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Entrepreneurship MBA

MBA: Four Steps to Prepare You for the Entrepreneurial Journey

The way I look at opportunities in business (and in life) has been refocused by this program - Jim Rogers MBA '04

The MBA program is composed of four distinct steps. We believe these steps will best prepare you for your entrepreneurial journey. The four steps include: two-class sequence, learning from entrepreneurs, experiential learning and Governor's Cup.


In addition to the four step program, MBA students can participate in a number of programs to better prepare you for the entrepreneurial journey. We offer great professional development experiences, business simulators, Price Scholars, team building, mentoring, corporate connections and internships.


The Entrepreneurship Boot Camp, or simulator, is a board game professionally run by profitability, and is sought out by organizations worldwide including IBM, Harvard, Stanford, Acton School of Business and many others. The Business Simulator gives students the opportunity to learn the necessary financial tools to succeed in the marketplace through hands-on participation in an interactive, team-based competition. It offers a great balance of instruction and learning by doing.


At the price College of Business, we take professional development to a higher level. For first year students, beginning with MBA prelude Week and continuing through the start of summer internships, we provide a broad variety of soft skills development, define important professional traits that recruiters are seeking and help students meet the requirements essential for launching a successful business career. For second year students, our Student Support Center offers preparation for the final job search and re-entry to the workforce. Our delivery includes perspectives from numerous outside speakers, alumni and friends of the program.


One of the highest profile components of the price MBA is the Price Scholar  program. Capitalizing on our association with the Stern School of Business at New York University, seven students are selected annually to spend the summer attending an evening graduate class and a two day seminar on investment at Columbia University. The nearly $13,000 scholarship awarded to each student covers NYU tuition, housing in the NYU graduate dorms, board, books and fees, transportation and incidental expenses.

MBA Step One:Two-Class Sequence

The classes were pretty much the antithesis to the real world presented in Dilbert cartoons. Action superseded buzz words. - Amy Childers Elliot MBA '04

The OU Entrepreneurship program continues to develop and implement numerous courses that build from content, cases and practical exposure to real world opportunities. We train our MBA students to develop new venture opportunities, whether within existing organizations or new start-ups. With this in mind, we have put in place a two-course sequence plus a group of elective courses to maximize student learning.


The first course, new venture development I, is designed to help students learn how to explore entrepreneurial opportunities, generate ideas for new business concepts and then determine the feasibility of these business concepts. Getting students to start thinking rigorously and analytically about business concepts they might like to be involved with presents a great learning opportunity.


The second course, new venture development II, builds upon lessons learned. Students thinking through and developing a venture concept is the central learning that takes place with the writing of a business plan. Writing a business plan is about thinking through all the various facets of a venture and how they fit together to build a business. Preparing a business plan is a way of ensuring students understand how to think through, communicate and argue for a viable business concept to potential investors. This process represents hands-on learning.


MBA Step Two: Learning From Entrepreneurs

Case write-ups are very demanding but they force me to take a position and defend it. I learned from the discussions that sometimes it is better to listen to and learn from other students rather than anticipate what I am going to say next. - Reynaldo Works MBA '08

Our Entrepreneurs in the classroom weave case-learning objectives with real world experience. The success of our classroom entrepreneurs provides credibility to the teacher and brings a been-there-done-that confidence. This confidence allows teachers to push the students and to force them to defend their ideas.


The case method is an outstanding learning tool that allows our classroom entrepreneurs a framework for learning lessons.The case method is based upon real-life situations that entrepreneurs have faced. It teaches students how to identify the real issues and how to create a framework for problem solving. Using the Socratic method, instructors create a dynamic and fun learning environment. The aim of using the Socratic method is to probe students' core beliefs and values; not to make arguments or ask questions designed to convince them of a particular view.


The case method forces students to grapple with exactly the kinds of decisions and dilemmas managers confront every day. in doing so, it redefines the traditional educational dynamic in which the professor dispenses knowledge and students passively receive it. The case method creates a classroom in which students succeed not by simply absorbing facts and theories, but also by exercising the skills of leadership and teamwork in the face of real problems. Under the skillful guidance of a faculty member, they work together to analyze and synthesize conflicting data and points of view, to define and prioritize goals, to persuade and inspire others who think differently, to make tough decisions with uncertain information, and to seize opportunity in the face of doubt. Case teaching allows the entrepreneur to share experiences in a structured format designed to maximize student retention.

MBA Step Three: Experiential Learning

The intellectual property class put me through major processes in turning an idea into business. This class not only answered my questions about an entrepreneur's vision, but also provided a platform to help me launch future ventures of my own. - Malee Lohateeraparp, MBA '07

The role of intellectual property or IP is becoming more and more important to the entrepreneur. For context, 85% of the value of the S&P 500 is ip related and approximately 1/2 of U.S. GDP is due to IP assets ($5.5 trillion). Because of the importance of IP, we have made it a cornerstone to our MBA Entrepreneurship program.


The IP Commercialization course is a hands-on course that deals with real intellectual properties. Groups of students will choose and work with a piece of intellectual property from the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation or the Noble Foundation of Ardmore, Oklahoma. Students perform a due diligence interview scientists, perform market research and complete a competitive analysis. The scope of due diligence involves researching the feasibility of commercializing a patented Ip, performing market research on a new IP, finding potential partners, and developing a business plan for the new IP. Students will present their findings to venture capitalists at the end of the semester. Not just an academic exercise, students are encouraged to take their relevant business plans for existing technologies forward and create businesses, ideally in the state of Oklahoma.


The IP Commercialization course has been nationally recognized. It received a $10,000 grant from NCIIA and $20,000 in grant money from the astellas USA foundation. The course allows students to understand the role of IP in new ventures, but more than that, it forces the students to critically analyze actual IP, get their hands dirty, and form a business case for its commercialization.

MBA Step Four: Governor's Cup

The business plan competitions were great experiences and reinforced what we had learned during our studies. - Blaine Stansel MBA '08

The Governor's Cup offers MBA students a chance to develop their own business idea, assemble a plan and compete to win awards and prizes. Student teams from the University of Oklahoma swept the first-place awards in both graduate and undergraduate divisions in the 2008 Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup Collegiate Business plan competition. The Donald W. Reynolds Governor's Cup has one of the largest cash awards pool in America. The Governor's Cup is designed to encourage students of Oklahoma Universities and Colleges to act upon their ideas and talents in order to produce tomorrow's businesses.


After only three years, the Governor's Cup has attracted entries from 19 campuses across the state, 135 judges and more than 100 innovative ideas. Altogether more than 300 students have tested their Entrepreneurial skills and knowledge while competing for more than $300,000 in cash prizes. Student teams and their faculty advisors will compete in undergraduate and graduate divisions for cash prizes valued in excess of $100,000 and first place winners have the opportunity to win the innovation award, in-kind commercialization services valued up to a total of $50,000.


Students involved in the competition gain access to networks of successful entrepreneurs, investors and community leaders, team-building opportunities and business planning skills. One of the goals of the competition is to encourage the development and commercialization of ideas and technologies being discovered in our universities. Researchers and Entrepreneurs from across the state have stepped forward with their research and innovative ideas to work with interested competing teams.


The competition encourages multidisciplinary teams that combine members from technical disciplines with members from the colleges of business to bring together the pieces necessary for bridging the gap between technology and the marketplace.


A team of University of Oklahoma graduate students took second place in the Donald W. Reynolds tri-State Competition, the final stage of the annual Governor's Cup Collegiate Business Plan Competition in the undergraduate division. The inaugural tri-state Donald W. Reynolds Cup business plan competition held on may 15, 2008, represents the pinnacle of the three state business plan competitions in Oklahoma, Nevada and Arkansas. The top two teams (both undergraduate and graduate) from each state competed for cash awards totaling $90,000.


From OU, Perpetual Pharmaceuticals took home the second-place prize of $15,000. The company is commercializing a revolutionary insulin delivery system that can be injected to effectively manage blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes. The team is composed of Blaine Stansel and Pauline Sein, both Price College of Business MBA students.