Through a combination of cases and experiential exercises this course brings to students what expert entrepreneurs have learned the hard way. Expert entrepreneurs are people who have built multiple ventures including successes and failures and taken at least one company public. The lessons they learned have been extracted from cutting edge research in cognitive science and behavioral economics and were embodied in a framework called effectual reasoning. The course materials synthesize these lessons for the classroom while also drawing upon the histories of hundreds of ventures including for-profit, nonprofit, and everything in between. Students will not only learn the five principles of effectual entrepreneurship but also learn to apply these to a variety of situations including different stages of starting and growing a new venture, turning around, growing and leading existing ventures, and solving large problems in the world. Interestingly, one immediate application of effectual reasoning will be to students’ career aspirations irrespective of whether they involve entrepreneurship in the traditional sense of starting a company or not.


Academic course objectives


·         Learn the five principles and logic of effectuation that encapsulate lessons expert entrepreneurs have learned through years of building enduring ventures

·         Explore applications of the principles in a variety of settings including personal careers, leadership within existing companies, and solving large social problems


Elements of the course grade


Class contribution                   40%

Experiential exercises              20%

Final paper/project                  40%