This is a first-year gateway course and is not available for second-year bidding. Second-years must wait until the add/drop process begins in January to add this class.


COURSE TITLE: Entrepreneurship




INSTRUCTOR: Toby Stuart & Rob Chandra






CLASS FORMAT: Primarily case-based with frequent guest speakers and lectures.


REQUIRED READINGS: Course Packet; no textbook


BASIS FOR FINAL GRADE: Because this is a case-based course, a substantial portion of the grade will be class participation. The other major component of the grade is a final exam.



This course teaches the approach entrepreneurs use to identify attractive opportunities and to design and build new ventures. The pedagogy in the course includes case studies, vigorous classroom debate, video, and in-class visits from case protagonists. In addition to conveying frameworks for opportunity identification, business model development, raising financing, building founding teams, and growing nascent ventures, one of the major objectives of this course is to model the work life of a variety of entrepreneurs so that you will have the chance to personally reflect on your desire to pursue this type of career. Throughout the course, the cases and our discussions will have as their focal point the entrepreneur who, in the face of great uncertainty, must make decisions and take action.


The course focuses on the entrepreneur as a leader. In practice this means that in every case there is a person who must make and implement decisions. The issues facing the entrepreneur are typically multi-faceted and require an integrative perspective. You should come to class every day prepared to think and act like the protagonist in the case. You will need to present the analysis that leads you to make a particular decision and to explain the plan you have for implementing your decision. Your goal should be to persuade your classmates that this is the appropriate plan and decision for the situation at hand. Entrepreneurs have a bias to take action, and this course is intended to help you develop this attitude.





Toby E. Stuart is the Helzel Chair in Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and Innovation, and the Faculty Director at the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship. Previously he was the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and . Previously he was the Arthur J. Samberg Professor of Organizations and& Strategy and Academic Director of the Eugene M. Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School. He was also course head for Strategy Formulation. From 1995 to 2003, he was on the faculty at the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, where he was the Fred G. Steingraber-A.T. Kearney Professor of Organizations & Strategy. He received his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He holds an A.B., summa cum laude, in economics from Carleton College. Prior to earning his Ph.D., Dr. Stuart was a Research Associate at the Harvard Business School. Professor Stuart is the recipient of the 2007 Kauffman Prize Medal for Distinguished Research in Entrepreneurship, which is granted every other year to recognize one individual’s contributions to entrepreneurship research. He has also received the Administrative Science Quarterly’s Scholarly Contribution (best paper) award, as well as the Columbia Business School’s Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence.


Rob Chandra is the President and CEO of Avid Park Capital, a hedge fund based in Palo Alto. Previously, he was a managing partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, one of the largest and most successful venture capital firms in the US. During his 17 years in venture capital, he was an investor in 25 start-ups which went public or were acquired by other public companies. In his last year as a full-time venture capitalist, he was ranked #28 in the Forbes annual ranking of the top 100 venture capitalists. Prior to entering the investment profession, he worked for McKinsey & Company. He has a BA from University of California at Berkeley and a MBA from Harvard Business School. Course: Venture Capital, Private Equity and Hedge Funds – An Introduction.