ELS Minor

Four required courses (ELS 101, ELS 103, ELS 105 and ELS 107) and one elective are required for the minor. Students who have completed the necessary requirements to earn the minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership should complete the appropriate minor certification form.

Please Note: Courses used to earn the ELS Minor may not be taken Pass/Fail. In addition, for the majority of ELS courses, enrolling in a course Pass/Fail is not permitted.  Some exceptions may be made at the discretion of the instructor.

Complete the Entrepreneurial Leadership Minor Certification Form.

Required Courses for Minor

ELS 101.01, 101.02 – Entrepreneurship and Business Planning
Faculty: Tina Weber, Staff
This course focuses on investigating, understanding, and implementing the process of founding a start-up firm. Elements of searching out new venture opportunities, matching skills with a new venture, financing, competitive strategy, intellectual property, and operating a new venture will be explored. The focus of the course will be the development and presentation of a business plan created by teams of students with various academic backgrounds. (ELS 101.03, EC 74, and EM 153 may be substituted for ELS 101)  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 103 – Entrepreneurial Finance
Faculty: Alicia Amaral, Staff
This course focuses on understanding how to construct the data and find appropriate financing for a start-up venture. Various forms of financing are introduced: vendor financing, factoring, etc. Through a medley of tests, case studies, and team exercises, students exercise basic financial skills such as financial statement formulation, NPV analysis and scenario analysis. Prerequisite: ELS 101.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.


ELS 107 – Entrepreneurial Leadership
Faculty: Roger Patkin/Tom O’Reilly, Beth McCarthy, Pamela Stepp
This course is designed to help students develop their knowledge, confidence, skills, and self-image necessary to pursue entrepreneurial ventures in such domains as business, government, and public service. It provides a foundation in the fundamentals of entrepreneurial leadership, as well as a source of inspiration and energy in the art and science of taking visions and bringing them to reality. Prerequisite: ELS 101. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 105 – Entrepreneurial Marketing
Faculty: Jack DerbyGavin Finn
This course focuses on institutional and product marketing methods used by start-up to medium-sized companies. After an overview of basic marketing principles, the course will cover the spectrum from day-to-day marketing activities of the entrepreneurial business to positioning and strategy. Students will learn to analyze, formulate, and implement marketing strategy, and learn the fundamentals of market research, pricing, and reaching and selling to customers. Prerequisite: ELS 101.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

Course substitutions

ELS 101.03 – High Technology Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Staff
This is a graduate level course that focuses on the key components of starting a venture-scalable high-tech business. The course will examine the full life cycle of a startup; from opportunity assessment and market sizing to R&D and operation plans and go-to-market and distribution strategy. The course will also cover venture capital, legal considerations and team building. The role of angel investors, venture capitalists, and non-dilutive funding will be covered in depth. Student teams will write and present a business plan to active venture capitalists in the Boston area. Graduate engineering arts and sciences, medical, dental and veterinary students will be given preference in enrollment. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

EM 153 – Management of Innovation (This course may be substituted for ELS 101.)
Faculty: Sam Liggero
Development of the knowledge, skills and insight necessary to lead and manage innovation in new product, process and service development, including the market development life cycle. Topics taught include planning and execution of engineering products, best practices from concept generation to completion with emphasis on concurrent design, project and program management tools and techniques, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, and design for sustainability. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

BME 194 – Special Topics: Biomedical Entrepreneurship & Strategy (This course may be substituted for ELS 101.) 
Faculty: Greg Altman
This course focuses on offering valuable insight into translational research, strategic business planning and inter-functional leadership critical to the successful development of biomedical innovation. Students will develop a detailed understanding of conceptual development through commercialization of a med-tech product and start to build the vocabulary and knowledgebase necessary to become successful industry leaders. The course is designed to increase the student’s foundation in product development planning, strategic planning, presentation skills, interpersonal skills, decision-making, risk analysis and business plan development by offering an in-depth perspective in biomedical entrepreneurship within the start-up or large corporate organization.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.  (Note: Undergraduates will be admitted with the permission of the instructor.) 

Elective Courses for the ELS Minor

(Note: The following electives are open to freshmen: ELS 141, ELS194-01, EM 52, EC 3, EC 6, DR 0027)

EC 3 – Principles of Accounting

This course covers fundamental accounting principles, including theory, revenue determination, and interpretation and preparation of income statements and balance sheets. Open to freshman. 

ELS 0109: Societal Aspects of Design
Instructor: Ronald Lasser
Multi-disciplinary perspective of innovative technology-based design process for societal and community influence. Elements and principles of design from product development process, thought and emotion, ethics and responsibility. Experiments to explore failure and iteration, reflection for self-discovery and innovation. Articulation and expression via written, oral and pre-recorded audio and video presentations showing measurable impact of solutions as societal benefits.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 141/AMER 141 – Innovative Social Enterprises, Taught in Partnership with Tisch College
Instructor: Staff
This course explores social entrepreneurship within for-profit and non-profit organizations. It covers elements of integration of innovation; development and management of a business within and existing corporate culture; and, focuses on the benefits and limits of adapting business practices to the operating environments of the social sector.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.  Cross-listed as American Studies 141

ELS 162 – Special Topics: Creative Design Process of Products
Instructor: Josh Weismann
The Creative Design Process of Products course covers the engineering process of product design from conception to pre-production of a new product. The course teaches the creative design process through lectures and the creation, engineering, and prototype of a novel product. Students learn to identify and evaluate a problem (opportunity) and sketch, create, develop, test, and select best prototyping strategies for their product. Basic project and risk management, engineering, and analysis skills are used to deliver a robust working product on time and on budget. Fundamental principles and practices are emphasized and explored including design specifications, Occam’s Razor, Abbe Errors (as it relates to design and design theory), professional responsibilities, and ethics. Students are assumed to be competent in basic problem solving skills. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 194.01 – Special Topics: Introduction to Creativity, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Inge Milde
This class is designed for undergraduate students who have not taken an ELS core course and are interested in learning more about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Freshmen are encouraged to take this course especially if they are considering doing the Entrepreneurship Minor. The course will provide a foundational understanding of how creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship can be applied to everyday problem solving, launching new ventures, working in business environments, and to non-profit organizations. Some of the topics we will cover include an introduction to innovation, entrepreneurial marketing, entrepreneurial finance, and leadership. Through interactive lectures, hands-on activities, workshops, field trips, and case studies in contemporary issues, students will learn how to enhance personal and team creativity, generate innovative ideas, and navigate the local entrepreneurial landscape. Students will gain practical skills and techniques to support their educational process at Tufts and professional careers beyond the university.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 194.01- Special Topics: Internship/Research, Mark Ranalli
Instructor: Mark Ranalli
Independent Study or Internship, requires faculty approval. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 194.01 – Special Topics: Internship/Research
Instructor: Tina Weber

ELS 194.02/COMP 150 – Entrepreneurship for Computer Scientists, Taught in Partnership with Tufts Department of Computer Science
Instructor: Gavin Finn  
This is an introductory entrepreneurship course for Computer Science students. The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship, develops an entrepreneurial perspective and provides a framework for learning the fundamentals of the essential elements of entrepreneurial ventures. This course is specifically directed toward software-related industries and products. Students learn how to develop their technical ideas into potential business opportunities, and to explore their likelihood of becoming viable businesses. They learn how to do market research, to develop go-to-market strategies, value propositions and to differentiate their products or services from actual or potential competitors. The course consists of a balance of lectures, projects, case studies and interaction with entrepreneurs and computer scientists who participate in entrepreneurial organizations.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 194.03 – Special Topics: Art & Science of Sales in Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Jack Derby
This course is focused on the presumption that nothing happens in any business without revenue, and revenue always comes through some act of selling the value of a product or a service from one entity to another.  In our ELS Marketing course offerings, we explore “the top of the funnel” by creating awareness, interest, and “a marketing-qualified lead.”  In this course, we focus primarily on the process of taking that lead and turning it efficiently and effectively into a closed sale.  The focus for this course is 100% directed to startup and emerging companies with revenues from $0 to $10 million. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 194.04 – Special Topics: Inside the Classroom
Instructor: Inge Milde
Gain leadership and teaching skills by supporting an ELS faculty member in managing a core ELS course. By taking Inside the Classroom you will assist in grading, coaching peers, organizing course work, attendance tracking, and observing group work. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 194-05: Philanthropy, Social Enterprise, and Community, Taught in Partnership with Tisch College
Instructor: Nancy Lippe
Philanthropy plays many roles in our communities, from alleviating crisis situations to encouraging strategic, systemic change. Nonprofit organizations are the intermediaries connecting donors to community needs. Working with a grant from former Tufts Trustee Nathan Gantcher, students have the opportunity to practice philanthropy by serving as a young adult grant-making board to award $25,000 to local nonprofits in the cities of Medford, Somerville, Cambridge and Boston.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 194.06 – Artists, Entrepreneurs, & Impact
Instructor: Roger Patkin
Join a small group of student artists and entrepreneurs, and design a student run social enterprise at Tufts University.  This revenue generating, income-producing business will operate at the union of art and entrepreneurship.  The goal will be to create a business that is self-sustaining at each stage of development, and that uses some portion of its proceeds to positively impact a need in our artistic community.  Students will explore and design ways to 1) connect Tufts artists with people who are passionate about their art, 2) help make this relationship fulfilling for both parties, and 3) test alternative methods of determining the price of art.  Students will consider whether commissioned art, corporate installations, design services and more will be part of our offering. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ELS 194.07 – Product Design & Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Josh Weisman/James Intriligator
Using design-thinking combined with consumer psychology and entrepreneurship, students will push product concepts from the stage of solid-prototype out to (near) finished, market-ready products. The instructors (TGI and MechEng professors co-teach this new course) have noticed that many classes require students to design products (or services) and to craft a prototype as a final deliverable. In this class you will work with a multidisciplinary team to keep the product or concept alive and drive it forward. Your team will fill in the blanks, to complete the picture, and to enrich the overall market proposition. 

ELS 194.08 – Topics in Finance & Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Christopher Manos
Topics covered include: the financial life-cycle; corporate liquidity; small-firm financing options; organizational constituencies--founders, shareholders, employees--and their goals; conflict and cooperation in constituent goals; and strategic modeling. Individual and/or team projects.

ELS 194-09:  Peace Through Entrepreneurship, Taught in partnership with Tisch College
Instructor: Steven R Koltai, A76, F78 (Visiting lecturer, Guest Scholar Brookings Institution)
International political instability, unrest and violence most often stem from massive rates of mostly youth unemployment, and the most effective way to address this is by spurring entrepreneurship—the greatest single, private sector job-creator. This course is based on this central theory, covering a range of related topics including theories of international economic development, impact investing, microfinance, and practical operations of the international development space. A veteran of the Department of State, Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institute, Warner Bros. Inc., and McKinsey & Co., Koltai pulls from his professional background to create a unique classroom experience for both undergraduates and Fletcher students. 

ELS 199 – Entrepreneurial Field Study: Launching the Venture
Instructor: Mark Ranalli  
This course enables students to apply the learning and skills acquired by other courses on Entrepreneurship. Students have the option of starting a new business based on an actual business plan or consulting in an actual start-up operation. Students that select the new business option will be expected to submit a project scope paper that would outline the elements of launching that could be accomplished within the term limits. Prerequisite: ELS 101, requires faculty approval. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

NUTR 0280: Nutrition and Entrepreneurship
Instructor: Jessica Deckinger
It is now appreciated that improving health through consumption of healthy diets requires more than consumers’ knowledge regarding appropriate dietary. Healthy choices available throughout the food environment are needed, and this availability is dependent on the growth and success of businesses that promote healthy food options. This course focuses on the considerations involved in investigating, understanding, and implementing a nutrition-based businesses. Elements of searching out new venture opportunities, financing, competitive strategy, intellectual property, reimbursement, legal and regulatory matters will be explored. Student teams will develop and present business plans. The class will involve lectures, discussions, and prominent guest speakers who are entrepreneurs or industry leaders. Participation in this course will introduce participants to the multiple stages necessary to successfully translate ideas to businesses. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

EM 52 – Technical and Managerial Communications
Instructor: Amy Hirschfeld
This course covers written and oral communications in the business setting. Written communications include: technical reports and papers, memoranda, and electronic communications.  Design and delivery of effective presentations and informal communication styles and techniques are also covered as well as communication across cultures. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

EC 6 – Business Law
This course focuses on the legal issues pertaining to business associations and operations, and includes such topics as contract law, business organization, antitrust law, and government regulations. Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail. (Note: Open to first-years.)

DR 0027 – Public Speaking
Instructor: Deborah Cooney 
Introductory course exploring the fundamentals of clear, confident, and effective communications in one-on-one and group settings. Development of tension management skills, good breathing habits, awareness of body language, and the ability to engage an audience through a series of practical exercises. Specific vocal work focuses on tone, variety of pitch, rate, volume, and articulation.  Note: This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail. (Note: open to freshmen.)

UEP 0230: Negotiation, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution
Instructor: Robert Burdick
This course covers techniques of negotiation and mediation as applied to conflict situations such as interpersonal differences, labor relations, environmental disputes, and international relations.