Master in Entrepreneurship Program:
Preparing you for an innovative career.
The Master in Entrepreneurship (MiE) Program is designed for graduates who would like to start their own business, have an innovative career in various companies or start-ups, or manage a family business. You will experience a unique program covering business functions, innovation, product development, and technologies, including field trips to entrepreneurial hubs such as Berlin and Düsseldorf.
Our curriculum –
Learn more about our program structure.
The full-time, English-taught degree program targets Bachelor graduates with a degree in a business-related field of study, as well as graduates from STEM or other subjects who demonstrate an appropriate background in entrepreneurship-related areas, e.g. through electives, their thesis, or practical exposure.
The program has two available tracks: 90 credits or 120 credits, lasting 17 or 21 months respectively.
90 credit track: Students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree with at least 210 ECTS credits are able to choose the 90 credit track. This track lasts 17 months and includes a one-week international module, the capstone module.
120 credit track: Students who have completed a 180 ECTS credit Bachelor’s degree will join the 120 credit track lasting 21 months. In this track, you will spend your third semester in either the Master or MBA program at one of our 200 partner universities.
The program takes place on our campus in Vallendar, including modules in Berlin and Düsseldorf.
In addition to participating in a rigorous academic curriculum, you will also have the opportunity to take part in various events organized by our students and the Career Center such as IdeaLab!, Founders Career Day, SensAbility, Euromasters, and many more.
Fostering your entrepreneurial mindset –
An innovative program designed for your success.
Throughout the program, you will have the opportunity to identify and test your own business ideas while being supported by prominent corporates from the exclusive WHU network. You will also develop specific tools and skills that are particularly relevant for entrepreneurs, such as coding and prototyping.
The elements of the program include:
Students take the following five Core Modules (35 ECTS):
This course revisits and applies fundamental corporate finance and accounting concepts. This understanding helps students increase their financial intelligence to manage capital budgeting and other financial decisions as well as interactions with capital markets more effectively. Both finance and accounting intersect when insiders and outsiders analyze the performance and expected value of a business or project. Our primary goal will be to uncover and avoid some of the common misunderstandings, mistakes and fallacies in financial decsion-making that lead to value-decreasing decisions.
Course Objectives & set-up:
▪ Familiarize students with entrepreneurial finance and business models
▪ Students will solve two interactive entrepreneurial case studies in the
two areas and one in-class case in Berlin.
▪ Students will connect with startups, consultancies, investors, and a law firm
in Berlin to build up a network of future partners
▪ This course will help all students that consider starting their own company
to build and run more successful firms
Continuous creation and exploitation of new business opportunities within the company is an imperative for success. However, corporations often struggle with the identification of promising growth opportunities and the development of new business ideas. This is in part due to the fast changing environment and in part because organizational structures, routines and incentive systems are not always appropriate for the current dynamics and technological settings.
This course is designed for those interested in learning how managers can create, develop, sustain and lead innovative new businesses or initiatives within their organizations. We are especially concerned with the interface between the corporation and the innovation and the entrepreneurial ecosystems within which it is embedded. By adopting an open systems perspective, we will focus on how corporate managers can effectively tap into external environment to initiate change, drive innovation and build new growth platforms.
During this course, participants will collaborate extensively in groups with some of Germany’s leading companies in real-life projects. They will not only hone their skills in solving these real-life corporate entrepreneurship problems, they will get to present their entrepreneurial ideas and solutions to executives from those companies.
Industrial organization is a field of microeconomics that explores the dynamics of industries and 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, competitive behaviour as well as how regulations impact strategy considerations. The course uses a mixture of case studies, lectures and guest lectures.
In this course we apply the Google-Sprint Format to class and to a blocked week of company visits in Berlin. We build teams and business models within the run of the course.
Following a five day sprint logic, we
1) analyze problems and challenges (day 1)
2) get an overview of the industry and competitors and start developing the value proposition as well as the customer segment (day 2)
3) build the business model and the prototype (day 3)
4) collect customer feedback (day 4)
5) report and pitch about all components (day 5)
The result is a real business idea and model that has undergone its first test via customer feedback using a real physical or electronic prototype.
After having taken the mandatory Core Module, students choose 7 Electives. At least four Electives have to be chosen from the following Modules:
This course provides students with current show cases how leading e-commerce startups and companies advance their operational performance through digitalization.
In today’s business world, technology increasingly plays a major role in determining a company’s future competitiveness. In this course, we focus on six main topics that are critical for the success of omni-channel players: i) employee engagement and leadership, ii) managing the forward chain, iii) demand forecasting, iv) demand generation, v) managing the backward chain and vi) customer online interaction to curtail mindless shopping.
Cases and readings, mostly working papers under review or recently published articles in top managerial or academic journals, provide novel insights into the e-commerce operations of leading European retail, manufacturing or service companies.
Students will be able to discuss these approaches with numerous guest speakers from industry and academia.
Enabling technologies: IoT, Cloud computing
- Distribution logistics
- Complex resource planning and scheduling
- Facility location and layout planning
Every entrepreneur is selling all the time: to customers, employees, and investors. Selling is a skill that can be learnt. Only few people are born as a selling ace. Some investors only invest if the founders themselves are the first sales people. The course Content was designed based on interviews with WHU entrepreneurs and WHU investors:
- fit between go-to-market model and the business model (understanding sales cycles, decision processes)
- targeting consumers vs. small business vs. big enterprise
- defining and communicating the value proposition for your target audience
- face-to-face selling techniques: need identification, maneuvering the sales process
- hiring your first sales people (selecting the right sales professionals, designing their compensation)
- the typical GTM model: inbound marketing + tele sales / inside sales
- international market entry.
This module covers the specific agenda of using intellectual capital for competitive advantage in multiple market contexts. In the contemporary economic environment, intellectual assets like know-how, inventions, content, brands, trademarks (forms of intellectual property), contractual agreements etc. are the largest proportion of a firm’s total wealth. And yet, most firms do not proactively manage these assets. This module adopts a “lifecycle” approach
to the management of an intellectual asset. Methods and frameworks developed in lecture are exercised in case studies from multiple settings including consumer electronics (Dolby, Creative Technologies, Apple), pharmaceuticals (AstraZeneca, Bayer), agriculture (Pinklady Apples), Entertainment (CAH & Disney) etc.
The course is designed to introduce the new product development (NPD) process in more detail to students. We will investigate basic elements of NPD and product innovation research organized according to the NPD process stages i.e. concept generation, technical product development, and launch. The lecture as well as case studies aim at explaining how to develop an effective development strategy, manage cross-functional teams across the organization, generate and evaluate concepts, manage the technical development of the product, develop the marketing plan, and manage the financial aspects of a project. An important role in the course will play international aspects of NPD.
In this course we develop your skills for visual thinking and visual prototyping.
The course is partitioned into three major parts:
1) Knowledge and application of basic visualization skills.
You will learn all the basic skills and tools it takes to generate simple visualizations, both physical as well as electronically (using the program “Concepts”).
2) Knowledge and application of visual tools and applications in business for building fast prototypes.
You will learn the underlying logic and background for using fast visualizations in business. This includes an understanding of the setting, the psychology of the audience the choice of visualization and specific visual tools for the business setting.
3) 3D printing
We will build a 3D printer from scratch in class and look into the basic tools and applications around 3D printing.
In detail, the course will cover the following main aspects: innovation and competitive advantage, linking business and innovation strategy, defining and implementing innovation strategies, innovation portfolio management, R&D investment decisions, assessing and measuring R&D productivity, open innovation strategies, strategic alliances, M&A, external technology commercialization strategies, globalizing innovation, management of international R&D locations, management of globally dispersed innovation teams and the management of basic research.
Family businesses are one of the most dominant forms of organization around the world (with roughly 70-90% of all firms being family-influenced). The aim of this course is to study how family firms differ from non-family firms. The focus will thereby be on issues related to leading or managing a family firm. The course we will focus on how to successfully lead family businesses in the 21st century. In particular, the course covers will cover the following topics:
• Introduction and brief overview of family businesses (Term definition, meaning, and characteristics of family businesses; differences between family businesses and non-family businesses, especially in relation to goals, long-term orientation, structure, and resources; theories to explain family firm behavior in general)
• Leadership in family firms (Leadership styles; family vs. non-family CEOs; employee motivation)
• Transgenerational entrepreneurship in family firms (innovation behavior of family firms; adaptation to disruptive changes; entrepreneurship across generations)
• Strategic management and governance (“organization” of the family; strategic orientation and risk)
Within this course, students will conduct a group project with a family business. Each group will choose one specific family firm (either from their own network or with the support of the chair) and analyze this company with regard to family firm strength and weaknesses, growth potential, leadership, transgenerational entrepreneurship, succession, and strategic management/governance. Individual coaching sessions with the professor will help students to achieve their learning goals. The course will conclude with the students' presentation of their project results.
Venture capital is an important financial intermediary for, and component of entrepreneurship, innovation and organizational change. By one estimate, over 1,200 VC firms around the world are evaluating more than 20,000 business plans on a given day. The media extensively glorifies venture capitalists, policy-makers increasingly look to venture capital as a source of jobs and economic growth and hardly a day goes without another celebrity in the entertainment industry making a foray into the world of venture capital.
Nonetheless, little is understood about the structure, governance, strategy, incentives, culture, capabilities and operational processes of venture capital organizations. These gaps in understanding yield significant missteps and frustration for those intersecting with venture capital and in fact so much that especially many entrepreneurs feel venture capital is the “dark side” and inherently evil.
By offering a window into the inside dynamics and the intricacies of venture capital, this course aims to bridge these gaps for students and prepare them as a potential entrepreneur, venture capitalist, institutional investor, management consultant or a policy-maker.
Up to three electives can be chosen from the pool of all MSc electives.
We make sure that you experience entrepreneurship from a start-up perspective, corporate perspective, and from the viewpoint of the market and investors. We have designed three special courses held in Berlin and Düsseldorf so that you can personally experience the entrepreneurial ecosystem of WHU.
- The Startup Perspective – Sprint2Berlin
- Corporate Perspective – Corporate Entrepreneurship
- Advanced Marketing and Finance for Entrepreneurs
Coding bootcamp at Le Wagon
WHU has established a partnership with Le Wagon, a leading coding school that provides creative people with the technical skills they need to succeed. As part of the Master in Entrepreneurship curriculum, WHU sponsors 10 selected students to attend Le Wagon's renowned nine-week bootcamp program. The bootcamp fits seamlessly into the Master in Entrepreneurship program, counting as the internship that runs from May after the first year of study. During the bootcamp, participants will be a part of the perfect developer set-up, learning about software engineering and database architecture, the technical workflow used in successful start-ups, and gaining experience in tools such as Ruby, Heroku, Stripe, Mandrill, and Algolia in order to deploy an app of their own creation.
Cooperation with Codecademy
While designing the Master in Entrepreneurship curriculum, we sought the advice of a wide range of entrepreneurs and managers to find out what the market is really looking for in terms of skills. Abilities in software development and coding came up repeatedly as necessary for the success of entrepreneurs now and in the future. Thus, we offer one elective specifically designed to teach these skills, but we also have established a special partnership with Codeacademy, the leading coding platform wordwide. You will therefore have the opportunity to take Codeacademy courses in addition to your normal WHU lectures, allowing you to learn the programming languages and IT skills that best suit your needs.
The MiE Program also includes an international component, such as the study abroad semester (120 credit track) or the capstone module (90 credit track). Our unique network of more than 200 partner universities across six continents creates the perfect educational ecosystem for broadening your perspectives and expanding your knowledge of business, economies, and cultures worldwide.
Having completed your first two semesters at WHU, you will gain valuable work experience through an internship in Germany or abroad. The Career Center supports you in finding an internship position via a broad range of activities such as individual career counseling, workshops, and company presentations.
As a Master in Entrepreneurship student, you also have the opportunity to work on your own business idea as part of the internship whilst being supervised by our faculty and corporates from the exclusive WHU network.
The master thesis concludes your studies, providing you the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you have gained throughout the course of the Master Program. While writing your thesis, you will be supervised by a WHU faculty member. You may also write your thesis in collaboration with a company.
At the end of the program, students will have the opportunity to present their ideas and business models to German and international investors at a Demo Day in Berlin.