Rady School Launches Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

In May, the Rady School announced its launch of a new undergraduate minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The new minor will begin in fall 2015 and will offer undergraduate students the opportunity to obtain a breadth of understanding of business and entrepreneurship theory, practice and applications. Students will develop a comprehensive view of innovation and operations of both established businesses and startups, gain hands-on experience through projects and case studies, collaborate with peers to foster leadership and conflict resolution skills and have the opportunity to cultivate and expand their existing business ideas. The minor is unique to the University of California system, as no other UC school has a similar program at the undergraduate level.

This is the third undergraduate minor offered by the Rady School, which also offers a minor in business and a minor in accounting. The Rady School's current minors are the most popular on the UC San Diego campus with approximately 1230 undergraduates enrolled in the business minor and 510 in the accounting minor per year.

"We expect this new Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor to be as popular as our other minors, with several hundred undergraduates, especially students from the engineering and biological studies areas, selecting the minor," said Clark Jordan, assistant dean of Undergraduate Programs at the Rady School.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor differs from the existing business minor in that it focuses on entrepreneurship rather than general business management. The cornerstone of the minor is a required two-course entrepreneurship practicum sequence entitled "Innovation to Market," in which students will pitch their ideas to classmates, form teams around the most viable ideas, walk through the new venture process including a professional business plan, present a short "elevator pitch" and a comprehensive presentation tailored to target investors, clients, key customers and employees. In addition, students are required to take New Venture Finance, a course which examines how innovation is funded and the life cycle of a new venture, from development to exit. Other required courses include Product Marketing and Management, and Personal Ethics at Work or Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition, students will select two electives from a list of Rady School courses as well as approved engineering and biology courses.

"The Entrepreneurship and Innovation minor will serve as an enriching addition to general education and major requirements to a broad cross section of the UC San Diego undergraduate population.  [The minor] will not only benefit current students who wish to develop entrepreneurial abilities, but also be an additional attraction for prospective students who are considering applying to UC San Diego," said Gila Zanelli, program director of Undergraduate Education at the Rady School. "Looking more broadly, the appeal of this minor could benefit other departments on campus that are trying to attract top-ranked applicants with broad academic and professional career interests."

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