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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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New Course: Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Public Policy

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For a number of years, my partner Jason Mendelson has been teaching an extremely popular course at CU Boulder Law School with Brad Bernthal titled Venture Capital – A 360 Degree Perspective. While it’s a course taught in the law school, it’s (not surprisingly) become popular with the MBA students at CU Boulder.

Brad Bernthal, Phil Weiser (the Dean of the CU Law School), and I have been talking about a new course to complement VC 360 called Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Public Policy. We’ve decided to take a crack at a cross-campus course (law, engineering, and business) that focused on contemporary issues around entrepreneurship, would be a great introduction to any student who wants to immerse herself in entrepreneurship, and would enable us to create some unique content around this topic.

We envision a two hour a week course (over seven sessions) that has a heavy reading, class participation, and writing component. Our goal will be to put this up on the web as well to provide content (and potentially interaction) to a much wider community.

Following is a first draft of a syllabus. I’m looking for two types of feedback: (1) comments on the syllabus and (2) suggestions for web services to use to package this content up for broader distribution.

This one credit course, available to first year law students in their second semester as well as a select number of graduate students in the Business School students and School of Engineering, will explore a set of cutting edge questions around entrepreneurship.  Students in the class will be required to write a ten page paper as well as participate actively in the course (including on a class blog).  Since class participation is a core part of the course (counting for 20% of the grade, with the other 80% based on the paper), any missed class must be made up by writing a 1 page reaction paper.

1. Being an Entrepreneur. Reading: The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career (Hoffman, Casnocha). Five Minds for the Future (Gardner).

2. Leadership and What Makes a Great Founding Team. Reading: Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup:  (Cohen, Feld). Leadership Lessons From the Shackleton Expedition (Koehn).

3. Building and Scaling A Business. Reading: The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (Ries).

4. Entrepreneurial Communities. Reading: Startup Communities: Creating A Great Entrepreneurial Ecosystem In Your City (Feld). Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity 1996 – 2010.

5. Financing Entrepreneurial Companies. Reading: Venture Deals: How To Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer (Mendelson, Feld). Improving Access to Capital for High-Growth Companies (Department of Commerce – National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship)

6. Entrepreneurial Leadership in Government. Reading: Alfred Kahn As A Case Study of A Political Entrepreneur (Weiser). Start-up Nation:  The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle (Senor and Singer).

7. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policy: Reading: Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors (Henderson, Newell).

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