MPCS 51250 Entrepreneurship in Technology (Spring 2016)

Section 1
Location Ryerson 251
Meeting Times Friday 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Fulfills Elective


NOTE: This syllabus is tentative and subject to change. This class will be taught by Ben Johnson.

The core theme for the Entrepreneurship in Technology course is that computer science students need exposure to the broad challenges of capturing opportunities and creating companies. Most of the skills required for this process have nothing to do with one’s technical capacity.  We’ll explore creating a story, pitching the idea, raising money, hiring, marketing, selling, and more.  Real-world examples, case-studies, and lessons-learned will be blended with fundamental concepts and principles.  The course will involve a business plan, case-studies, and supplemental reading to provide students with significant insights into the resolve required to take an idea to market. Class discussion will also be a key part of the student experience.

  1. Introduction

    1. Introduce the course, discuss goals, talk about the current landscape for startups

  2. Are you ready to turn this into a company?

    1. What’s your idea? Is there a market for it? Do you have any experience in this area?

  3. Minimum Viable Product

    1. What do you need to build to raise money? To recruit a team? To sell?

  4. Creating a Budget

    1. How much money? How will it be spent? How long is the runway?

  5. Pitching Your Idea

    1. What’s your story? How concise and focused are you? How big is this opportunity?

  6. Growing the team

    1. Who do you hire and how do you target them?

  7. Sales, and Marketing Part 1

    1. What ideas do you have for exposure? What’s your gotomarket strategy?

  8. Sales, and Marketing Part 2

    1. Building on part 1, how do you overcome challenges? How do you scale the team?

  9. Partnerships, OEMs, and more

    1. Do you OEM? Do you partner? Do you license your tech/IP?

  10. Exit Strategy: Sell or Additional Rounds of Funding?

    1. How many rounds? Are we trying to get bought or IPO or other?  How long do the founders retain their spots?

Books (tentative list)
  • The Lean Startup: Eric Ries

  • The Art of the Start: Guy Kawasaki

  • Good to Great: Jim Collins

  • Crossing the Chasm: Geoffrey Moore

  • I’m Feeling Lucky: Douglas Edwards

  • Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise: Thomas Byers, Richard Dorf

Course Prerequisites

Core Programming

Other Prerequisites


Overlapping Classes

This class is scheduled at a time that conflicts with these other classes:

  • MPCS 52553-1 -- Web Development