Entrepreneurship & Innovation (E&I) Experiences are high-impact, hands-on projects related to entrepreneurship. Any undergraduate can do an E&I Experience in any course. For students in the Minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in addition to the 15 credit hours, you also need to complete 2 experiences. At least one experience must be in a course not counted toward the Minor.

Examples of E&I Experiences

  • Participate in Startup Weekend (run in the Fall and Spring of every year in The Gaynor Entrepreneurship Lab)
  • Explore an idea through the Discovery Program
  • Performing customer discovery around an idea and completing a business model canvas with at least 15 documented customer interviews
  • Developing a minimum viable product and/or product prototype
  • Doing a crowdfunding campaign
  • Building a cash flow model
  • Planning a social media campaign and then executing it. Documenting the results, lessons learned and whether the results met expectations.
  • Building a website to promote or launch a new business idea
  • Doing a competitive analysis
  • Performing an IP analysis
  • Launching an app on the App store

How do I sign up?

  • STEP 1: Draft up a proposed project for your experience

Pick or design a project that you would like to work on for the semester and answer the following:

      1. Description of Proposed Option Coursework (Subject matter purpose, methods)
      2. Rationale (Explain how project satisfies one of the entrepreneurial criteria)
      3. Work to be completed (Describe specifically the work product)
      4. Evaluation Criteria (Describe specifically what will meet expectations)
      5. Date by which the project is to be completed (Ideally the work should be completed during the semester, but cannot be any later than the start of the following semester).If you are participating in Startup Weekend, use this template:

Startup Weekend Template

  • STEP 2: Obtain verbal instructor approval

Since experiences are done as a project in a course in which the student is enrolled, students need to obtain instructor approval before submitting an application for the experience. The instructor should agree verbally (or by email) to the project plan above before the student registers the experience or begins the work.

    •  For example, if a student wants to do an E&I Experience in the Spring 2020 semester, they will need to secure the support of an instructor of one of the courses in which they are enrolled that semester. The final decision about whether to support the proposed E&I Experience, as well the final sign-off when the project is completed, rests entirely with the instructor.
  • STEP 3: Complete online form.
    • Log into the Registrar’s website at https://reg.msu.edu/.
    • Click on Student Resources // Forms // Student-Instructor Forms.
    • On that screen look for the form called “Application for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Experiences Option.
      • The form asks the 5 questions from step 1.

Once you complete the online form, it will be automatically routed to the course instructor for approval.
Note: You can check the progress of your form online.

  • STEP 4: Make it happen!

Do the work to complete the experience. Reflect on your learning. Then complete the evaluation criteria (#4 in Step 1) by the due date specified in (#5 of Step 1). After your instructor submits final grades for the course, they will then be prompted to fill out an Administrative Action Form for your project. At the end of the semester you will want to follow up with them to ensure they completed this.


Important considerations

  • Students cannot do the same two experiences twice. In other words, students cannot participate in Startup Weekend two times. The experiences must be unique.
  • Similarly, students cannot do both Experiences with the same instructor unless they get approval.
  • Students cannot do both Experiences in the same course. They must be done in two different courses.


Students who complete an E&I Experience in a course will have the following appear on their permanent transcript next to the course name:  ENTREP & INNOVATION OPTION. You can see how this will appear on the sample transcript.

Still need guidance?

You can make an appointment with Desireé Melfi Bozzo to talk through the process.