Several new opportunities will be available in 2013–14 to students with an interest in innovation or entrepreneurship. For students with a general interest in innovation or entrepreneurship, we recommend ECON 211: In Pursuit of Innovation as a first course. For students with a more specific interest in arts entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, or entrepreneurial theatre, more specialized courses will be offered. Those who would like to gain a foundation in financial literacy and basic accounting should take ECON 170: Financial Accounting and Entrepreneurial Ventures. Students interested in pursuing an entrepreneurial venture are advised to take either ECON 211 or ECON 180, and also ECON 170.

I&E Class Schedule

+ In Pursuit of Innovation

In Pursuit of Innovation is a course at Lawrence University, offered yearly since 2008. It is taught by John Brandenberger, Adam Galambos, and Gary Vaughan. It is next offered in Fall 2013 as ECON 211. The goal of this course is to turn its participants into innovators. The course is project-centered: students form teams early in the course, and these teams conceive of, design, and (optionally) implement innovative ideas. Several successful innovators and entrepreneurs participate in the course as guest experts.

Past guest experts:

Mary Ellyn Vicksta ’76

Dr. Thomas Baer ’74

Dave Mitchell ’89

John Austin

Jeff Lindsay

David Shepard ’84

Jeffrey Royer ’77

David Duncombe

Dale Skran

Curtis Carlson

Examples of past team projects:

  • Multivista: A simple device to capture simultaneously images in two or four different directions.
  • LUeXchange: A website created where Lawrence community members advertised and exchanged items.
  • Ergodormic desk: A specially designed desk for Lawrence dormrooms.
  • GrassRoots: A roll-out-and-water garden made of recycled paper that has seeds embedded in it.
  • Power Luggage: A carry-on luggage that charges your mp3-player as it rolls. along.
  • Flickey: An innovative system to deliver movies for rental in developing countries.
  • BETI: A web service for creating innovative projects and teams and implementing projects.

+ The Art of Entrepreneurship

The Art of Entrepreneurship is a Lawrence University course that introduces students to entrepreneurship. We define entrepreneurs as change agents. The course is led by Adam Galambos and Gary Vaughan. In 2010, the course focused on entrepreneurship in the arts and on social entrepreneurship. It was co-taught by Professors Rob Neilson, Timothy X. Troy, John Shimon and Julie Lindemann, Dena Skran, and Brian Pertl. In 2012, the course had a music entrepreneurship focus. It was co-taught by Dean of the Conservatory Brian Pertl.

The course will be next offered in Winter 2014.

The goal of this course is to instill in its participants the entrepreneurial mindset and to equip students with the basic skills of entrepreneurship. The course is project-centered: students form teams early in the course, and these teams conceive of, design, and (optionally) implement innovative ideas. Several successful innovators and entrepreneurs participate in the course as guest experts.

Past guest experts:

Jackie Battenfield

David Hawkanson ’69

Deb Loewen

Chuck Bauer & Chuck Beckwith

David Cutler

Marty Ashby

Abir Sen ’97

Cynthia Figge ’77

Mainul Islam ’05

Bob Pedersen

Toni Sikes

Examples of past team projects:

  • Rabbit Gallery: A pop-up gallery in downtown Appleton, WI. More here.
  • Lawrence Baroque Ensemble: A student-driven ensemble with community outreach activities. More here.
  • IlLUminate: A student-driven booking agency at the Lawrence Conservatory.
  • Paper Fox: A print-making workshop with a community programming component. More here.

+ Start-up Theatre

This course will model the collaborative and entrepreneurial process of starting a new theatre company in the manner of America’s non-profit regional theatre tradition. In five meetings during Fall term, students will prepare for their two-week laboratory experience in December at Björklunden culminating in a public performance or exhibition. Open to students from theatre, economics, and students interested in entrepreneurship in the performing arts. Enrollment by approval only—interested students should contact Tim Troy or Adam Galambos.

+ Social Entrepreneurship

Social entrepreneurs all over the world adopt and implement innovative ideas in order to address some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this course, students will study the many dimensions of social entrepreneurship, especially those ventures that address problems of human rights and sustainable development. The course will adopt a critical approach to the topic, examining both the benefits and limitations of social entrepreneurship, and also defining the role played by important actors, especially non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in social entrepreneurship. In addition to lecture, discussions, and case studies, interested students will also have the opportunity to work on a project. The course is open to all students with sophomore standing or higher. This course can be used as a prerequisite for GOVT 405, Field Experience in Sierra Leone.

+ The Entrepreneurial Musician

A broad introduction to entrepreneurship for musicians, dancers, thespians, visual artists, and other interested students. This course aspires to give students the tools and the mindset to become agents of innovative, entrepreneurial change, social entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial artists. After presenting a social science view of entrepreneurship, the course will feature faculty from a variety of disciplines as well as visiting entrepreneurs. This is a project-oriented course with extensive speaking that will challenge convention, push you to new realms of creative thought, and stretch the boundaries of collaborative learning. Are you ready to unleash the power of the liberal arts?

Next offered in Winter 2014.


+ Financial Accounting and Entrepreneurial Ventures

Financial Accounting and Entrepreneurial Ventures provides an introduction to financial statement analysis with a focus on accounting principles and procedures, leading to a review of financial statements and an understanding of how accounting data are used to analyze entrepreneurial ventures and economic activities. The course is taught by Gary Vaughan. The course will be next offered in Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. Several local business leaders participate in the course as guest experts.

Sample syllabus (pdf), Moodle website

+ Economics of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This is an advanced course on the study of innovation and entrepreneurship in economic science. We will focus especially on the role of competition and market structure, on the history of technology, on intellectual property, and on incentives for innovation. We will rely on analytical models as well as less formal reasoning. Depending on the topic covered, class will be a combination of lecture and class discussion. The required textbooks for the course are Innovation and Incentives by Suzanne Scotchmer (MIT Press, 2004) and The free-market innovation machine: analyzing the growth miracle of capitalism by William Baumol (PUP, 2002).

Sample Syllabus

+ Entrepreneurship and Finance

Entrepreneurship and Finance, taught by Merton Finkler and Gary Vaughan, seeks to both study entrepreneurs and begin to learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur. The first portion of the course provides fundamental background regarding the role entrepreneurs play in an economy, the entrepreneurial mindset, business models, financial statements, and business plans. The second portion features a number of guest experts who will describe their careers and highlight key aspects related to entrepreneurship. The third portion focuses on entrepreneurial finance and includes discussion of angel investors and venture capital. Throughout the course, students will work in teams to develop entrepreneurial enterprises for which the next step would be implementation planning.

The course structure will be delivered as a combination of lectures, discussions, case studies, site visits, and presentations of student projects. Two students will lead the discussion of each case study. The course will rely heavily on the expertise of invited speakers (e.g., Lawrence alumni, Wisconsin entrepreneurs). Each invited expert will describe her or his experience and participate in case study discussion. 

One cannot really learn about entrepreneurship without attempting to be one. Although there will not be sufficient time to test the waters, the primary course objective is to have groups of students develop business plans for potential entrepreneurial initiatives.

Next offered in 2014-15. 


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