ENTREP 495: NUvention Impact

Quarter Offered

Spring : 6:30-9:30 Tu ; Werwath


It is your responsibility to insure that you meet the prerequisites for this course.


NUvention impact is designed to expose students to all aspects of the business development process from the idea to the creation, financing and running of a start-up business.

In this class the concept of “application” extends to creating businesses to leverage innovations specifically in the social entrepreneurship space. Engineers are great innovators but sometimes a great innovation never reaches its potential since a business was not created to exploit it. NUvention impact is designed to teach you the skills to build a business. Students that are not engineering majors will also greatly benefit from this class. This course emphasizes the need for cross-functional teams, part of your grade will be based on how well you function in the team

This class cannot make you into an entrepreneur. It can help you better assess whether an idea is a business opportunity and how to transform that opportunity into a business.

As you already know, the best way to learn something is to actually do it. Since we cannot find companies for all of you to run, we will do the next best thing. The class project will involve putting together a business plan within small groups. This process should help students take advantage of whatever current or future business opportunities they may choose to pursue. 

INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Mark Werwath (

COURSE GOALS: Our overall goal is to help you understand how to evolve an idea into a business. Our course objectives include:

  • How to develop an idea
  • How to assess whether and idea is a good business opportunity
  • How to build a valid business model
  • Obtain solid understanding of Lean Start-Up
  • Developing sound business strategy
  • Understand how to create value in a business
  • How to market your business
  • Building a successful team
  • Developing and protecting intellectual property
  • Developing compelling idea pitches and business models
  • Understanding how to value a business
  • How to raise capital
  • Understand how to allocate equity among founders and employees

Over time, you will more than likely forget the some of the cases and other things you learn here. My hope is you never forget how to spot a good idea and develop it into a business.

STUDENT ROLE: For you to spend the time reading, analyzing and writing up the cases, it is my responsibility to see that you get the most out of your efforts. I hope to create a classroom environment that is interesting and fun. Your participation in class is CRITICAL to accomplishing our goal. You should come prepared to discuss the assigned case and reading.

INSTRUCTOR ROLE: My role as instructor is to facilitate the learning. You will do the majority of the talking. I will be taking notes on the board to help provide a path through the cases and the materials are mostly on blackboard that I will highlight during the course.

GRADING: Your grade will be compiled from these different components:





BUSINESS PLAN - 30%       

Class participation will be graded based on quality versus quantity. I place high importance on comments that move the class discussion forward. Class attendance will be factored into your participation score. 

For the business pitch/canvas, the students will form groups of up to four people and develop an idea pitch and a complete business model with supporting documentation for an idea they would consider pursuing.