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CAS 297 - Entrepreneurship as Advocacy


Professor: Chris Spielvogel, Ph.D.

Creating startups to support a just and equitable world.

Entrepreneurship as Advocacy (CAS 297) empowers students to utilize the process of entrepreneurship as a form of advocacy to improve the human condition and enhance public life. Students in this course learn the basic "Lean Startup" methodology of entrepreneurship through the simulated group activity of launching a nonprofit startup to address an important societal problem. Student startup teams will interrogate the rhetorical constructs that enable and constrain advocacy-based solutions to societal exigencies such as economic injustice, mental illness, political apathy and disengagement, and human warfare, and use this information to develop key business hypotheses that will be tested through field research and interviews.

Course Objectives

  1. Articulate parallels between liberal arts learning and entrepreneurship theory and practice.
  2. Develop a speech for a new venture based on the extensive vetting of an original idea rooted in careful and rigorous research.
  3. Develop effective messaging strategies based on careful analysis of the constraints that limit and/or enable sustainable and innovative solutions to urgent social, economic, and global problems.
  4. Understand the legal system, intellectual property, contracts, business organization and cap table structure, and basic taxation for startups.