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2011/2012  KAN-CM_E36  From good idea to venture: How high-potential start-up companies overcome strategic issues

English Title
From good idea to venture: How high-potential start-up companies overcome strategic issues

Course Information

Language English
Point 7,5 ECTS (225 SAT)
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course Period Autumn . Spring
Please note that this course is offered in both the fall semester and the spring semester. Changes in course schedule may occur Friday 9.50-12.25, week 6-13, 15-16
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Study Board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course Coordinator
  • Nicolaj Højer Nielsen - Department of Marketing
Administration: Karina Ravn Nielsen / Lucie Alexanian - electives.lpf@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Management
  • Marketing
Last updated on 29 maj 2012
Learning Objectives
Upon completing the course, the student should be able to:
• Understand and critically reflect on the theories, concepts, tools and cases covered in the course.
• Recognize the strategic challenges entrepreneurs are facing and the strategies for overcoming them
• Apply theories and concepts on real-life cases

The high grade (12) in the exam will be characterized by the fulfillment of the following criteria:
- The student demonstrates a high level of command of the syllabus
- The student is able to apply theories, models and concepts from the syllabus in a systematic and thorough manner when analyzing and discussing problems and cases
- The student is able to analyze a case or problem in a comprehensive manner by combining different theories, concepts and models from the syllabus
- The student is able to discuss and reflect on the applied theories, models and concepts in a structured and comprehensive manner
- Be aware of the opportunity recognition, business modeling, commercialization strategies and mester these to use the theoretical skills for business
- Develop a general understanding of the requirements for identifying value and creating opportunities and where to seek more knowledge about this
- Be able to identify the crucial elements in a commercialization process
- Build up skills to develop and exploit networks for complementary expertise, and ability to understand the necessity of network building
Oral exam based on group-project.
From good idea to venture: How high-potential start-up companies overcome strategic issues :
Assessment Oral with Written Assignment
Marking Scale 7-step scale
Censorship Internal examiners
Exam Period Winter Term
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration 20 Minutes

Course Content

This course is about how high-potential ventures can overcome the strategic issues they are facing. The course is not about writing a business plan. Most experts agree that the true challenge for entrepreneurs does not lie in writing the initial business plan but in the processes related to the conversion of the initial idea into a successful company.

The course is on the strategy and action of how to approach the network to sell the idea and get the business started.

More specifically, the course will deal with strategic issues related to:

· Networks.How start-up companies can acquire resources via external organizations to grow/survive. Theories and application of those on real-life cases. Reflections on how to build and use networks of complementary competence.

· Funding.Capital is often one of the needed resources entrepreneurs have the hardest time securing during the initial faces. We discuss how to involve and persuade different sources of capital (venture capital, business angels, customer-funded etc.) and strategies for acquiring them (incl. how to pitch the business opportunity to these investors). The relationship is about both the complexity of practice and theoretical models.

· Innovation. R&D and innovation is very different in smaller organisations compared to multi-nationals. We discuss theories and strategies for doing disruptive innovation in small companies, and how many theories are challenged under these conditions of uncertainty.

· Role of the Business Plan. Almost all entrepreneurs will experience that the “Plan A”, as described in the initial business plan, will have to be amended or abandoned. We discuss the real role of the business plan and what to do when the first plan must be changed.


The course's development of personal competences:

This course prepares students for realizing their entrepreneurial potential, either as entrepreneurs or as key-employees in smaller organizations.
During the course students are expected to develop the ability to critically analyze and discuss theory, approaches and concepts in connection with entrepreneurship and innovation in small companies – and how to apply the theoretical knowledge on real-life cases.

Teaching Methods
The theoretic foundation of the course will be articles from leading journals and books on entrepreneurship. This will be combined with written- and real-life cases from several Danish and international start-up companies. We will have high-profile guest-speakers (venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, business angels) to present such cases.
The course will combine lectures, in-class discussions, and project work. The course includes a group-project where you will apply the frameworks learned on a real-life case.

Mullins, J. & Komisar, R. (2009) Getting to Plan B., Harvard Business Press

Blank, Steven, (2006) Four Steps to the Epiphany, Cafepress.com

Mette Mønsted

Networking for innovation - managing through networks. Published in: Strategic Networking in Small High Tech Firms, Samfundslitteratur, 2003

Paul Miller

Marketing Technological innovations- the challenges of creating markets. Published in: Strategic Networking in Small High Tech Firms, Samfundslitteratur, 2003

Noam Wasserman

The Founder's Dilemma

Harward Business Review, Feb 01 2008

Colin Mason and Matthew Stark

What do Investors Look for in a Business Plan? A Comparison of the Investment Criteria of Bankers, Venture Capitalists and Business Angels International Small Business Journal, 2004

Andrew Wong, Mihir Bhatia, Zachary Freeman Angel finance: The other venture capital Strategic Change Volume 18, Issue 7-8, pages 221–230, November 2009

Henry Chesbrough, Adrienne Kardon Crowther Beyond high tech: Early adopters of open innovation in other industries. R&D Management, Volume 36, Issue 3, pages 229–236, June 2006

Marc Gruber and Joachim Henke

New ventures based on open innovation – an empirical analysis of start-up firms in embedded Linuxl International Journal of Technology Management

Volume 33, Number 4 / 2006, Pages: 356 - 372

Henry W. Chesbrough

Why Companies Should Have Open Business Models MIT Sloan Management Review, Jan 2007

Christopher T. Street, Ann-Frances Cameron External Relationships and the Small Business: A Review of Small Business Alliance and Network Research Journal of Small Business Management, Volume 45, Issue 2, pages 239–266, April 2007