Foundations of Entrepreneurship Course

The process of entrepreneurship in start-up and established corporate environments. Approaches entrepreneurship as both attitudinal and behavioral, with applicability in a variety of contexts. Global dimensions of entrepreneurship are investigated as they relate to the independent and corporate entrepreneur.

Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Ken Walsleben. I’m a professor of entrepreneurial practice at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. I’m really looking forward to this course and want to share with you a little bit of background about myself as well as foundations of entrepreneurship. With regard to myself, I’ve been kind of new into the field of academia. I spent the first 30 years of my business career out there in the real world in industry. The last 25 of those years I spent as an entrepreneur myself, and as a consequence along the way, I’ve learned a great deal. You see, this is more than just a course to kind of fill you in with information. I’m really sharing a lot of the experiences I’ve had during those last 25 years. I’ve been out there in the real world. I’ve had to raise millions of dollars. I’ve had to hire people, fire people, build marketing models, build product, try and figure out who my clients are, try and grow a business, all the challenges that we’re going to talk about this semester I’ve been out there and had to deal with firsthand. I’ve really enjoyed my transition into becoming a professor, and I hope you enjoy this course with me.

So let’s talk a little bit about what this course is going to be all about. During this course we’re going to explore the word “entrepreneurship” and its impact worldwide. We’re going to explore the fact that entrepreneurship, it really is a way of life, indeed it’s a lifestyle—we call it the entrepreneurial lifestyle—and you’ll better understand by the end of the semester what that means. You’ll see it’s an attitude, it’s a behavior, and entrepreneurship is a process. It can be taught. It can be found everywhere around you. During this semester we’ll mix theory with practice. We’ll mix research with real-world observations. I’ll share with you some of my personal experiences, and together I think we’ll enjoy ourselves. If you harbor ambitions for entrepreneurship, this may start your journey. If you’re wondering about entrepreneurship, this will hopefully answer questions this semester.

So, what is this course? Well, it’s more than just how do you come up with good business ideas. It’s also going to help you try and find where they live and how to notice them. What is a good business idea? What makes some startups successful while others fail? What unique entrepreneurial challenges might you face along this journey? What’s the latest info and academic thinking about how best to start your company? Does it matter about how you’re wired? What type of entrepreneur you might be? Indeed, we examine entrepreneurs to try and figure out what type you might be and what impact and implication that might have. We’ve got some pretty lofty ambitions for this course. We want you to recognize the entrepreneurial potential within yourself and others in your environment. We want you to develop an appreciation for opportunity, how to recognize it, and how to evaluate it. We want you to appraise the nature of creative new business concepts that can be turned into sustainable business ventures. That’s not easily done, but within the next few weeks, you’ll better understand what we’re talking about.

We want you to appreciate the role of entrepreneurship within society and how it manifests itself in different contexts. We see it as both startups as well as in the corporate social and public sectors as well. We also will see it within people themselves. We also will want you to understand the process of entrepreneurship. Yes, it is a process. It can be taught; it can be measured. And ways to manage that process, including finance, marketing, and growth dilemmas that entrepreneurs may face. Overall, we want you to understand that entrepreneurship is a journey. Along that journey, you’re going to develop opportunities and new ideas. You’re going to evaluate these ideas. You’re going to organize your business. You’re going to manage your business. You’re going to fund your business, and potentially you can grow your business. I hope at the end of this course you’ll agree that this experience improves your chances of success immeasurably. I wish 30 years ago I had a course like this, and I hope that you’ll benefit from our experiences together. Let’s go join the journey.