plan. Instead, the emphasis is on the acquisition and application of the analytical tools critical for the development of an entrepreneurial strategy. This course is relevant to students interested in founding or working in technology ventures, as well as careers in consulting and venture capital.


For more advanced ideas:

eLab NBA 6230 / NBA 6330 Actualizing Your Startup –Part I and Part II (4.5cr. Ken Rother) Cornell’s competitive student business accelerator program open to students in any college/school, including graduate students.


NBA 6650 Strategic Management of Innovation (Wesley D. Sine) Introductory management course covering the management of technology and innovation in established firms as well as start-up organizations.  Designed for students who may someday work in, consult for, and/or create firms whose primary product is fundamentally related to technology or innovation. Students will also participate in a weekend team innovation practicums in Ithaca or New York City. See syllabus here.