MPCS 51250 Entrepreneurship in Technology (Winter 2023)

Section 1
Instructor(s) Hall, Dylan (dmhall23)
Location JCL 390
Meeting Times Wednesday 5:30pm - 8:30pm
Fulfills Elective


Many of the most successful companies have been created by technologists, but many technologists fail to consider entrepreneurship as a viable career pathway because it is difficult to gain exposure to entrepreneurship.  Students in this class will experience, firsthand, new product development based on an idea conceived of by your group.  Your group will nurture your idea by clearly defining your product, obtaining market feedback, building an initial proof-of-concept, and pitching to investors.  While there is no requirement that your product become a new technology venture, this class is meant to serve as a launchpad for the first three months of a startup for those interested in pursuing their ideas further.  The fundamental belief, however, is that the entrepreneurial experience provided in this class can support you whether you develop new products in your large corporate enterprise or do pursue entrepreneurship in a startup of your own, and all students are encouraged to consider this course no matter your career trajectory or level of technical proficiency.

The class is broken into the following key segments:

  • Weeks 1 - 4: Product definition and market feedback
  • Weeks 5 - 7: Minimum viable product (MVP) development
  • Weeks 8 - 10: Product demo and investor pitch

The MVP component of the course is flexible.  Students have run the gamut from building algorithms in Excel to building a mobile app from scratch to advance their idea forward.  The class is generally graded on how much you grow the product and your own understanding of it in the quarter.  Complex technology projects are not discouraged or encouraged, rather, the focus is simply on growth and using some element of technology and feedback from the marketplace to advance your idea forward.


Course Prerequisites

Core Programming

Other Prerequisites

This course requires competency in Unix and Linux. If you attended the MPCS Unix Bootcamp you covered the required material. If you did not, please review the UChicago CS Student Resource Guide here:

Overlapping Classes

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

  • MPCS 55001-2 -- Algorithms
  • MPCS 52011-1 -- Introduction to Computer Systems
  • MPCS 53120-1 -- Applied Data Analysis
  • MPCS 53110-1 -- Foundations of Computational Data Analysis
  • MPCS 51230-2 -- User Interface and User Experience Design

Eligible Programs

Masters Program in Computer Science MS in Computational Analysis in Public Policy (Year 2) MA in Computational Social Science (Year 2) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 1: Research-Oriented) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 2: Professionally-oriented - CS Majors) Bx/MS in Computer Science (Option 3: Profesionally-oriented - Non-CS Majors)