Robot hands holding Rubik's Cube.

Syllabus in 60: New Product Design and Business Development

Friday, October 14, 2022

Courses at the Carlson School cover a wide range of topics. Here’s a 60-second breakdown of one of the many classes leaving an impact on students.


ENTR 6041: New Product Design and Business Development

Portrait of Daniel Forbes
Associate Professor Daniel Forbes

Simply put, the course connects leading companies with exceptional University of Minnesota graduate students to develop valuable new products. In this nine-month course co-taught by Associate Professor Daniel Forbes and professors from the College of Science and Engineering, each client company sponsors a team of engineering and business students in connection with a specific product.

Drawing on guidance from their client, faculty coaches, and industry advisors, student teams work independently to conduct background research and develop a working prototype with an accompanying business plan, which the client then carries forward to launch.

5 Takeaways

  • Designing new products is inherently a cross-functional activity. It involves linking technical skills with an understanding of marketing, finance, and strategy.
  • That’s why the course is co-taught by faculty in the Carlson School and the College of Science and Engineering, and master’s students from both colleges work in teams to develop new products.
  • The products and clients are real. Student participants acquire hands-on experience in new product development, technology management, and business creation.
  • Students—and clients—can learn through failure. New product development is inherently hard, and failure is common even in seasoned corporate R&D departments—so it happens in this class, too.
  • Forbes says while instructors always look for ways to persist and learn in the face of adversity, they don’t want to shield students or clients from failure when it occurs.
Fall 2022 alumni magazine cover

This article appeared in the Fall 2022 alumni magazine

Transitions present a time for celebration and reflection.

The Carlson School looks at past and present initiatives with an eye toward the future.

Fall 2022 table of contents