|Spring Semester 2021
|yearly recurring course
|Language of instruction
|This course introduces the various elements important to start an innovative business. These are: insights into how technology as a context shapes opportunities to start a business, assessing opportunities, protecting one's idea and technology, market testing and feedback, how to form a team, raising investment and deal evaluation, use of novel financing sources, development of term sheets.
|This course enables to understand:
How technologies develop from science to commercial products
What kind of entrepreneurial opportunities emerge from this cycle
How assumptions are tested in the market and evolve into business plans
What the importance is of founding teams and how they are fit together
How to raise money from various sources such as crowd funding, ICO, business angels and venture capitalists
How to develop a business case
How to negotiate and structure a funding deal
|The course consists of 7 sessions of 4 hours, every other week. The first 2 hours typically cover the content of the session, while in the last 2 hours students work in teams to apply the content in specific case settings.
The course is structured as follows:
In session 1, we discuss how science develops into technologies that are eventually commercialized into products ...We discuss how technology entrepreneurs can create ventures based upon the technology they work on, the demand they see in their environment or just through the mere aspiration of creating a company. We specifically focus on how these companies can create value in the absence of clear customer revenues and what the eventual outcome is of such a venture.
In Session 2, we look at how entrepreneurs do market research and how different types of market research help them to develop their business. In addition, you will get an overview of various forms of prototyping, and of how the use of such prototyping can help you test the market and incorporate market feedback into your product or service.
In Session 3, we introduce the concept of "appropriability". For entrepreneurs, especially in a technology environment, it is very important to think about how they can appropriate value from the ideas they develop and the products they introduce in the market. Such appropriation can be enabled through legal mechanisms such as IP or might be facilitated through the way in which the company is set up. We also discuss how value can be delivered in an industry, how negotiation power can be assessed, what different actors need to be taken into consideration when determining the value flow in a network and, eventually, how to think of a business model annex business plan.
Session 4 touches upon a number of HR questions and managerial challenges for the budding entrepreneur: Is it better to go alone or in a team? Are there more or less successful compositions of an entrepreneurial team and if so, where to find the right co-conspirators? We also introduce the basic elements of making a financial plan.
Session 5 introduces you in the world of raising capital. You get an overview of the various sources of capital including business angels, accelerators, crowd funding, venture capital and corporate capital. Guest speakers from the financing industry will answer your questions with regards to getting finance.
Session 6 deals with the legal side of making a deal between an investor and a company. We also explain how to make an elevator pitch and how to pitch for money (including business plan competitions)
Session 7 includes a negotiation game. The negotiation game allows you to go through the different conditions of a term sheet including the valuation of a start-up, the lock-in of the management team, the liquidation options and the division of power. The aim is to learn how to use each of these terms in a practical setting and be able to write a term sheet with an investor.
Each of the sessions includes a mix of theory (usually 2 hours), case study/exercise work and occasional guest presentations (usually 1 hour). The course is an excellent introduction to 'do it yourself courses' such as the Deep Science Sprint, the Digital Entrepreneurship Course,..
|Powerpoint slides are provided ahead of each session and provide together with Clarysse and Kiefer (2011) the core course material.
In addition to the slides and handbook, most sessions have case material (uploaded ahead of the course and to be read BEFORE the lecture in which the case will be discussed). Video material is part of the core syllabus.
|Clarysse, B. & S. Kiefer The Smart Entrepreneur (Elliott & Thompson, 2011) is used as core reading material.
In addition, each session also has "advanced reading" papers, which are useful to deepen your knowledge about the specific subject under discussion. It is sufficient to read the introduction and the conclusions of the papers to get the core idea.
The papers are uploaded through Moodle, the book is available for sale at Amazon.com or can be ordered from any book store.
|Prerequisites / Notice
|No special background is needed.