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Master in Entrepreneurship: Curriculum

The Master in Entrepreneurship program is a consecutive business science program, which is fitted for applicants holding a business-related academic degree who either have or are interested in gaining entrepreneurial experience. 

With the new 17 or 21 month study program, WHU responds to the increasing demand of professionals in the start-up sector and the corporate world. The program does not only attract future founders, but also entrepreneurial thinking personalities who want to work at innovative companies and organizations after their graduation. It offers a broad insight into central topics such as building a new venture, corporate entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, innovation, product development and technologies, as well as family business and social entrepreneurship.

Studies start September 01, 2018 with two semesters at the WHU campus in Vallendar that include six Core Modules (5 ECTS each) and seven Electives (35 ECTS in total).

Students holding a 210 ECTS Bachelor’s degree have the opportunity to join the 90 Credit Track where a one week long international Capstone Module to one of the business metropolises in America, Asia, or Europe is included. It consists of customized lectures on chosen topics as well as company visits. Afterwards, students complete an internship of at least 4 weeks before starting their Master’s Thesis. Students holding a Bachelor's degree with 210 ECTS or more credits will also be able to join the 180 ECTS Credit Track

Students holding a Bachelor’s degree with at least 180 ECTS will participate in the 120 Credit Track. After their studies for two semesters in Vallendar, students complete an internship of at least 6 weeks and will complete their Master’s thesis subsequently to their study abroad.

In addition to the regular internship, WHU now offers a start-up internship for this Master Program: Teams can work on their own start-up and will be hosted by prominent incubators, accelerators, and corporates from the WHU network.

The course covers the basic thinking for entrepreneurs. It is a prerequisite for those who have not had any entrepreneurship courses in their bachelor and also gives an introduction into the thought world of entrepreneurship at WHU.

  • The course includes the following topics: 
  • Understanding and defining entrepreneurship
  • The entrepreneurial way of thinking and acting - effectuation 
  • The entrepreneurial process – the perspective of the entrepreneur
  • The role of ideas and the process from idea to opportunity
  • The entrepreneur, his founding decision and the entrepreneurial team (entrepreneurial human capital)
  • Markets for entrepreneurs
  • Introduction into corporate entrepreneurship
  • Introduction into social entrepreneurship

Core Modules

Students take the following five Core Modules (35 ECTS):

This core course focuses on how corporations can successfully  tap into start-up ecosystem to identify and nurture new growth opportunities.

It includes topics such as:

  • Collaboration with start-ups (selection, deployment, management)
  • Start-up acquisitions (identification, negotiation, integration, post-integration management)
  • Corporate accelerators, incubators, spin-offs and corporate venture capital
  • Developing and attracting entrepreneurial talent
  • Open Innovation

This core course is dealing with all topics that an entrepreneur needs to know to actually start a new venture. 

  • It includes topics such as
  • Understanding problems and challenges as important opportunities
  • Identifying potential business ideas
  • Developing new business models
  • Knowing and applying the current startup tools (canvas, lean startup, pitch decks, etc.)
  • Business Plan and key metrics
  • Surviving the first 100 days of the startup 
  • Scaling for growth

Module decription coming soon

Industrial organization is a field of microeconomics that explores the dynamics of industries and in particular the way firms compete with each other. Therefore, this course focuses on strategic competitive behavior, with special attention being paid to the perspective of newly founded ventures. Within this context we will discuss how to assess entry timing, pricing mechanisms and R&D investments, as well as how regulations impact strategy design. The course uses a mixture of case studies, lectures and guest lectures. 

The course gives an advanced understanding on how entrepreneurs should develop their marketing and finance function. 

The course includes the following topics: 

  • Theoretical foundation of entrepreneurial marketing and finance
  • Entrepreneurial marketing strategy and orientation
  • Developing the entrepreneurial marketing approach (4Ps)
  • Entrepreneurial marketing controlling
  • Understanding the entrepreneurial marketing –finance interface
  • Financial planning – the role of uncertainty and how to deal with it.
  • Financing means for entrepreneurs: 4Fs, Business Angels and Venture Capital
  • The role of banks in entrepreneurial finance
  • Exiting the firm: Realizing the business model for equity capitalists


After having taken the mandatory Core Modulse, students choose 7 Electives. At least four Electives have to be chosen from the following Modules:

The course examines new venture investments from the perspective of a VC investor. 

It includes the following topics:

  • The organization, capitalization and management of traditional corporate and social venture capital firms
  • How VCs compete, make money, and create value for entrepreneurs, limited partners and the economy.
  • How VC firms generate deal flows, screen deals, conduct due diligence and negotiate.
  • How VC firm structure and finance deals (e.g., financing rounds, financing instruments, syndication)
  • VC valuation principles and methods
  • VC negotiations, contracting, term sheets
  • VC management and influence: Post-investment interactions with founders and governance
  • Preparation and heading for exit and exit strategies for VCs. 



This course is as close as it gets to founding your own company. You will work out an idea for a company. You will analyze the market. You will think about your financials, your marketing approach, etc. The class ends with a final pitch in front of a jury with actual VCs, who might be willing to invest into your company right after the course. For some students, the endeavor of founding their own company ends with their final presentation. Others might want to found their company right after WHU. Either way, this course is a great way to get a feeling of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

In an era of massive IT advances, computational intelligence is swiftly becoming an integral part of modern businesses. This course first builds a firm quantitative basis in business functional areas including procurement, production, and distribution. Students will master necessary technical skills to successfully apply advanced modeling methods. More importantly, this course will provide students with profound knowledge on core enabling technologies in the context of Internet of Things and cloud background. A significant portion of the course will be entirely dedicated to computer simulations, smart computing applications, as well as virtual enterprise experimentation.

This course focuses on key Operations Management topics to support company growth, demand & capacity risk management, closed-loop supply chain logistics and big data analytics for price and sales optimization, assortment planning and staffing.

It includes topics such as:

  • Managing Growth (Strategy Formulation, Cascading, Execution and Alignment; Fair Process Leadership)
  • Managing Risk (Forecasting Basics; Case Study: Canyon Bicycles – Judgmental Demand Forecasting for Online Sales; Efficient Promotion Forecasts; Supply Option Contracts and Portfolios of Contracts; Case Study: Lufthansa Cargo AG – Capacity Reservation and Dynamic Pricing; Hedging Supply Risk with Backup Suppliers; Simulation Game: Global Supply Chain Simulation)
  • Managing Returns (Closed-Loop Supply Chain Management with / without Secondary Markets; Should Customers be Fined for Decision Reversals?)
  • Managing Information (Reactivation of Lapsed Customers; Dynamic Assortment Optimization in Retailing; Optimal Staffing using Big Data Analytics; Data Analytics Simulation: Strategic Decision Making)

Entrepreneurs, apart from their skills as innovators and builders need to be sellers. However, due to all the effort going into the day to day business management, capital acquisition and company building many entrepreneurs overlook the importance of gaining first customers and developing scalable demand from the market. This course is about developing a sound sales and customer acquisition strategy. 

This module will include aspects of:

  • Design and building parts of a sales and customer acquisition strategy
  • Working with sales personnel 
  • Portfolio of sales/acquisition tools and approaches and respective goals/outcomes
  • Overall growth and scaling aspects
  • Important metrics and measurement

This module is about new opportunities and business models in the social field. It will provide students with an alternative to purely profit oriented businesses and introduce a whole new range of options with regards to organizational types, markets, customer segments, and partners. 

It will include aspects, such as:

  • Social Entrepreneurs – their characteristics, motives and ambitions.
  • Social Business models, ranging from purely donation based over hybrid to purely commercially oriented forms. 
  • Emerging markets and their opportunities for entrepreneurs.
  • Doing business at the bottom of the pyramid (products/services, processes, partners, fairness, trust, price, etc.)

This module is about entrepreneurship in SMEs and family firms. Students will gather knowledge of how to overcome the challenges of being entrepreneurial in a resource-constrained, long-established business. Moreover, they will learn about harvesting the opportunities of turning an established SME/family firm in an entrepreneurial business. 

It will include aspects, such as:

  • Founder imprinting and path dependencies in family firms and SMEs
  • Transgenerational entrepreneurship and leadership from the family-, individual-, and firm perspective
  • Succession and change
  • Building on family firm-strengths in times of disruptive innovations

Up to three Electives can be chosen from the pool of all Electives of the Master in Management and Master in Finance.

Master in Entrepreneurship program structure

WHU Master in Entrepreneurship program structure