Art (and Science) of Entrepreneurial Thinking

The School of Business is offering a 1-credit hour block class during the Spring 2019 semester. Here’s a preview of the course syllabus.

TRUMAN STATE UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
BSAD 470 – The Art (and Science) of Entrepreneurial Thinking

COURSE NUMBER AND TITLE
BSAD 470 Special Topics in Business – The Art (and Science) of Entrepreneurial Thinking, 1 Credit hour

PREREQUISITE/COREQUISITE

None, except for some form of passion to learn how to “think outside the box” to solve significant problems (for profit or charity).

INSTRUCTOR

Doug Villhard: successful St. Louis entrepreneur, founder, investor, philanthropist, and Truman alumnus who actively manages, invests, and serves on the boards of “for profit” companies and “nonprofit” organizations.

COURSE MEETING TIME and OUT-OF-CLASS EXPECTATIONS
The course meets during the first block of the Spring 2019 semester and will meet two hours per week. Approximately four hours of out-of-class work is expected each week. A one day field trip to St. Louis is a required component of the course.

CONTACT INFORMATION

AVAILABILITY OUTSIDE CLASS
Virtual office hours to be determined

COURSE OBJECTIVES

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  •  Identify problems facing a significant market
  • Gather feedback on potential solutions
  • Estimate the investment necessary to take the solution to market
  • Present a concise pitch to potential investors

COURSE DESCRIPTION and TOPICS

  • This course is simply about learning to “think” like an entrepreneur
  • We’ll focus on the 6 key steps to entrepreneurial thinking:
    • Recognizing problems faced in a growing market
    • Brainstorming potential solutions for those problems
    • Differentiating those solutions from competitors
    • Soliciting (lots of) feedback from potential customers
    • Revising and testing solutions based on feedback
    • Estimating the investment necessary and returns possible to scale to the next level
  • And then we’ll wrap it all up into a 2-minute “elevator pitch” for your original business or charitable idea

REQUIRED READING MATERIALS

The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimal Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback by Dan Olson. Available at Amazon.

CLASS SESSIONS

  • Wednesdays from 8:30 to 10:30, VH 1412
  • 1 In-person 2-Hour “Kick Off” on campus on January 16, 2019.
  • 5 Weekly Virtual 2-Hour Class Video Discussions
  • 1 Day-Long Field trip to visit St. Louis entrepreneurs on January 23, 2019
  • 1 In-person 2-Hour “Wrap Up” on campus on March 6, 2019.

STUDENT DELIVERABLES AND EVALUATION

Deliverables

  • Attendance.
  • Weekly assignment: quiz, reflections, or projects related to the 6 steps to entrepreneurial thinking.
  • Reflections on takeaways from guest entrepreneur speakers and St. Louis field trip.
  • Class Final: A short write up and video recording of a no longer than 2-minute “elevator pitch” for an original business or charitable idea (based on the 6 steps and meeting the Truman Bulldog B.I.T.E Elevator Pitch Competition submission criteria).

Grading

  • Class and field trip attendance equates to 25%.
  • 7 weekly assignments combined equate to 50% of the grade.
  • The Final equates to 25%.

Technology Necessary

  • Students will need a Google gmail account login.
    • All assignments will be turned in via Google Docs
    • All virtual discussions will be conducted via Google Video Hangouts
  • Out of class discussions and office hours will be conducted via Slack (an instant messaging tool)
  • These technologies above (in addition to email) are essential for modern entrepreneurs.

ABSENCES
Students are expected to attend and be prepared to actively participate in each class. In spite of best intentions, however, sometimes absences occur. For planned absences, please notify me via email at least one week before the absence, and attach appropriate documentation (for example, athletes will provide a letter from the coach). For unplanned absences, please notify me via email as soon as reasonably possible. If you are not sure what is considered appropriate documentation for your particular situation, please don’t hesitate to ask me. Students who miss class are responsible for contacting the instructor or a classmate to receive updates on any changes to assignments, quizzes, due dates, etc.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS/SERVICES
If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an accommodation, you are encouraged to contact both your instructor and Student Access and Disability Services (660-785-4478) as soon as possible. For more information, see disabilityservices.truman.edu/

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
Personal and scholarly integrity are expected of everyone in the class. Failure to live up to those responsibilities, risks earning a failing grade on the assignment/examination, a failing grade for the course, and/or in serious cases expulsion from the academic program or University. The University policy on academic dishonesty as published in the Student Conduct Code and General/Graduate Catalog applies (catalog.truman.edu/content.php?catoid=14&navoid=691#Academic_Dishonesty).

TITLE IX STATEMENT
Truman State University and its faculty are committed to supporting our students and fostering an environment that is free from bias, discrimination, and harassment. If you have encountered any form of sexual misconduct (e.g., sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, domestic or dating violence), we encourage you report this to the University. If you speak with a faculty member about an incident of misconduct, that faculty member is a “mandated reporter” and must notify Truman State University’s Title IX Coordinator, and share the basic fact of your experience with the coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator will then be available to assist you in understanding all your options and in connecting you with resources both on and off campus. If you would prefer to have a confidential conversation about an experience, the counselors at University Counseling Services are NOT mandated reporters and they can be reached at 660-785-4014. For after-hours crisis counseling, call 660-665-5621. For more information regarding Truman’s policies and procedures relating to any form of gender discrimination, please see eoaa.truman.edu/university-non-discrimination-policy/ and eoaa.truman.edu/complaint-reporting-resolution-procedure/.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES

In each classroom on campus, there is a poster of emergency procedures explaining best practices in the event of an active shooter/hostile intruder, fire, severe weather, bomb threat, power outage, and medical emergency. This poster is also available as a PDF at this link:  police.truman.edu/files/2015/12/Emergency-Procedures.pdf .

Students should be aware of the classroom environment and note the exits for the room and building. For more detailed information about emergency procedures, please consult the Emergency Guide for Academic Buildings, available at following link: police.truman.edu/emergency-procedures/academic-buildings/

This six-minute video provides some basic information on how to react in the event there is an active shooter in your location: police.truman.edu/emergency-procedures/active-shooter/activeshooter-preparedness-video/ . Truman students, faculty, and staff can sign up for the TruAlert emergency text messaging service via TruView. TruAlert sends a text message to all enrolled cell phones in the event of an emergency at the University. To register, sign in to TruView and click on the “Truman” tab. Click on the registration link in the lower right of the page under the “Update and View My Personal Information” channel on the “Update Emergency Text Messaging Information” link. During a campus emergency, information will also be posted on the TruAlert website trualert.truman.edu/.

FERPA:

Education records are protected by the Family Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA). As a result, course grades, assignments, advising records, etc. cannot be released to third parties without your permission. There are, however, several exceptions about which you should be aware. For example, education records can be disclosed to employees or offices at Truman who have an “educational need to know”. These employees and offices may include your academic advisor, the Institutional Compliance Officer, the Registrar’s Office, or Student Affairs depending on the type of information. For more information about FERPA, see www.truman.edu/registrar/ferpa/.