Entrepreneurship & Business

Department of Engineering & Society



The mission of the Entrepreneurship and Business programs in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are to enable every SEAS student to have the opportunity to integrate entrepreneurial and business studies into their technical degree programs.

We accomplish this by:

  • Organizing, expanding, and promoting the knowledge and practice of entrepreneurship.
  • Connecting, enabling, and inspiring UVA engineers and alumni to see opportunities to create and grow innovative new ventures.
  • Creating an entrepreneurial community of students, faculty, and alumni.

Refer to specific program to review course requirements.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only. The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at http://records.ureg.virginia.edu/index.php.

Be sure to check SIS for courses offered for a particular semester.

Explores key management & business concepts relevant to technology-dependent enterprises. Provides an overview of accounting & finance principles, operations, marketing, leadership, managerial decision-making & communications,& ethics. Engineering students should come away from this course with the knowledge & skills necessary to develop & direct technology in ways that add value to organizations. Count as an elective in the Eng. Business minor. Credits: 3

This course will provide engineers with an introduction to all facets of marketing, including creating compelling brands, working with media, and the role of product marketing. Students will also learn how the principles of marketing are applied in a variety of roles, such as personal brands in consulting and products within large companies. Credits: 3

This course will not only teach the key components of doing a transaction but also the skills necessary to negotiate effectively. The class will be interactive. Various case studies involving technology transactions will be analyzed and discussed. A reasonable amount of assigned reading and project work will be required. Credits: 3

Introduces students to earth systems technology and management, and related concepts such as industrial ecology (the objective, multidisciplinary study of industrial and economic systems and their linkages with fundamental natural systems).  The requirements of this course include regular and prepared participation in class and discussions, two semester projects, homework as assigned, and substantial reading and analysis of case studies and articles.  Additionally, students will become familiar with design methodologies, and apply those methodologies to case studies as part of a class project.  Prerequisite: STS 1500 or equivalent. Credits: 3

This course will challenge students to take the role of engineering consultants. Students will learn skills pertinent to the end-to-end process of client side interactions, as well as survey project management theories and learn how to co-develop a project in an efficient and ethical manner. Experiential learning will be emphasized, and heavy student participation will be expected. Credits: 3

In this course, we will explore four case studies illustrative of the potential disharmony between intent and process. In each case, the action is a public policy initiative with scientific or technological dimensions, where good intentions either led to unwelcome collateral consequences, or the process of implementation failed to fulfill the intent of the policy. Credits: 3

Social history of American technology in the twentieth century. Primarily concerned with the interplay between society and technology. Historical perspectives on the causes of technological change and the ways in which technologies extend or upset centers of social power and influence. Prerequisites: STS 1500 or equivalent. Credits: 3

This course explores how engineers can be seen as entrepreneurs in the sense that engineering often involves coordinating diverse resources (technology, knowledge, capital, and labor) in order to fulfill human needs and wishes. It examines different concepts of entrepreneurship and reviews cases of engineer-entrepreneurs. Students give several presentations and work in teams to develop a new product through a patent application and business. Credits: 3

This course provides real world, hands-on learning on how to start a company. Students will work in teams learning how to turn a great idea into a great company and how to present your concept to investors. Credits: 3

This class will teach you how to execute your idea into a viable business. Learn how to run a business within the context of its day-to-day operations and move forward to make a profit from the business. Learn about employee relations, legal issues, purchasing, developing for scalability, operations, financial reporting, and much more. Credits: 3

Entrepreneurial Finance will introduce finance concepts for those interested in small biz startups. Through readings, cases and guest speakers, we will review several industries, from low tech to small business manufacturing to high tech. We will explore different ways small businesses are financed and the theory and practice behind those decisions. Class participation and a entrepreneurial project will be an important part of the class. Credits: 3

The course explores government contracting, how the government procures products and services, and opportunities created through government regulation. Credits: 3

Introduces the fundamentals and history of U.S. copyright and patent law and examines its impact on technological innovation, technological creativity, business strategy, public welfare in the U.S. and developing nations, and global competitiveness. Prerequisites: STS 1500 or equivalent. Credits: 3

Explores the ways scientists and inventors think, using concepts, theories, and methods borrowed from several disciplines, but focusing especially on psychology. Topics include experimental simulations of scientific reasoning, a cognitive framework for understanding creativity, and modeling discovery on a computer. Students read and discuss articles and conduct a short research project. Prerequisite: STS 1500 or equivalent. Credits: 3

Investigates the way technology is created and improved. Offers a collaborative learning environment in which multi-disciplinary teams invent and design several modules that emulate problems, such as the invention of the telephone or the design of an expert system. Includes readings from psychology, history, computing, ethics, and engineering. Students keep design notebooks, present team project results, and write an integrative paper. Prerequisite: STS 1500 or equivalent. Credits: 3

This class will investigate the material development of human societies across history, inquiring into the role entrepreneurs played in creating new wealth. We will also apply lessons of history to developing your entrepreneurial skills. We will introduce a set of business tools called the Business Model Canvas (BMC) and apply these tools to historical examples. Working in groups, you will develop a new business or product for presentation. Credits: 3

Provides overview of business considerations required to commercialize new products. Included is an understanding of the business structure, processes, vocabulary, product lifecycle, organizational capabilities and financial/analytical tools, as well as the challenge of leadership in meeting diverse expectations of internal and external stakeholders. Taught with lectures, case studies and experiential projects. Prerequisites: Business Minor & Fourth year standing. Credits: 3


W. Bernard Carlson, Department Chair and Professor
Elizabeth P. Pyle , Associate Director for Technology Entrepreneurship
Jim Cheng, Engineering Business
Michael L. King, Chemical Engineering
Douglas Muir, Engineering Entrepreneurship & Business
Lauren Purnell, Engineering Business
David Slutzky, Science, Technology, & Society
Milton Whitfield, Engineering Business


This single course introduces engineering students to the business basics that they will need in their technical and scientific careers. Taught by a team from the Darden School, the course covers leadership, accounting principles, marketing, and global issues. Designed for engineering students, this course explores key management and business concepts relevant to technology dependent enterprises. The purpose of this course is to enable you to reason about the role of business in a complex, dynamic, global environment. Specific course objectives include:

  • To understand the principles of value creation.
  • To be able to apply several frameworks for analyzing and discussing business issues.
  • To develop a general management perspective that includes the ability to formulate, analyze, and defend business decisions in ethical terms.

Business is an ongoing conversation about both value creation and human interrelationships, so we will be covering a wide range of topics from management, finance, accounting, and organizational behavior.

This course is open to all SEAS students; you do not need to be enrolled in the engineering business minor. It will count as an elective in the Engineering Business minor. It cannot be taken as a substitute for COMM 2010. We anticipate that this course will count as an unrestricted elective in most SEAS majors and that it does not satisfy any of the STS course requirements.


Thanks to gifts from the Clark Construction Group, Inc. and Bill Utt (SEAS ’79, ’80, Darden ’84), engineering students may pursue a minor in engineering business. The Engineering Business Minor provides engineering students the opportunity to learn how modern business organizations function. Students will learn business concepts and language that they will need to work and contribute effectively in the corporate world.

The Engineering Business Minor [EBM] is a six-course [18 credit] program that introduces engineering students to the language and concepts of business. Students take three required courses: COMM 2010, Intro to Finance and Accounting; ECON 2010, Microeconomics; and STS 4810, New Product Development. These are complemented by three electives that are offered by SEAS, McIntire, and the Economics Department.

The minor is very popular with SEAS undergrads who apply for the minor in the fall of their second year. We typically get 200 applicants, but because of the limited income thrown off by the endowment, we can only select 120 students from each class; we do so to ensure that we can provide enough seats in STS 4810 so that students can complete the minor in a timely fashion. Students in the minor generally have a GPA of 3.0 or better. We currently have over 350 students enrolled in the minor. This is about 15% of the undergraduate population, and the EBM is larger than any engineering major.


The Engineering Business Minor is available only to Engineering students. SEAS Students apply during the month of October in their second year. Doing so helps us match student demand with the number of seats available in the required courses. Students are selected for the minor based on their cumulative GPA and other factors.

If a student would like to get a head start, it’s recommended that a student take ECON 2010 or 2020 since those courses do not require being enrolled in the minor. We also suggest that you look for an internship or job during the summer that helps you to learn about careers that combine business and engineering.

Course Requirements

The Engineering Business Minor requires the successful completion of three required courses and three electives.

Students pursuing the minor should declare the minor as early as possible since COMM 2010 and STS 4110 are restricted to students in the minor. Students generally take STS 4110 in their fourth year of study.

Required Courses (3):

All students, regardless of graduating class, must take these 3 courses in the following recommended sequence:

COMM 2010: Introduction to Financial Accounting,

Recommended for either spring, second year or spring, third year

ECON 2010: Principles of Economics: Microeconomics,

Recommended for either fall or spring, first year

STS 4810: The Business of New Product Development

Recommended for either fall or spring, fourth year

Electives (Students choose three): Be sure to check SIS for courses offered for a particular semester.

The three electives, from the STS 2700 series courses or the STS 2800 series courses, can be taken in any semester beginning in the spring of your second year. Look under the “Courses” tab for course descriptions.

COMM 2020: Introduction to Management Accounting
COMM 2600: Leadership across Disciplines (best for SEAS students in spring)
COMM 2610: Startup
COMM 3200: Project Management
COMM 3410: Commercial Law I
COMM 3420: Commercial Law II
COMM 3600: Principles and Practices of Arts Administration
COMM 3660: Business of Consulting (J-term not currently offered)
COMM 3800: Business, Government, and Society
COMM 3810: Business Ethics
COMM 3845: Foundations of International Business (requires 4th year status)
COMM 4230: Information Technology in Finance
COMM 4240: Electronic Commerce
COMM 4650: Business, Politics, and Culture in the European Union (offered May term)
COMM 4660: The Advice Business:  The Basics of Strategic Consulting
COMM 4570: Topics in Finance: Investing in a Sustainable Future
COMM 4821: Managing Sustainability Development
COMM 4822: Investing in a Sustainable Future

STS 3020: Science and Technology Policy for Interns

ENGR 1800: Business Fundamentals for Engineers
ENGR 4880: Business and Technical Leadership in Engineering
ENGR 4599: Special Topics in Engineering: Business Intelligence

CS 4753: Electronic Commerce Technologies
CE 4000: Construction Engineering
CE 4500: Special Topics in Civil Engineering: Introduction to Construction Management

SYS 2057: Management of E-Commerce Systems
SYS 3054: Argentina (J-Term)
SYS 4000: Financial Aspects of Engineering
SYS 4044: Economics of Engineering Systems
SYS 5044: Economics of Engineering

ECON 2020: Principles of Economics: Macroeconomics
ECON 2060: American Economic History
ECON 3030: Money and Banking
ECON 4210 International Trade: Theory & Policy
ECON 4350 Corporate Finance


Entrepreneurship at UVA is much more than a course or a classroom experience. It is a mindset that charges the students and faculty to challenge the status quo, create, innovate, and drive change. The Technology Entrepreneurship program coordinates a network of entrepreneurship-related programs and activities open to all students and emphasizes a practical, hands-on approach to entrepreneurship.

We designed our program to train engineering students to know how to recognize and convert discoveries into products; business schools are not well equipped to study and teach how to advance knowledge-push innovations.

The mission of this Entrepreneurship Minor is three fold:

1) Prepare students to play crucial roles in the new venture community—whether as founders, funders, policy makers, technologists, or executives—thereby impacting positively the world in which we live and creating value of all kinds.

2) Connect entrepreneurship efforts across multiple disciplines and Schools at the University of Virginia through a coordinated and collective curriculum.

3) Experience with the tools, techniques, and transformations involved in new venture development (e.g., ideation and innovation, team building, product-market fit, financial and social return, policy and legal dynamics), involving not only start-up companies, but also new ventures within or launched by established firms.

The curriculum of the minor provides students with an education in and experience with the tools, techniques, and transformations involved in new venture development. For example: innovation and design (e.g., ideation, design thinking, problem solution fit), management and operations (e.g., team building, venture modeling), financial and social return (e.g., venture capital, venture philanthropy and impact investing), and legal dynamics (e.g., incorporation, term sheets, intellectual property). The new venture community is defined broadly to include not only startup companies, but also new ventures operating within or launched by established firms. Furthermore, this community is defined so as to include both not for profit and or profit ventures.


The Entrepreneurship Minor is open by application to all undergraduate students at the University regardless of school of enrollment, major, or prior coursework.

Applications are currently being accepted here.

Acceptance into and declaration of the minor does not guarantee enrollment in the courses or completion of the minor, all courses are offered on a space-available basis.

Courses may not be double-counted toward the fulfillment of the Entrepreneurship Minor (i.e., a single course should not fulfill requirements for greater than one distinct degree program), except in the case of Engineering School students who may double count one STS elective with the STS requirement for Engineering majors. Engineering students may not enroll and complete both the Engineering Business Minor and the Entrepreneurship Minor.

Course Requirements

Students begin the Minor curriculum with ENTP 1010: Startup class. The Startup class is a 14-week course-plus-experience designed to provide students with not only the basic tools and vocabulary of new ventures, but also a sense of what it feels like to start, fund, and manage such ventures. The course, by way of in-class case discussions and mentored workshops, introduces students to a broad range of issues faced by founders and funders of both for-profit and nonprofit ventures. The Startup class—open to first- and second-years students at UVA, regardless of school or major—is the result of a partnership involving McIntire’s Galant Center for Entrepreneurship, the Technology Entrepreneurship program at the School of Engineering & Applied Science, the Social Entrepreneurship Initiative at the Batten School of Public Policy, and the i.Lab at the University of Virginia .

A Concentration within the Minor is initiated by one of two courses—(a) STS 2810: Introduction to Technology Entrepreneurship (for the Technology Entrepreneurship Concentration) or (b) PPOL 3050: Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship (for the Social Entrepreneurship Concentration)—and then fulfilled via three elective courses from a portfolio of courses offered across Grounds: Finance, Operations, Law, and Design/Innovation.

The curriculum of the Minor is completed via a Capstone course, which is be offered in two forms in an effort to match the nature of student demand: (1) Special Topics in New Ventures (ENTP 3000) and Launch (ENTP 4000). Students will select one of these options below:

ENTP 3000:  Special Topics in New Ventures

Each section of ENTP 3000, via guest speakers, discussions, and assigned projects, will introduce students to and engage students with new ventures in a particular sector (e.g., New Venture in Health, New Ventures in Impact, New Ventures in Education,etc.). Versions of these courses already exist at the University, offered out of a variety of Schools, and would simply be organized under or co-listed via a common course listing.

ENTP 4000:  Launch

The Launch course is a class as accelerator, through which a select group of admitted students would further develop over the course of a semester a venture of their own design. The course experience is comprised of not only a curriculum focused upon customer, product, and venture development, but also the mentoring of ventures by experienced founders, investors, lawyers, and other members of the new venture community.

Elective Courses

Students complete nine credit hours (usually three [3] courses) from the following list:

ARCH 3070 Foundations in Design Thinking
CHEM 2350 This Chemical Century
COMM 1800 Making Business Work
COMM 3420 Commercial Law II
COMM 3790 Venture Capital and the Emerging Firm
EDLF 2050 Innovation in Education
HIUS 3162 Digitizing America
MDST 3405 Media Policy and Law
PPOL 3290 Social Innovation in Emerging Markets: India and South East Asia
PPOL 3410 Social Innovation Imperative: Implications for Thinking Big and Having Impact
PPOL 4550 Global Field Experience – Social Entrepreneurship in India
PPOL 4730 Impact Investing
PPOL 5225 Conscious Social Change
SOC 3710 Organizations, Institutions, and Markets
STS 1800 Business Fundamentals for Engineers
STS 2730 Engineers and Art of the Deal
STS 2820 Presentation Strategies for Entrepreneurs
STS 2830 Start-Up Operations for Entrepreneurs
STS 2850 Government and Entrepreneurship
STS 2890 The Entrepreneur and History

Additional course electives are pending approval. Other courses are approved by David Touve, Academic Director for the minor, in consultation with Professor Bernard Carlson (School of Engineering & Applied Sciences) and Professor Christine Mahoney (School of Leadership and Public Policy).

Capstone Options

Students choose one (1) course from the following to complete the minor:

VARIOUS          Project-Based New Ventures Courses (e.g., PPOL 4735, BME 4550, STS 4110)
ENTP 4000        Launch (by instructor permission)

Consult the UVA Undergraduate Record for degree requirements and course descriptions.

Navigating the UVA Entrepreneurship Minor

 ENTP Minor Diagram


Engineers and entrepreneurs don’t learn their craft by only sitting in lectures, and there’s rich extracurricular community of students pursuing entrepreneurial projects.

Learn more about what we offer here.


Lee Buck
Founder Blue Bright Ventures

Zach Buckner
CEO, Relay Foods

Evan Edwards
VP Product Development, Kaleo Pharma

Doug Garland
Chief Revenue Officer, Shazam

Mark Hanson

Steve Huffman
Founder, Hipmunk; Co-founder Reddit

Todd Kennedy
Senior V. P., for Capital One

David A. Leon
Founder & Managing Member for DayWon, LLC

Glenn McGonnigle
General Partner, TechOperators

David McLean
General Partner, Sevin Rosen Funds

John Muleta
CEO, Atelum, Inc.

Michael Pausic
Founder, Foxhaven Asset Management, LP

Rick Ramsey

Carl Showalter
Founder and General Partner, Opus Capital

Justin Turner
Co-founder, Brownstone Real Estate Partners