Learn how to make things happen.
BET courses teach you how to turn ideas into opportunities. Study entrepreneurship and business with undergraduate courses from the Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business.
Not sure where to start? Check out BET 100 - Foundations of Entrepreneurial Practice - an online course that offers an academic overview of the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
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Courses offered in spring 2020
Need help selecting a BET course?
Contact Tara-Gingerich Hebert for questions or advice.
Successful entrepreneurs combine intellectual rigour with innovation to create solutions that have impact. It is a process that starts with a search for “big ideas” using tools such as research, observation, and appreciative inquiry. Next, entrepreneurs analyze situations and apply creativity techniques to develop solutions. Finally, solutions are tested against business drivers including customer value propositions, customer identification, channel selection, and resource needs. This course covers the three steps that form the foundation of all entrepreneurial success: big ideas, solutions, and testing. Because of its broad scope, the course is valuable to students from different academic backgrounds, entrepreneurship interests, and program level.
Offered: F, W, S
Modern organizations increasingly rely on a technological infrastructure that informs what can be accomplished, the prospects for long-term growth, and its overall competitiveness. In this course, students will learn about underlying technologies, gain insights into planning for new technologies, evaluate existing systems and understand the various roles and issues related to corporate Information Systems management.
Offered: Spring 2020
This course is available to students who are committed to starting a venture through E Co-op, Velocity or on their own. The course is an introduction to the processes involved in moving an idea from conception to launch. Topics covered include:
- definition and evaluation of entrepreneurial opportunities
- crafting clear value propositions
- business models and startup processes
- business plan framework
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Offered: F, W, S
Success starts with finding a solution to a “big idea” and then creating the right strategy to bring it to market. The final step in the process is explored in this course, the disciplined execution of strategy. A broad range of skills are required for this including understanding founder and team dynamics, hiring and firing, cash flow management, project management, developing suitable equity structures and compensation, pitching, fund-raising, internal and external communications, and people skills. This course explores the business skills and knowledge needed to take a new venture – whether it is a start-up or part of an existing organization – from strategy to market.
Offered: F, W, S
Once your “big idea” has been formulated, what is the best way to realize its potential? With whom should you partner? How do you protect your intellectual property? What is the optimal business model?
The objective of this course is to provide an understanding of the commercialization process, with a specific focus on assessment of opportunities and development of an entrepreneurial business plan. Course content includes the importance of strategic partnerships, understanding the bases of competition, conducting industry and market level analyses, evaluating innovative ideas for commercial potential, business planning in a corporate context, intellectual property strategy, and strategic tools needed for launching new ideas.
Offered: F, W, S
In this hands-on course, entrepreneurial students will learn the principles and tools of customer experience (CX) design and how developing an exceptional experience for the customers fits into an overall business strategy. Not only will students develop a conceptual understanding of user experience and user-centered design, they will also learn how to deeply understand the needs of the customer and develop engaging and innovative products and services. Topics include:
- visual design principles
- design thinking
- user experience research
- experience mapping
- sketching and storyboards
- interactive prototypes
- usability testing
This course develops the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to develop a marketing strategy for early stage ventures. The purpose of this course is to help sustain and grow a venture that has already launched. Topics include:
- managing product development
- marketing and brand development
- segmentation and targeting
- competitor analysis
This course explores how innovative approaches can address social problems, create organizations that make positive change, have significant social impact, and are sustainable and economically viable. Topics include the principles of social entrepreneurship, design thinking applied to identifying significant problems, innovative solutions for social impact, and identifying opportunities for social change. Students will develop skills and tools for refining and implementing their ideas as well as measuring the success and value of mission-driven organizations. Through case studies, lectures, and workshops, students will also develop skills in strategic thinking with a socially-conscious business mindset to create high-impact ventures.
Offered: F, S
The one thing every new venture needs whether small or large, not-for-profit or for-profit, startup or part of an already mature business, is sales. This course is designed to help you create and grow a successful business venture through your personal marketing and sales efforts. Coursework examines key sales technologies, networking techniques, the use of marketing in sales, the sales process, and assessing the value of a particular sale from both the perspective of customer impact and the financial/strategic impact on the organization.
Offered: F, W
Leaders make things happen. Leaders make things possible. This course explores the relevant concepts, theories and skills needed to lead successfully in any environment, from new ventures to change management in large corporations, government, and not-for-profits. Topics include:
- leadership and followership
- group and team dynamics
- change management
- interpersonal dynamics
- supporting leadership skills such as self-awareness, conflict management, and communications.
Course topics will be enriched through a critical study of leadership exemplars in popular media.
We negotiate every day with potential employers, coworkers, merchants, service providers, customers, and suppliers. Negotiation is the art and science of securing agreements between two or more independent parties. It is a craft that must hold co-operation and competition in creative tension, and even the most experienced negotiators often fall prey to common biases and errors in judgment. This course is highly experiential; therefore, students will practice, reflect, analyze, and practice again.
Offered: Winter 2020
This course explores the business practices needed to manage, run, and work for family-owned ventures. The focus will be on those issues unique to family-businesses such as the interaction between family, management, and ownership. Family-controlled businesses are also characterized by challenges that put their continuity in serious jeopardy; leadership and succession crises are the norm as 75% do not make it to the second generation and, of those that do, 90% do not make it to a third generation. Topics include:
- strengths and weaknesses of family businesses
- managing family-business conflict
- succession planning
- new opportunity development
- strategic planning
Offered: Winter 2020 (Canceled)
This course is useful for anyone considering working as a consultant, either for a consulting firm or as an internal consultant. Some of the competencies of an experienced consultant include understanding business needs from a holistic perspective, developing innovative ideas, expert people skills, influence, and change management.
This is a practical and in-depth course that addresses the overall profession of management consulting, including
- how consulting firms are organized and managed,
- consulting firm economics and professional rate setting,
- how consultants compete and secure clients, the types of services consultants provide,
- service delivery methods and practices,
- engagement management and progress reporting,
- deliverable development and content, value-added consulting services,
- managing client relations and expectations,
- and specialized consulting situations such as strategy, operational improvement, acquisitions and turnarounds.
This course also addresses ethical and professional responsibility in consulting, key stages in the consulting process, issue diagnosis, difficult clients, consulting frameworks, analytical approaches to solving complex problems, building a consulting toolset, change management processes, and advanced presentation techniques.
In addition, there will be guest speakers who work/ have worked with major consultancy companies such as McKinsey or Deloitte. They will provide you with industry insights and a chance to find out more about the day-to-day reality of being a consultant.
Offered: Fall 2019