Skip to Content
Home /  Courses And Programs / Essentials of Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Essentials of Entrepreneurship & Innovation provides an introduction to critical knowledge and skills related to creating new business and product ideas. In this course, you will discover new ways of thinking, learn to drive innovative initiatives, and approach business challenges with a fresh perspective. By the end of the course, you will be able to understand the principles and methods of idea generation and development.

Learn How to Think, Not What to Think

Are you a Creative, Disruptor, Manager, Individual Contributor, Changemaker, or...? Whether you are creating something new or want to improve processes in business, projects, or development, this course gives you the tools to view problems in a different way, validate solutions with customer discovery, and pitch ideas to stakeholders.

Hear more about the course from the instructor, Greg Horowitt:

Excerpted from the Five Stages of Design Thinking & Entrepreneurship webinar, November 19, 2020.

Learning Outcomes
  • Understand design thinking and ideation;
  • Understand business models and connect innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives to organization objectives and goals;
  • Develop knowledge and skills to use Lean Startup methodology in customer development and discovery;
  • Understand how to communicate, finance, or market a new idea, product, or initiative.

Course Topics

Each class session covers a different aspect of the journey to creating a new venture. Several guest lecturers will join the instructor to share their experience and knowledge on particular topics.

  • Introduction to Design Thinking and Opportunity Framing
  • Business Modeling
  • Customer Discovery
  • Financing Your Startup
  • Leadership, Culture, and Team Design
  • Intellectual Property
  • Putting Purpose into Practice
  • Presentation Skills and the Power of the Startup Narrative

In-Person Format

Lectures will be deliverd in-person on the UC San Diego campus in the Design & Innovation Building, conveniently located next to the UC San Diego Central Campus trolley station.  The course is highly interactive, using exercises and group-based work. There is no remote/online option.

Winter Quarter 2024 Registration Deadline

Winter Quarter enrollment will close at the end of the day on January 4, 2024.

Earn an Award of Completion

Participants who attend 7 out of 9 of the sessions will earn an award of completion.

Meet the Instructor:

Greg Horowitt is a serial entrepreneur, investor, author, and innovation systems architect. He currently is a Managing Director of Jun Capital as well as a member of the Society of Kauffman Fellows. He is the Director of Innovation at the University of California, San Diego, and also serves as an adjunct lecturer at Stanford University. He has spent 25+ years working in startups, venture capital, and is one of the pioneers in the field of innovation ecosystems. Greg is the co-author of the bestselling book, The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley and is a trusted advisor to such notable organizations as the US State Department, Aspen Institute, University of California, World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank, in addition to his role as a Senior Fellow with the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils. He has worked in several executive and investment roles including a Berkshire Hathaway operating company, and continues his work today as an investor, advisor, and board member of multiple entrepreneurial startups.

Information for UC San Diego Affiliates (Students, Faculty, and Staff)

Currently-enrolled/currently-employed UC San Diego students, faculty, and staff may register at a $50 rate. To request the discount code, please contact Nathan Owens at and provide your student or employee ID number.

For matriculated students, this course is co-curricular record (CCR) approved. To receive CCR credit, you must complete 7 of 9 sessions.

Course Number: BUSA-40962
Credit: 2.00 unit(s)

I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in starting or investing in a startup!

Tyler James Pierce, Co-Founder, Turion Space (FA20)

I learnt to appreciate that the one with the idea and the technical know-how is not the only important person, that it takes a team.

Reema Sanghvi, MD, Doctor of Anesthesiology, UC San Diego Health (WI21)

I liked the idea of connecting empathy with innovation to develop a sustainable business.

Meenakshi Shinde, Postdoctoral Scholar, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (WI21)

You will gain a wider lens of perspective on industry and lay foundational understanding towards aspiring entrepreneurship.

David Bracken, MD, Fellow of Laryngology and Care of the Professional Voice, UC San Francisco; Formerly, Resident Surgeon/Otolaryngologist and NIH Research Fellow, UC San Diego (SP20)

The course offers benefits whether you are starting a business or, like me, looking to learn more innovative approaches to my current role.

Alice Sherman, Corporate Secretary, UC San Diego Foundation (FA20)

+ Expand All