Entreneurship is not just about start-ups. It is a problem-solving frame of mind that requires technical expertise, a business sense, an ability to anticipate the future, and an appreciation of social context. For additional perspectives, you may wish to check out what Ben Franklin and the Harvard Business School have to say! By the way, can entrepreneurship be taught?

Anyway, if you are interested in entrepreneurship, then the CS MEng program is a great place to be.

Campus Organizations

The Ithaca campus offers many opportunities to learn about entrepreneurship and to establish contacts:

Hang out, go to talks, and make contacts by (tactfully) bragging about your CS talents!


The CS M.Eng is flexible enough for you to take one or two courses in subjects that support the entrepreneurial mindset, e.g.,

  • NBA 5070: Entrepreneurship for Scientists and Engineers
  • NBA 5640: Entrepreneurship and Business Ownership
  • NBA 6010: Electronic Commerce
  • STS 6241: Science, Technology, and International Security
  • STS 6261: Seminar in the History of Technology
  • STS 6321: Inside Technology
  • STS 6661: Public Engagement in Science

Browse Courses of Study for other possibilities and the Course and Time Roster for what is offered during the upcoming semester.


There is also a growing culture of entrepreneurship in the Ithaca area. Visit the Rev: Ithaca Start up Works


Have an idea for a start-up? Consider these questions from YCombinator.com:

  1. What is your company going to make?
  2. Please tell us in one or two sentences about the most impressive thing other than this startup that each founder has built or achieved.
  3. Please tell us about the time you, (applicant-name-here), most successfully hacked some (non-computer) system to your advantage.
  4. Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people will be interested in what you're making?
  5. What's new about what you're making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn't exist yet (or they don't know about it)?
  6. Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?
  7. What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don't get?
  8. How do or will you make money? How much could you make? (We realize you can't know precisely, but give your best estimate.)
  9. How will you get users? If your idea is the type that faces a chicken-and-egg problem in the sense that it won't be attractive to users till it has a lot of users (e.g. a marketplace, a dating site, an ad network), how will you overcome that
  10. If you had any other ideas you considered applying with, please list them. One may be something we've been waiting for. Often when we fund people it's to do something they list here and not in the main application.
  11. Please tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered. (The answer need not be related to your project.)