The Startup Class (aka, ENTP 1010) is a fourteen week course-plus-experience designed to provide students with not only the basic tools and vocabulary of new ventures, but also a sense of the challenges encountered across the lifecycle of a new venture—from idea to exit, including failure. The course, by way of in-class case discussions and mentored workshops introduce students to a broad range of issues faced by founders and funders of both for-profit and non-profit ventures.

The Startup class is open to first- and second-year students at U.Va., regardless of major or School. Registration by other UVA students is only by way of instructor permission and space permitting. The course also provides an introduction to and is required before applying to the new Entrepreneurship Minor at U.Va.

Importantly, students are expectedor at least highly encouraged—to complete assigned readings and viewings before arriving for each class session. We then engage with these topics and tools during class discussions and workshops. If you do not find this sort of “flipped” class design desirable, then the Startup class will not be for you.

Here are links to the Schedule for the course, the Assignments in the course, as well as our policies for GradingMobile Devices in the classroom, and the Fine Print.

The rest of this page will provide details on course Faculty and their Office Hours, Required Readings and Case Studies, Supplemental Readings, further Background on the course, the McIntire Honor Statement, and the McIntire Wellbeing Statement.


Bevin Etienne. Assistant Professor, McIntire School of Commerce

Recurring Guest Star:
David TouveDirector, i.Lab at UVA

Additional Guest Stars:


PJ Harris, Associate at Woods Rogers PLC
Suz Somersall, Founder, KIRAKIRA3D
Shawn Vo, Founder and CTO, Axle
Cheis Garrus, CFO, Museum of African American History
Dave Kyle, Executive Director, Impact Business Leaders
Anselmo Canfora, School of Architecture
Elgin Cleckley, School of Architecture
William Sherman, Associate Vice-President for Research
Liz Pyle, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Alex Zorychta, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Josh Jeansen, UVA Licensing and Ventures Group
Michael Straightiff, UVA Licensing and Ventures Group
Rob Masri, University of Virginia School of Law
Sarah Rumbaugh & Zach Mayo, RelishMBA
Brendan Richardson, Mcintire School of Commerce & PsiKick
Bob Creeden, UVA Licensing and Ventures Group
Jeffrey Boichuk, Mcintire School of Commerce
Susan Tynen, Founder and CEO, Framebridge
Sam Shank, Co-founder and CEO, HotelTonight
Christine Mahoney, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
Bala Mulloth, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
and others…

Class Times, Location:

Meeting in Room 123 in Rouss-Robertson
Section 001: 09:30AM – 10:45AM, Monday and Wednesday
Section 002: 11:00AM – 12:15PM, Monday and Wednesday
Section 003: 12:30PM – 02:00PM, Monday and Wednesday

Office Hours:

Bevin Etienne
Tuesdays and Thursday from 11:15 am – 12:30 pm and by appointments
218 Rouss Robertson Hall

Required Case Studies, Articles, and Videos:

A set of case studies (the so-called “coursepack”) can be purchased, in PDF format, directly from Harvard Business Publishing via this link: Get Coursepack Here!

The Articles listed as Readings in the Schedule can all be found either through the electronic resources of the UVA Library, the Notes section of the STRTP site, or the website links provided.

Supplemental Sources:

There are no required books for the course. This list of Supplemental Books should be seen as a qualified set of sources you might investigate for deeper reading on the subjects covered during the semester. There are also supplemental Articles mentioned in the Schedule for the course.

Blank, S. G., & Dorf, B. (2012). The startup owner’s manual: the step-by-step guide for building a great company. K&S Ranch, CA.

Blank, S. (2013). Four Steps to the Epiphany. K&S Ranch, CA. (This book is the Father of the Lean Startup)

Feld, B., & Mendelson, J. (2012). Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.

Livingston, J. (2007). Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days. Berkely: Apress.

Shane, S.A. (2008). The Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wassermann, N. (2012). Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Ries, E. (2011). The Lean Startup: How today’s entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. Crown Business, New York.

Additional books coming soon…

More about the course…

The Startup course experience involves two main components:

  1. On Monday (in general), we will meet for guest speakers or workshops within which you will work almost always in groups.
  2. On Wednesday (in general), we will meet for case discussions or additional workshops.

The readings have been chosen to introduce you to a range of topics and tools that can be applied towards the management of a startup venture. Furthermore, these readings may challenge any assumptions you have about who the so-called “entrepreneur” is and what it is that we entrepreneurs do.

The case discussions are designed to go beyond the readings and provide additional substance to spark critical inquiry around not only the arguments and the approaches presented in the readings, but also the issues faced by founders and funders of startup ventures.

This guest stars (aka, the guest speakers) will introduce you to not only additional sets of tools and techniques, but also the range of individuals and resources on and around the University related to startups and the startup community.

The workshops are designed to actively engage you with the topics and tools from the course through the development of workable solutions in a challenging, time-bound context (aka, learning by doing). As part of these workshops, you will find yourselves acting as both founders and funders of new ventures.

The assignments are designed to provide students with the chance to exercise what you (hopefully) learn in class, through mock agreements, quizzes, and other deliverables.

The learning objectives of this course are as follows:

You should become familiar with a set of concepts and analytical methods common to the discipline of entrepreneurship;

You should gain experience applying these concepts and employing these analytical methods learned in the class to the challenges faced by startup ventures;

You should gain experience explaining your ideas and justifying your decision-making in a coherent and persuasive manner, both in writing and face-to-face discussions;

You should gain experience converting your ideas into actions, actions that have consequences, consequences that may be anticipated or unanticipated yet require your reasoned and timely reaction;

You might actually have fun!

McIntire School of Commerce
Well-Being Statement

The McIntire School of Commerce proudly serves as a safe space for its students and aims to promote their wellbeing. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or isolated, there are many individuals here who are ready and wanting to help. If you wish, you can make an appointment with me (professor name) and come to my office to talk in private. Undergraduate students may visit professionals in the Student Services Office, located on the third floor, during walk-in hours or through setting up an appointment. Graduate students may visit professionals in the Graduate Programs Office, located on the first floor, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm or by appointment.

Alternatively, there are also other University of Virginia resources available. The Student Health Center offers Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) for its students. Call 434-243-5150 (or 434-972-7004 for after hours and weekend crisis assistance) to get started and schedule an appointment. If you prefer to speak anonymously and confidentially over the phone, call Madison House’s HELP Line at any hour of any day: 434-295-8255.

If you or someone you know is struggling with gender, sexual, or domestic violence, there are many community and University of Virginia resources available. The Office of the Dean of Students, Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA), Shelter for Help in Emergency (SHE), and UVA Women’s Center are ready and eager to help. Contact the Director of Sexual and Domestic Violence Services at 434-982-2774.

Commitment to Inclusion and Respect for Differences

The McIntire School is committed to creating a community that is inclusive and acknowledging.  We seek to remove barriers in order to empower all members to engage fully and to contribute in and out of the classroom.  At McIntire, an inclusive classroom is an environment where all students feel supported intellectually and academically and feel a sense of belonging regardless of identity, learning preferences, or background.

At times, issues or comments may surface in class that can cause offense or be hurtful to someone.  It is the expectation of the School and our faculty that students not judge or criticize others, since we all gain more from course discussions and engagement if we first seek to understand.  McIntire is committed to addressing issues as they arise in a respectful manner.  If you are concerned about anything said in class or raised in the readings, you are encouraged to contact your instructor.  Other resources available include your program advisor in the Office of Student Services as well as the McIntire Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  We are open to listening to students’ experiences and want to work with you to find acceptable ways to process and address any issues or concerns that may arise.

McIntire School of Commerce
Honor Statement

The McIntire School of Commerce relies upon and cherishes its community of trust. We endorse and uphold the University’s Honor principle that students will not lie, cheat, or steal, nor shall they tolerate those who do. We recognize that even one honor infraction can destroy an exemplary reputation that took years to build. Acting in a manner consistent with the principles of honor benefits every member of the community while enrolled in the McIntire School and in the future.

We trust every McIntire student to comply fully with all provisions of the UVa Honor System. By enrolling in this course, you agree to abide by and uphold the Honor System of the University of Virginia, as well as the following policies specific to ICE.

  • All graded assignments must be pledged.
  • You may not access any notes, study outlines, problem sets, old exams, answer keys, or collaborate with other students without our explicit permission.
  • When given permission to collaborate with others, do not copy answers from another student.
  • Always cite any resources or individuals you consult to complete an assignment. If in doubt, cite the source.
  • All suspected violations will be forwarded to the Honor Committee, and, at our discretion, you may receive an immediate zero on that assignment regardless of any action taken by the Honor Committee.
  • If you have a question about what is or is not permitted on an assignment, you should clarify your question with the professor prior to doing the work.

If you believe you may have committed an Honor Offense, you may wish to file a Conscientious Retraction (“CR”) by calling the Honor Offices at (434) 924-7602. For your retraction to be considered valid, it must, among other things, be filed with the Honor Committee before you are aware that the Act in question has come under suspicion by anyone. More information can be found at

If you have questions regarding the course honor policy, please contact Professor Etienne. If you have questions about your Honor System or would like to report your suspicion of an Honor offense, please contact McIntire Honor Representatives, Caitlin Knowles and William Donnell