Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Fundamentals

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Course Description

This course introduces the fundamental concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship. It is developed from frameworks used at UC Berkeley’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology including the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship. Designed for aspiring technology leaders and innovators, topics include team building, opportunity recognition, business logic, leadership & execution, value extraction, research-based innovation, and more.

Prerequisites: There are no prior course requirements.

Course Objectives

Evaluate business opportunities for new ventures or technology innovation projects within existing organizations.

Understand the relationship of a technical project to a firm’s overall business strategy.

Understand how to develop a supportive ecosystem for innovative projects.

Avoid the most common mistakes in the execution of product and business development projects.

Map emerging technologies to markets and business models.

Understand the fundamentals of new venture finance including common business and revenue models. 

Learn to mitigate risk when launching new projects within an existing firm or new venture.

Syllabus: to be posted

Recognition of Completion

Open SCET content is free and accessible below. Some students may wish to receive mentorship, team-building assistance, further instruction, and receive a recognition of completion for the program. More information about this is available below for Universities and Individuals.


Global students who complete the course within programs within their universities receive a certificate of completion of the “Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Segment” in the Career Acceleration Track. Interested universities should contact


Non-Berkeley Program cost $6500 for individuals. Interested prospective students should contact with a resume and statement of interest about why they are interested in joining the program.


Group pricing and merit based scholarships are available.

Course Modules

 Module Topic/Speaker Videos Description Assignment
0 Live Kickoff / Course Mechanics
(Dr. Ikhlaq Sidhu, David Law, Vichy Li)
Welcome to the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship Fundamentals course offered by UC Berkeley’s Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SCET). This fundamentals course is designed to acquaint you with concepts and challenges faced by entrepreneurs and those launching innovation projects within established companies. You will do most of your assignments with a team of like-minded students. These team assignments and personal reflections are key to the learning journey. Assignment:  Be sure you can log into Canvas and access Modules 0 and 1.
1 Opportunity Recognition & Market Validation
(Mr. Ken Singer)

1.1 Opportunity Identification Part I

1.2 Opportunity Identification Part II

1.3 Value Proposition

Startups and innovation projects start with good ideas. But where do good ideas come from? In this module we discuss the important concept of opportunity identification. You will learn how to find good opportunities and how to evaluate them in the context of a new venture or inside an existing firm. Assignment 1: All team members should read the “Caviar” case. Using the concepts from the video lectures, select an industry area of interest (consumer, health, finance, etc.). After you have chosen one industry area of interest, think about what has been changing? Each member of the team working alone should come up with 3-5 opportunities and then share them with the team.  Please submit your team's list of ideas.  A team of 4 should have at least 12 ideas or opportunities.
2 Story and Execution - Pitching with NABC
(Dr. Ikhlaq Sidhu)
2.1  NABC Once you have identified an opportunity or decided to launch an innovation project at your company you will need to get buy-in from others. Learning the important skills of storytelling and execution will help you build the support you need to continue. We will introduce you to the NABC methodology developed by the Stanford Research Institute and give you a chance to practice in your homework assignment. Assignment 2: Based on the list of opportunities you submitted in your previous assignment, have each person pitch their best idea (only one) to others in the team. Other team members will provide constructive feedback.  As a group, agree on three ideas and write those ideas in the NABC format on one page.
3 Building a Winning Team
(Mr. Ken Singer)

3.1 Team Formation

3.2 Leadership

3.3 On Failure

3.4 On Trust

3.5 Managing Conflict

Having the right team is a key to success when it comes to starting a new venture or launching a new project. In this module we will discuss what makes a good team and how to manage some of the challenges that all teams face. Effective team collaboration, leadership and communication are skills that will help accelerate your career. Assignment 3: Meet with your team to discuss the lectures on team and leadership. List your team’s 3 core strengths and 3 areas that need improvement

Assignment 4: (Individual) Each student will write up to one page on a failure they have experienced and what they learned / do differently as a result of that failure.

4 Beyond Concepts, How to Execute, Venture Execution
(Dr. Ikhlaq Sidhu)
Now that your project has launched, how do you manage all of the competing priorities of the business and key stakeholders. In this module we introduce a framework to help your team improve communication and execution. Assignment 5: As a team,  reflect on the venture creation process. What did you find most surprising?

Evaluate each of the opportunities your team developed in Module 2 using the concepts learned in the lecture. Document and submit your findings on one page.

5 Introduction to the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship and Importance of Mindset
(Dr. Ikhlaq Sidhu)
5.1 Mindset and Behaviors of Success

5.2 Expanding Your Comfort Zone

5.3 What Motivates People

The Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship (BMOE) is the foundational pedagogy for all of our coursework at the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at UC Berkeley. BMOE is project based learning that focuses on the mindset, skills and behaviors required for success. The skills you learn are applicable to both entrepreneurs who want to start a new company and for innovative leaders working in established companies. One last component of BMOE that is critical is your network. Through teamwork, mentorship and guest lectures, you have the opportunity to expand your professional network in a thoughtful and strategic way. Individual Assignment 6: After listening to the recorded lectures write a one page reflection on your comfort zone and the mindsets and behaviors that will help you most. What can you do to further develop those?
6 Go-to-Market and Value Extraction.
(Gigi Wang)
6.1. Value Extraction Eventually every project will be evaluated in terms of its financial impact. Startups must have the resources to grow and innovation projects must demonstrate a return on investment (or perhaps spin off to a new business). This module introduces the important concepts of business model innovation, go-to-market strategy, and value extraction.  Assignment 7: (Team)As a team discuss the most common mistakes that get made in bringing a new product to market.

Using the three opportunities your team identified from Module 2 list the value proposition(s) for each and propose a business model. How would you quantify value for each of the three opportunities.

Please submit on one page per team.

7 Ion Stoica Case - Research based Entrepreneurship with Leadership Case
(David Law introduction)
7.1 From Research to New Venture In Module 3 you learned that new companies and ideas may be the product of years of research in the lab. The journey from researcher to successful entrepreneur is quite unique. This module introduces a prominent researcher at UC Berkeley who also became a successful entrepreneur. We will use his lecture as a case study. Assignment 8: As a team, reflect on innovation leadership and the path from researcher to entrepreneur. 

Write one page on the key takeaways from the lecture noting what is unique about the researcher path vs other types of entrepreneurship.

8 Innovation Culture – options from Newton Lecture Series
(David Law Introduction)
8.1 Sean Foote

8.2 Rathi Murthy

8.3 Yoky Matsuoka

8.4 Ben Horowitz

Whether you are in a lab or inside a company, the work environment and the mindset of the leadership team is key to successful innovation. In this module we offer you three lectures from distinguished entrepreneurs and innovators who discuss how they benefited from or created an innovative culture within their team or organization. Please choose one lecture for your assignment. Assignment 9: (Individual Assignment) Each person should choose one video and write a one page reflection on what you learned, what traits you discovered as key to success by the individual, team or company.
9 Concepts of Core Competence, Technology Strategy (Dr. Iklaq Sidhu) 9.1 Intro to the Zappos Case

9.2 Zappos Key Concerns

9.3 Zappos Core Competencies

9.4 Zappos Framework

9.5 Zappos Analysis

As organizations grow and markets or competition evolve, it is important to continuously assess the business so you can exploit new opportunities. This module examines the e-commerce site Zappos, which was later purchased by Amazon. The lectures examine how Zappos evaluated its core competencies and assessed future opportunities. Assignment 10: As a team, pick a company and identify a new product or service that they could offer (this should be a product or service that does not exist today). Act as the management team and using what you learned in the lecture, build a chart to explain if this new product would be a good fit for that firm based on its core competencies.
10 Course Wrap Up.  Summary of Topics. Innovation Culture (IS/all) Thank you for work and investment in time. We will use this final module in the course to focus on key takeaways and summarize the course. Assignment 11:  As a team, share what you found most insightful or memorable from the course. Please reference specific lectures, speakers or experiences. Submit up to two pages per team.

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