MBA - Area Focus Electives - Entrepreneurship, Innovation, & Strategy

Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Strategy

Darden has been recognized as having one of the leading entrepreneurship programs among all graduate business schools. As part of the required curriculum, strategy lays the foundation for a deeper understanding of corporate and entrepreneurial success.

The School offers more than 25 electives in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy, and 100% of MBA students take entrepreneurship courses while at Darden!

Darden also encourages students to be innovative and to start new ventures through a variety of entrepreneurial activities — students may choose to enter any of four major entrepreneurial competitions, participate in the Venture Capital and E-Boot Camps and join the Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Club. The i.Lab Incubator also provides $10,000 in funding and resources for students to launch ventures at Darden. Click on the "Club & Events" tab below to learn more about these opportunities.

  • Courses

    View a full list of courses here.

  • Concentrations

    Darden faculty created the following entrepreneurship, innovation and strategy concentrations to help Second Year students develop course plans:

    Entrepreneurship

    Students fulfilling this concentration graduate with an understanding of their affinity for being entrepreneurial and an understanding of the fundamentals of effectual and causal thinking and when each is appropriate. They also graduate with a set of skills based on academic study and experiential work that allows them to be confident in starting a new venture. Contact: MJ Toms.

     

    Corporate Innovation

    Students fulfilling this concentration graduate with the mindset and skill set to succeed at identifying and implementing innovation in a corporate setting. Faculty Contact: Jeanne Liedtka.

     

    Business Development and Growth

    Sustainable success requires organizations to innovate and grow to maintain or increase profitability. Students in this concentration will learn the fundamentals of managing innovation, organic growth and acquisition and integration of mergers and acquisitions. Faculty Contact: Jeanne Liedtka.

  • Clubs & Events

    Visit the Experiential Entrepreneurship Opportunities page for information on a variety of entrepreneurial clubs, events and innovative courses.

  • Videos
  • Contacts

    Still have questions? Feel free to contact the following alumni to ask specific questions about entrepreneurship at Darden. For additional contacts, please visit the Darden Student and Alumni Ambassadors list.

     

    Whitman Walker (MBA ’12)

    Undergraduate education: UNC-Chapel Hill
    Undergraduate major: Electronic Communication, Business Journalism
    Company: Samsung
    Position: Global Strategy Group
    Location: Seoul, South Korea

    “Darden’s diverse community, global perspective and generalist approach to management supplied me with the skills necessary to work in a high level, international strategy role at Samsung. In addition, Darden’s high level of engagement and focus on intelligent decision-making prepared me to succeed within a diversified and complex multinational corporation.”

     

    Emily Desanctis (MBA ’11)

    Undergraduate education: Tulane University
    Undergraduate major: French major; Business and English minors
    Company: Stylher
    Title: Co-founder & COO
    Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

    “My First Year at Darden gave me the fundamental knowledge and tools to feel confident about starting my own business. Throughout my Second Year, I really took advantage of the entrepreneurial outlets that Darden offers including electives, business plan competitions and club-sponsored opportunities to pitch our ideas to investors. The relationships I’ve made with classmates and faculty have evolved into life-long friendships and a network of accomplished businessmen and women I know I can call on as I move forward in my entrepreneurial endeavors.”

     

    Joe Chard (MBA ’11)

    Undergraduate education: Oberlin College
    Undergraduate major: Philosophy
    Company: Nomuda Games
    Title: Co-Founder and CEO
    Location after graduation: Virtual (for business), D.C. (for life)

    “Entrepreneurs are the ultimate general managers, and Darden offers a world-class general management education. The rigorous and comprehensive curriculum gave me tools that I could directly apply to starting and growing my business. The wealth of resources available at Darden gave me the confidence boost that I needed to start my company, Nomuda Games, and fulfill a life-long dream. Both faculty members and my classmates provided invaluable support along the way – exactly the kind of intangible resources that Darden offers above and beyond the coursework, facilities and entrepreneurial opportunities like the Batten Incubator.”

Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Strategy Faculty

L. J. Bourgeois III

L. J. Bourgeois III

Professor of Business Administration Senior Fellow, Darden Center for Global Initiatives

Ming-Jer Chen

Ming-Jer Chen

Leslie E. Grayson Professor of Business Administration

Yo-Jud Cheng

Yo-Jud Cheng

Assistant Professor

Gregory B. Fairchild

Gregory B. Fairchild

Isidore Horween Research Associate Professor of Business Administration Associate Dean for Washington, D.C., Area Initiatives and Academic Director of Public Policy and Entrepreneurship

Edward D. Hess

Edward D. Hess

Professor of Business Administration Batten Executive-in-Residence Batten Faculty Fellow

Dennie Kim

Dennie Kim

Assistant Professor

Michael Lenox

Michael Lenox

Tayloe Murphy Professor of Business Administration Senior Associate Dean and Chief Strategy Officer

 Jeanne Liedka

Jeanne Liedka

United Technologies Corporation Professor of Business Administration Senior Associate Dean for Degree Programs

Saras Sarasvathy

Saras Sarasvathy

Paul M. Hammaker Professor in Business Administration Jamuna Raghavan Chair Professor in Entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

Sankaran Venkatraman

Sankaran Venkatraman

MasterCard Professor of Business Administration Senior Associate Dean for Faculty and Research