The Entrepreneurship and Innovation program
provides students with a fundamental understanding of the dynamic
process of creating something unique and adding value by applying
an innovative mindset and an action-oriented perspective, while
taking calculated risks. It also equips students to apply this way
of thinking and set of behaviors in new and existing organizations,
whether for profit or not-for-profit.
The primary learning objectives for
entrepreneurship and innovation students are to:
- Understand how to identify and evaluate potential business
- Understand how to create and implement a business model in an
- Learn how innovativeness, pro-activeness and calculated
risk-taking contribute to the success of an organization.
The program serves undergraduate students across
disciplines at Butler University.
Two key signature components of our
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program include the Freshman
Business Experience and the Real Business Experience.
For those College of Business students that
choose to major in Entrepreneurship & Innovation, the program
elements include the
Freshman Business Experience,
Real Business Experience, and courses such as Entrepreneurial
Finance, Creativity and Innovation, and Social
All students are required to complete two internships (300 hours
each). In some cases, the pursuit of a business idea independently
can serve as one of their internships. Other internships involve
working with start-ups, entrepreneurial corporations or within the
venture capital industry.
The Entrepreneurship & Innovation minor is
interdisciplinary in focus. In addition to taking the
Real Business Experience and various entrepreneurial electives
within the College of Business, students can also select from a
variety of relevant coursework from their own discipline that serve
as a learning bridge. For example, students in fine arts can take
an Arts Administration course as part of their minor.
Unique Aspects and Features
The Entrepreneurship & Innovation program
offers many unique and innovative features:
- Builds confidence early on. The two required
courses of all majors are completed in the first and second year of
the program. This is beneficial in that it helps build students
confidence early on in the ability to be entrepreneurial.
- Highly experiential. The program is highly
experiential in almost every way. In addition to actually starting
and operating a business, other experiential attributes include an
emphasis on flipping the classroom, business partners, guest
speakers, innovative classroom activities, etc. This hands-on
experience helps students better understand how the various pieces
within the business world fit together.
- Proof of Concept. In line with the lean
start-up philosophy, the business world is not static and students
need to learn how to adjust and change. This is the focal point of
the first semester of Real Business Experience, where the proof of
concept is conducted mid-semester as a way of continuing to develop
the business model.
- Real Money. The university offers a loan of up
to $400 for the proof of concept stage, and an additional loan of
up to $5,000 if the business model is approved by a funding panel
made up of local entrepreneurs, alumni and other business people.
All loans need to be paid back (with interest), and students get to
keep any profits.
- Mentors. Real Business Experience classes are
facilitated by a team of faculty and professional mentors who coach
the businesses. The mentors have impressive professional experience
and include business owners, consultants, doctors, lawyers and
executives. The result is an amazing, interactive experience in
which the facilitators learn as much as the students.
- Trade Show. Students participate in an annual
trade show to showcase the businesses that have been developed. The
community is invited, which offers the students a unique experience
to both market their business and engage with others in the
- Community Partnerships. Given Butler's
location in Indianapolis, we are fortunate to be part of a thriving
entrepreneurial ecosystem. We consistently bring collaborative
partners to campus, and also leverage opportunities to engage our
students in the community.
Graduates that specialize in the Entrepreneurship & innovation
major begin careers as independent entrepreneurs, as managers of
new-venture divisions of major corporations and other innovative
corporate (or non-profit) endeavors, or in venture capital and
investment banking activities. In whatever career path they choose
to follow, they will take an entrepreneurial mindset with
Download the curriculum sheets.
and Innovation Major
majors are available within the College of Business.
Corporate and Executive Education