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Food Entrepreneurship Concentration

Concentration Coordinator
Dr. Gregory A. Baker
Professor, Management & Entrepreneurship
Executive Director, Center for Food Innovation & Entrepreneurship (CFIE)
Contact information:, 408-554-5172
Department sponsoring concentration: CFIE/Management & Entrepreneurship

General Description of the Concentration

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives for the Food Entrepreneurship concentration are: Explain the unique characteristics of the food and agricultural industries Demonstrate an understanding of the basic food industry segments and value chains, Identify how socio-economic trends and technological progress provide emerging food industry opportunities Survey the institutions, policies, laws, and regulations that are relevant to the operation of food and agribusiness firms Explain food branding strategies and the foundational principles of new product development as applied to food products Demonstrate an understanding of the techniques and practices used by successful food industry innovators and entrepreneurs to discover and develop new opportunities Apply innovation strategies to the analysis of firms and segments in the food industry.


Three, four-unit courses are required to complete the curriculum. Currently, only the three numbered courses, below, are offered in the MBA program, and, ideally, all students completing the concentration in Food Entrepreneurship will complete all three to ensure that they have a broad perspective of the industry. Almost all students are in the program for at least two years and most students take longer. Each of the three courses has been offered at least once every two years, so students will have the opportunity to take all three courses during their time in the MBA program. We plan to add a fourth independent study course once the concentration is approved and, later, a fifth course, tentatively entitled Food Entrepreneurship. Five courses would give students a reasonable number of choices within the food industry course offerings. All courses will be offered at least every other year, except for the independent study course, which would be available every quarter.


Course Number Course Name Units
MGMT 3540 Food Industry Management 4
MGMT 3541 Strategy Development in Food & Beverage Industries 4
MGMT 3543 Food Industry Innovation 4

MGMT 3540, Food Industry Management

Course Description: Focuses on the key issues and management decisions necessary to effectively lead food and agribusiness firms in the competitive, global food system. Includes topics on the principal regulations and regulatory bodies governing the food industry, good safety, and crisis management, ethical issues in food production and distribution, and resources and environmental issues. Prerequisite: MGMT 2505 or MGMT 3505.

MGMT 3541, Strategy Development in Food and Beverage Industries

Course Description: Focuses on analysis of the strategic options facing food and agribusinesses worldwide. Emphasis is on developing an understanding of industry segments and value chains, food branding strategies, and new product development. Particular attention is placed on innovation in the agricultural production (AgTech) and food (FoodTech) sectors. Teams work together to prepare case analyses for presentation to the class. Students receive feedback and are coached on how to enhance their performance.  Prerequisite: None.

MGMT 3543, Food Industry Innovation

Course Description: This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of imagination, creativity, and innovation, as they apply to food products and the food industry. The course is designed as an action-learning process in which the students will be guided to immerse themselves in food innovation sources, identify an opportunity area, come up with an idea of food innovation and develop and plan early-stage entrepreneurial activities. Topics include the innovation methods, food value chain, including major food industry segments, factors influencing the food system, technological developments, and the methods and tools necessary to effectively manage the innovation process. Prerequisites: MGMT 3000.