Corporate America repeatedly cites the ‘lack of entrepreneurial skills’ as the single biggest deficiency in MBAs – something that we fix in this course. Entrepreneurial skills and knowledge are mandatory for creating your own venture (for-profit or non-profit) , creating a new business unit within an existing enterprise, creating a new product or service offering and launching it, or for just being a much more inventive and creative desk jockey in a lumbering, bureaucratic human cesspit of non-productive activity.
The conception and start-up stage of a new organization is a critical stage of the company’s life-cycle. It is the time for the venture to pull itself together and get up and running in time for ‘opening day’. It is an extremely busy time in the venture’s life, requiring a thorough understanding, application, and execution of your MBA concepts skills.
In this capstone course we examine the idea of entrepreneurship, its symbiotic existence with Corporate America, the origin of new (company) concepts, setting up the new legal entity, raising funding from outside investors or donors, developing and writing a comprehensive business plan, and pitching your concept to a panel of seasoned investors or potential donors. Some key topics include: (1) demographics for small businesses, (2) conceiving and understanding a sound ‘business model’, (3) financial forecasting and modeling for new start-ups, (4) cash flow management in start-ups, (5) term sheets, (6) the venture capital business, (7) multiple funding rounds, (8) start-up company valuations, (9) liquidation preferences, (10) leveraging strategic alliances, (11) the role of the Board of Directors, (12) restricted stock, stock options, and 83(b) elections, and (13) creating and leveragor) presentation that will be delivered to a panel of professional investor/donors at the conclusion of the course.
CAP5802 will be delivered as a combination of lecture and discussion. The instructor demands active participation from the class members.
Important note: The detailed descriptions of all assignments along with all exercises are found on the (new) Moodle course site.
Session 1: Monday, 26 August 2013
Introduction and Orientation
How the course will be conducted
Classification of businesses
Small business demographics
What is entrepreneurship and why should you be highly interested in this subject?
Major assignments and due dates
• Concept Description Abstract – Due on 23 September 2013 • Business Plan Outline – Due on 7 October 2013
• Interview with Entrepreneur Write-Up – Due on 14 October 2013 • Prospectus – Due on WEDNESDAY by NOON, 4 December 2013 • Final Business Plan – Due on MONDAY, 9 December (in class) 2013 • Live PowerPoint Presentation – 9 December 2013
[No class on Monday, 2 September – Labor Day]
Session 2: Monday, 9 September 2013
The Entrepreneurial Mind and Process
Entrepreneurial Resilience during Challenging Times
How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work
Apple’s Core Case Study
Iggy’s Bread of the World Case Study
Session 3: Monday, 16 September 2013
Recognizing and Screening the Opportunity
Background Note: Note on Business Analysis for the Entrepreneur ZOOTS: The Cleaner Cleaner Case Study
Session 4: Monday, 23 September 2013
The Business Plan
HBR Article: How to Write a Great Business Plan
Business Plan for Room for Dessert Case Study
Your Concept Description – Abstract Due
Session 5: Monday, 30 September 2013
The Founder and the Team – HR Matters
NanoGene Technologies, Inc. Case Study
Session 6: Monday, 7 October 2013
Legal Matters & the Start-Up Ecosystem
Background Note: Legal Matters and Entrepreneurship
• Corporate law firms
• Intellectual property (IP) law firms
The Start-Up Ecosystem
• Certified public accountants (CPAs)
• The Board of Directors
• The Advisory Board
• Key business partners
Smartix(A): Dancing with Elephants Case Study
Smartix(B): The Last Dance
Smartix(C): Rethinking the Negotiations
Smartix(D): Reflections from the Other Side of the Table
Business Plan Outline Due Tonight
Session 7: Monday, 14 October 2013
Financing the Venture
PunchTab Inc. Case Study
Interview with Entrepreneur – Write-Ups Due
Fall Break is 15 – 18 October 2013.
Session 8: Monday, 21 October 2013
Capitalization of the Start-Up, Part 1
Session 9: Monday, 28 October 2013
Capitalization of the Start-Up, Part 2
Session 10: Monday, 4 November 2013
Capitalization of the Start-Up, Part 3
Session 11: Monday, 11 November 2013
Growing the Business
What Entrepreneurs Get Wrong
Facebook Case Study
Gordon Biersch Case Study
Gordon Biersch – New Challenges and Opportunities Case Study
Session 12: Monday, 18 November 2013
Investment Decision Making
Walnut Venture Associates (A): RBS Group Investment Memorandum Walnut Venture Associates (B): RBS Due Diligence – Customers Walnut Venture Associates (C): RBS Due Diligence – Market Size Walnut Venture Associates (D): RBS Deal Terms
Thanksgiving Week break is 25 – 29 November 2013. No class on 25 November.
Session 13: Monday, 2 December 2013
Documentary (movie): “Start-Up.com”
Session 14: Monday, 9 December 2013
COMMENTS ON CAP5802 – ENTREPRENEURSHIP
IMPORTANT: YOUR HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS ARE DUE IN HARD COPY IN CLASS ON THE SPECIFIED DUE DATE. LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE MARKED DOWN—SEE GRADING POLICY BELOW.
Your workload in this course will be ‘above average.’ That we meet only one time per week for three hours implies that you will have a week’s worth of homework to do in between class meetings – unlike the homework load that you would receive in a course that meets multiple times per week.
• I expect you to attend all of our classes.
• I expect you to arrive on time and remain in class until we are finished with the session. • I expect you to arrive with your material fully prepared – this requirement is critical. • I expect you to
participate actively and effectively in class. • I expect you to demand of yourself and your fellow class members complete fidelity to high personal ethical standards. • I expect you to keep your cellular telephone out of our classroom – or with you, but powered off. • I do not expect you to ever leave the classroom to accept or return a telephone call. • I expect all team work and responsibilities to be evenly distributed among the team members. • I expect all individual-specified exercises to be completed by you independently with no assistance received from anyone else.
There is no final exam in CAP5802. Instead, we have the final presentations from each start-up concept. Four factors play into your grade computation in CAP5802: (1) your homework scores – watch those tricky computational problems, (2) your write-up of your interview with an entrepreneur, (3) your completed business plan – which should be sufficiently tantalizing to cause the general partners of Kleiner Perkins & Caulfield (who successfully funded Genentech, Amazon, and Google, among others) to salivate, and (4) a stunning live presentation during our final class meeting – which should convince even the most risk averse grandmother to allocate a chunk of her retirement stash to fund your promising venture.
(1) CLASS PARTICIPATION
We have 23 articles/case studies that we use to supply some of the vital content to this course. I expect you to give every one of them a thorough read and analysis. I encourage you to discuss them with your team members. I will call on you in class – whether or not you raise your hand – and ask you to answer questions or to explain concepts/situations in the assigned readings. I will score your response on a three-point scale as follows: 3: brilliant
1: needs improvement
(2) HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS
Your home work assignments are due in class in hard copy on the specified due
date. I will penalize you for late homework assignments. That is how the real business world works. If you are going to be out of town, always complete and turn in your assignment EARLY. When you are LATE with your homework assignments, you lose points in the computation of your final grade. No appeals allowed. The point value for each homework question is noted in (*) next to the question. You will find all of the homework assignments on the course site.
(3) INTERVIEW WITH ENTREPRENEUR
Each team will find an authentic entrepreneur – someone who has started their own business/organization and currently is running the business or non-profit organization. The business/organization can be anything ranging from an ice cream truck to a non-profit social service organization that provides outplacement services to displaced investment bankers. I will provide you with the list of questions for the interview. You only need to find the willing entrepreneur (they generally love to talk about their businesses) and complete the interview – then write it up.
(4) COMPLETED BUSINESS PLAN FOR YOUR VENTURE
Each team will compose a comprehensive, professional-quality business plan for their business concept. There are two important milestones/due dates for the business plan assignment: (1) the brief plan outline due date, (2) the completed plan due date – the last class meeting.
(5) CORPORATE OVERVIEW PRESENTATION OF YOUR VENTURE
Your team will present your ‘corporate overview/launch plan’ during our final class meeting. You will be graded on the originality, content, and delivery of your concept. We expect to have a judging panel present – comprising demanding, unreasonable investor-types – to critique your concepts
CAP5802 GRADE COMPUTATION
There are five sources of points that are used in your final course grade computation:
(1) Class participation points – as noted above. I will tally up your
points, and normalize your grand total over 50 possible points.
(2) Homework Assignment points – as noted with each HW assignment question. I will add up your total homework points, divide this total by the total possible homework points, and arrive at a final percentage score for your homework.
(3) 50 points for your entrepreneur interview write-up
(4) 100 possible points for your business plan, distributed as follows: Quality of idea = 10 pts
Compelling market opportunity = 10 pts
Organization of plan = 10 pts
Clarity of plan = 10 pts
Financial analysis = 10 pts
Marketing plan = 10 pts
Sales and distribution plan = 10 pts
Competitive analysis = 10 pts
Sales/revenue forecast = 10 pts
Surviving CAP5802 = 10 pts
(5) 100 possible points for you final presentation, distributed as follows: Originality and cleverness of the presentation = 20 pts
Running within the allotted time = 20 pts
Richness of content = 20 pts
Presentation delivery = 40 pts
Note that your presentation scores will be a compilation of our guest judges’ scoring. History indicates that the judges are rather severe scorers.
I will assign final course grades based on your final total point tally: Total possible participation score (%): 50 points
Total possible homework (%): 100 points
Total possible interview with entrepreneur: 50 points
Total possible written business plan: 100 points
Total possible live presentation: 100 points
A splendid time is guaranteed for all.