How does a good idea become a viable business opportunity? What is entrepreneurship and who fits the profile of an entrepreneur? This introductory course is designed to introduce you to the foundational concepts of entrepreneurship, including the definition of entrepreneurship, the profile of the entrepreneur, the difference between entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial management, and the role of venture creation in society. You’ll explore where technology entrepreneurship and impact entrepreneurship align and where they diverge, and you’ll learn proven techniques for identifying the opportunity, assessing the opportunity, hypothesis testing and creating a prototype.
By the end of this course, you’ll know how to test, validate and prototype your idea, and also whether or not you fit the profile of an entrepreneur! You’ll also be ready to move on to the next phase of entrepreneurship in Entrepreneurship 2: Launching the Start-Up.
Introduction and Course Materials
This module was designed to introduce you to the team of Wharton professors who are teaching this course and others in the Entrepreneurship Specialization. You will also discover that entrepreneurship has different applications and even different definitions in academia and in practice. By the end of this short module, you'll know what entrepreneurship means to you and others, and understand some of the common arguments about entrepreneurship as a field of study.
Module 1: Introduction to Entrepreneurship
This module was designed to introduce you to the broad definition of the diverse topic of entrepreneurship and to give you an overview of the field. You'll learn the types of entrepreneurs, the most common categories of entrepreneurial ventures, and their key differentiating factors. Using real world examples, you'll see entrepreneurship in action in a wide variety of environments, from small businesses to social enterprises to large corporations. At the end of this module, you'll be able to define what entrepreneurship means to you, whether or not you fit the profile of the entrepreneur, and how to classify your venture to others. You'll also be able to cite current examples of successful entrepreneurial enterprises to support your own venture.
Module 2: Opportunity Analysis
In this module, you'll learn how to discover, develop, and assess opportunities, so you can choose one that has the best potential for success. Starting an enterprise is uncertain by nature, but you can increase certainty and decrease some risk by evaluating potential opportunities using thoughtful processes proven to help you decide which opportunities are better positioned for growth. You'll learn how to determine a market need, develop a solution, evaluate your solution using a variety of methods, and pressure test your idea. You'll also learn several methods of evaluating opportunity, including using customers, the VIDE model, and the tournament method. You'll see these processes applied to real world examples of both opportunities which were ultimately successful and those that failed. By the end of this module, you'll be able to apply these evaluation process to your own opportunities, and/or use them to discover new ones with greater potential for growth.
Module 3: Markets, Need-Finding and Planning
This module will help you define your market, identify your user, harness the wisdom of the crowd, and come up with an informed plan for your venture. You'll learn market segmentation, how to determine user needs, how to use the competitive landscape as well as potential users to refine your idea, and how to create a simple but powerful plan for your start-up that will allow you to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls. By the end of this module, you'll be able to refine your own pitch, develop a clearer picture of your user, and develop a useful model for your own enterprise.
Module 4: Pitching, Testing, and Prototyping
In this module, you'll learn how to pitch your idea, test it, and create a prototype. You'll learn why there's no single formula for a successful pitch, the best techniques for formulating good surveys, and strategies for creating prototypes for physical goods, software, and services. By the end of this module, you'll be be able to identify the key components of a successful pitch, know how to use surveys effectively to test your idea, and come up with a plan for building a prototype of your own product or service.