Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Course content

A growing need for innovative solutions and start-ups has shifted entrepreneurship and innovation management from a mere business school agenda to career options and demanded competencies across academic disciplines. This course is specifically designed for non-business students who want to find out more about idea development and start-up processes in new ventures. It is also relevant for students who want to be better prepared for the non-technical aspects of innovation processes in existing firms. The course introduces students with little or no background in business studies to theories and tools for entrepreneurship and innovation management that can assist them in idea development and realization. To combine the process with their “own world” students will build venture teams and develop their own venture idea that addresses a challenge connected to their fields of study. In particular, students will be encouraged to pay attention to unresolved problems and new opportunities in their academic environments in order to find inspiration for the development of a business idea. Business ideas are not limited to new products or new for-profit ventures, but may include any type of innovation in a new or existing for- or non-profit setting. The ideas will be developed based on collaboration with relevant enterprises and stakeholders, such as student incubators and entrepreneurship support organizations.  

At the beginning of the course, a team formation process will be initiated. Based on their interests and competences, students will join venture teams consisting of approximately 5 students, ideally reflecting a diversity of disciplines. The course itself will then include theory input and insights from practitioners, but will have a strong focus on team project work and feedback sessions. Theory sessions will include an introduction to A) innovation theories and innovation management tools that can be applied in new ventures or existing organizations (e.g., creativity techniques, innovation process models, design thinking, business modelling), B) classic and new entrepreneurship theories (opportunity discovery and creation), as well as C) a variety of toolboxes for entrepreneurs. In project work sessions students will need to work in their “venture teams” and apply these theories and tools to develop venture ideas through group work, in-class exercises, and interaction with stakeholders.

Education

MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health
MSc Programme in Agricultural Economics
MSc Programme in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
MSc Programme in Human Nutrition
MSc Programme in Climate Change

Learning outcome

An entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to manage and support innovation processes under conditions of uncertainty and distributed knowledge is essential to new venture creation, but has also become a key competence in existing private and public sector organizations. The purpose of the course is to provide non-business students interested in developing their own ventures or in entrepreneurial and innovation processes with a basic set of theories and roadmaps of possible actions and tools they can use to engage in new ventures or innovation teams. Moreover, the course is designed to stimulate entrepreneurial and innovative activities within and outside university and in different business and non-business future employment situations, including work in cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional set-ups. The course aims to create awareness for an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset in the students’ specific area through a focus on the interdisciplinary and team-based application of theories and tools in the context of their own and their team members’ academic experience. The final outcome is that students will be able to build on the knowledge and teamwork experiences from the course during their entrepreneurial career, and in further graduate courses on specific topics within innovation, entrepreneurship, and business development. 

On completion of the course the student will be able to: 
 

Knowledge:

  • Show an overview of theories and concepts in entrepreneurship and innovation management, including entrepreneurial and innovation processes, design thinking, business modelling, and business planning

  • Describe the characteristics of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship

  • Classify different types of innovation (e.g. product, process, organizational)

  • List and describe creativity and business development tools

 

Skills:

  • Work with entrepreneurship and innovation processes in relation to their fields of study

  • Communicate ideas to stakeholders including team members, investors, customers, and other potential partners

  • Give and receive feedback for idea development

  • Use creativity and business development tools in team settings

 

Competences:

  • Apply the theoretical foundations and the approaches learned in the course to engage in entrepreneurial activities in new or existing private firm, public organizations (including universities), or NGOs

  • Understand the role of design thinking, planning, control, stakeholders, goals, and resources in entrepreneurship and innovation processes

  • Independently identify and approach stakeholders necessary for the realization of business ideas

  • Manage creativity and business idea development processes in interdisciplinary settings

The course targets 1) students who would like to be entrepreneurial and innovative but do not know how to get started, and 2) students interested in fostering innovation in existing organizations. The course gives students an overview of entrepreneurship and innovation management theories. A large part of the course is then set-aside for presenting and using tools entrepreneurs and future employees may use to develop and co-create their ventures with others, or manage innovation processes in organizations. To practice real-life applicability of theories and tools students will be requested to apply online lecture and guest presentation contents to their own venture idea projects. Through project work students will engage in possible courses of action to iteratively develop venture ideas under conditions of uncertainty and unpredictable outcomes. They will learn to gather sufficient knowledge to get started, and to apply certain tools under conditions of uncertainty und ’unknowable’ outcomes. In particular, they will practice how to approach partners and stakeholders to initiate a co-creating process. Teaching and learning methods will be based on a mix of for example class lectures, workshops, role plays, guest lectures (entrepreneurs, experienced business people, business support organizations, or scholars in specific fields), and team assignments related to the student’s projects. Furthermore, students will give and receive feedback on their project work, will need to learn how to work and organize themselves in teams, and will practice to communicate their business ideas through intermediary and final presentations to internal and external stakeholders.

Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur Y. (2010) Business Model Generation. Wiley, New Jersey.

Selected articles

The course is designed to give students from a broad range of educations an introduction to entrepreneurship and innovation processes and no prerequisites are required.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Oral examination in relating a selected entrepreneurship and innovation topic to the curriculum and the course project

Weight: 100%
Aid
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Students' ability to display gained knowledge, skills, and competences (see learning outcomes) with particular emphasis on students' ability to relate theories and concepts in the curriculum to the course project work

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • E-Learning
  • 10
  • Theory exercises
  • 24
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Project work
  • 92
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Preparation
  • 20
  • Exam
  • 2
  • English
  • 206