School:Stanford University

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Stanford University is one of the world's leading research universities. Stanford is known for its entrepreneurial character, drawn from the legacy of its founders, Jane and Leland Stanford, and its relationship to Silicon Valley. Research and teaching emphasize interdisciplinary approaches to problem solving. Areas of excellence range from the humanities to social sciences to engineering and the sciences. Stanford is located in California's Bay Area, one of the most intellectually dynamic and culturally diverse areas of the nation.

Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial spirit pervade Stanford's campus with opportunities to take courses, participate in programs and fellowships, and join student groups that actively promote entrepreneurship across Stanford's undergraduate and graduate schools. Successful entrepreneurial alumni include: 

  • Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google)
  • Doris Fisher (Gap)
  • William Hewlett and David Packard (Hewlett-Packard)
  • Konstantin Guericke and Reid Hoffman (LinkedIn)
  • Phil Knight (Nike)
  • Scott McNealy, Vinod Khosla, and Andy Bechtolsheim (Sun Microsystems)
  • Azim Premji (Wipro)
  • Charles Schwab (Charles Schwab Corp.)
  • Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger (Instagram)
  • Peter Thiel (PayPal)
  • Jerry Yang and David Filo (Yahoo)
  • Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, Bobby Murphy (Snapchat)
  • Erik Baker, Jeff Fluhr (StubHub)
  • Ren Ng (Lytro camera, technology)
  • Ankit Gupta, Akshay Kothari (Pulse, iPad app)
  • Coursera (Daphne Koller, Andrew Ng)

Stanford was ranked the #1 College in the United States by Forbes in 2013, in part for its role in the development of Silicon Valley and its prominent tech companies and innovators. Stanford is currently ranked (July 2014) at #2, after Williams College.  

The 2013 Stanford Alumni Innovation Survey can be viewed here.

Academic Programs in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Courses:

  • COMM118S Entrepreneurial Communication
  • CS231B The Cutting Edge of Computer Vision
  • ECON225 Economics of Technology and Innovation
  • EDUC224 Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation
  • EDUC230X Social Enterprise
  • FINANCE373 Entrepreneurial Finance
  • GSBGEN111Q Seminar in Entrepreneurial Communication
  • GSBGEN313 Advanced Seminar on Social Entrepreneurship and Global Poverty
  • GSBGEN314 Creating High Potential Ventures in Developing Economies
  • GSBGEN528 Creativity, Problem Solving, and Innovation
  • GSBGEN585 Social Innovation through Corporate Social Responsibility
  • LAW401 Venture Capital II: Starting and Running a Venture-Backed Company
  • LAW543 Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Law in Social Enterprises
  • ME10AX Design Thinking and the Art of Innovation
  • ME19 Prefield Course for Alternative Spring Break: Design for Social Change
  • ME29D Design for Diversity: Collaboration by Difference in the Digital Age
  • ME115A Introduction to Human Values in Design
  • ME313 Human Values and Innovation in Design
  • ME319 Fundamentals of Design for Design Thinkers
  • ME 377 Design Thinking Bootcamp: Experiences in Innovation and Design
  • ME410A Introduction Foresight and Innovation
  • ME410B/C Advanced Foresight and Innovation
  • ME421 European Entrepreneurship and Innovation Thought Leaders Seminar
  • MS&E274 Dynamic Entrepreneurial Strategy
  • OIT 343 D-Lab: Design for Service Innovation
  • OB541 How to Change Things When Change is Hard
  • SOC161 The Social Science of Entreprenership
  • STRAMGT321 Create a New Venture: From Idea to Launch I
  • STRAMGT322 Create a New Venture: From Idea to Launch II 
  • STRAMGT341 Achieving Social Impact
  • STRAMGT353 Entrepreneurship: Formation of New Ventures
  • STRAMGT354 Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital
  • STRAMGT376 Entrepreneur Leader-Identity Development: A Critical-Incident Approach
  • STRAMGT508 Entrepreneurship from the Perspective of Women
  • STRAMGT514 The Improvisational Entrepreneur
  • STRAMGT535 Entrepreneurial Approaches to Education Reform
  • STRAMGT543 Entrepreneurial Acquisition
  • STRAMGT554 Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital
  • URBANST131 VIP: Very Impactful People - Social Innovation & the Social Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship & Innovation Courses from the Stanford Technology Ventures Program:

  • ENGR 140A Leadership of Technology Ventures
  • ENGR 140B Leadership of Technology Ventures
  • ENGR 140C Leadership  of Technology Ventures
  • ENGR 145 Technology Entrepreneurship
  • MS&E 140 Accounting for Managers and Entrepreneurs (MS&E 240)
  • MS&E 175 Innovation, Creativity, and Change
  • MS&E 178 The Spirit of Entrepreneurship 
  • MS&E 180 Organizations: Theory and Management
  • ME 208 Patent Law and Strategy for Innovators and Entrepreneurs (MS&E 278)
  • ENGR 245 The Lean LaunchPad: Getting Your Lean Startup Off the Ground
  • MS&E 279A/B Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
  • MS&E 276 Entrepreneurial Management and Finance
  • MS&E 277 Creativity and Innovation
  • MS&E 280 Organizational Behavior: Evidence in Action
  • MS&E 283 Scaling up Excellence in Organizations
  • MS&E 371 Innovation and Strategic Change
  • MS&E 372 Entrepreneurship Doctoral Research Seminar
  • MS&E 376 Strategy Doctoral Research Seminar
  • MS&E 472 Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders' Seminar
  • ENGR 245 The Lean LaunchPad: Getting Your Lean Startup Off the Ground
  • MS&E 279A/B Entrepreneurial Leadership
  • MS&E 273 Technology Venture Formation
  • MS&E 276 Entrepreneurial Management and Finance
  • MS&E 277 Creativity and Innovation
  • MS&E 280 Organizational Behavior: Evidence in Action
  • MS&E 283 Scaling up Excellence in Organizations
  • MS&E 371 Innovation and Strategic Change
  • MS&E 372 Entrepreneurship Doctoral Research Seminar
  • MS&E 376 Strategy Doctoral Research Seminar
  • MS&E 472 Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders' Seminar

Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (

Courses are updated quarterly. The current listing is available here.

Campus Entrepreneurial Efforts

Stanford Technology Ventures Program:

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) is the entrepreneurship center at Stanford University's School of Engineering. Hosted by the department of Management Science and Engineering, STVP is dedicated to accelerating high-technology entrepreneurship education and creating scholarly research on technology-based firms that, in turn, provides new insights for students, scholars, and business leaders.

STVP provides undergraduate and graduate students from all majors with the entrepreneurial skills needed to use innovations to solve major world problems, with an emphasis on the environment, human health, information technology, and other global issues. Our research efforts tackle the challenges of creating successful ventures and innovative large firms, and then taking that knowledge to the classroom and publication. Our global outreach program includes annual conferences on several continents and a website that includes thousands of video clips and podcast regarding technology entrepreneurship and innovation. We strive to create new ideas, and inspire and prepare students to be leaders in existing organizations, new ventures, and academia.

Links to additional resources:

Stanford Entrepreneurship Network:

As a single point of contact for entrepreneurship at Stanford, the Stanford Entrepreneurship Network (SEN) is a federation of over two dozen entrepreneurship-related campus organizations that conduct research, teach courses and/or provide outreach services.

SEN also serves as a forum for communication and collaboration among its member organizations. Many of Stanford's student clubs focus on entrepreneurship, and unique entrepreneurship-related programs exist in nearly every school, including Engineering, Business, Medicine, and Law, as well as in university-wide organizations such as the Office of Technology Licensing and the Office of Corporate Relations.

The Stanford Entrepreneurship Network hosts the following programs:

  • Educational and networking events for the entrepreneurship community
  • An annual Entrepreneurship Week celebration at Stanford University
  • "Coaches-on-Call" office hours that allow students to meet with industry professionals

Links to additional resources:

Stanford Graduate School of Business Initiatives:

Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

The Center for Entrepreneurial Studies (CES) at Stanford Graduate School of Business is building a dynamic global community of entrepreneurs and thought leaders who are changing the world. This is accomplished with resources including:

  • Support for ground-breaking research and education that advances entrepreneurial thinking
  • Connects, enables, and inspires Stanford students and alumni to create and scale innovative new ventures
  • Creates a hub for the interests and pursuits of the entrepreneurial community - faculty, students, alumni, practitioners, and investors.

Advising, networking opportunities, signature programs, and other targeted resources are available for GSB students and alumni. We also provide students and alumni access to additional resources, including reprints of recent articles, sample business plans, and other literature, which are available in the office. In addition, the GSB library offers venture capital databases, company information, entrepreneurial text and course books, and more.

The website for CES at Stanford Graduate School of Business can be found here.

Center for Social Innovation

The Center for Social Innovation at Stanford Graduate School of Business cultivates leaders to solve the world's toughest social and environmental problems. It provides resources and programs to help MBA students, alumni, faculty, and field practitioners raise awareness, build relevant skills, and advance action. CSI participants lead corporate efforts to improve ethical and sustainable practices, manage nonprofits through strategic growth, and launch social enterprises that bring life-changing solutions such as loans to small businesses and safe lighting to the world's poorest places. Programs include:

  • Research: case studies and academic research to achieve social impact
  • Education: opportunities for events, courses, certificates, and joint degrees
  • Action: study trips, impact labs, summer internships, and consulting services

The website for CSI at Stanford Graduate School of Business can be found here.


StartX is an educational non-profit that accelerates the development of Stanford's top entrepreneurs through experiential education and collective intelligence. StartX requires no fees and takes zero equity. Its community is home to Stanford's top entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries including consumer IT, medical and hardware, raising over $200M with a 1.8M average per company funding rate from leading investors such as Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and Venrock. StartX has $100,000 in resources from its partners, as well as free office space and legal services. It also provides mentorship from over 200 serial entrepreneurs, experts, angels and VCs, including individuals from Palantir, LinkedIn, Google, Twitter and many more in Silicon Valley. StartX focuses on education through customized programming and on-demand experts delivered when founders need it.

The website for StartX can be found here.

Stanford Startup Weekend:

Stanford Startup Weekend is an annual weekend innovation event affiliated with the national Startup Weekend initiative. Over one hundred of Stanford's entrepreneurs apply individually for a 54-hour marathon weekend of ideating, problem solving, and pitching to top venture capitalists. Entrepreneurs come from the schools of Engineering, Law, Sciences, Medicine, Education and Business. 

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 400 past events in 100 countries around the world in 2011. All Startup Weekend events follow the same model: anyone is welcome to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it's a frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing, and market validation. The weekend culminates with presentations in front of the judges with another opportunity for critical feedback.

The website for Stanford Startup Weekend 2013 can be found here.

Student Entrepreneurship Initiatives

Stanford Undergraduates:


The Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students (BASES) is at the heart of student entrepreneurship at Stanford, as one of the most established and well-known student-run entrepreneurship organizations in the world. Our mission is to promote entrepreneurship education at Stanford University and to empower the next generation of brilliant entrepreneurs. We work with budding entrepreneurs, exceptional students, and prominent professors and investors in order to unite the worlds of entrepreneurship, academia, and industry. Our programs include the 150K Challenge, the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders' Seminar, the SVI Hackspace, E-Bootcamp, and the Freshman Battalion.

The website for BASES can be found here.


Stanford Women in Business (SWIB) addresses the issues preventing more women from pursuing business careers in the Stanford undergraduate community by: providing business resources, hosting educational events, and maintaining a strong network of professional women. SWIB strongly believes that establishing a long lasting community serving all women on the Stanford campus will naturally prepare them with skills for a successful career in any industry. Through mentorship, events, and networking opportunities with alumni, recruiters, and industry professionals, SWIB serves as the launching pad for the future leaders of the business world.

SWIB is also a general business resource to the entire Stanford community. Throughout the year, SWIB provides career workshops and industry panels for all Stanford students. As the group matures with age and leadership, the vision will remain the same, but the innovation, scope, and impact of SWIB will only continue to grow.

The website for SWIB can be found here.

Asia Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society

The Asia Pacific Student Entrepreneurship Society at Stanford (ASES) aims to foster a dynamic workplace and community that is open-minded to introduce things never seen before. It looks to connect like-minded people looking to make the world a better place by fostering community and implementing solutions. Its members are interested in seeing entrepreneurship in action. Every year, ASES at Stanford holds its ASES Summit event, a conference for the next generation of top international entrepreneurs.

The website for ASES at Stanford can be found here.

Society for Entrepreneurship in Latin America

The Society for Entrepreneurship in Latin America (SELA) is an international organization of students founded at Stanford University to establish a network of entrepreneurial students throughout Latin America and the United States. SELA is primarily aimed at forging bonds between students, professionals and academics interested in Latin America in order to promote development and encourage investment in the region. SELA is building chapters at universities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and El Salvador, while seeking partnership with other U.S. universities. It hopes to ultimately reach every country in the Americas to facilitate mentoring, conferences, networking, and education based on entrepreneurship in different regions.

The website for SELA can be found here.

Stanford Graduate School of Business:

GSB Entrepreneur Club

The GSB Entrepreneur Club is one of the oldest student-run entrepreneur's clubs in the nation. The current incarnation of the club has its roots in the late 1970s, when many of the individual student initiatives around small businesses and entrepreneurialism coalesced into a single student-led club. In 1993, the e-club under the leadership of Ken Hawk sponsored the first E-Conference on Entrepreneurship, with 150 people attending the day-long event. The conference has since grown to be the largest annual conference dedicated to entrepreneurship in the world. Today the Entrepreneur Club is the most active student-run club within the GSB community. We have over 300 members and last year the club organized more than 50 events for over 1,100 attendants. The goal of the current GSB Entrepreneur Club is to stimulate interest in entrepreneurialism among GSB students and other members of the Stanford community. Its members are passionate about building sustainable ventures and maximizing success in ventures. The club promotes an entrepreneurial mind-set both as a founder or manager of a start-up and in the roles of investor, advisor, or corporate partner.

Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies

SEED was formed to bridge a critical gap in global efforts to address prosperity around the world. Despite impressive progress achieved through the Millennial Development Goals, it is estimated that by 2015, there will still be more than 1 billion people on earth living in poverty. SEED's ambitious goal is to transform the lives of people living in poverty on a massive scale. Its approach is to leverage Stanford's resources and culture of entrepreneurship and innovation and work with local and global thought leaders and practitioners to catalyze positive change that will reach all citizens of a given region. The SEED mission is to stimulate the creation of economic opportunities through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the growth of businesses that change the lives of people who live in poverty around the world.

Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Stanford Program on Regions of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SPRIE) is dedicated to the understanding and practice of the nexus of innovation and entrepreneurship in the leading regions around the world. Current research focuses on Silicon Valley and high technology regions across Asia, including in China, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan. SPRIE fulfilles its mission through interdisciplinary and international collaborative research, seminars and conferences, publications and briefings for industry and government leaders.


Stanford University has a breadth of entrepreneurial resources available to students, faculty and affiliates. For more information about any of these programs, please visit their websites via the links provided or Stanford's main website here.

Stanford Landscape Canvas:

Related Links

Stanford University Student Priorities

Stanford University University Innovation Fellows

Stanford University Campus Overview (this page)