Course Detail

Entrepreneurship: Urban Opportunities and Solutions II (42707)

Course Description by Faculty

  • Smith, Abbie
  • Content
    Note: This is the speaker series for Entrepreneurship: Urban Opportunities and Solutions. Students must apply for this course and will be enrolled in both the workshop (42706) and speaker series (42707). Booth and non-Booth students are welcome to apply. Please complete this survey provided here. Students will be enrolled and notified, as space permits. Students from all three sections of 42706 will attend the same speaker series (42707-81) on Monday evening at Gleacher from 6-7:20. Students also will be admitted to a workshop session either on Monday 1:30-2:50 (42706-01) or 3:10-4:30 (42706-02) at Harper or 7:40-9 at Gleacher (42706-81).

    Course description and motivation (42706/42707):

    This is a lab course focused on entrepreneurship in the urban context. Urban challenges require new approaches and players. Entrepreneurs have an expanding and unprecedented opportunity to participate by addressing challenges in city living and governance with new profitable business models. For example, recent start-ups are devoted to making cities safer while earning a profit, making downtown housing affordable by offering a new “iPhone of apartments” and by a matching platform for finding roommates, saving municipalities money by bringing the sharing economy to city government, producing dramatic increases in recycling behavior in urban households, turning inner-city drop-outs to graduates, and providing tailored urban commuting solutions by crowdsourcing routes.

    The course was co-developed with entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Stonly Baptiste. Stonly is a Co-Founder and Partner of Urban Us, a venture fund investing in seed and early stage startups that make cities and city life better. He is a member of the investment committee for BMW/MINI’s URBAN-X Accelerator, which invests in pre-seed companies building the future of urban living. He was named in CNN Money’s 2015 Upstart 30 and Govtech Magazine’s 2017 Top Innovators in Government. Stonly has 10 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur, building five ventures spanning different sectors and international markets, including Brazil and Canada. He has taught workshops and classes in software development and entrepreneurship and is a regular speaker at events like TechCrunch Disrupt and LAUNCH Festival.

    During the quarter students will work in and out of the classroom in a four-person team to apply design thinking methods and tools to develop insights on an urban problem of choice and to develop, test, iterate, and pitch a proposed for-profit business model to address the problem (“term project”). The weekly workshop (42706) will be used to advance team projects and get feedback from classmates and instructors. A mentor from the urban entrepreneurial community will be assigned to each team for additional guidance on term projects outside the classroom throughout the quarter.

    Team pitches will be presented during a specially scheduled two-hour and 40 minute workshop on Monday, March 12 (week 11) (rather than a final exam) as follows:

    42706-01 Harper 10 a.m – 1p.m.

    42706-02 Harper 1:30-4:30 p.m.

    42706-81 Gleacher GC300 6-9 p.m.

    Sections 42706-01 and 42706-02 will meet jointly at Gleacher with section 42706-81 on January 15 (Martin Luther King holiday) rather than on Monday afternoon at Harper.

    The Monday evening speaker series (42707) will consist of interactive presentations by urban entrepreneurs, VCs, and municipal officials.

    The speaker series, workshop, weekly readings, homework exercises, and term project for 42706 / 42707 are designed to provide students with an understanding of:

    o Urban challenges

    o The expanding entrepreneurial role in improving city life and/or governance

    o How entrepreneurs are combining and leveraging new technologies and other “enablers” to address urban challenges with innovative business models that create value for the firm and the public

    o How addressing urban challenges can help resolve pressing global issues

    o How design thinking methods and tools are used to develop insights into stakeholders’ problems/needs, develop products/services to meet those needs, identify and tests key assumptions, develop and employ prototypes (including, but not limited to a landing page or functioning website with (no coding required), and iterate towards a solution

    o How to embed a proposed offering in a viable business model that tackles an urban challenge in a new way

    o How to identify and test key business model assumptions and assess associated risks

    o How to build and test a minimum viable product

    o How to assess potential public benefits and market size

    o How to work with local Governments (e.g. as supporters, partners, or customers)

    o How to build support (e.g. early customers, advisors, corporate partners, other stakeholders)

    o How to deliver an effective pitch.

    The course also is designed to provide students with connections to key players in the emerging ecosystem in this dynamic space.

    Who should take this class?

    Students interested in entrepreneurship or corporate intrapreneurship are encouraged to consider this course. The course also may be of interest to students planning to work for municipalities or public sector practices of private consultancies and advisory firms.

    Format o Speaker presentations and Discussions

    o Group Assignments

    o Group Presentations

    • Discussion

    • Group Projects

    • Group Presentations

  • Prerequisites
    Cannot take BUSN 42706 & 42707 if 42703 taken previously: strict. Application required.
  • Materials
    The Designing for Growth Field Book: A Step-by-Step Project Guide, Columbia Business School Press, 2014.

    Additional materials to be determined.

    • Canvas Site Available

  • Grades
    Grades will be based on individual and team assignments, class participation, and the term project. No auditors. No pass/fail grades.

    The combined course grade for 42706/42707 will be computed as follows:

    o 25% attendance and class participation (including feedback to other teams)

    o 20% evaluation of your effort by teammates

    o 20% homework and mini-presentations

    o 35% final team project and presentation

    • Graded attendance/participation

    • No auditors

    • No pass/fail grades

  • Syllabus
  • Winter 2018Section: 42707-81M 6:00PM-7:20PMGleacher Center300
Description and/or course criteria last updated: November 14 2017