Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 22
EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/10)
Course Director:

Classes: 22 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Suggested background knowledge

Being passionate about entrepreneurship and self managed projects.

Mission & Content Summary


From the first Internet wave, we have seen enthusiastic young entrepreneurs joining the web arena. However, a number of diverse factors caused few to succeed and many to fail. It is not just a matter of ideas, technological capabilities, or viral diffusion; sustainable business models are required to foster the growth of startups and the burst of a new Internet bubble. We try to nurture conscious entrepreneurship, to take advantage of the endless possibilities of the web and the technology in general and to avoid traps and common mistakes. We have built our course around a business plan required from attending students. This business plan should include your novel ideas along with a professionally crafted financial forecast. Then, we present our ideas to the real world business community, composed of angels and institutional investors. Please note that your business idea must be formally approved by the course instructors before going into the business plan details. Please, avoid sterile apps, multi-sided markets (if you don’t have a superior value proposition), ideas with a very strong incumbent.


  • Idea generation.
  • Management of your team.
  • The fundamental rules for a successful Entrepreneurial idea.
  • Customer discovery for startups: market, prototypes and tests.
  • Competition and benchmarking.
  • Specific P&L rules for startups: top line and basic assumptions.
  • Operations, technology plan, milestones.
  • Forecasting cost in a startup.
  • Valuation of your startup.
  • Social pacts.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Identify the most useful and practical managerial theories to be used in a real entrepreneurial setting.
  • List/estimate the assumptions and the financials of a startup.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the practical aspects of entrepreneurship.
  • Design/develop an innovative idea.
  • Develop a state-of-the-art business plan.
  • Assess the feasibility of an entrepreneurial idea.
  • Assess Business plans if a student will work for a Venture fund or in Incubators.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Exercises (exercises, database, software etc.)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


In this very interactive course, we rely on:

  • Continuous teamwork: you have to develop your own entrepreneurial idea in groups, as it happens in a real startup.
  • Students' presentations: you have to pitch your deliverables, you have to get feedback from colleagues and professors in order to improve your startup.
  • Guest speakers: young entrepreneurs, past students of this course that made a startup, investors, renowed entrepreneurs, to give you a real taste of the entrepreneurial experience.

That's why attendance for this course is strongly recommended (of course with a convenient threshold of lessons that could be skipped).

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Peer evaluation


To be defined as attending, a student must:

  1. enroll in a team of students within the class;
  2. craft a business plan, togeher with his/her team members;
  3. carry out the intermediate non-evaluated assignments, intended to prepare and improve the business plan;
  4. take the individual exam for attending people;
  5. perform a peer evaluation of his/her team.


Intermediate activities are not evaluated and are intended to provide feedback to students to improve the quality of their final business plans.


Grade composition for attending students:

The individual grade for an attending student is composed of four parts:

  1. 80% of the individual grade is represented by the evaluation given to the mandatory Business Plan (as said, the business plan is a team activity).
  2. 20% of the individual grade is represented by the evaluation given to the Elevator Pitch (the elevator pitch is a group presentation -usually held during the last day of the course- of the main contents of the business plan. Elevator pitch is a teamwork activity).
  3. Individual exam is PASS or FAIL. Individual exam is a theoretical exam on the readings listed in the dedicated section.  In case of FAIL, 4 points are subtracted from the final students’ grade.
  4. Peer evaluation. Peer evaluation is the evaluation of other team members’ contribution to the Business Plan. Students’ grade doesn’t change if peer evaluation is positive. Peer evaluation can proportionally lower individual grade in case of negative feedback from peers, up to 4 points.
    Here the procedure for peer evaluation:
    Students must grade their colleagues’ contribution from 1 to 5 through the eLearning platform
    If each member of the group takes an average grade from 4 to 5, individual grade remains unchanged.
    If only one person of the group gets between 4,5 and 5, he/she will be earned with 1 extra point.
    If someone in the group takes 1, he/she loses 4 points from the group grade (e.g. the team takes 27, student takes 23). 1<x=2, 3 points. 2<x=3, 2 points, 3<x<4, 1 point.


To give an example, student X belongs to team Y. Team Y gets 25 points out of 30 in its Business Plan. And Team Y gets 25 points out of 30 in its Elevator Pitch.
Student X grade is 25.

Then, Student X gets a PASS in his/her individual exam and a positive evaluation in his/her peer evaluation.
Thus, Student X evaluation doesn’t change. The final grade is 25 points out of 30.


To further clarify, a business plan is a written document describing various aspects of a start-up (idea, business model, market, competitors, operations, financial statements, ...).
The making of a business plan is intended to test the ability of students to apply their knowledge and understanding of managerial theories by designing an innovative idea and developing it in all the relevant aspects. Moreover, the making of a business plan is intended to test the abilities requested to real entrepreneurs.

The same assessment principles hold for the Elevator Pitch.


A non attending student doesn't perform the business plan and any in-class activity.


He/she takes a one-shot written exam, that is composed of essay &/or multiple choice questions.

Teaching materials


BOOK, for the making of your business plan (NO formal exam on this book):

  • R. ABRAMS,Successful Business Plan (Secrets & Strategies), PlanningShop, 2019, 7th edition (also available in E-Pub).


PAPERS AND SLIDES, for the individual exam (MANDATORY):

  • Slides uploaded on Bboard.
  • Up to a maximum of 4 papers, to be announced throughout the course.



  • R. STUTELY, The Definitive Business Plan, Prentice hall, 2012.
    ONLY CHAPTERS: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11


Papers (Please find the papers on the Bocconi’s library (the database name is Business Source Complete, on on JSTOR, or directly on the Internet):

  • S.A. ZAHRA, W.C. BOGNER, Technology strategy and software new ventures’ performance: exploring the moderating effect of the competitive environment,  Journal of Business Venturing, 1999. 
  • J. EUCHNER, A. SLYWOTZKY, Business design (interview with Adrian Slywotzky), Research-Technology-Management, 2015.
  • E.D. BEWAIO, Pre-start-up preparations: Why the business plan isn’t always written, The Entrepreneurial Executive, 2010.
  • S. SINHA, The Exploration–Exploitation Dilemma: A Review in the Context of Managing Growth of New Ventures, VIKALPA (is name of the journal), 2015.
  • N. ROIG-TIERNO, J. ALCAZAR, S. RIBEIRO-NAVARRETE, Use of infrastructures to support innovative entrepreneurship and business growth, Journal of Business Research, 2015.
  • C. ZOTT, R. AMIT, Business Model Design: An Activity System Perspective, Long Range Planning, 2010. 
  • D.J. TEECE, Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation, Long Range Planning, 2010. 
  • A. RAUCH, W. HULSINK, Putting entrepreneurship education where the intention to act lies: An investigation into the impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurial behavior, Academy of Management Learning & Education, 2015.
  • D.A. SHEPHERD, A.W. TRENTON, E.Y. ZHAO, A Framework for Exploring the Deegree of Hybridity in Entrepreneurship, Academy of Management Perspectives, 2019.

NO slides or other materials distributed throughout the course (those are only for attending students)

Last change 17/12/2021 09:20