Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Changing the World via Venture Creation

Open to students entering grades 11 or 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
I - June 25–July 15, 2017
II - July 17–August 5, 2017
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 9:10 –11:00 a.m. and 1:10–3:00 p.m.
Jack McGourty

“The thing that surprised me about the class was the fact that we didn’t just learn the business, we really did it.” — William Abdallah, 2016

Course Description

Intended for students interested in creating new business or social enterprises, this hands-on course focuses on the creation, evaluation, development, and launch-readiness of new business or social ventures. Participants are guided through the new venture creation process as applied to student team-selected venture ideas.

Through interactive lectures, short case studies, visits from guest entrepreneurs, and structured peer activities, students explore the elements of the new venture planning process in an innovative modular format. For each student venture, key issues are addressed in a fashion highly consistent with other formal venture-planning processes including: business model development, customer discovery, product-market validation, in-depth industry and market analysis, product or service innovation, brand development and go-to-market strategies, team selection and management, profit models, financing, and legal considerations.

Students work through a series of structured activities and assignments that correspond with each phase of new venture planning. Throughout the class they refine their venture’s hypothesized business model on the basis of instructor, visiting expert, and peer feedback. At each stage of venture plan development, they learn critical terms, apply tools that support research and decision making, and develop a deep understanding on how each major planning activity fits into formal venture creation. Additionally, they hone critical professional skills including creative problem-solving, communication and negotiation, project management, financial analysis, and collaborative leadership. By the end of the class, participants have generated robust business models, with supportive venture plan documents, investor pitches, websites, and crowd-funding videos.

Participants are expected to bring laptops for this class.


Jack McGourty

Jack McGourty Ph.D. is Director of Community and Global Entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School and a faculty member teaching graduate courses in entrepreneurship, venture creation, and economic development in emerging markets. Prior to joining the Columbia Business School, Jack was Vice Dean at Columbia’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. Over the past 18 years, he has been an active member of the University's entrepreneurial community, establishing an undergraduate minor in tech entrepreneurship, teaching core and advanced courses in entrepreneurship, and launching the federally-funded Columbia University-Harlem Small Business Development Center, which offers technical assistance to local entrepreneurs and small business owners. Jack founded and directs Venture for All®, a global program designed to educate aspiring entrepreneurs and build capacity for high potential startup ventures in emerging markets, with the ultimate goal of enhancing entrepreneurial ecosystems in support of regional innovation and economic development.

Back to the Course Guide

Specific course information, such as hours and instructors, are subject to change at the discretion of the University.