Graduate Courses

Rice Business has the leading graduate entrepreneurship program in the nation, according to the Princeton Review and Entrepreneurship Magazine. Through Lilie’s partnership with the Jones Graduate School of Business, we offer graduate students of all disciplines access to experiential entrepreneurship courses as well as hands-on entrepreneurship labs. The entrepreneurship labs complement the lessons learned in the classroom and are designed to provide students the opportunity to work in real-world settings, not just with faculty but with mentors and alumni entrepreneurs. Lilie also offers an Entrepreneurship Concentration for our full-time MBAs, though other MBA cohorts are eligible to take entrepreneurship courses and labs as electives.

We prepare our graduate students to become problem solvers and innovators in whatever field they choose, be it a technology startup, consulting, venture capital, non-profit, corporate strategy, or finance. Our courses are designed to equip our students with an entrepreneurial mindset which allows them to:

  • Think creatively in ambiguous environments
  • Identify critical problems or market opportunities and to develop validated solutions to meet these needs
  • Design solutions that are sustainable, inclusive, and equitable
  • Embrace empathy to better understand customers, users, clients, and team members
  • Excel in interdisciplinary teams and in communicating messaging across departments, organizations, and industries

Non-MBA graduate students interested in taking classes through Lilie are required to first obtain approval from the course’s professor and the Jones Graduate School of Business registrar. Graduate students from universities other than Rice may also be eligible to take certain courses through the inter-institutional agreement.

As always, if you have questions, just stop by the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Cambridge Office Building 130) or schedule office hours by contacting We are here to help you build the skills and mindset you need to be a successful innovator in the workplace or as a rock star entrepreneur — whichever you choose.


Course descriptions are listed below. For more information on specific semester course offerings, visit

Core Entrepreneurship Courses

MGMT 621 New Enterprises (3.0)

Offered in the Fall and Spring

Entrepreneurs and innovators build products and companies in ambiguous environments. This class will give you the skills and mindset to navigate this uncertainty with proven frameworks. You’ll explore potential venture opportunities, identify unmet needs, draft a value proposition and concept for a solution, and test your assumptions quickly and cheaply; these are all processes which can be used to build a new enterprise or innovate within an established industry. Note: For full-time students this course is an option for the first year’s Custom Core curriculum and is required for the Entrepreneurship Concentration, so we strongly recommend that it is taken in the spring of the first year. Only the full-time cohort is eligible for the Entrepreneurship Concentration, though other cohorts are eligible to take entrepreneurship courses and labs as electives.

MGMT 626 Financing the Startup Venture (1.5)

Offered in the Fall

This class is perfect for those seeking to understand what funding sources may be best for their venture or those interested in a career in venture financing. You’ll understand the differences between angel funding, venture capital, crowd funding, and accelerators. In addition to quantitative analysis, this class hosts regular guest speakers who share about their experiences in the field. This course is a pre-requisite for MGMT 740: Student Venture Fund and is recommended if you want to apply to the Venture Capital Investment Competition.


Entrepreneurship Elective Options

Electives can be taken by the full-time cohort starting in the second semester of the first year. They can be taken by the professional and executive cohort starting the first semester of the second year.

MGMT 620 Founders Journey (1.0)

Offered in the Fall

This course will help students explore leadership, innovation, and creativity through the lens of a startup founder. Students will learn about the successful traits of entrepreneurs, understand how to spot new opportunities within their areas of interest, and work on charting their own entrepreneurial journey.

MGMT 625 Design Thinking (1.5)

Offered in the Spring

Design isn’t about aesthetics, products, or experiences; design is a process that mandates empathy for the user you are designing for. Understanding the design process will make you a better leader, colleague, and human by providing a toolkit that you can apply to your personal and professional life.

MGMT 627 Enterprise Acquisition (1.5)

Offered in the Fall

This course is for students who want to learn how to sell a company, how to buy a company or create a search fund.  You will learn how to value a business for sale or purchase, how to structure the deal, and how to merge companies. With a growing interest in search funds, this is one of our most popular classes.

MGMT 628 Introduction to User Experience (0.75)

Offered in the Spring

User experience isn’t about choosing colors and putting “lipstick on the pig.” It’s a methodology that creates great experiences with products, services, processes, and organizations. Understanding the steps and tools of the user experience project lifecycle will help you lead projects for your organization that will mitigate project risk, increase ROI for your organization, and create great experiences for your users.

MGMT 629 The Enduring Enterprise (1.5)

Offered in the Spring

You’re in charge of a company, whether by founding, buying, inheriting, or promotion within it. You pour your heart and soul into it. Your customers and employees love it. It means something, and you want it to endure. This course is about the enduring enterprise, from startup to long-term sustainability.

MGMT 637 Dilemmas in Founding New Ventures (1.5)

Offered in the Spring

Frameworks for making informed decisions about human capital when founding a new venture, including co-founders, early hires, advisors, board members, and investors.

MGMT 641 Entrepreneurial Strategy (1.5)

Offered in the Spring

This course provides a deep understanding of the core strategic challenges facing startup innovators, and a framework for implementing entrepreneurial strategy in dynamic environments. Learn how to balance experimentation and learning with the selection and implementation of a strategy in order to establish a competitive advantage. Note: This class is ideal for those interested in entrepreneurship or financing startup ventures.

MGMT 724 Social Entrepreneurship: Practical Business Planning (1.5)

Offered in the Spring

Explore entrepreneurship and its ability to create social change by applying business principles and earned income strategies to social missions. Students are equipped with skills needed to draft a business plan for a plausible social enterprise. Note: This class is ideal for those interested in entrepreneurship and social impact.

MGMT 725 Intellectual Property Strategy for Entrepreneurs (1.5)

Offered in the Spring

This course will give you a practical, business-oriented overview of three important strategic considerations for your enterprise: 1. identifying and monetizing your business’ intellectual property (IP); 2. spotting and dealing with other people’s IP-ownership claims; and 3. planning for IP aspects in a liquidity event.

MGMT 732 Tech Product Management (1.5)

Offered in the Spring

Product management is an art, not a science. In this course, we will explore mindsets and tactics that help make product managers of technology products successful. Students will learn about agile software development and explore different frameworks for what it means to be a product manager. Students will also work in groups to choose a product, define a problem, empathize with users, prioritize opportunities and finally to define scope. The skills learned in this course not only apply to technology roles but can be applied to everyday life.

MGMT 833 Strategy in Technology Ecosystems (1.5)

Offered in the Fall

All you need is a good software developer to be the next tech giant, right? Not quite. Creating a successful tech platform is much more complicated. In this course, you’ll gain an appreciation for the unique dilemmas unfolding at the intersection of strategic management and technological change.


Offered in the Fall

This 1.5 credit version of the 3.0 credit MGMT 621 The New Enterprise course is designed for students in the Professional and Executive MBA cohort. The class will give students the skills and mindset to navigate uncertainty with proven frameworks. You’ll explore potential venture opportunities, identify unmet needs, draft a value proposition and concept for a solution, and test your assumptions quickly and cheaply; these are all processes that can be used to build a new enterprise or innovate within an established industry. The course will also discuss venture opportunities that are a good fit for Professional or Executive students, like acquiring a company, starting or buying a franchise, going out on your own in your area of expertise, private equity investments, and some other possibilities that could fit later stage career students. Note: MGMT 927 cannot be substituted for MGMT 621 in the Entrepreneurship Concentration.


Advanced Experiential Learning and Lab Options

There are a variety of E-Labs available to students. Find out more information and apply to those courses.


Offered in the Fall

Students will learn how to determine commercial viability of intellectual property, determine best commercialization path for IP (spinout, licensing, etc.), and reach a go/no-go decision of whether to pursue the venture. Students will learn how to relate to, communicate, and strategize in interdisciplinary teams. Students will work with an Innovation Fellow, entrepreneurial Professor, or recent spinout. Instructor approval required. 

MGMT 740 Student Venture Fund: Evaluating Startup Investment Opportunities (3.0)

Offered in the Spring

Students will identify, screen, and evaluate startups for investment by the Rice venture capital fund. Through this highly experiential course, students will learn tools for rigorously evaluating startup ventures for investment, valuing early-stage companies, and structuring investments. Note: This class is ideal for those interested in entrepreneurship and financing startup ventures. Prerequisite: MGMP 626: Financing the Startup Venture.


Offered in the Fall and Spring

Students work with an early-stage angel group or venture capital firm and provide 8-10 hours a week of support in critical tasks such as due diligence and deal analysis. The course culminates in a final report at the end of the experience. An application is required and students must be available to meet off-campus. Since this E-Lab requires an onsite presence one day per week, it may not be ideal for Professional and Executive MBA students working full-time. Co-requisites: MGMP 626: Financing the Startup Venture or MGMT 626: Venture Capital. Instructor approval required. 


Offered in the Spring

Students follow the processes learned in MGMT 627 to acquire an existing business or start a search fund. Students develop selection criteria, network to connect with sellers, conduct preliminary due diligence, perform a business valuation, develop potential deal structures, and have the opportunity to move forward on any potential opportunities on their own after graduation. Students attend a check-in class every other week to present updates and receive feedback from faculty, students, and alumni mentors. Prerequisite: MGMT 627: Enterprise Acquisition.


Offered in the Fall and Spring

Students working on their own startup have the opportunity to apply the processes learned in the New Enterprise course to their startup. Students attend a check-in class every other week to present updates and receive feedback from faculty, students and alumni mentors. Instructor Permission Required. Repeatable for Credit. Students set their own personal goals and milestones for the class. Students may work in teams in this course but each member of the team needs to apply separately. Prerequisite: MGMT 621/927 New Enterprise. This E-Lab works well for students from all sections (Full-Time, Professional, and Executive) as classes meet every other week in the evening. Repeatable for Credit. Instructor approval required. 

MGMT 766 Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab (3.0)

Not offered this academic year

This lab is designed for healthcare entrepreneurs who want to build innovative medical device technologies. Students will work with nascent medical device startups from the MGMT 799 Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fall course. Students will work 10 hours per week on various aspects of a business plan and prepare for business plan competitions. This class is ideal for those interested in entrepreneurship and healthcare innovation.

MGMT 799 Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship (3.0)

Not offered this academic year

Interested in healthcare and entrepreneurship and want a truly collaborative experience? Work together with engineering, medical, and business students to build innovative medical technologies. Together you will determine clinical needs, ideate solutions, create a business model, and navigate regulatory requirements. This course is offered in collaboration with the Rice Global Medical Innovation Master’s program and Baylor College of Medicine.