Entrepreneurship Courses

Want to Change the World? Start Your Own Business!

If you are a student, at any level, undergraduate or graduate, who wants to start a business, develop an innovative product or service and change the world, read on!

Start to make it happen by joining a diverse, campus-wide community of like-minded students. You will find supportive, experienced coaches, mentors and faculty, and both local and alumni entrepreneurs. You will receive guidance on everything from how to bootstrap your venture, to raising the necessary capital, to properly organizing your world-changing, social entrepreneurial effort.

You’ll also have a doorway into the fast-moving and growing stream of start-ups choosing to locate in Upstate New York as well as those started by alumni all over the world. They are eager to welcome you to the global start-up community and to help you accelerate your venture. 

The Classes

IDS 401 - What’s the Big Idea? (WTBI) / IST 627 (for graduate students)

This course is for anyone with a great idea, skill, or a passion to accomplish something extraordinary that could turn their idea into a viable business venture. What’s the Big Idea? focuses on idea exploration, discovery, and focus.

The goals of WTBI are to identify both problems and solutions that you are passionate about. WTBI is open to all students regardless of major. Students whose ideas have excellent potential to become viable ventures will be invited to enroll in the Idea2Startup course.

IDS 402 Idea2StartUp (I2S) / IST 684 (for graduate students)

Idea2Startup will take your venture ideas, typically developed in WTBI, and establish an actionable plan for the launch of the start-up. The goal of I2S is for students to have a venture ready to go—including legal documents, financial plan, marketing, proof-of-concept and website—by the end of the course.

I2S is open to all students regardless of major. Students who have not taken What’s the Big Idea? must petition to register and submit a one-page description about your great idea (So what?), your market (Who cares?), and your team (Why you?).

IDS 403 Student Sandbox (Sandbox)

This is where students launch their business. While in the Sandbox, students focus their ventures, refine their team, explore financing, adopt or invent a business model, fine-tune marketing and selling strategies, along with creating a proof of concept, service, or website. Students may register for the Sandbox each semester to work on their venture and receive credit (variable: 1–6 credits).

Students in the Sandbox course have access to the Entrepreneur-in-Residence, John Liddy, volunteer mentors, and the technology and space for their venture at The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse.

The Minor

Information Technology, Design and Startups (IDS)

The IDS minor (18 credits) at Syracuse University provides basic knowledge and skills to start a successful venture. The IDS minor is open to all students regardless of major. The minor is taught by faculty members who approach entrepreneurship from multidisciplinary perspectives, and with a team of community partners and mentors who can help make the right connections to jump-start a start-up. 

The Required Courses:

  • IDS 401 What’s the Big Idea? (3 credits)
  • IDS 402 Idea2StartUp (3 credits)
  • IDS 403 IDEA Sandbox (1–6 credits)
  • EEE 370 Intro to Entrepreneurship (3 credits)

Electives (3–6 credits)

Suggested electives are available from the iSchool, Whitman School of Management, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Many diverse and successful companies have started and launched as a result of the courses in this minor and have been advised by the mentors at the downtown Tech Garden. Those companies include: BrandYourself, SkillAddiction, Rounded, Grafighters, Helios, YouShouldDateMe, Craftistas, PsyQic and Little Tinker Co.