MIT Innovation Initiative
December 16, 2016

MIT undergraduates aspiring to found or join a startup company at some point in their careers will gain a deep understanding of the central challenges and choices innovators face in developing their ventures through a course offered this spring from the MIT Innovation Initiative and the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

Students who enroll in 15.373J/3.085J/2.912J (Venture Engineering) will develop the capability to move from testing ideas to assembling a venture. Through a combination of highly interactive exercises, online lectures, structured case studies, and team projects, students will discover how to utilize best practices for primary market research to identify and understand potential customers, design and implement ventures positioned for impact and scale, and learn about leadership and the financial resources needed for a new enterprise.

Led by instructors — Eugene Fitzgerald, the Merton C. Flemings-SMA Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Scott Stern, the David Sarnoff Professor of Management; Bill Aulet, a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan and managing director of the Martin Trust Center; and Andreas Wankerl, a visiting lecturer and operations director for the Innovation Interface — the course will draw on a rapidly emerging body of research at the intersection of innovation management and entrepreneurship.

“Students will learn the fundamentals of developing and growing a new innovative venture, starting from ideation and moving through customer segmentation and entrepreneurial strategy. We want to build on the strong foundation of existing innovation and entrepreneurship courses at MIT and encourage undergraduates to leverage their skills early on,” says Professor Stern.

Venture Engineering is one of two core subjects for the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Minor that was launched in the fall. Designed as an interdisciplinary program with a coherent combination of conceptual and practical elements that draws on a wealth of educational activities in this domain, the minor aligns with students’ yearning for a more innovation-focused education that aligns with their course of study that complements — rather than competes with — time spent on their discipline-based schooling.

Students interested in taking the class are encouraged to sign up early during the pre-registration period, open now through December 29, 2016.

Venture Engineering will take place Wednesdays, 7–10 pm, during the Spring 2017 semester.

For more information on Venture Engineering or the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Minor, contact Liz Friedman, Academic Programs Manager, at