Journal of Information Systems Education


The success of tech company IPOs such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snap has not been lost on today’s Information Systems (IS) majors. The demand for entrepreneurship education has grown rapidly from a just a few college classes in entrepreneurship in the 1970s to the over 3,000 colleges and universities providing entrepreneurship curriculum today (Davidson, White, and Taylor, 2012; Morris, Kuratko, and Cornwall, 2013). Information Systems (IS) students interested in launching their own tech startup can benefit from the common body of knowledge found in general entrepreneurship coursework. However, such coursework generally does not take into account the specific characteristics of IT services and software. This translates into the need for a special set of entrepreneurial skills for developing and launching an IT startup. While there has been some research into software and IT entrepreneurship in the fields of software engineering and computer science, little curricular guidance exists for IS students wishing to launch their own tech startup. This paper explores current approaches to teaching the IT and software entrepreneurial skill set. Experience with a dedicated course in tech startup entrepreneurship is described. A sample syllabus for IS majors is provided. The paper concludes with lessons learned and suggestions for implementing an entrepreneurship component as part of an undergraduate IS program.



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