Entrepreneurship and business design, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Sign up for informationThe master's programme Entrepreneurship and business design is also known as Chalmers school of entrepreneurship. This is an environment where entrepreneurship is experienced and not only taught in classrooms. Here you will work with real venture projects during the education and apply your knowledge, creativity, and entrepreneurial ability in real settings. We combine an internationally acknowledged academic education and research with real value-creation in an entrepreneurial environment.

Entrepreneurship and business design​ master's programme at Chalmers​​

The master's programme Entrepreneurship and business design has an action-based learning process with strong elements of academic reflection-in-action. To facilitate such an intense learning experience the school has championed a pedagogy that allows students to work with simulated business scenarios as well as real technology innovation and business projects. Chalmers school of entrepreneurship was founded in 1997 and is an integrated part of Chalmers' strategy for being an entrepreneurial university that takes responsibility for sustainable development through innovation and entrepreneurship.​

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Through real-life innovation management, venture creation, and action-based pedagogy, where innovation and entrepreneurship are experienced and not only taught in classrooms, you as a student will be put in the driver's seat. You will not merely learn a topic or prepare for a career, but learn by acting, creating, and reflecting. At Chalmers, you will be given the opportunity to assess innovative ideas, start companies, drive social entrepreneurship projects or work on entrepreneurial projects within and between large organizations.

In this internationally renowned master's programme you will be able to test and develop your entrepreneurial skills and by working close to classmates, teachers, and other professionals, learn not only about innovation and entrepreneurship but also about yourself by exploring your part in the bigger picture.

Through understanding complexity and finding needs, problems, and solutions, you will become a key player in the realization and commercialization of ideas, technologies, and innovations. You will be bridging the gap between research and business management, making sure both are utilized in the best possible way while creating new value.

One of the goals of the programme is to co-create technology ventures. The creation of new ventures is done together with idea partners. Over the past 20 years, more than 80 ventures have been co-founded by our students within the programme – in renewable energy, medical devices, medical treatments, and new materials, just to name a few areas. More than 70% of these startups are still running. Students also engage in social entrepreneurship projects, work entrepreneurially within established organizations and help identify and package intellectual assets into more tangible innovation. 

Action-based educational methods

The program is built around an action-based pedagogy, through which you learn to manage the complexity of technology-based business in both simulated business scenarios and the development of real innovation projects.

The action-based pedagogy, involving team-based processes at a high pace as well as independent decision making, ensures that you will be ready to hit the ground running after graduation, regardless of which career you pursue.

Three study tracks to realize innovations​

During the second year of your education you will operate within your chosen track (see more below). You can be given the opportunity to try your own ability as a venture creator (TECH – Technology Venture Creation track), work with innovation management and business creation based on intellectual assets and property (ICM – Intellectual Capital Management track), or work with innovative and entrepreneurial projects within partner companies (CORP – Corporate Entrepreneurship Track). By contributing to the entrepreneurial capacity of the Chalmers and Gothenburg Innovation ecosystem you will play an active role in Chalmers’ ambition in the utilization of innovations, one of the university’s main goals, besides receiving a Master of Science degree.

Please note that it is not possible to apply for the ICM track 2022 

The reason for the pause in the specific track is due to changes in key personnel. There will still be courses and components from this track included as part of the programme in both of the other tracks.

Video - Watch a clip about the programme
Video - Watch clips about the three tracks

Topics covered

The subjects of entrepreneurship, projects, and product development are fundamental areas in the Entrepreneurship and business design master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as intellectual property, law, and technology-based startups.

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree​. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of compulsory courses, compulsory elective courses and elective courses.

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with three compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Entrepreneurship and business design. Each course is usually 7.5 credits.

  • Intellectual property strategies
  • Design of technological innovations and markets
  • Technology-based entrepreneurship​

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice.

  • Master's thesis, 30 credits​​
  • Master’s thesis and innovation project, 60 credits

Compulsory elective courses

Through compulsory elective courses or elective courses, you can then specialize in intellectual capital management, corporate entrepreneurship or technology venture creation. ​​

  • Patents and innovation engineering
  • Brand management
  • Applied intellectual capital management (ICM)
  • Advanced ICM theory​
Elective courses

You will also be able to select courses outside of your programme plan. These are called elective courses. You can choose from a wide range of elective courses, including the following:

  • ​Idea evaluation

Programme plan, syllabus, course description and learning outcomes​

First semester – Business Creation Lab
The introduction semester, also known as the Business Creation Lab, contains the same mandatory courses for all tracks. Together, the three courses build a common ground for all students to develop from when they later focus on their respective profile tracks. The subject areas presented in the courses are foundationally relevant for building and developing a technology-based business. Aspects that are covered are e.g. Intellectual Property Strategies, Innovation Strategies, and general concepts and frameworks around entrepreneurship.

In order to tie the three courses together, the students work with the same technology-based business case throughout the semester. The case simulates the start of a new venture, and the majority of course assignments are applied through the case, which is based upon a real-life patented technology. As the courses progress, the simulated venture follows along. For E.g. students analyze the patent situation and formulate strategies, connecting to the technical components from a value perspective, in order to decide where to focus the R&D, and then ultimately pitch the venture and negotiate investments.

The simulation of creating a venture offers experiences that are relevant for all profile tracks. It trains students in working in multidisciplinary teams, it trains students in navigating through uncertainty, it trains students in the importance of working iteratively, and it serves as a good way to illustrate how management, economics, law and technology are intertwined when it comes to building technology-based business.

Teaching takes place as traditional lectures where subjects and tools are introduced and then combined with exercises and teamwork assignments where students get to demonstrate their understanding of the subject. Examinations are in the form of written exams and case deliverables, as well as reflective home exams.

The second semester​

Corporate Entrepreneurship (CORP) Track

The second semester offers several recommended electives for the CORP track and one that is mandatory (Idea Evaluation).  Within the programme, courses in organizing for innovation and organizational behavior are strongly recommended for the CORP students. However, you are also free to choose other courses in engineering and management in order to create your own profile within the education. During the second semester, you will also have a partnership evaluation and team formation process linked to the mandatory course Idea Evaluation.

The second and final year is devoted to the corporate project in combination with writing a one-year master’s thesis (60 credits) linked to a corporate partnership. You will spend a lot of time at the partner companies and work in teams of two, but there are also lectures, workshops, and peer-learning sessions scheduled at Chalmers. Together with the management at the partner company, you will work hands-on with real and innovative projects in established organizations. Within your project, you will be able to develop and reflect on entrepreneurial behavior and skills and package it into a master’s thesis. The challenges and partner companies vary from year to year. But the projects are of the kind that the companies find hard to drive themselves, and they are always of a strategically important character exploring new innovative opportunities.
Intellectual Capital Management (ICM) Track
Please note that it is not possible to apply for the ICM track during 2022
The reason for the pause in the specific track is due to changes in key personnel. There will still be courses and components from this track included as part of the programme in both of the other tracks.​

The second semester for the ICM track consists of mandatory courses and elective courses. The mandatory courses Patents and Innovation Engineering and Brand Management create an understanding of the critical role intellectual assets and intangible objects play for innovation management and technology-based business creation. The elective courses Management of Open Innovation and Network-based Markets and Knowledge-based Business Development and Management further train your capabilities of building sustainable business and innovation projects through an interplay between theory and practice using scientific literature, business cases, and action-based pedagogy modules. The two latter courses are also open to the other tracks, and in some cases also to other programs, which means that they can be studied separately.

During the second year, ICM students synthesize and apply their skills and knowledge from the first year in different ways. In the Applied ICM course, you will work in teams with real innovation projects across multiple contexts including industry-based, research-based, venture-based, and challenge-based projects. This work is done in collaboration with partners from industry, research centers, science parks & incubators, and the healthcare system. In parallel, there’s a theory course in Advanced Intellectual Capital Management in order to prepare for the Master’s thesis. During the last semester, you will write your master´s thesis - usually in pairs. In many cases, the master´s thesis work is combined with relevant internships in industry, science parks & incubators, healthcare systems, etc.

Technology Venture Creation (TECH) Track

The second semester offers several recommended electives for the TECH track and one mandatory (Idea Evaluation).  Within the program courses in patent innovation engineering, creating a new business, brand management, and organizational behavior are recommended for the TECH students. However, you can choose other courses in engineering and management in order to create your own profile within the education. The elective courses will offer you opportunities to either choose from courses within the programme or choose courses more based on your engineering background in order to have a combined edge within technology and entrepreneurship. E.g. if your background is from Biotechnology it could be interesting to look into what courses are offered by the Department of Biotechnology. As an elective course, we also offer a highly interactive course focusing on organizational behavior that serves as good preparation for managing the team during the project year.

Within the TECH track, the entire second year is devoted to a venture project and the Master’s thesis. During the second semester, you will have a venture evaluation and venture formation process linked to the mandatory course Idea Evaluation. Teams of two or three are formed together with an idea partner. Ideas are sourced by Chalmers Ventures from university and industry research, as well as from large firms, start-ups, and private individuals. The common trait is that the ideas should have technology or bioscience components and have commercial potential. Combining the master’s thesis with actual venture creation means that the thesis in large builds upon the venture experience.


The abilities you will gain in this programme, for example being able to embrace uncertainty, understand complex issues, and drive change are highly appreciated competencies in the industry. Many of our students continue as start-up managers for firms they have co-founded. Most of them work as entrepreneurial leaders and managers in larger corporations, often taking on more innovative projects and developments. The creative and independent problem-solving ability you will gain in this programme will also make you an attractive employee for business consultancy firms. 

Research within Entrepreneurship and business design​

To develop innovations towards commercialization, the programme has a strong connection to most research that is conducted at Chalmers and to its extensive industry network and expertise. The TECH-track has a special role in being a venture creation hub for these areas, taking care of those innovations that are not naturally developed further by collaboration partners of Chalmers. 

The ICM-track offers mapping and analysis of intellectual assets within innovative research areas. The COR- track helps companies pursue and learn from more disruptive innovation projects.

The faculty is engaged in research e.g. innovation and entrepreneurship, team-based entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial behaviour, social entrepreneurship, organizational behaviour, organizational renewal, intellectual property business development, and action-based education.

In addition, a valuable network of support is provided to our students through the faculty and the school’s close collaboration with the Gothenburg Innovation system and experienced entrepreneurs. Because of the strong relationship between education and industry, many students qualify for internships with associated companies across the globe.

Department of Technology Management and Economics​​​​​​​​​

Sustainable development

Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship (and its master's programme Entrepreneurship and Business Design) unites education and research through entrepreneurship in order to generate value for society by developing novel and innovative ideas.  Students develop entrepreneurial competencies which can be applied in their future careers, building on principles of sustainability not only in terms of resource allocation and utilization but also in sustainable practice in terms of organization and impact.  

The programme is action-based, with students working in cross-disciplinary teams together with university associated stakeholders on a spectrum of innovation projects. Projects are evaluated for their connection to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the sustainable impact of project work is intertwined with learning objectives across the curriculum of the programme.  Thus, the programme is highly interlinked with the achievement of the UN Sustainable development goals (SDGs). The table below provides an overview of the sustainable development goals and the associated targets within the programme.
SDGs for Entrepreneurship and Business Design

Goal 4: Quality education
The programme is an international master's programme, open to students with a variety of educational backgrounds, including engineering, business, law and natural sciences. Students are continually embedded in cross-disciplinary teams, applying programme content to real-world issues.  Students develop solutions-oriented reasoning, learn how to manage uncertainty and address wicked problems, taking into account both their own perspectives – building self-efficacy – and the perspectives of others – building social and reflective awareness.

Goal 5: Gender equality
Working with real-world, innovative projects requires market and user interaction.  The full spectrum of society is reflected in this space and students are trained to gain an understanding of the value of pluralistic perspectives. The programme strives to ensure representative examples throughout the education, in terms of faculty, cases, guest speakers, objects, etc. and to continually address questions from multiple points of view, so as to take into account male, female and neutral voices in order to break down various stereotypes found in the area of entrepreneurship and technology.  

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
The programme investigates early-stage, technology-driven entrepreneurship that has the potential to be transformed in order to create and generate value for others.  The competencies gained by students through the programme are applied in careers where students are leading innovation development, either in existing public or private organizations or through newly created ventures. The programme includes foundations for responsible and sustainable balance employing ethical and trust-based work practice.

Alternative Selection Process

Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship has a tradition of being an environment where talented individuals come together to actively engage in forming a better future. Our students are committed to identifying new innovations, creating new and improving existing companies, and developing and improving products and services.

In order to create this environment, we have designed an admissions process where we do not only evaluate formal academic merits but also seek potential in the individual. Additionally, we aim to understand how individuals may complement each other in order to have a good mix of students for the class as a whole. Since we focus on team-based entrepreneurship we seek a student body consisting of different educational backgrounds, different personalities, and different life experiences. Our experience is that students who are willing to learn collaboratively and work hard together can accomplish great things.

Please note - When applying through universityadmissions.se or antagning.se your application is made to the Chalmers master's programme Entrepreneurship and business design.

NBStep 1 and 2 of the alternative selection process share the same deadline.
This programme will not accept any late applications.
Make sure to prepare well in advance for the alternative selection process by reading the information below.

In the steps 2 and 3 the programme will communicate with the applicant via e-mail. The e-mail address will be the one stated by the applicant in step 1 (the formal application) at universityadmissions.se or antagning.se.

Step 1: Eligibility (formal application process)

Non-Chalmers students: www.universityadmissions.se
Must be submitted no later than January 17, 2022

Chalmers students: www.antagning.se
Must be submitted no later than April 19, 2022

Step 2: Suitability, Complete the form with your choice of track, written reflections and resumé (extended application process)

The link to the form will be open until 19 April 2022 only.
It is not possible to submit this mandatory part of the extended application process later.

When submitting your application at antagning.se/universityadmissions.se (Step 1) you will receive a message at your personal account with a link to Step 2 in the admissions process, the form that includes a choice of track, a request for a written reflections and a resumé. Complete the task in accordance with the instructions.

Data requested in the form is your Choice of Tracks

The Programme contains 3 different profile tracks
INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL MANAGEMENT (ICM) (Please note that it is not possible to apply for the ICM track 2022)
You are asked to prioritize the tracks in 1, 2 or 3 hand choice.

Data requested in the form is your Written Reflections

Each reflection has a minimum (500) and maximum (650) words. You need to devote time and effort into preparing your reflection, ensuring that you provide significant and relevant information while also being coherent and to the point. ​The submitted reflections should be written in English.​
Make sure your text is clear and easy to understand. Proofread for any spelling and grammatical errors, or other mistakes. In the assessment, applicants are anonymous for the reviewer so please don’t include information revealing your identity (such as name, age, and gender).
1. Purpose Reflection – Please describe your motivation for applying for this education as well as motivating why you are a good candidate for the programme (what specific contribution will you bring to the programme, your peers, and the environment). Include discussion of how you see yourself and significant events or experiences, in particular team experiences, which have shaped your perspective, as relevant to the education.
2. Vision Reflections – Please present your future vision: how you intend to use the knowledge gained from the education and how you can make an impact (to others, to society). Include discussion of key individuals who inspire you, how you aim to emulate them, and what kind of person you want to be.

Résumé – Please note: not a complete CV
A short list of your most relevant working experiences, extracurricular activities and commissions of trust (if applicable). Maximum 5 items within each category. Include start and end period for each post.

Step 3: Closing the deal with an interview (extended application process)

Based on the written personal statements a selected number of candidates will proceed to an interview with members of the Chalmers School of Entrepreneurship's admissions committee. (The admissions committee will allocate an interview time slot to the applicant.)

After the interviews, the admissions committee will make their final decision which applicants they would like to recommend for admission to the programme.

The interview will take place via digital platforms at the stated dates below.
The interview ​is held in English.

Non-Chalmers students: February 22-24, 2022
All interviews will take place via digital platforms.

Chalmers students: May 2-4, 2022
All interviews will take place via digital platforms.


Questions concerning the admissions process

Questions relating to the general and specific entry requirements for Master's programmes at Chalmers should be directed to admissions@chalmers.se

Questions about the alternative selection process specific for Entrepreneurship and Business Design should be directed to Karen Williams Middleton.​​

​​Student interview

“I am given a safe space to fail”
Stella, Indonesia, Entrepreneurship and business design​

Why did you choose this programme?
– I felt stuck at my job, reaching the maximum, not growing anymore and I was uncomfortable with that status quo. At that time, my friend and I had just started this small ‘start-up’ in e-consulting, and we got a small grant and regular mentoring from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Sandbox Innovation Fund Programme. I knew that I always wanted to go for a business and entrepreneurship education since my goal is to be an entrepreneur running my own business. But I was also looking for an education where I get to practice a lot and not only learn the theories. I found that at Chalmers and haven’t looked back since.

What have you been working on?
– We recently had this roleplay course where my team and I acted as the CEO of a small start-up in charge of business development, strategy, and operations. It is interesting because of the high uncertainty nature and the dynamic we experience. Within the time constraints, we must deal with so many issues from managing our employers, prioritizing technology projects, solving urgent cash-flow problems, planning for investment, dealing with another company that sues us, and working on legal stuff. I know that’s exactly what can happen in real life when you run a business, so this is definitely a good experience. 

What do you like the most about your programme?
– I can tailor it based on my own needs, not one single formula fits all students. They really care about my personal growth, what I want to achieve, and help me to get there. I also like that I am given a safe space to fail—and of course to pick myself back up again, which is an essential part of real life. The fact that the students come from different backgrounds—from engineering, business, finance, and law—is also the best because I get to learn so many aspects of the business I never thought of before. I think this will be my competitive advantage when I graduate. I will have unique skill sets since I understand the three aspects combined: technology, business, and law.

What do you want to do in the future?
– Having and running my own businesses of course! 

​​Student Blogs

Page manager Published: Mon 04 Jul 2022.