Welcome to the Entrepreneurship Educators Forum,

    an open-source, online platform for entrepreneurship educators.

  • The Program

    The Entrepreneurship Educators Forum (EEF) is an open-source, online platform to benefit entrepreneurship educators. The goal of this initiative is to build a community that shares information and best practices, integrates them into their program or courses and improves on them through open discussion and a crowd sourced collection and ranking system of featured materials.


    The EEF uses a series of webinars as an anchor for material sourcing and presentation. The entrepreneurial process and the relevant skills that we all aim to teach are divided into three main stages: Nucleation, Product Definition and Venture Development. Under each of these stages, there are specific areas of knowledge that we refer to as "tiles" in the learning path. Each webinar focuses on a specific “tile” as we move through the three stages, featuring speakers considered leaders on the topic, followed by discussion. The series launched in December of 2014 with three excellent speakers on "Ideation" (see recording).


    Occasionally we shift away from the "tiles" to present different approaches valuable to the academic audience. For example, we addressed the topic of "Program Assessment" (see recording, view the speaker presentations), due to the community's interest and its importance to the overall design of entrepreneurship education programs.

    Except where otherwise noted, this website is licensed under a

    Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.



  • The People

    The EEF is sponsored by the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and supported by an advisory council of academic and industry experts.


    Bill Aulet

    Vision and Lead Contribution

    Managing Director, Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.


    Trish Cotter

    Entrepreneurship Educators Forum Program Lead

    Entrepreneur-in-Residence at MIT and Director of the Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator (GFSA) @ Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.


    Michal Gilon-Yanai

    Content and Platform Development through July 2016

    Former Executive Director of EEF Program @ Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.





    EEF Advisory Council

    Arthur (Art) Boni, Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business


    Ellen Rudnick and Starr Marcello, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business


    Linda Darragh, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University


    Philippe Sommer, University of Virginia Darden School of Business


    Ted Zoller, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


  • The Tiles

    Except where otherwise noted, this website is licensed under a
    Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

    Phase 1:



    Phase 2: Product Definition

    Phase 3: Venture Development

  • Phase 1: Nucleation

    Except where otherwise noted, this website is licensed under a
    Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

    Career Choice

    The student starts by learning about entrepreneurship as a career choice. What is entrepreneurship and what impact does it have on society? What are the rewards and drawbacks? What does the full journey look like, and what are examples of successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs?


    Webinar speakers (in order of appearance):
    Stewart Thornhill, Shikhar Ghosh, Bill Aulet

    Video recording of the webinar


    Speaker presentations and other useful materials


    The student learns the process of brainstorming and filtering that overcomes the mental block of "I would like to start a company but I don’t have a good idea." Students then assess the quality of their ideas, and initially develop them to the point where they can motivate a team to start the process of creating a new venture.


    Webinar speakers (in order of appearance):

    Bill Aulet, Matt Cusack, Giff Constable, Drew Boyd,
    Bernie Roth (in next session)

    Video recording of the webinar



    Speaker presentations and other useful materials


    Team Building

    The student assembles the first attempt at a founding team. The data shows that entrepreneurship is a team sport -- contrary to the "myth of the sole founder" -- and getting the initial team right can often mean the difference between success and failure.


    Webinar speakers (in order of appearance):

    Bernie Roth (on Ideation), Bill Aulet, Noam Wasserman

    Video recording of the webinar


    Speaker presentations and other useful materials

  • Phase 2: Product Definition

    Except where otherwise noted, this website is licensed under a
    Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

    Defining and Refining

    Product <-> Market Fit

    The student takes their initial idea or technology and brainstorms various potential end users. Then, the student uses primary market research to analyze the merits of each potential end user as a beachhead market, a market that allows the new venture to establish a solid footing.


    Webinar speakers (in order of appearance):

    Steve Blank, Bill Aulet

    Video recording of the webinar


    Speaker presentations and other useful materials


    Steve Blank Blog

    Teaching materials for Disciplined Entrepreneurship




    Primary Market Research

    The student learns how to talk with customers for the purpose of better understanding the customer's pain, that is, the problem that so disadvantages the customer that they are willing to pay to alleviate it. The student learns to discuss in "inquiry mode" to understand the problem rather than "advocacy mode" that presupposes a solution.


    Webinar speakers - part 1 (in order of appearance):

    Eric Von Hippel, Frank Rimalovski, Bob Moesta, David Schonthal

    Video recording of the webinar - Part 1: Qualitative Methods

    Webinar speakers - part 2: Olivier Toubia

    Video recording of the webinar - Part 2: Quantitative Methods


    Speaker presentations and other useful materials - Qualitative

    Speaker presentations and other useful materials - Quantitative



    The student learns how to apply frameworks to key decisions that will impact the new venture in the long term, from market opportunities and organization to funding and development of a path for commercialization, and how to manage uncertainty.


    Webinar speaker: Scott Stern

    Video recording of the webinar

    Speaker Presentation and other useful materials

  • Phase 3: Venture Development

    Key Founders' Decisions

    The student learns how to approach key decisions, such as equity splits, that a new venture's founders face, and how good decisions may seem counterintuitive to a first-time founder.

    Basics of Finance

    The student is introduced to a basic set of principles that all founders, whether their focus is on the technical or business side, should know to have a common language among the founding team and to understand the business decisions behind their product.


    The student learns what legal principles will affect the new venture, from how incorporation choices can affect the ability to attain investor money, to contract law and intellectual property.

    Customer Acquisition

    The student learns how to build a persona that represents the target user in the eyes of all members of the new venture, and how to gain additional customers without losing sight of the persona.

    Sector Deep Dives

    The student understands specific needs and challenges pertaining to their chosen industry. While new venture fundamentals are similar between industries, a new venture's founders will be unsuccessful if they do not fully recognize what is unique about their chosen industry.

    Product Design

    The student learns how to translate the persona's needs into a product that solves the persona's problem.

    Product Development

    The student learns the key technical challenges in turning a product design into an actual product.

    Product Management

    The student learns how to manage feature requests and bug and deficiency reports while maintaining a focus on the persona's needs, as well as how to expand the new venture's product line into adjacent markets.

    Business Model and Pricing

    The student learns how to design an innovative business model optimized for "value capture," that is, understanding the value the customer gains from the product and charging some fraction of that, as opposed to pricing based on the cost of manufacture.

    Scaling: Manufacturing

    The student gains an understanding of the challenges of supply chain management and quality control, among other key manufacturing challenges faced when mass-producing products.

    Scaling: Process and Infrastructure

    The student learns how to maintain smooth operations as they add new employees, new customers, and new product lines.


    The student learns how and when to raise money from investors, as well as alternate ways to fund a new venture, such as bootstrapping, that is, self-funding a new venture or funding the venture solely from revenue.

    Human Resources (HR)

    The student learns how to manage talent and deal with employee issues.

    Leadership and Culture

    The student learns how to promote a positive, innovative work culture, how to maintain that culture as the venture grows and gains many employees with many different perspectives, and how to have a culture that strengthens, not weakens, the venture during adverse times.

    Work-Life Balance

    The student learns how to compartmentalize work-related demands on time, both for founders and for other employees, to promote the well-being of the individual and the individual's ability to maintain relationships with family and friends and to develop as individuals outside the workplace setting.

    Corporate Entrepreneurship

    The student learns the unique challenges of pursuing a new venture within the confines of an existing corporation, and the benefits when done right.

    Building Entrepreneurship Systems

    Entrepreneurial Sales 

    The student learns how to manage a sales conversation and an end-to-end sales process, and how to build an effective sales organization.


    Webinar speakers (in order of appearance):

    Craig Wortmann, Mark Roberge

    Video recording of the webinar


    Speaker presentations and other useful materials





  • Entrepreneurial Sales


    Craig Wortmann
    Mark Roberge

  • What'd you think of the Entrepreneurial Sales Webinar? Please let us know. 

  • The Blog

    Click on a post below for a recap of that webinar

    July 15, 2016 · Venture Development,sales
    Speakers Craig Wortmann, Professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business, provides sales conversion insights, and Mark Roberge, Chief Revenue Officer at Hubspot, author of Sales Acceleration Formula, and Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, gives in depth guidance on building a...
    October 29, 2015 · Product Definition,strategy,Value Creation
    The main lesson that Prof. Scott Stern wants entrepreneurs to take away from his course on entrepreneurial strategy is the role of choice in shaping the future of the firms they found. He started his talk with an example: currently, there is a wave of companies aiming to “redefine the keyboard”...
    September 17, 2015 · Product Definition,Product Market Fit,Know your Customer
    Steve Blank & Bill Aulet discuss product/market fit, a term coined by Marc Andreesen, who in a blog post from 2007 wrote: “The only thing that matters is getting to product/market fit. Product/market fit means being in a good market with a product that can satisfy that market.” He also added...
    July 9, 2015 · Product Definition,Market Research,Quantitative
    Marketing Professors Duncan Simester, MIT Sloan, discusses the importance of customer behavioral research and Olivier Toubia, Columbia University reviews quantitative methods, specifically conjoint Analysis. Our May webinar on Primary Market Research (PMR) focused on qualitative methods and...
    May 14, 2015 · Product Definition,Market Research,Qualitative
    Market research is a multi-dimensional task. There are different sources of information (primary vs secondary research), different types of research methods, both qualitative and quantitative and different approaches to the process of conducting research – which methods to use to answer which...
    April 9, 2015 · Nucleation,Career Choice,Entrepreneurial mind
    This session on entrepreneurship “Survey courses” wraps up the discussion of the knowledge, skills and tools that can help students successfully complete the “Nucleation” stage of the entrepreneurial process. Having discussed ideation and team building (and taken a temporary step away from the ...
    February 5, 2015 · Metrics,Assessment,Self Efficacy
    Our first speaker was Prof. Steven Gedeon from Ryerson University in Canada. Ryerson has a large, AACSB accredited business school, which offers and a 4-year undergraduate entrepreneurship program. The school’s faculty has put much thought into developing a robust assessment program to measure...
    January 7, 2015 · Nucleation,Ideation,Team Building
    On January 7 2015, EEF met for the second session of our webinar series. In this session, we first wrapped up the last webinar’s discussion on ideation by bringing in Professor Bernie Roth, co-founder and academic director of Stanford’s d.School, then shifted our focus to the second central topic...
    December 4, 2014 · Nucleation,Ideation,Design Thinking
    Last Wednesday, December 3 2014, the first session of the Entrepreneurship Educators Forum Webinar Series took place. The vision for the project is to create a meeting place for the community to discuss the challenges of teaching entrepreneurship, and to build an open-source platform that will...
  • Anything you'd like to add? 

    Please share below links to great articles, videos, blogs, books, or any other materials that you think we should feature. If you'd like to share a syllabus/presentation of your own, please send it over: pcotter@mit.edu

All Posts