The goal is to guide each student taking this class, as much possible, about the new venture creation process. Regardless of the line of work you pursue after earning your master’s degree, your ability to approach a business problem using an entrepreneurial skill set will always be valuable and differentiate you from your peers.
What frequently is the deciding factor for financing a venture, whether inside a large company or in the private equity markets, is the leader’s ability to concisely articulate what the business is about, why it will succeed and ultimately, how it will produce enough of a profit to give the investor a return on their investment.
Your ability to do this has very little to do with the actual writing of the business plan. The best business plans and presentations are just the documentation of well thought out and thorough market validation, competitive analysis and business model development. That is what this course will focus on.
This class is designed to give you the hands-on experience of developing all of these skills while producing a viable plan for a new venture. I strongly encourage you to think of this as an opportunity to develop a business plan for a venture you will likely pursue at some point in your career.
The course will accomplish these learning objectives through a diverse mix of methods and activities, including:
- Analysis and discussion of actual cases
- Work as individuals to prepare a new venture business plan
- In-class team workshops and presentations
- Experiential research field work
The course is especially relevant for aspiring entrepreneurs bent on launching and growing a business that is quite profitable. In examining issues and problems of start-ups we will seek to achieve the following:
- Identify and determine what entrepreneurs need to know about the critical driving forces in a new venture success.
- Identify how successful entrepreneurs and investors create, find and differentiate profitable and durable opportunities from just other good ideas, and how opportunities evolve over time.
- Evaluate and determine how successful entrepreneurs and investors create and build value for themselves, and others.
- Identify and determine the necessary financial and non-financial resources available for new ventures, identify the criteria they use to screen and evaluate proposals, their attractiveness and risk, and how to obtain start-up and early growth capital.
- Determine the critical tasks to be accomplished, the hurdles to be overcome during start-up and early growth, and what has to happen to succeed.
- Apply a computerized spreadsheet program to develop and analyze financial projections for start-up ventures.
- Identify the future consequences of decisions made by entrepreneurs at each point in time; options that are precluded or preserved; and the nastier minefields and pitfalls one has to anticipate, prepare for and respond to.
- Determine decisions that can be made to increase the reward to risk ratio at various stages of the company’s development, and thereby change the odds.
- Determine what the important factors outside the control of the founders are, and how critical and sensitive the current context and timing is to all of these above issues.
- Craft and prepare a personal entrepreneurial strategy to identify relevant issues, requirements, and trade-offs in pursuing individual goals.