Startup Class

The Startup Class (aka, ENTP 1010) is a fourteen week course-plus-experience designed to provide students with not only the basic tools and vocabulary of new ventures, but also a sense of the challenges encountered across the lifecycle of a new venture—from idea to exit, including failure. The course leverages case discussions, guest speakers, and mentored workshops to introduce students to a broad range of issues faced by founders and funders of both for-profit and non-profit ventures.

The Startup class is open to first- and second-year students at U.Va., regardless of major or School. Registration by other UVA students is only by way of instructor permission and space permitting. The course also provides an introduction to and is required before applying to the Entrepreneurship Minor at U.Va.

Importantly, students are expectedor at least highly encouraged—to complete assigned readings and viewings before arriving for each class session. We then engage with these topics and tools during class discussions and workshops. If you do not find this sort of "flipped" class design desirable, then the Startup class will not be for you.

Here are links to the Schedule for the course, the Assignments in the course, as well as our policies for Grading, Mobile Devices in the during class, McIntire Syllabus Policies, and the Fine Print.

The rest of this page will provide details on course Faculty and their Office Hours, Required Readings and Case Studies, Supplemental Readings, further Background on the course, the McIntire Honor Statement, and the McIntire Wellbeing Statement.


Bevin Etienne. Assistant Professor, McIntire School of Commerce

Chip Ransler. Assistant Professor, McIntire School of Commerce

Class Times

Bevin Etienne :- ENTP 1010 - Section 1 - 9:30am - 10:45am RRH Room 118 TA: Shreya RayChaudhuri

Bevin Etienne :- ENTP 1010 - Section 2 -12:30pm - 1:45pm RRH Room 116 TA: Joshua Sanderson

Bevin Etienne :- ENTP 1010 - Section 3 - 2:00pm - 3:15pm RRH Room 116 TA: Jaylah Webb

Chip Ransler :- ENTP 1010 - Section 4 - 12:30pm - 1:45pm RRH Room 118 TA: Adam Hurwitz

Recurring Guest Star:

David Touve, Senior Director, Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Additional Guest Stars:

Alexander Olesen, CEO, Founder Babylon MicroFarms

Jo Riley, CEO, Censia

PJ Harris, Associate at Woods Rogers PLC

Suz Somersall, Founder, KIRAKIRA3D

Shawn Vo, Founder and CTO, Axle

Cheis Garrus, CFO, Museum of African American History

Dave Kyle, Executive Director, Impact Business Leaders

Anselmo Canfora, School of Architecture

Elgin Cleckley, School of Architecture

William Sherman, Associate Vice-President for Research

Josh Jeansen, UVA Licensing and Ventures Group

Michael Straightiff, UVA Licensing and Ventures Group

Rob Masri, University of Virginia School of Law

Sarah Rumbaugh & Zach Mayo, RelishMBA

Brendan Richardson, Mcintire School of Commerce & Astraea

Bob Creeden, UVA Licensing and Ventures Group

Jeffrey Boichuk, Mcintire School of Commerce

Susan Tynen, Founder and CEO, Framebridge

Sam Shank, Co-founder and CEO, HotelTonight

Christine Mahoney, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Bala Mulloth, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

and others...

Office Hours:

Bevin Etienne - Tuesdays and Thursday from 11:00 am - 12:30 pm and by appointment. RRH Room 218

Chip Ransler - Tuesdays and Thursday from 11:00 am - 12:00 pm and by appointment. Office hours can be booked here

Required Case Studies, Articles, and Videos:

A set of case studies (the so-called “coursepack”) can be purchased, in PDF format, directly from Harvard Business Publishing here.

The Articles listed as Readings in the Schedule can all be found either through the electronic resources of the UVA Library or the website links provided.

Supplemental Sources:

There are no required books for the course. This list of Supplemental Books should be seen as a qualified set of sources you might investigate for deeper reading on the subjects covered during the semester. There are also supplemental Articles mentioned in the Schedule for the course.

Blank, S. G., & Dorf, B. (2012). The startup owner's manual: the step-by-step guide for building a great company. K&S Ranch, CA.

Blank, S. (2013). Four Steps to the Epiphany. K&S Ranch, CA. (This book is the Father of the Lean Startup)

Feld, B., & Mendelson, J. (2012). Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Livingston, J. (2007). Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days. Berkely: Apress.

Shane, S.A. (2008). The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wassermann, N. (2012). Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Ries, E. (2011). The Lean Startup: How today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. Crown Business, New York.

Additional books coming soon...

More about the course...

The Startup course experience involves two main components:

  1. On Monday (in general), we will meet for guest speakers or workshops within which you will work almost always in groups.

  2. On Wednesday (in general), we will meet for case discussions or additional workshops.

The readings have been chosen to introduce you to a range of topics and tools that can be applied towards the management of a startup venture. Furthermore, these readings may challenge any assumptions you have about who the so-called "entrepreneur" is and what it is that we entrepreneurs do.

The case discussions are designed to go beyond the readings and provide additional substance to spark critical inquiry around not only the arguments and the approaches presented in the readings, but also the issues faced by founders and funders of startup ventures.

This guest stars (aka, the guest speakers) will introduce you to not only additional sets of tools and techniques, but also the range of individuals and resources on and around the University related to startups and the startup community.

The workshops are designed to actively engage you with the topics and tools from the course through the development of workable solutions in a challenging, time-bound context (aka, learning by doing). As part of these workshops, you will find yourselves acting as both founders and funders of new ventures.

The assignments are designed to provide students with the chance to exercise what you (hopefully) learn in class, through mock agreements, quizzes, and other deliverables.

The learning objectives of this course are as follows:

  • You should become familiar with a set of concepts and analytical methods common to the discipline of entrepreneurship;

  • You should gain experience applying these concepts and employing these analytical methods learned in the class to the challenges faced by startup ventures;

  • You should gain experience explaining your ideas and justifying your decision-making in a coherent and persuasive manner, both in writing and online discussions;

  • You should gain experience converting your ideas into actions, actions that have consequences, consequences that may be anticipated or unanticipated yet require your reasoned and timely reaction;

  • You might actually have fun!