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


Offered in the Spring

Dive into human centered design and innovation as a way to build new products and services. This course is experiential, project-based, and collaborative. You’ll try out different methods for uncovering human needs, make sense of data you gather from the field, and build and test your ideas. After taking this course, you’ll walk away with the skills, methods, and mindset to use design and innovation to make impact in any career path you pursue.


Offered in the Fall and Spring

Discovery emphasizes exploration, research, and discovery to uncover problems that are worth solving. In this course, you’ll explore multiple areas of personal interest to decide whether there are viable options for you to pursue as a startup venture or an innovation you want to bring to the world.

BUSI 222 Technology Product Design & Development (3.0)

Offered in the Fall 

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.


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.


Offered in the Fall

This course explores the hidden biases that exist in product design with a focus on the tradeoffs entrepreneurs and innovators face when making decisions on how to design, build, and test their medical products and devices. Through the lenses of failed medical devices, poorly designed clinical trials, lack of stakeholder understanding, and interpretation bias students will discuss opportunities to proactively increase diversity of users that can lead to a more impactful, inclusive design. Assessments will consist of in and out of class exercises, reflections and a group project.

BUSI 360 Founder’s Journey (1.0)

Offered in the Fall and Spring

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.


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.


Currently not offered

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


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.


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 prerequisite for BUSI 465: Student Venture Fund: Evaluating Startup Investment Opportunities.


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.


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. The prerequisite for this course is BUSI 461 Financing the Startup Venture.


Offered in Fall and Spring

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. Pre-requisite: BUSI 369. Instructor approval required.