The UC Berkeley Entrepreneurship Suite

The UC Berkeley Entrepreneurship Suite


Professor Fleming has taught entrepreneurship and a variety of entrepreneurship, innovation, strategy, and operations courses while on the faculty of the Harvard Business School for 13 years. Professor Fleming has published on these topics in Science and is currently Director of the Fung Institute of Engineering Leadership, where he is responsible for the delivery of entrepreneurship and leadership education for 500+ Masters students. He is also on the Haas School of Business faculty and currently leading efforts across campus to form a graduate research group in entrepreneurship and innovation.

Program Offerings (as individual modules or complete package)

Module 1 – Entrepreneurship in the Platform economy: Exploiting Network Effects.

How did Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, and Tencent come to dominate the economy so quickly? How can entrepreneurs compete with them and build their own successful platform businesses? Digital platforms have completely upended traditional strategic analysis tools. This course considers a wide variety of platforms, investigating their network dynamics, business models, scaling and regulatory challenges, and threats to future viability. It also discusses how today’s entrepreneurs can compete and win in the platform economy.

Module 2 – Science and Technology Based Entrepreneurship: Exploiting Research Breakthroughs.

How can a brilliant scientist take his or her breakthroughs and start a firm that changes the world? How can policy makers translate their academic and government research into larger benefits for their people and the economy? Science and basic research generate great numbers of potentially economy-changing breakthroughs, yet very few get out of the lab and into the economy. This course looks at the process of science and creativity, technology transfer from universities, how to find and understand possible customers and applications, and the challenges of taking peer-reviewed science to market.

Module 3 – Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship: Exploiting your Intellectual Capital.

When are patents essential to a successful entrepreneurial venture? How can you build and defend your intellectual capital? While patents are not always necessary (or even helpful) to entrepreneurship, they are sometimes indispensable to competition and funding. This course outlines how to analyze your intellectual property, understand its value and vulnerabilities, identify competitors and collaborators, choose between licensing and starting a firm, and develop business models and strategies that best exploit your intellectual capital.

Module 4 – Silicon Valley: What makes the World’s most Entrepreneurial Region Tick?

How did Silicon Valley go from fruit orchards to the world’s dominant technology region in 30 years? How can policy makers foster entrepreneurship in their own regions? This course briefly discusses the birth of Silicon Valley and then elicits the most important characteristics that led to its success. Failed policies are dissected in order to inform and improve future policy efforts.

Module 5 – Identifying Entrepreneurial Opportunities: Finding and Defining a User Need.

How can an entrepreneur identify a badly unmet need in the economy? How can s/he then assemble the resources to satisfy that need and build a successful and sustainable advantage? Many entrepreneurial efforts fail due to a lack of marketing savvy and customer understanding. This course takes a marketing perspective and explores examples of successful opportunity identification, details customer and market research techniques, and presents frameworks to aid the aspiring entrepreneur.

Module 6 – An Introduction and Exploration of Whether you Should Become an Entrepreneur.

What is entrepreneurship? Should you become an entrepreneur? This course focuses on the individual who is considering starting their own firm. It explores many examples of entrepreneurial paths and highlights some of the choices that entrepreneurs face, including how to minimize personal and professional risk, who to found with and who to hire, what sorts of funding to seek (and the long term impacts of that funding), and how and when to exit.

Module 7 – Entrepreneurship within and Outside of the Established Firm.

How can established firms maintain an entrepreneurial culture? How can they benefit from the entrepreneurial ideas of their employees? Large firms often fail to take full advantage of their internal talent, for fear that employees will leave and ultimately compete with them. This course discusses how to create and foster entrepreneurial efforts within the firm, encourage employees to start a new venture, and structure spin-outs to the incumbent’s advantage.

Module 8 – Entrepreneurial Finance: Getting your Firm Funded.

How can you find the financial resources to make your firm successful? This course introduces the basics of entrepreneurial financing, including sources and the basic accounting and finance needed to understand these issues.

Module 9 – Strategic Entrepreneurial Finance: Getting Returns for your Effort.

How can you fund your firm while maintaining control and returns for your effort? How can you get your firm to an IPO or exit? This course requires the basic entrepreneurial finance course and goes into greater depth and focuses on strategy, including negotiations, pitching, venture capital structures and motives, and exit strategies.

Module 10 – Entrepreneurial Business Models and Scaling Strategies

How can you turn your great idea into a viable business model? How can you acquire customers and scale a sustainable venture? This course discusses a variety of entrepreneurial business models, efficient and effective customer acquisition, scaling operations, and how to get around incumbents’ barriers to entry – and erect your own.