Undergraduate Courses

Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mindset Through Our Undergraduate Courses and the Entrepreneurship Minor

The Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (Lilie) is the home of experiential learning and co-curricular activities in entrepreneurship and innovation at Rice University. We prepare our students to be entrepreneurs and innovators in whatever walk of life they choose, be it a technology startup, government agency, civic group, non-profit, small business, or large corporation.

Students are encouraged to complement their major area of study by enrolling in Lilie courses, which teach frameworks for solving problems and navigating ambiguity. For those students looking for a deeper dive into the startup and venture funding space, the Entrepreneurship Minor is an 18 credit journey that will position students to be the change makers, innovators, and trendsetters they desire to be. Whether students take one course or complete the entire minor, our curricula will equip them with an entrepreneurial mindset which allows them to:

  • 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

Come courses are cross-listed as part of the curriculum in schools and programs, including Engineering and Social Science. If you have questions, just stop by the Liu Idea Lab for Innovation & Entrepreneurship or schedule office hours at lilie@rice.edu. We are here to help you build the skills and mindset you need to be a successful innovator in whichever path you choose.

For course schedules by semester and course section, time, and location information, please visit courses.rice.edu

Undergraduate Courses

BUSI 220 LILIE DESIGN THINKING

Offered in the Fall and Spring

Design thinking is a problem-solving process that can be used to reduce risk when launching a new idea and increase your chances of developing an innovative solution that people want. At the center of the design thinking approach is building empathy with the people for which you are creating products, services, and processes. From that deep empathy, insights will emerge, with which we will apply an iterative prototyping and experimentation method to learn quickly and apply resources efficiently.

BUSI 221 NEW ENTERPRISES

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.

BUSI 222 Technology Product Design & Development

This is a project based course where students choose a product and practice managing it. Students will learn how to set a vision, empathize with the user, prioritize, create product management artifacts and best practices when working with agile frameworks.

BUSI 223 MODELING FOR ENTREPRENEURS

Offered in the Fall

The course teaches how to translate a startup business plan into a bottoms up quantitative model of the business and its underlying assumptions. Students will learn how to build a model of cash flows for a startup, how to use that model to track performance and identify errors in the underlying assumptions and adjust, and how to update the model based on realized performance.

BUSI 361 ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNICATION

Offered in the Spring

Working and communicating with team members, investors, and mentors is an essential skill set, especially for entrepreneurs.  Learn the key concepts, tools, and practices behind effective communication in the context of start-ups, small businesses, and other entrepreneurial ventures, and practice the skills valuable throughout the new venture life cycle.

BUSI 461 FINANCING THE STARTUP VENTURE

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, crowdfunding, 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 BUSI 465: Student Venture Fund: Evaluating Startup Investment Opportunities.

BUSI 463 ENTREPRENEURIAL STRATEGY

Offered in the Spring

The first half of this course provides an integrated strategy framework for entrepreneurs. The course is structured to provide a deep understanding of the core strategic challenges facing start-up innovators, and a synthetic framework for choosing and implementing entrepreneurial strategy in dynamic environments, as well as a general understanding of the financing options for early stage startups, including angel investment, accelerators, crowdfunding and the venture capital industry. The course identifies the types of choices that entrepreneurs must make to take advantage of a novel opportunity and the logic of particular strategic commitments and positions that allow entrepreneurs to establish competitive advantage. The second half of the course explores common dilemmas faced by founders surrounding team selection, contracting, equity compensation and incentives, communication in teams, and strategies for approaching each of these dilemmas. The course combines interactive lectures, speakers and case analyses. The cases and assignments offer an opportunity to integrate and apply the principles taught in the course in a practical way, and draws from a diverse range of industries and settings.

BUSI 464 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Offered in the Fall

Learn how to apply an entrepreneurial approach to address social challenges through the project-driven course that works on social issues relevant to Houston.

BUSI 465 STUDENT VENTURE FUND: EVALUATING STARTUP INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Offered in the Spring

Students will identify, screen, and evaluate start-ups 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. Students will present their investment recommendations to an advisory committee. Graduate/Undergraduate Equivalency: MGMT 740. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for BUSI 465 if student has credit for MGMT 740.

BUSI 469 LILIE NEW VENTURE CHALLENGE

Offered in the Fall

Are you looking for structure and guidance to push you to finally act on your business idea? In this course, you will work on your venture using a set of tools and frameworks that will help you get from idea to launch. This individualized lab course provides the mentorship and guidance you need to build your startup. Applications are open to venture teams with at least one Rice undergraduate student. Application required.