Entrepreneurship Courses

  Students on a study abroad trip to Brazil

ECON 234: Small Business Managment

Prereq: ECON 101An introduction to small business management, entrepreneurship, and economics utilizing a series of case studies. Exploration of issues    related to starting or acquiring a new business and development of knowledge and skills for successful management of a small business, with an emphasis    on agricultural business.

ECON 334: Entrepreneurship in Agriculture

Prereq: ECON 101 Introduction to the process of entrepreneurship within the agricultural and food sectors. Emphasis on opportunity recognition and assessment, resource acquisition and feasibility analysis for both private and social enterprises. Students will develop a comprehensive feasibility study for a new business or non-profit organization.

ECON 383x: Economics of Innovation

Prereq: ECON 101 The course is framed around the following question: Will innovation solve humanity’s most important challenges? 

While there is no decisive answer to this question, there are better and worse responses. This class will introduce and examine key concepts in the economics of innovation that will help students develop a good response. At the end of the semester students will have an understanding of how to think through this problem: What is innovation? What mental frameworks are useful? What kind of conditions enable innovation to thrive? What kinds of incentives drive innovation? What policies or actions are available to impact the direction and rate of innovation? Is innovation accelerating or stagnating? 

A second goal of the class is to introduce students to the ways modern economists develop evidence and arguments. Key issues in the economics of                innovation will be explored with specific examples of scholarship, with an emphasis on recent empirical work. Since the class is targeted to students from          many backgrounds, including those with minimal training in economics, we will mainly be reading non-technical summaries of research. A typical class will include a mix of motivating lecture and then discussion over material read prior to class. 

ECON 494x: Entrepreneurship in Agriculture Startup

Prereq: ECON 334 and instructor permission. Students admitted to this experiential course will have developed a viable startup business concept and have a demonstrated intention of starting the business. Students are taken through a structured process for developing a business plan for a startup business, with an emphasis on agriculture. The business plan will serve as a road map for the startup business, and the analysis that underlies it will be the foundation for a successful launch. Summary written versions of the business plan along with a slide deck and an oral presentation will be developed for use with outside parties, including customers, prospective team members, investors, and other potential stakeholders.

ECON 495: Economics Domestic Travel Course

Prereq: Sophomore status; permission of instructor.  Tour and study of domestic businesses, markets, and economic institutions located outside Iowa to          expose students to the diversity of activities within the U.S. economy. Pre-trip sessions arranged. Locations and duration of tours will vary.

ECON 496: Economics International Travel Course

Prereq: Sophomore status; permission of instructor.  Tour and study of international agricultural and/or nonagricultural economies, markets, and institutions. Locations and duration of tours will vary. Limited enrollment. Meets International Perspectives Requirement.

What are these travel courses all about?

During the semester, students undertake a research project designed to help a selected business client(s) address questions or concerns that they are facing. The class projects vary widely and may involve market research and analysis, feasibility analysis, economic modeling, product positioning, go-to-market strategies, and/or other market and industry analysis depending on the client’s needs. The class involves traveling and meeting directly with pivotal people within the selected business and/or stakeholders in the project.  A trip is typically scheduled during the week of fall or spring break.

Interested or have questions about a travel course? 

Contact Dave Krog:

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