635.792.8VL - Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Corporate Success

Information Systems Engineering
Fall 2023


In many companies and government/military organizations, engineers are expected to be both innovators and creative managers. Organizations that desire to grow and to create value for their stakeholders depend on using all available capital resources: financial, human, intellectual and physical. They then seek to defend and control the value created. This course explores the engineer’s roles in innovation, invention, and value creation as a driving force in entrepreneurial technology ventures, established companies and governmental/military organizations, and the ways in which these organizations must plan to take full advantage of innovation as the only true competitive weapon in the battle for long-term success. Particular attention will be paid to collaboration and communication as key skills of the engineer/innovator/manager.

Expanded Course Description

Organizations that seek grow and to create value for their stakeholders must do so using available capital resources: financial capital, human capital, intellectual capital and physical capital. They should intelligently manage these resources to gain leverage and maximize value realized. They then seek to defend and control the value created. Why, then, do most organizations treat innovation (and innovators) in ways similar to the human body's immune system (i.e., by identifying the innovators, isolating them, "killing" them, and ejecting them from the organization)? This course will explore innovation, invention, and value creation as a driving force in technology ventures and the ways in which managers should plan to take full advantage of innovation as the only true competitive weapon for long-term success.


Profile photo of Lawrence Husick.

Lawrence Husick


Course Structure

The course is divided into weekly modules. A typical module will have several activities and requirements including readings, discussions, and/or assignments. Most modules run for a period of seven (7) days. You should regularly check the Calendar and Announcements for assignment due dates.

Course Topics


(Revised 14-AUG-22)

Course Goals

This course will explore innovation, invention, and value creation as a driving force in technology ventures and the ways in which managers should plan to take full advantage of innovation as the only true competitive weapon for long-term success. Using personal-interest projects, various phases of the innovation lifecycle will be explored and practiced.

Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs)


Stephenson, Neal, Snowcrash (Buy it now and read it now.)

Rosen, William, The Most Powerful Idea in the World

Christensen, Clayton, The Innovator’s Dilemma

Berkun, Scott, The Myths of Innovation

Other Materials & Online Resources

Will be listed on Canvas.

Required Software


Student Coursework Requirements

Reading and Participation.  The course will be conducted as an interactive seminar, both in 90 minute live-online lecture-discussions and in Canvas discussions around supplemental readings, videos, etc.  Students must prepare for class by reading extensively before each session. Active participation is required and graded.  Please be sure that you have a webcam and microphone, and that your system works fully with Zoom. it is expected that your microphone and webcam will remain on throughout each class session. Participation in all forms is 40% of the final grade.

Paper.  You will write a paper on the subject of innovation.  The specific topic will be agreed to between us. Your paper is 30% of the final grade.

Capstone Project.  You will be required to present a (12 minute) pitch and discussion about a proposed innovation (either actual or hypothetical). The presentation must be accompanied by a PowerPoint®-style presentation, and preceded by submission of two interim milestones during the term as follows below. A full outline of the required presentation will be distributed.  The purpose of this project is to integrate elements of the readings, discussions and lectures into a real-world format that focuses on presentation of innovations in ways that champion their adoption and implementation within organizations.  The entire Capstone Project is 30% of the final grade.

Milestone One: Write a description of the current process of innovation, discovery, review, approval and implementation at your selected organization. (2 pages maximum) 
Milestone Two: Write a description of an innovation to be proposed to your selected organization (3 pages maximum).  
Milestone Three: 12-slide PowerPoint®-style presentation
Capstone:  Student Presentations (with guest judges present)

Grading Policy

Any written assignment may be submitted prior to the due date. Provided that the submission is at least 48 hours before the due date, I will review the submission and provide written comments, but no grade. I will only grade a submission once the due date has passed, unless you mark your submission “FINAL ANSWER”.

Course Evaluation

All assignments are due according to the dates in the Syllabus. Late submissions will be reduced by one letter grade.

If, after submitting a written assignment you are not satisfied with the grade received, you are encouraged to redo the assignment and resubmit it. If the resubmission results in a better grade, the final grade will the average of the new grade and the previous grade.

A final grade of “A” indicates achievement of consistent excellence and distinction throughout the course—that is, conspicuous excellence in all aspects of assignments and discussion in every week.

A final grade of “B” indicates work that meets all course requirements on a level appropriate for graduate academic work.

EP uses a +/- grading system.

Course Policies


Class sessions will be considered to be confidential in order to encourage disclosure of professional and personal information, as well as information about innovations that may be unpatented. If your employer restricts disclosures in any way, please inform the instructor to discuss the implications of this restriction.

Academic Policies

Deadlines for Adding, Dropping and Withdrawing from Courses

Students may add a course up to one week after the start of the term for that particular course. Students may drop courses according to the drop deadlines outlined in the EP academic calendar (https://ep.jhu.edu/student-services/academic-calendar/). Between the 6th week of the class and prior to the final withdrawal deadline, a student may withdraw from a course with a W on their academic record. A record of the course will remain on the academic record with a W appearing in the grade column to indicate that the student registered and withdrew from the course.

Academic Misconduct Policy

All students are required to read, know, and comply with the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) / Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) Procedures for Handling Allegations of Misconduct by Full-Time and Part-Time Graduate Students.

This policy prohibits academic misconduct, including but not limited to the following: cheating or facilitating cheating; plagiarism; reuse of assignments; unauthorized collaboration; alteration of graded assignments; and unfair competition. Course materials (old assignments, texts, or examinations, etc.) should not be shared unless authorized by the course instructor. Any questions related to this policy should be directed to EP’s academic integrity officer at ep-academic-integrity@jhu.edu.

Students with Disabilities - Accommodations and Accessibility

Johns Hopkins University values diversity and inclusion. We are committed to providing welcoming, equitable, and accessible educational experiences for all students. Students with disabilities (including those with psychological conditions, medical conditions and temporary disabilities) can request accommodations for this course by providing an Accommodation Letter issued by Student Disability Services (SDS). Please request accommodations for this course as early as possible to provide time for effective communication and arrangements.

For further information or to start the process of requesting accommodations, please contact Student Disability Services at Engineering for Professionals, ep-disability-svcs@jhu.edu.

Student Conduct Code

The fundamental purpose of the JHU regulation of student conduct is to promote and to protect the health, safety, welfare, property, and rights of all members of the University community as well as to promote the orderly operation of the University and to safeguard its property and facilities. As members of the University community, students accept certain responsibilities which support the educational mission and create an environment in which all students are afforded the same opportunity to succeed academically. 

For a full description of the code please visit the following website: https://studentaffairs.jhu.edu/policies-guidelines/student-code/

Classroom Climate

JHU is committed to creating a classroom environment that values the diversity of experiences and perspectives that all students bring. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Fostering an inclusive climate is important. Research and experience show that students who interact with peers who are different from themselves learn new things and experience tangible educational outcomes. At no time in this learning process should someone be singled out or treated unequally on the basis of any seen or unseen part of their identity. 
If you have concerns in this course about harassment, discrimination, or any unequal treatment, or if you seek accommodations or resources, please reach out to the course instructor directly. Reporting will never impact your course grade. You may also share concerns with your program chair, the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, or the Office of Institutional Equity. In handling reports, people will protect your privacy as much as possible, but faculty and staff are required to officially report information for some cases (e.g. sexual harassment).

Course Auditing

When a student enrolls in an EP course with “audit” status, the student must reach an understanding with the instructor as to what is required to earn the “audit.” If the student does not meet those expectations, the instructor must notify the EP Registration Team [EP-Registration@exchange.johnshopkins.edu] in order for the student to be retroactively dropped or withdrawn from the course (depending on when the "audit" was requested and in accordance with EP registration deadlines). All lecture content will remain accessible to auditing students, but access to all other course material is left to the discretion of the instructor.