Business & Entrepreneurship

From Market Research to Launch Plan

Program Highlights

Understand how operations, marketing, sales, and finance come together to drive businesses
Learn how to read financial statements in order to decipher a company’s performance
Develop a sales and marketing plan and pitch your venture to investors and mentors
Hear the tales of survival of a startup business from an entrepreneurial founder
students on university campus




Session 1:
June 16, 2024 June 28, 2024

Session 3:
June 30, 2024 July 12, 2024

Session 5:
July 14, 2024 July 26, 2024


Berkeley, CA


  • I came in knowing next to nothing about business and now I feel that I have flourished in business. This program is very beneficial and I feel that I am ready for college.

    Nathaniel C.

  • Business could be a very real career choice for me! I enjoyed the class, and I think my group’s business model has a lot of potential.

    Burke P.

Course Overview

Students will learn firsthand from business veterans about starting and running a business. Over the course of the program, they will develop a plan for a new venture and pitch their idea to real world investors. Along the way, meet with leaders from different areas of business and finance.

Excursions – Students in this program have visited the Salesforce Tower, Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, and Bay Area start up businesses such as trustlab, an online safety and compliance solution, and Circuit Launch, a shared electronic and prototype lab for startups. In past years, students have visited Facebook, the Better Business Bureau, The Cheese Board Collective and other businesses.

Meet your instructor

Session 1Mike Mitchel

Mike holds his Masters from UC Berkeley's Rausser College of Natural Resources in Development Practice and his BS in Marketing, Environmental Policy & Management from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the CEO of Pezzy Pets where he is building a supply chain of small-scale fishermen across Mexico and the US to turn overly abundant, invasive fish species into single and limited ingredient pet treats. Mike previously worked for the UN in Mexico as well as rural development projects in Central America.

Session 3Oren

Oren is the CEO, Literally Media, the largest online publisher of humor and entertainment content, has spent over 20 years building and scaling content and operations for prominent brands. He joined Literally Media from Condé Nast, where as President of their entertainment division, he oversaw the film, TV, and video business for all Condé Nast brands, including Wired, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and The New Yorker. He led CNE's growth in viewership to more than 1 billion video views a month and over 40 million YouTube subscribers. He also led the launch of GQ Sports -- a GQ spinoff dedicated to the world of athletes -- and the first ever 24/7 linear TV channel for Bon Appetit. Oren previously served as Head of Programming at Tastemade, a food and travel network for the mobile generation. At Tastemade, he oversaw editorial strategy, content development, creation, and distribution; and worked with Tastemade’s brand partners to align them with premium, custom content solutions. Prior to Tastemade, Oren was Head of Audience and Marketing at ZEFR where he was responsible for growing ZEFR’s global audience and leading strategic planning and marketing programs. In previous positions, Oren was Senior Vice President and General Manager at Demand Media Entertainment and Senior Director of Business Development for the Yahoo Media Group, where his primary focus was negotiating all business deals for Yahoo News and Yahoo Finance. There, he managed over 50 key partnerships, including The Associated Press, Reuters, ABCNews, FOX, CBS, USAToday, The Weather Channel, CNN, and Huffington Post. Oren holds his JD in Law from UC Berkeley College of Law and his BS in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.

Session 5Gert Christen

Gert is a digital shaper and innovation thought leader renowned for creating business incubators and innovation programs. Currently, he serves as a lecturer in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at UC Berkeley and selected Swiss universities. He earned his MBA from SMU Cox Business School in Dallas, TX, followed by post-graduate courses at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the Zurich University of Teacher Education. Gert holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from HWZ University in Zurich. As the founder of USA Launching Pad, he helps foreign companies accelerate and de-risk their US expansion while generating leads and building sales. He has advised on innovation programs and new business building to Fortune 500 corporations, regional governments, and academic institutions. He co-founded the SuperPublic smart city innovation center initiated between the City of San Francisco and UC Berkeley. With extensive international business leadership experience, Gert has also held roles such as CEO of Bluelion Incubator, a high-tech startup incubator jointly founded by the City of Zurich, ETH University and corporate partners; Vice President of Sales for Purple Labs SA in France; and Director at Nokia, where he led the team that created the world’s first app store.

Topics you'll explore

Hands-On Learning

Students will examine best practices in Research and Development (R&D), Operations, Marketing, and Finance. Understand the mechanics of scaling a business while maintaining quality.

Students become part of a new company and configure themselves into teams working on various aspects of a business. The program culminates in a Shark Tank-style friendly competition with professional investors.

SSB business students presenting their shark tank proposal

Career Exploration

Meet with a range of business people, from small business owners, mid-level managers and execs from Goldman Sachs, McKinsey consultant, and CEOs.

From creative marketers to hard-nosed financial analysts, there are myriad careers you may not have heard of. Together we will discuss the career options and the academic paths to get there. In the past, a few student teams were given the opportunity to apply for future internships.

SSB business students at BBB

Get started today

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