“In all of our lives, we will face many opportunities and challenges where we will need to think and manage like an entrepreneur. ”
Many people think of entrepreneurship just as “starting a business.” Some identify it only with Silicon Valley tech startups and venture capital.
In fact, all these are part of how we see entrepreneurship at Cal Poly. But we go beyond that to include a broader mindset and viewpoint. We see entrepreneurs (of all ages) as individuals who keep their eyes open for opportunities to innovate, to do something better—to “create value.” The entrepreneurial business person understands how to manage and grow a company through stages. And, above all, there are entrepreneurs in all industries and walks of life.
Can you learn entrepreneurship?
We take the viewpoint that entrepreneurial business growth requires the whole breadth of business activity—strategy, marketing, sales, people management, technology, finance, accounting, etc. Entrepreneurs must have a deep understanding of business management practices and also learn to surround themselves with people of experience. Then, you need to add a willingness to experiment, to learn quickly, and to manage risk. Above all, entrepreneurs need to know the “questions to ask” to understand their business operations and strategy.
What courses will I take?
- Required courses (20 units): BUS 310 (Introduction to Entrepreneurship); BUS 436 (Entrepreneurial Finance); BUS 488 (Planning and Managing New Ventures); BUS 418 (Listening to the Customer); IT 428 (Commercialization of New Technologies)
- Electives (8 units): Students choose from a list of courses in areas like marketing, finance, management, accounting, industrial technology, etc.
What about Senior Projects?
Entrepreneurship Senior Projects can be as varied as working with business and engineering students on creating a business to building a business plan for a non-profit or local start-up. Each project is different and yet all emphasize a holistic approach to your business ideas.
How can I learn more?
- Join Cal Poly Entrepreneurs, a student-run entrepreneurship organization.
- Talk to other students.
- Attend an event hosted by the Cal Poly Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CIE)!
- Contact Dr. Jonathan York with the information in the sidebar above.