Entrepreneurial Courses @ Northwestern – Winter 2018

The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s business courses for Winter 2018 have been announced.

To learn more about FCEI’s entrepreneurship opportunities, attend their upcoming Winter 2018 Information & Networking Session on Thursday, 10/19 at 4 PM at the Ford Design Studio. RSVP here.

NUvention: Web + Media is a two-quarter course in which students work across disciplines and Northwestern schools to design, plan and run web-based businesses.
Winter & Spring 2018 | Tuesdays, 2 – 5:00 p.m. | The Garage Workspace
Apply here.

NUvention: Energy responds to the demand for innovation and entrepreneurship in the sustainable energy and clean tech space required to deal with climate change, resource constraint and other environmental challenges.
Mondays, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. | Ford Design Center, ITW Classroom (1-340)
Apply here.

Innovate for Impact is an interdisciplinary, project-based course that uses both human-centered design and lean startup methodology to guide students through the creation of a social venture.
Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. | Ford Design Center, ITW Classroom (1-340)
Apply now.

Radical Entrepreneurship is an incubator boot camp for your real-world project; the coursework centers on students’ existing ventures.
Tuesdays, 6 – 9 p.m. | The Garage Workspace

Startup Accounting incorporates lecture by the instructor and industry veterans with case study and a lean startup-focused accounting practicum.
Tuesdays, 6 – 9 p.m. | Ford Design Center

Growing and Monetizing Your Fanbase exposes artists and entrepreneurs to best practices in personal branding to help build their careers and companies.
Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Annenberg (Room TBD)

Principles of Entrepreneurship is a foundational course for students with limited or no prior exposure to business.
Mondays & Wednesdays, 9 – 10:20 a.m. | ITW Classroom (1-340)

Engineering Entrepreneurship’s goal is to deepen and expand the understanding of entrepreneurship and innovation that students garner from taking Principles of Entrepreneurship, or from exploring entrepreneurship in another capacity.
Mondays, 6 – 9 p.m. | The Garage Workspace

Undergraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship — Earn Farley Center’s Undergraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship in four credits – no prerequisites required.

Farley Center Entrepreneurship Courses – Fall 2017

The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship’s offerings for Fall 2017 are now open!

NUvention classes are the flagship academic offerings, spanning several industries and verticals. Each is a one- or two-quarter, intensive course in ideating, developing and launching a business. Currently, there are NUvention courses in advanced materials, medical devices and technologies, clean energy, Web and media, social impact, the arts, analytics, and transportation. Explore the NUvention program.

Fall 2017 NUvention applications are open for NUvention: Medical, NUvention: Therapeutics, and/or NUvention: Transportation.

Foundational courses offer in-depth exploration and application of the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. Undergraduate and graduate students may enroll. See a full list of foundational course offerings below. 

Students with an interest in concentrating their academic studies in entrepreneurship and innovation can pursue either the Undergraduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship or the Graduate Minor in Entrepreneurship.

NUvention: Medical | ENTREP 470

Wednesdays 6-9 PM

NUvention: Transportation | ENTREP 450

Wednesdays 6-9 PM

NUvention: Therapeutics | ENTREP 495

Tuesdays 1-4 PM

Startup Accounting | ENTREP 395

Tuesdays 6-9 PM

Principles of Entrepreneurship | ENTREP 225

Tuesdays/Thursdays 11 AM-12:20 PM

Engineering Entrepreneurship | ENTREP 325

Mondays 6-9 PM

Special Topics in Entrepreneurship: Leadership, Ethics, and You | ENTREP 395

Tuesdays/Thursdays 3:30-4:50 PM

For more information on the course offerings of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, click here

EIR Spotlight: Michael Saunders

In 1997, Michael Saunders noticed a growing need and problem faced among the University of Pennsylvania student body: students wanted to order food for delivery to their campus dorms and apartments using a fast, convenient method all online. He soon created CampusFood.com–a website for students living in college towns and cities to order their pizzas and take-out Chinese food from local restaurants for delivery on campus. A revolutionary idea: no picking up food at the restaurant, no more calling to place your order. With just a few clicks, students were able to get their favorite foods delivered to their doorsteps. Today, nearly 20 years later, CampusFood.com has merged with GrubHub and Seamless, becoming one of the most popular online food delivery services in the country.

Today, Michael is serving as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at The Garage, and works on his own projects while offering his time and talents as a mentor and resource for student entrepreneurs. His experience creating CampusFood.com as a college student gives him optimal insight into the experience of student entrepreneurs at The Garage and positions him with an understanding insight into the world of student-founded startups.

Michael shared a few key points of advice for those looking to embark on their own startup journey while in school (and beyond, of course):

  • Talk to as many people as you can. Being in college can limit your perspective of the implications of your idea, so talking to more people can really broaden your perspective. And be willing to talk to people, instead of being protective of your ideas. 
  • Identify realistic “next-step” goals. Don’t focus entirely on the end result; instead, make interim goals that are feasible to accomplish.
  • Identify people’s pain points and figure out how to alleviate them, because that’s what gets people excited and interested in using your product or service.

For more information about Micheal Saunders, and The Garage’s other current Entrepreneurs-In-Residence, click here.  Stay tuned for our Winter 2017 Office Hours postings, too to schedule a one-on-one.

Top 3 Reasons All Northwestern Students Should Experience The Garage

As you may know, The Garage is the new entrepreneurial hub for all Northwestern students on campus.  But you ask yourself, I am already so busy with classes and clubs, why should I get involved with something else? Here are the top three reasons to come to The Garage and work on a startup.       

1. Learn Real Teamwork.

Whether you hope to build innovative technology, discover the next medical breakthrough, or participate in the next Broadway sensation, you will be part of a team at The Garage.  While working on your idea, you may need to hire and fire employees, manage difficult team dynamics, and learn to communicate in new ways.  Edmond Lau, Quora Engineer explains, “Working effectively as part of a team is incredibly important for output quality, morale, and retention.”  

You might already take classes that have team projects, but this is different. All team members on a class project have the same goal: getting a good grade, on both the content and team player aspects of the project, thus you might hold back and be more diplomatic because you are concerned about grades.  In comparison, you come to The Garage because you are passionate about a project, so team dynamics can get hairy. Each team member’s goals may not be in sync, as team members may have differing visions and priorities to make the startup successful.  Also, the class project ends after ten weeks, but the startup does not end unless you take action, and taking that action could be hard from both an interpersonal and financial perspective.

Motivational speaker Brian Tracy explains that, “Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.” So having the tools to work well on a team and to help build a team where opposing ideas are considered and yet all members are valued and work collaboratively will serve you well in any 21st century career.

2. Learn to Pitch. 

Whether you are pitching your idea to fellow students to convince them to come work on your team, persuading your professor to be your mentor for your startup, or selling your idea to investors to raise capital, you will be practicing your pitch over and over.  This is a great example of “practice makes perfect.” At The Garage, you will have plenty of opportunities to practice your pitch, from informal sessions  at our Family Dinners and Office Hours, to the intensive-feedback sessions during Wildfire.  You will learn to take facts and weave them into a story that engages the audience and ends with a call to action.

For some, pitching comes naturally and for others it is very uncomfortable, but it is an important skill that you will need in your career.  You will need pitching proficiency to sell yourself in a job interview, to convince the team that your idea is the one the team should pursue, or even to sell your boss on giving you a raise.

Dan Schawbel, a New York Times bestselling author, describes why honing your pitching or sales skills is important: “If you don’t have sales skills, it’s hard to succeed at work because we are always selling. You have to sell yourself, your products and your ideas constantly. You have to influence those around you to take action or you won’t get very far … Selling is something we all do naturally but we can all improve on it.”

3. Learn to Fail, Recover, and Succeed.

At some point in your life, you will fail at something and it will be devastating.  How will you cope?  The Garage is a safe place to take risks, leave your comfort zone, try new things, struggle and then fail.  Not just fail, but fail miserably–a huge colossal fail.  It will feel bad, but you will be supported by The Garage community and we will celebrate that failure together.

During the process, you will learn the skills to evaluate the failure, develop a method to manage the uncomfortable feelings and learn the steps needed to improve.  As Carol Diener, professor at University of Illinois and former graduate student of Carol Dweck, explains, “Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, I’m a problem solver, and I’ll try something else.’”

The skills to make any failure into a positive learning experience will serve you well throughout your life, no matter what career path you take.  The former CTO of PayPal, Max Levchin, had the resiliency to fail multiple times and learn from each experience: “The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did okay. Number five was PayPal.”

While learning to cope with failure, collaborating with team members and honing your pitching skills you will get a taste of entrepreneurship.  Not only are these skills important for whatever career path you choose, but at some point in your career, if you are working for someone else, you may wonder, should I go out on my own?

You tell yourself that you will have more independence and freedom, but know that entrepreneurship is risky. If you worked on building an idea during your time in college, you will have a sense as to whether entrepreneurship is for you and whether you have the risk tolerance and the drive to be an entrepreneur.  Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator compares entrepreneurship to parenthood: “Like having a child, running a startup is the sort of experience that’s hard to imagine unless you’ve done it yourself.”

Come to The Garage and work on your ideas.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Elisa Mitchell is the Operations Manager at The Garage and enjoys helping each student start a unique entrepreneurial journey.  She is an accomplished attorney and CPA and brings strong organizational skills, attention to detail and a can-do attitude to every project. She is thrilled to be a part of The Garage.

Wildfire: Winter 2017 Teams

The  Garage is excited to announce the teams accepted into the first batch of Radical Entrepreneurship with Wildfire.
  • There were 15 applications for up to six spots
  • The teams will be accelerated using the Scrum process
  • Teams will be assigned their own Growth Coach during the quarter
  • Teams will also be supported by students from the Segal Design Institute EDI program who will help the teams with customer discovery and prototyping
  • Demo Day will be held on April 13, where teams will be competing for $8k in prize money, sponsored by Exelon!
ENTREP395 Radical Entrepreneurship Wildfire Teams
Zcruit optimizes the college football recruiting process through predictive analytics, thus saving college football programs time and improving the quality of recruiting classes.

HearYe: Plan less, do more. HearYe is a mobile application that’s designed to organize casual group outings in an efficient way by allowing users to create, share, and communicate outing details on a central platform.


VertigōMetric Dx has developed a retinal-imaging medical device that rapidly helps an ER physician differentiate between a diagnosis of a non-life threatening issue and brainstorm stroke. Diagnosing this issue quickly will lead to tremendously better health outcomes for the patient while saving hospitals nearly a billion dollars annually. VertigoMetric Dx is led by an accomplished physician, a bioengineer, and a Kellogg MBA student.


HotPlate is an app designed to help you decide what to order at restaurants. Users can rate individual menu items, so that it is quick and easy to see the best dishes. HotPlate also allows users to see friends’ ratings, search by specific dish item, and receive tailored recommendations.

NewMoon Chicago provides Spectacle Services that pair performance art, mechanical contraptions, and the fundamental elements of an event —from serving food to musical performance— to create new elements that redefine ultra-premium, cutting-edge aesthetics and transform perceptions. From Drones flying guests appetizers to Aerialists pouring champagne, NewMoon provides the fantastical experience guests are seeking and creates memories they never forget.

Farley Center Entrepreneurship Courses – Winter 2017

The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is offering the following entrepreneurial and NUvention courses for Winter 2017:
Principles of Entrepreneurship ENTREP 225
T, TH; 9:00 – 10:20 am
Engineering EntrepreneurshipENTREP 325
M; 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Radical EntrepreneurshipENTREP 395
M; 6:00 – 9:30 pm
Startup AccountingENTREP 395
T; 2:00 – 5:00 pm
NUvention: Web + MediaENTREP 427
T; 12:30 – 3:30 pm
* NUvention: Energy application deadline: 11/09/16
NUvention: Energy – ENTREP 430
M; 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Click here for additional information.
Please contact Elizabeth Lukehart with questions.

A Night for Women at The Garage: She Started It

On Thursday, November 3, 2016, The Garage, alongside Northwestern Women in Business and Chime by Sittercity, welcomed the minds behind a new documentary, “She Started It,” for a special screening of the film, followed by a Q&A with the film’s director and producer, Nora Poggi, co-director and producer Insiyah Saeed, and Sheena Allen, an entrepreneur featured in the film.

More than 120 attendees, many of whom were women with a passion for entrepreneurship, joined us to follow the story of five young women as they pitch VCs, build teams, bring products to market, fail and start again in “She Started It.”

Today, 96 percent of venture capitalists are men; women still account for less than 10 percent of founders for high growth firms, and earn just 12.9 percent of computer science degrees. “She Started It” invited us to take a glimpse into this sometimes challenging world, but at The Garage, with a room full of women interested in this space, there is inspiration for the next generation to dream bigger.

At The Garage, we strive to build a community of diversity and support, and aim to energize women in tech and entrepreneurship to think bigger and to get involved in the startup world with the guidance, mentorship, and resources provided here. Now more than ever, we invite women involved in entrepreneurship and innovation to join us at The Garage.


Forbes 30 Under 30

The Forbes Under 30 Summit — a gathering of young entrepreneurs and game-changers — will be held this fall in Boston from October 16-19. The event will bring together VIPs from the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and mentors for panels, demonstrations, pitch contests, networking and performances.

This year Forbes is also introducing a new opportunity for the country’s top students: The Forbes Under 30 Scholars. Forbes has partnered with the nation’s top schools to give 1,000 of the best students a free pass to the Summit, with a content focus in their area of specialty, as well as complimentary lodging with host students in Boston. The Under 30 Scholars will also have the opportunity to meet one-on-one or in small groups with top recruiters from the best companies and startups in America.

The opportunity is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. A 3.3 minimum GPA is required. Students will be selected on a rolling basis. If you are interested in applying, follow this link to apply:  http://goo.gl/forms/oZlfgjftPMl0ZTzh1

If you have any questions, you can contact Taylor Culliver, Program Coordinator at Forbes, at tculliver@forbes.com.