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The University of Maryland has a rich entrepreneurial culture. The ENTS program offers a range of technology entrepreneurship opportunities for our students. These opportunities allow students to hone and develop their entrepreneurial interests as well as build skills, learn tools, and expose themselves to successful technology entrepreneurs. In conjunction with the ENTS curriculum this entrepreneurial offering allows students the opportunity to take an interest or an idea and develop it to fruition. ENTS 689K is an elective course sequence available to ENTS students who are interested in entrepreneurship and the management of a venture capital fund. Registration for ENTS 689K requires an application and selection.

ENTS 689K Entrepreneurial Sequence:

How to Leverage the ENTS 689K Opportunity:

1) Workshops/Seminars

Students should take part in workshops and seminars, such as those offered by Mtech and the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, to demonstrate their entrepreneurial interests. While the ENTS program may broadcast some of these events to students via the ENTS Listserv, entrepreneurially-minded students should take the initiative to seek out and participate in these events on their own as well. ENTS students need to sign-in or RSVP to these events and keep accurate records of their attendance. For the competitive ENTS 689K application process, students should include these activities as a part of their application as a demonstration of their interest and initiative.

The Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech)

Mtech offers programs, courses, workshops and competitions to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn how to bring their ideas and products to the world. Mtech supports student entrepreneurs in their quest to create successful ventures by offering educational initiatives and open entrepreneur office hours. Please visit the Mtech website to see their full range of offerings.

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship

The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship is dedicated to facilitating, supporting, and encouraging new enterprise growth. One of the oldest original entrepreneur centers in the country, the Dingman Center at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, has established itself as a national catalyst for entrepreneurship. More Information.

2) ENTS 670: Introduction to Business and Entrepreneurship

Students should take ENTS 670 or some other course focused on introducing the concepts of business and entrepreneurship, as offered by the ENTS program. ENTS 670 is a fundamentals course that provides a broad introduction to various business issues faced by any small business or startup. Course instructors present the key issues involved in outlining a clear value proposition and profitable business model, managing and monitoring finances, developing a winning team, addressing legal considerations, executing on operations including marketing sales, manufacturing and service.

3) ENTS 689K:Telecommunications Entrepreneurial Practicum

ENTS 689K allows students to participate in the New Markets Venture Capital Clinic, which is offered as BUFN 738B by the Robert H. Smith School of Business. The clinic allows students to gain professional experience commensurate with that of an Analyst or Associate in a Venture Capital Firm.

Students will be trained by members of New Markets Venture Partners, plus guest lecturers from the area’s leading venture and service firms. The course will expose students to real life activities covering the entire deal process from research, diligence, selection, negotiation and investment, as well as management and exit of portfolio companies. In addition to the training students will receive, they will be personally responsible for the conduct of several of these activities.

Students will be required to spend 12 hours per week on this class (class time plus 10 additional hours) and register for two full semesters. Since the course is two semesters in length, it counts for 6 credits.

Learning Objectives:
This course runs like a venture capital firm with supplemental learning components. It will provide the students with the opportunity to learn about the venture capital process from the fund or investor perspective by acting as associates of the venture fund. Students should leave the class with a clear understanding of the following:

  • How to Think Like an Owner/Principal/Entrepreneur;
  • How to See Industry Pain Points and Opportunities;
  • How to Form an Investment Thesis and Identify Key Factors of Success for an Investment;
  • How to Perform Detailed Diligence on an Investment Opportunity;
  • Investment Term Sheet Drafting and Negotiation;
  • Financial Modeling and Valuation.

The course serves as an elective for the Master's in Telecommunications Program. The ENTS academic advisor will collaborate with the project managers to submit a grade, ensure appropriate credit level, and serve as a point of contact within the ENTS program.

Application Process:
Students should note that the application process for ENTS 689K is very competitive, as only one or two seats are available in the course for ENTS students. The application for ENTS 689K is released to students via the ENTS Listserv in the summer. At that time, students who have at least one semester of experience in the program may apply to start ENTS 689K that fall semester. Students who are selected for the course should be prepared to commit 3 credits both the Fall and Spring semester of the academic year.

While the application itself is only one page in length, students should consider writing essays in response to the questions and attaching those essays to the application. Given the competitiveness of the application process, students should aim to make a well-written case for their selection and they should also provide demonstrable evidence of their interest in entrepreneurship. Only taking ENTS business core courses does NOT demonstrate sufficient interest in entrepreneurship.