At Olin, We Define Entrepreneurship Differently

At Olin we have an expansive definition of entrepreneurship. We focus on developing people over products, and behaviors over businesses. Throughout the curriculum we connect the teaching of engineering to entrepreneurship by encouraging our students to put the creation of real value for real people at the forefront of everything they do. Our entrepreneurship stream offers students a structured experience to help them develop the mindset, the methods and the resources needed to act on their entrepreneurial ideas and interests.

 

Products & Markets

Products & Markets is Olin’s introductory entrepreneurship class and is taken by every student in the second semester of their first year. In this course students are introduced to Olin’s unique definition of entrepreneurship which is built upon experimentation, grounded in the context of engineering and driven by the question: “How do we create value?” Value for our users, customers, selves and the world.

In small, dynamic teams, students explore their entrepreneurial curiosity and pursue their own definitions of value by creating real products, services and businesses then testing them with real users and customers. Using these projects as a backdrop, students learn entrepreneurial experimentation, how to successfully pursue product-market fit and develop team skills that are crucial to their success, not just as entrepreneurs but as engineers, innovators and citizens.

Iterate

Iterate...

Iterate..., one of Olin’s entrepreneurship elective courses, provides students with the resources to explore the entrepreneurial potential of their ideas and their ability to create value “in the wild.” Whether a student or team enters with a fully-formed business concept, a compelling project from any other class, a side project driven by personal passion or even just a healthy dose of curiosity, Iterate... offers students an explicit and rigorous structure to test and validate their ideas. The course proceeds as a series of two-week experiments, during which students test a different question, hypothesis or assumption about their idea by getting in front of real people. Outside resources, mentors and advisors are engaged based upon the specific needs of each project. Consistent with both its name and its intention, Iterate….may be taken for full credit as many times as needed or desired.

Olin College Course Launch 

Launch

As one of Olin’s entrepreneurship elective courses, Launch supports students looking to apply to external sources such as business model competitions and venture capital for resources to advance their product, business, creative and impact ideas. Every student or team in the course applies to pitch their idea at the Babson B.E.T.A. Challenge. In addition, students are encouraged and supported in their efforts to apply to early stage funding sources such as Rough Draft Ventures and accelerators such as MassChallenge. Outside resources, mentors and advisors are substantively engaged based upon the specific needs of each project.