College of Business
Undergraduate Business Program


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.

Primary Objectives

The primary learning objectives for entrepreneurship and innovation students are to: 

  • Understand how to identify and evaluate potential business opportunities.
  • Understand how to create and implement a business model in an effective manner.
  • 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.

Program Description 

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 Entrepreneurship.

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.
  • 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 them. 


Download the curriculum sheets.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Major

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Minor

Double Majors

Double majors are available within the College of Business.

Library Guide on Entrepreneurship and Innovation   

Click here to access the Butler Library Guide on Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Corporate and Executive Education  

Women Business Owner Consortium