Products and Markets (P&M)

These skills will apply to the bold imagining and realization of their lives at Olin and beyond!

Products & Markets is Olin’s introductory entrepreneurship class and is taken by every student in the second semester of their first year. In this course students are introduced to Olin’s unique definition of entrepreneurship which is built upon experimentation, grounded in the context of engineering and driven by the question: “How do we create value?” Value for our users, customers, selves and the world.

In small, dynamic teams, students explore their entrepreneurial curiosity and pursue their own definitions of value by creating real products, services and businesses then testing them with real users and customers. Using these projects as a backdrop, students learn entrepreneurial experimentation, how to successfully pursue product-market fit and develop team skills that are crucial to their success, not just as entrepreneurs but as engineers, innovators and citizens.

Entrepreneur: one who owns and manages a business; a person who takes the risk of profit or loss. - O.E.D. The same source also reveals a broader definition found in the French root, entreprendre, which means "to undertake." An entrepreneur is defined as one who assumes the opportunity and full responsibility of any pursuit. A champion.

In this course, students explore and begin to realize in themselves the entrepreneur in both forms: the practical and the profound. In this foundational course in business and entrepreneurship they will conceive, create and manage a real, profitable business. They will be exposed to traditional business tools such as accounting, marketing and finance as well as the personal and interpersonal tools requisite for high-performance teamwork, including project planning, giving feedback and persuasive pitching. This business experience and its associated challenges will serve as the context in which we hope to develop broader self-awareness, productive self-reflection and courage. Broadly, these skills will apply to the bold imagining and realization of their lives at Olin and beyond.

Professor: Lawrence Neeley | See photos of Products & Markets