Spring 2018 | Engineering 140A

E140A – Leadership of Technology Ventures

Key Course Information

Course Objectives
To learn leadership and management skills for the successful growth of emerging technology companies by creating a fast-paced and effective learning environment. To complete the initial phase of the Mayfield Fellows Program and prepare for the upcoming summer work assignment.
Limited to Mayfield Fellows selected for the current year. Others should visit the STVP site for other courses on entrepreneurship.
For a consolidated list of required and recommended readings, see the Course Materials section below.  
4 units

Course Description

Leadership of Technology Ventures is focused on developing an understanding of the issues and techniques for growing emerging technology companies. This distinguishes the course from those which focus on business plan writing and the actual formation of a venture. The course takes participants through a range of issues faced by management in building a new enterprise. These include product and market strategy, venture financing and cash flow management, culture and team building, innovation and creativity, real-time decision making, and the overall challenges of managing growth and handling adversity.

The intellectual basis for E140A is grounded in the “V-I-E” framework from Collins and Lazier’s Managing the Small to Mid-Sized Company textbook, which is contained in the course reader and based on the best seller “Built to Last” by Jim Collins. Various sessions focus on key strategic decisions described by Collins and Lazier as product, market, cash flow management, and organizational development. “Entrepreneurial Leadership” cases provide special opportunities to integrate the material. Additional models and analysis tools are introduced throughout the quarter to highlight particular aspects of technology entrepreneurship. For example, the course includes Steve Blank’s lean startup methods and Geoff Moore’s “Crossing The Chasm” model.

The course sessions are presented in a sequence somewhat consistent with the key strategic decision areas outlined in Collins and Lazier. After an initial overview of entrepreneurship, the course examines product and market strategies, finance and cash flow management, and issues related to organization design and entrepreneurial leadership.


There are no prerequisites. A working knowledge of accounting is helpful — typically gained by taking MS&E140 or Econ 90 beforehand (or simultaneously). In addition, knowledge of organizational behavior (e.g., MS&E180) could prove useful. Students from E145 and MS&E472 (or similar courses) will have the benefit of previous instruction in entrepreneurship.


All students requesting admission to E140A must be previously selected Mayfield Fellows. Please see the MFP site for more information. Sorry, no auditors can be accommodated in E140A.