“Guitar Hero” co-creator and UC Berkeley alumnus Charles Huang will co-teach an undergraduate entrepreneurship course on campus in spring 2019.
The course, titled “Entrepreneurship for All; An Insider’s Guide to StartUps,” is set to be taught every spring semester. The two-unit lecture course will be split into two sections: one-hour lectures taught by Huang and co-professor Umair Khan, and guest lectures.
These guest speakers will come from a variety of backgrounds and will include leaders from companies such as Facebook, Netflix, Louis Vuitton, Khan Academy, the Quincy Jones Foundation and others, according to campus Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities Kathleen Donegan.
“I have to give credit to Umair Khan — it was really his idea, and he came and spoke to me,” Huang said. “The class is really taking the things that Letters and Science students are studying and really showing them what entrepreneurial opportunities exist for their background.”
The course is aimed at arts, sciences and humanities students, instead of the traditional business and computer science majors. According to Khan, students from these majors have not been sufficiently exposed to entrepreneurship. Both Huang and Khan stated, however, that they do not wish to exclude anyone from taking the course.
According to the course description, social science and humanities majors may view entrepreneurs as “solely motivated by greed,” whereas entrepreneurs may see humanities majors as having little to contribute to the business world. This has created a gap between the two groups and has resulted in a scarcity of entrepreneurs with humanitarian values, according to the description.
The course also aims to attract women and minority students, who are traditionally underrepresented in the entrepreneurial and venture capital labor pool.
“I think it’ll have a big impact on campus and for Cal students not exposed to entrepreneurship,” Donegan said. “This gives them real-life skills into this very vital part of our culture and society.”
Huang himself serves as an example of the success that a humanities or social science major can have in the entrepreneurial world. As an economics and Asian studies major at UC Berkeley, Huang had the opportunity to study abroad in Beijing, where he established connections in the city.
Huang was able to use his experience in Beijing to develop “Guitar Hero,” a product that gained critical acclaim and developed into a series that has earned more than $2 billion in sales.
Selena Cuevas, a freshman and intended public health major, expressed interest in taking the course because it offers students more opportunities.
“I feel like it’ll give us more options in the future and give us the opportunity to follow our own passions and help students have self-made jobs,” Cuevas said.