New Product Design and Business Development Program

The New Product Design and Business Development Program (NPDBD) program is a university-industry partnership, offered jointly by the University’s Institute of Technology and Carlson. The program provides hand-on experience on all issues related to technology management. Organized as a technology consulting operation, NPDBD students act as members of consulting teams. Sponsoring companies serve as clients, and faculty members as senior partners.

The program provides hand-on experience through consumer and industrial product development projects. Working closely with clients that comprise a mix of large high-profile corporations and early-stage companies, students develop a working prototype of a new product and a business plan for its commercialization. NPDBD is taught by a team of interdisciplinary faculty from marketing, operations, information systems, finance, and entrepreneurial studies within the Carlson School, and from Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and the departments of Surgery, Physiology, Radiology, and Emergency Medicine from the Medical School.

The program is a win-win proposition for the University and the Minnesota business community. This program supports the Carlson School’s focus on entrepreneurial leadership development and the University of Minnesota’s commitment to outreach and service to the Minnesota business community.

Carlson Ventures Enterprise

The Carlson Ventures Enterprise (CVE) is one of four signature enterprises available to students in the Full-Time MBA program at Carlson. CVE is a two and a half semester program that combines innovative theory with practice. Students learn both about the creation of new high potential ventures and about new business development in corporate settings.

Issues of technology patenting, licensing, and business creation are explored as students work with community entrepreneurs, University scientists, business angels, and venture capitalists to create new businesses. They also help make decisions on the advisability of patenting and/or licensing University technology through our partnership with the University’s Venture Center.

Partnerships with companies such as 3M, Best Buy, and Cargill provide our students hands on experience in the world of new business development. Such training gives a select set of students a leg up in a variety of career choices including new business startup, investment banking, and venture capital, and new business development in corporations. CVE is led by Toby Nord and Connie Rutledge, with assistance from the Holmes Center academic co-directors.

Graduate Courses in Entrepreneurial Management

  • ENTR 6020: Business Formation (4 credits)
  • ENTR 6021: Preparing and Implementing the Business Plan (2 credits)
  • ENTR 6023: Financing Business Ventures (4 credits)
  • ENTR 6036: Growing the Independent Business (2 credits)
  • ENTR 6037: Corporate Venturing (2 cr)
  • ENTR 6041: New Product Design and Business Development (6 credits to 2 semesters)
  • MGMT 6050: Management of Innovation and Change (2 credits)
  • MBA 6503: Carlson Ventures Enterprise (6 credits to 2 1/2 semesters)
  • ENTR 6090: Technology-based Entrepreneurship: (2 credits)
  • ENTR 6090: Topics in Entrepreneurship: Managing Venture Capital (2 credits)

STARTUP: Customer Development & Testing

Students interested in pursuing their own entrepreneurial ventures are encouraged to apply for a new trial course offering based on lean startup principles and tools. STARTUP: Customer Development & Testing (MGMT 4100/6100) is an intensive 2-credit course in which students test business model assumptions and receive recurring feedback from instructors and mentors. This is a self-directed class in which students must get outside of the classroom to meet with potential customers and partners. The class meets weekly during the initial 4 weeks, followed by periodic presentations and updates with instructors and mentors.

Application is open to all undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Minnesota. Participating students are eligible to receive pro bono legal assistance and small seed capital grants to fund prototype development and testing. While individual students may apply, teams are encouraged to have sufficient capability to develop and test their initial prototypes.

Application for STARTUP: Customer Development & Testing