Instructor: Professor Mohammed N. Islam (647-9700, firstname.lastname@example.org, 2417B EECS)
Lectures: xxx (3 Hours per week)
Recitations: xxx (1 Hour per week) [4 Credit Course]
Prerequisites: Senior or Graduate Standing (Juniors or Sophomores will also be permitted, depending on available slots in the class)
Class Participation and Attendance 15%
Book Review and Case Studies 20%
Elevator Pitch, Project Presentation 15%
Executive Summary, Business Plan 30%
Technology Ventures: From Ideas to Enterprise, 2nd Ed., 2007
Course Pack (selected articles on business plans, emotional intelligence, etc.)
Supplemental Reading Material (on loan in library):
New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century (7th Ed., 2007)
Entrepreneurial Small Business (2007)
The Entrepreneurial Venture (2nd Ed., 1999)
Summary of Course:
The technology sector represents a significant portion of the economy of every industrialized nation. In the U.S., more than one third of the gross national product and about half of private-sector spending on capital goods are related to technology. Therefore, particularly in the U.S. economic growth depends on the health and contributions of technology businesses.
This course is about “Technology Entrepreneurship,” which is a style of business leadership that involves identifying high-potential, technology-intensive commercial opportunities, gathering resources such as talent and capital, and managing rapid growth and significant risks using principled decision-making skills. Technology ventures exploit break-through advancements in science and engineering to develop better products and services for customers. The leaders of technology ventures demonstrate focus, passion, and an unrelenting will to succeed.
The course consists of three major parts. First, lectures on technology ventures twice a week will be supported by textbook reading and homework assignments. In addition, four of five guest lecturers will augment the lectures to give “real world” advice on certain aspects of small businesses. Second, recitations will be lead by student teams that review selected books on entrepreneurial traits, leadership style, and the life cycle and challenges of start-up businesses. Also, the student teams will lead discussions on seven case studies illustrating some of the concepts covered in the lectures. Finally, the last few classes will have team presentations of business plans, where local entrepreneurs, angels, and VC’s may be invited to critique.
The lectures will cover four major topic areas.
I. Opportunity and Strategy
This section focuses on core issues involved in deciding to pursue an entrepreneurial vision and the characteristics of the venture and entrepreneurs that are vital to success from the very beginning. The outcomes from this section are opportunity, concept, business model and strategy.
II. Creating New Ventures
This section examines the major strategic decisions that any group of entrepreneurs must deal with: how to balance risk and return, what entrepreneurial structure to pursue, how to find and cultivate the best employees and help make them productive, and the critical issues of intellectual property. The outcome from this section is an outline of a plan for a new technology venture.
III. Functional Development
This section discusses the operational and organizational challenges that entrepreneurs must tackle. Although good technology with a sustainable advantage is important, many of the operational and organizational issues will actually determine the success of the enterprise. The outcome from this section is a detailed functional plan for the new enterprise.
IV. Growth and Financing
This section is about putting together a solid financial plan for the company, including exit and funding strategies. The outcome of this section is financing and building an important enterprise.
Guest Lecturers will be sprinkled in with lectures during the term (primarily between the 4th and 10th weeks) to complement or reinforce some of the concepts being covered in the lectures and homework. Potential Guest Lecturers for this term include: (will be different semester to semester)
1) Local Entrepreneur: Dwight Carlson
2) Local VC: Tony Grover, Marc Weiser
3) Local Small Business Lawyer: Fred Steingold
4) Local CPA: Patsy Aiken
5) Local Banker: Mike Cole
The course is designed for upper-class undergraduates and graduate students in engineering who seek to learn the essentials of technology entrepreneurship. No prerequisite knowledge is assumed. Beyond just the textbook learning that engineering students are familiar with, there will be a strong team orientation in the course. Student teams will review books and case studies and develop a business plan, elevator pitch, and executive summary. Several oral presentations will be provided by each team throughout the semester.
For students interested in someday starting their own businesses or working in start-ups, this course should give valuable insights and a flavor of what is to come. Also, there is a companion course on “Patent Fundamentals for Engineers,” which covers how to create the barrier to entry, so that start-up enterprises can be funded.
Section 1: Opportunity and Strategy
Outcomes: Opportunity, concept, business model and strategy
Week#1: Introduction, Organization, Teaming
Capitalism and the Technology Entrepreneuer
Week #2: Opportunity and the Business Summary
Building a Competitive Advantage
Week #3: Creating a Strategy
Technology, Innovation and Timing
Section 2: Creating New Ventures
Outcome: Outline of a plan for a new technology venture
Week #4: Risk, Return and Product Design
Corporate Technology Ventures
Week # 5: Creating New Ventures and the Business Plan
Elements of the Business Plan
Week # 6: Building Knowledge and Learning in a New Enterprise
Legal Formation and Intellectual Property
Section 3: Functional Development
Outcome: Detailed functional plan for the new enterprise
Week #7: The Marketing and Sales Plan
The New Enterprise Organization
Week # 8: Acquiring, Organizing and Managing Resources
Acquisitions, Mergers, and Global Business
Week # 9: The Management of Operations
Section 4: Growth and Financing
Outcome: Financing and building an important enterprise
Week # 10: The Profit and Harvest Plan
The Financial Plan
Week # 11: Sources of Capital
Presenting the Plan and Negotiating the Deal
Leading a Technology Venture to Success
Week # 12: Ethics in Business: Avoiding the “Crooked-E” in Enron
Weeks # 12,13: Presentations of Business Plans
Books or Articles for Review: (each group must provide a ~30 minutes, 15+ power point slide presentation reviewing the concepts and teachings in one of the following. If you pick the short books marked by *, then you must review two of the * books):
Case Studies for Review:
4.Global Wireless Ventures
5.Jon Hirschtick’s New Venture