Course Syllabus



Fall 2021



Ron Poff

Assistant Professor of Practice

Office: 540-231-7954

Office: Pamplin 2075



CRN: 88431

Class Times: M, W... 5:30p - 6:45p 

Locations: NCB 320

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesday, 10:30a - 11:30a, PAM 2075


Teaching Assistant (TA) Contact Information: 

Blake Warner:

Maddy Wright:

Please see the Class Schedule and Assignments in the Course Syllabus (version 1.0). This schedule and Assignments are subject to change (updates) with notice of the instructor. The then-current version will always be posted on the Canvas course site.

Course Calendar - Fall 2021

Course Description:

Throughout the course, you will develop an entrepreneurial mindset and a personal toolkit of methods and practices that will enable you to create and evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities, marshal resources, and engage in entrepreneurial teams driven by creativity, leadership, and smart action.

In sum, this course is a journey through the fuzzy front-end of early-stage entrepreneurial activity. The course is not intended to be a complete overview of entrepreneurship or to "make" you an entrepreneur; it is an immersion experience for thinking like an entrepreneur and finding and creating entrepreneurial opportunities. The course is designed to provide the cornerstones to build upon for subsequent entrepreneurial-related courses and activities.

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Student Learning Outcomes:

In this course, you will re-evaluate your own views of entrepreneurship within the framework of entrepreneurial thinking and form your own mindset of entrepreneurship by accomplishing the following objectives:

  • Assess your personal entrepreneurial capacity.
  • Differentiate between a closed mindset, a growth mindset, and an entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Play with idea generation techniques to help you better create and shape ideas into bold opportunities.
  • Evaluate entrepreneurial opportunities using rigorous feasibility and experimentation processes.
  • Develop and define a business concept to determine its commercial feasibility.
  • Gain the confidence to use entrepreneurial thinking and entrepreneurial action with future opportunities.

Course Content:

Entrepreneurship is an essential human behavior that underpins societal progress. Individual economic activity dominates day-to-day behavior in all but a few western societies and cultures today. Most of the world’s population depends on an entrepreneurial livelihood. Without an understanding of the role of the entrepreneur in the economic formation and the conception of markets, a basic historical understanding of societal development is limited. Therefore, this course covers the many facets of entrepreneurship and its implications for careers, business, and society. It is designed to introduce the entrepreneurial mindset to students pursuing all University majors.


Required Course Materials:

Textbook: Entrepreneurship, by Michael Laverty and Chris Littel. Openstax. ISBN: 9781947172692. Free Student Resources:

ExEC Course Curriculum:  ($39.99 for Each Student)


Important Notes:

Class Activities: You should always read the course module contents in advance and participate in the Zoom meeting for any short online exercises that will be turned-in. Please note that many of these exercises will be announced in the Zoom meeting class, so you should always be prepared with these materials. See the Attendance requirements below.

Canvas Course Site:  Supplemental course materials (links to articles and other resources) will be available on the Canvas course site in weekly modules, updated throughout the semester. Some assignments will refer to these materials. You should check the Canvas course site at least once a week for updates.

Optional Resources:  There is a broad collection of entrepreneurship-related resources, including speaker events, hands-on workshops, mentor networking, and pitch competitions offered by the Apex Center for Entrepreneurs. You are encouraged to explore and utilize these resources and visit them in room 3002, Pamplin Hall.  Almost all are free to VT students. More information can be found here:  In addition, there is the student-run Entrepreneur Club (eClub) at Virginia Tech that offers free events and activities and leadership position opportunities.  More information can be found at  Participation in some of these optional resource activities may provide extra credit for your grade in the class (see below).


Virginia Tech is committed to protecting the health and safety of all members of its
Community. By participating in this class, all students agree to abide by the
Virginia Tech Wellness principles.
To uphold these principles, you must do the following:

  • Wear a face-covering when you enter and exit the campus for any appointment meetings
    ● Maintain the designated distancing guidelines of the classroom
    ● Enter and exit class according to posted signage

If you are exhibiting even the slightest sign of illness, you must not attend an in-person
Class. Please notify me by email and follow the instructions posted at the following
Link to an external site.

Grading Scale (100 % scale):

93 – above = A

87 – 89.9 = B+

77 – 79.9 = C+

67 – 69.9 = D+

0 – 59.9 = F

90 – 92.9 = A-

83 – 86.9 = B

73 – 76.9 = C

63 – 66.9 = D



80 – 82.9 = B-

70 – 72.9 = C-

60 – 62.9 = D-


Calculation of Course Grade:

Assignments:                                              30 %

Quizzes:                                                       20 %

Class Participation:                                     15 %

LinkedIn Learning Certificate:                    10 %

Final Exam:                                                    5 %

                                                 Total:            100 %

Activity Descriptions:                   

The more you engage with the class (Face-to-Face), the more value and learning you will get out of it. You are generally expected to attend each class session - and actively contribute in class and online in the course Canvas site (see Attendance policies below).

It is important that you read the assigned materials for each class session prior to attending class to enable you to be properly prepared to engage in meaningful points discussions or class activities related to the content in the Canvas course website. You are responsible for all the assigned content, inapplicable quizzes, and assignments. All written assignments and projects submitted shall be considered "graded work," and all aspects of your graded work are covered by the VT Honor Code.

Grading for each component of your course grade is described below:

  • Assignments (42 %): You will have short assignments or projects during the semester, some will be scheduled in advance on Canvas under "Assignments" with the deliverable uploaded on Canvas by a due date, and others will be announced in the class session it is to be completed and uploaded. These might include short writing assignments or other individual or team activities with deliverables. The assignment due dates will be identified in the assignment on the Canvas course site. Occasionally, short exercises will be announced in class meetings and turned-in at the end of class for a grade or credit/no-credit. Late submissions may not be accepted unless special circumstances apply, and acceptance of late submissions will be at the reasoned discretion of the instructor/professor. 
  • Quizzes (28 %): Most weeks, there will be a timed (generally 10-15 minutes) on the Canvas quiz on the assigned reading for that week. The quizzes will cover the assigned textbook reading and any reading/videos in the Canvas Module assigned for that module. All quizzes will be announced (in the then-current version of the Class Schedule and Assignments) and administered out of class, followed by regular class session activities. You do not have to be present in class meetings to take the quiz. Failure to take or makeup the quiz without the instructor/professor's approval may result in zero points for the quiz. 
  • Class Participation (15 %): Class meeting attendance and participation are required for this course. This is not just an attendance grade, although occasionally, class attendance will be taken directly in class or via an in-class exercise that must be turned in during the class session. Unexcused absences will reflect negatively on your class participation grade (see Attendance below). In addition to attending class, you are expected to participate in the class discussions. Your engagement in class discussions and activities is an essential part of this course's learning experience. Students will be asked to critically apply concepts and examples from the textbook in our class discussions and share ideas and perspectives. It is suggested that each student participate in the open-class discussions at least once a week (responding to questions asked by the instructor or adding to the discussion) and be active in any small group discussions/activities in class. Class participation grades will be determined from your Attendance, your verbal and written participation, and any online Canvas quizzes. Your classmates may be asked to provide a peer review of your team contributions, and those peer assessments will be considered for your class participation component of the grade.  There will be assignments that you will need to submit either from the online environment or in person - you need to be active in all ways. 
  • LinkedIn Learning Certificate (10 %): Path - Fostering Innovation
  • Final Exam (5 %): LockDown Browser will be used for the online final exam. Currently scheduled for taking the Exam during the last week from 12/10 at 12:00 PM to 12/15 at 11:59 PM. The exam details will be posted on the Canvas course website.

Schedule for Reading and Assignments:

The Class Sessions and Assignments table (Version 1.0) is attached.  This table is subject to updates and modifications during the semester as needed, and any changes will be announced in class in advance. The most current version of the table will be posted on our Canvas course site. Please always refer to the current version in planning your studies.

Learning Environment under COVID-19 Conditions

Maintaining a good learning environment in the classroom is an important part of a faculty member’s responsibility as a teacher. Disruptive classroom conduct on the part of some students may be distracting, annoying, or intimidating to other students, and should not be tolerated by the teacher.

under the conditions of COVID-19, including the updated masking mandate for indoor spaces. Faculty and students should follow current University and Public Health Guidelines located on the Virginia Tech Ready website.

Classroom behavior expectations for students to follow the university’s Well-Being Commitment. Students attending to the class are required for wearing a mask or face shield, or following posted classroom entry and exit protocols.

Faculty should consult with their department head for guidance appropriate to the learning environments in which they will teach:

  • If a student fails to follow syllabus expectations regarding health and safety, an instructor first should address the situation in a manner proportional to the behavior and in a non-confrontational way. The student should be directed to either meet the expectations (e.g., obtain a mask or face shield) or not return to the classroom for that class meeting.
  • If necessary, an instructor can then terminate the class session and should inform the academic unit chair or head of their action. GTAs should consult with the faculty supervisor for the course.
  • If a student causes a disruption, refuses to comply, or persists in problematic behavior in a subsequent class meeting, the instructor should consult with the Office of Student Conduct for guidance and direction.
  • If a student engages in behavior that could be immediately dangerous or threatening to any member of the university community, the faculty member should call the Virginia Tech Police.


We each bring a unique perspective to class, and we learn from each other when we share information and perspectives in an interactive and inclusive environment. This is also true in most entrepreneurial environments. Therefore, you are expected to attend and be well prepared for each class session and to contribute to the conversation. In addition, you are encouraged to take advantage of instructor/professor office hours throughout the semester.  This Attendance can be done in many ways - face-to-face and online through class sessions, office hours, discussion boards, etc.  

As previously noted, you are generally expected to attend (and you are paying for) each class session - either in person, online - synchronous, or asynchronous.  If you know in advance that you will be unable to attend a class session, please email/contact the professor prior to the session. In case of unavoidable circumstances that prevent your Attendance, please notify the instructor/professor as quickly as reasonably possible and provide valid justification/documentation for the missed class.  It is up to the instructor/professor's discretion to consider/approve any options for any missed in-class deliverable, quiz, or in-class activity. 

Course Policies:

  • Due Dates: Please pay close attention to the due dates specified in this syllabus or as specified on our canvas course site. If an assignment is due via Canvas, it must be uploaded by the selected date (on or before 11:59 pm EST unless otherwise specified). Every assignment should include your name, course name, and CRN to get full credit. Please name your file using your name, course number, and CRN when submitting electronically (e.g., Name_MGT2064_CRN88432.docx). 
  • Please be on time for class. For this course, each student must develop his/her perspective and mindset of entrepreneurship, and that will benefit from active class participation. 
  • The VT Honor Code. The Undergraduate Honor Code pledge that each member of the university community agrees to abide by states:

"As a Hokie, I will conduct myself with honor and integrity at all times.  I will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor will I accept the actions of those who do."

Students enrolled in this course are responsible for abiding by the Honor Code. A student who has doubts about how the Honor Code applies to any assignment is responsible for obtaining specific guidance from the course instructor before submitting the assignment for evaluation. Ignorance of the rules does not exclude any member of the University community from the requirements and expectations of the Honor Code.

For additional information about the Honor Code, please visit:

The Virginia Tech honor code pledge applies to all assignments, projects, quizzes, and exams and is expressed as follows: "I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance on this assignment." This pledge is implied on all submitted work products, including graded assignments. Some assignments will authorize teamwork or collaborative efforts. The honor pledge represents both an expression of the student's support of the honor code and an unambiguous acknowledgment that the student has, on the assignment in question, abided by the obligation that the Honor Code entails.

Commission of any of the following acts shall constitute academic misconduct. This listing is not, however, exclusive of other acts that may reasonably be said to constitute academic misconduct. Clarification is provided for each definition with some examples of prohibited behaviors in the Undergraduate Honor Code Manual located at


Cheating includes the intentional use of unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids, or other devices or materials in any academic exercise or attempt thereof.


Plagiarism includes the copying of the language, structure, programming, computer code, ideas, and/or thoughts of another and passing off the same as one's own original work or attempts thereof.


Falsification includes the statement of any untruth, either verbally or in writing, with respect to any element of one's academic work or attempts thereof.


Fabrication includes making up data and results, and recording or reporting them, or submitting fabricated documents, or attempts thereof. 


Multiple submission involves the submission for credit—without authorization of the instructor receiving the work—of substantial portions of any work (including oral reports) previously submitted for credit at any academic institution or attempts thereof.


Complicity includes intentionally helping another to engage in the act of academic misconduct or attempts thereof.


The violation of any University, College, Departmental, Program, Course, or Faculty Rules relating to academic matters may lead to an unfair academic advantage by the student violating the rule(s).

  • Citing References in Your Written Work: In this course, use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation format convention ( for all content being cited in the written work required for the course. One of the many helpful APA format guides can be found at 
  • Students with Disabilities/Accommodations: If you are in need of accommodations due to a VT recognized disability, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities office at Virginia Tech ( and follow their instructions regarding written notification of your professors. Please notify the professor early in the semester to allow for appropriate accommodations.