Dr. Jim Friedman working with students at Cintrifuse
Student writing on sticky note on classroom wall
 Students listening to Dr. Tim Holcomb lecture
 Sticky notes covering David Eyman's office walls
 Executive talking to participants and other executives at Startup Pitch Competition

Integrated curricular and co-curricular programs with an interdisciplinary focus that engages students from 100+ majors across campus and integrates with top entrepreneurial ecosystems across the nation, providing students with numerous opportunities to gain practical, hands-on experience through relevant business and entrepreneurial classes, like “Startup Launch Mini-Accelerator Program,” “Enterprise Consulting” and “Venture Capital Immersion,” among others. As a result, the Entrepreneurship Program attracts students from across the university because the skills and tools learned in our curriculum are applicable to all walks of life.


  • Entrepreneurship Minor
  • Entrepreneurship Co-Major
  • Certificate in Startup Entrepreneurship
  • Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship
  • Certificate in Creativity
  • Graduate Certificate in Gerontology and Entrepreneurship
  • Major interdisciplinary programs with divisions, departments, and centers across campus, including the Scripps Gerontology Center, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Creative Arts, and the College of Education, Health, and Society, among others

Core Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Courses

ESP 101 Entrepreneurship Foundations

This sprint course will provide a hands-on approach to understanding entrepreneurship in start-up, social, and corporate settings. The course will analyze and investigate the current trends and opportunities in entrepreneurship. Students will meet with and learn from successful entrepreneurs about their lives and work as entrepreneurs. The course will focus on the skills and tactics necessary to succeed in various entrepreneurial settings, and discuss how students can apply these skills to their personal and professional passions and interests. By collaborating with like-minded peers and award winning faculty, students will learn what it takes to turn "possibilities" into "probabilities". Credit/no credit only.

ESP 102 Startup Bootcamp: Inception to Prototype

This course immerses students in the methods and practices of starting a business. In a fast-paced environment, for the duration of one weekend, students learn how to build companies, teams and insight. Over the course of the weekend, students will present ideas, form teams, and create a business model canvas. They will pitch their business concepts to real investors and practitioners, who will provide mentorship, coaching and feedback. The course is designed to integrate decision making, critical thinking, problem solving, and leadership skills in an environment similar to that of the startup business world. The course will provide an understanding of the tools necessary to succeed in any business venture.

ESP 103 Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking

This course prepares students to understand and address two pressing issues in business today: how to recognize and create new business opportunities and how to think more creatively within business environments. Students will be introduced to a number of tools, concepts and approaches including human-centered design, ideation techniques, the importance of embracing ambiguity, personal responsibility and the place of risk and fail in entrepreneurship, creativity and life. The class is highly interactive and experiential.

ESP 201 Introduction to Entrepreneurship and Business Models

Topics include requirements and challenges of successful entrepreneurship, characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, the life cycle stages of a business, careers and opportunities for entrepreneurship.

ESP 251 Entrepreneurial Value Creation and Capture

In this class, students will focus on the marketing and financial issues confronting entrepreneurial venture. This course looks at the challenges entrepreneurs face in attempting to start, grow and build ventures, specifically aspects related to customer acquisition, customer retention, and capital resources. Students are exposed to tools, concepts, and approaches related to marketing and financial operations of entrepreneurial ventures with emphasis on the application of this material using a series of real-world cases and examples. Class environment is highly interactive and experiential.

ESP 252 Entrepreneurial Mindset: Creativity and Organization

In this class, students will learn concepts of leadership and creativity as it relates to the organization of entrepreneurial ventures. Students will learn the role of creative thinking and leadership models in the growth of entrepreneurial organizations. In both parts of the class, the environment is highly interactive and experiential.

ESP 321 Startup Entrepreneurship

This course is structured using an agile scrum project management approach favored by many high-tech startups in which tasks are completed in short "sprints.". In this course students will learn digital marketing and analytics strategies and techniques including landing page development, A/B testing and Google analytics. Be prepared to learn on the fly, test and iterate, and spend out-of-class time completing project sprints.

ESP 331 Social Entrepreneurship

This course introduces students to the opportunities and challenges associated with building and growing enterprises that are both self-sustaining and focused on a social mission. Students will engage in an experiential learning process with others to develop a better understanding of the domain of social entrepreneurship including the development, measurement and assessment of various social enterprises.

ESP 341 Corporate Entrepreneurship

This course focuses on the value and use of entrepreneurial thinking and behavior in large, corporate and/or public organizations. Students will examine both the benefits and challenges of acting like an entrepreneur when they may not be the owner or CEO of the organization, or be a part of a much larger, complex organization. These concepts are introduced through research, cases and conversations with successful intrapraneurs.

ESP 351 Creativity in Entrepreneurship

This course will explore the application of creative thinking in addressing business opportunities and problems, especially within an entrepreneurial context. The course takes a systematic approach to creating, evaluating, refining and selling breakthrough ideas. Students will be exposed to a number of techniques, concepts and methods useful in managing the creative process in individual and group contexts with emphasis on accountability for creative quality. Class is highly interactive and experiential. This is the first of three courses as part of the Creativity Track within the Entrepreneurship Curriculum.

ESP 394. Applied Entrepreneurship

This course prepares our best and brightest Entrepreneurship students for their summer internship roles as they prepare to be an Altman Scholar that following summer. Students in the course spend spring semester on developing essential entrepreneurial concepts: critical workplace soft skills, using creativity/innovation every day and technical skills. Students will be given opportunities to improve their decision making, critical thinking, problem solving and leadership skills before they set foot in the door of their summer internship; The students are also provided support throughout the course from faculty and staff in finding and securing their summer internship roles.

ESP 399 Advancing Women in Entrepreneurship Program

A workshop that explores women's entrepreneurial possibilities and provides tools to prototype and re-frame alternative visions for their future. Students will travel to an array of female ventures in Cincinnati and San Francisco to meet with female business executives, entrepreneurs, and consultants who have paved the way for Women in Entrepreneurship.

ESP 401 New Ventures

This course examines the venture creation process within a startup ecosystem. ESP 401 explores a variety of issues surrounding new venture creation, including how to recognize and assess an opportunity, the process and steps in starting a new venture, the financials of the new business, determining and acquiring resource needs, marketing requirements, deal structure and exit strategy, technology issues, legal and ethical issues and creating a written business plan in support of the new venture. Small teams are formed to work on a new business venture, which is presented in an oral presentation and written business model.

ESP 444 Entrepreneurship: Venture Capital Immersion

The Venture Capital Immersion course is designed to provide you with a realistic understanding of the methods and approaches used by institutional investors to evaluate new businesses (startups) and high growth companies and to develop and negotiate investment terms. The prospect of raising outside capital is a consideration for many new business ventures at some point in order to grow and scale the company. The Venture Capital Immersion course focuses specifically on one such sources of outside capital: institutional investment from venture capital firms (angel group, venture capital, or private equity). It simulates what venture investors experience as a member of an institutional investment firm.

ESP 461 Entrepreneurial Consulting

Student teams apply a problem-solving methodology by consulting with selected entrepreneurial organizations that have requested assistance. Each selected company will have a wide range of entrepreneurial challenges crossing the fields of finance, marketing, accounting, production, human resources, information systems, strategic and tactical planning, growth or down-sizing problems, procurement issues, inventory control, quality control and forecasting. Through this consulting experience, students learn to integrate and apply their business knowledge to "real-world" settings and to test their analytical skills by solving complex entrepreneurial business problems.

ESP 481 Technology, Products & Ventures

An interdisciplinary perspective on the interfaces between new product development, innovation, and technology. Examines product development capability as an essential element of successful business strategy and a key component of an "entrepreneurial mindset." Students develop a working prototype for a new product and a comprehensive new product plan.

ESP 490. RedHawk Launch Accelerator 

The RedHawk Launch Accelerator course is run at Union Hall in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine district and applies lean startup methodology to support student-led startup launch activities, including problem definition, the design and development of a minimum viable product, customer definition and total addressable market, and customer acquisition testing and validation.

ESP 490 Special Topics in Entrepreneurship

Issue oriented seminar for juniors or seniors focusing on a contemporary topic related to the rewards, requirements and challenges associated with entrepreneurship in different environments.