Science and Technology Entrepreneurship


E/MedE/ME 105

E 102a


E 102b

E/ME 103

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This accelerated introductory course is designed for both advanced undergraduates (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) as well as graduate students who are interested in starting companies or joining startups right out of school or later in their careers. Undergraduates will learn about how to get the ideas, attract the resources, and take the actions required for a startup’s success. Graduate students will learn these basics, and those who are interested in commercializing their thesis research may qualify to apply for $50,000 customer discovery grants from the National Science Foundation.

This fast-paced course is led by a professor with deep experience in leading, funding, and successfully exiting startups, as well as teaching entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California. In addition, several guest entrepreneurs will visit the class to share their stories and the learning from them. Join us for an exciting quarter of learning about how to commercialize scientific advances and technologies in startup ventures.

Course Instructor

Andrea Belz, MBA, PhD, is the Director of Innovation Node-Los Angeles, a partnership between USC, UCLA, and Caltech commercializing university technologies and serving as a hub of the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps ("I-Corps") Program, for which she is the lead instructor in Southern California. She is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the University of Southern California, with faculty appointments at the Marshall School of Business, the Viterbi School of Engineering, and the Roski School of Design. Through her consulting practice, Andrea has served the Athenaeum Fund, Avery Dennison, BP, Caltech, Korea Institute for the Advancement of Technology, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Occidental Petroleum, UCLA, and other companies and venture capital funds. A long-term member of the Pasadena Angels, she serves on the Executive Committee of the board of Caltech spinoff Ondax. Early in her career, Andrea worked at JPL in early-stage development of flight instrument concepts for astrobiology as well as serving as a lecturer in the Caltech Engineering and Applied Sciences Division. She has a BS in physics from the University of Maryland at College Park, a PhD in physics from Caltech, and an MBA in finance from Pepperdine University.


"E102 is a good way to cover a large base of topics that are relevant to tech entrepreneurship. You'll get even more out of the class if you discuss the readings with your peers before class."
—Suzy Osekowsky, sophomore in Electrical Engineering

"The E102 entrepreneurship course provided a series of case-study based lectures that can guide the aspiring entrepreneur through critical steps in launching a new venture to increase their chances of turning a great idea into a successful business. I would render it a requirement for any tech-minded student truly passionate about business and entrepreneurship."
—Emily Wyatt, second year Ph.D. candidate in Chemical Engineering

"E102 is a phenomenal course which introduces students with technical backgrounds to the challenges involved in starting a successful technology-based business. By the end of the term, I not only had an improved respect for these challenges but also greater confidence that I could face them. I would recommend this course to anybody with limited business experience who is even considering applying his or her science/technology education in a non-academic setting."
—Ross Elliot, Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics and graduating in June.

"The E102 course challenges students to evaluate the non-technical aspects of starting a technology-based business in a fast-paced, interactive setting. We discussed topics such as building a team, finding product/market fit, raising capital, and mitigating risk factors - all through real-world case studies taught by professors with strong entrepreneurial backgrounds (and often with guest lectures from the entrepreneurs in the case!). Exposure to these concepts was not only helpful to me while interning in Venture Capital, but would be tremendously valuable to any student looking to found or join a startup."
—Alex Hartz, senior in Applied Physics