20765 - CREATING A START UP IN THE DIGITAL AND SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
Class-group lessons delivered on campus
The course develops student’s understanding of nurturing entrepreneurship in the 21st century. It pays specific attention to the digital transformation and sustainability challenges that are impacting all industries in recent years. For this purpose, building on the pioneering experience of one of the first European unicorns YOOX (now YNAP), and many other cases and examples of digital and sustainable ventures, the course provides step-by-step guidance on how to create and scale up a new venture. With the insights of successful international venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, the course will primarily focus on the two megatrends that characterize entrepreneurship today: digital innovation and environmental and social sustainability. Students will be asked to participate in class discussions actively. They will engage in an innovation contest that offers a tangible perspective on the alternative choices that entrepreneurs face when crafting and executing a business model.
The course is structured into three main parts:
Part 1 introduces startup planning. Developing a new venture is about creating a new idea, understanding its flaws, adapting it to the context, positioning it in the market, and finding the proper tools for execution. The course will cover the main “content challenges” entrepreneurs face.
Part 2 focuses on the process of entrepreneurship. Creating a startup is about finding the right people, dealing with venture capitalists, scaling up and going international, and signing contracts with different types of providers. The course will pay attention to these “process” elements.
Part 3 presents “verticals” in technology and sustainability. The intersection of these two fundamental patterns is the quintessence of a successful venture today. Economic, social, and environmental sustainability will be driven by innovation in the digital economy. The course will provide examples and takeaways from different angles.
- Understand the different phases entrepreneurs face when developing a new venture.
- Identify the most critical aspects in creating a successful startup.
- Recognize the importance of balancing technology and environmental and social sustainability when developing and running a venture.
- Evaluate the strategic effects of sustainability, depending on the context and the industry.
- Recognize threats and opportunities brought by digital transformation and sustainability.
- Provide solutions to different common business problems where digital and sustainability play a significant role.
- Interact constructively and think critically.
- Face-to-face lectures
- Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
- Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
- Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
- Cases will be discussed to identify theoretical concepts from real-life situations. Students are expected to read the assigned cases and materials before the related sessions to engage in an active in-class discussion.
- An innovation contest will involve groups of students in conceive the idea generation phase of a start-up, the development of the digital and sustainable strategy, and its implementation.
- In addition to face-to-face lectures, case studies, and interactive class activities, we expect to have guest speakers who will deliver a direct experience on the main issues they faced when dealing with entrepreneurship and sustainability.
To obtain the attending status, students will be required to form groups to discuss cases and participate in the innovation contest.
In order to achieve the learning outcomes and measure their acquisition by students
- Not only is attendance recommended, but class interaction and participation are evaluated. Students are expected to read the assigned material for each topic before class and participate actively in the discussion. This aims to test the student’s ability to interact and think critically, applying the concepts presented throughout the course.
Class participation accounts for 20% of the final grade.
- To assess the ability to recognize the importance of balancing technology and sustainability, an innovation contest will be launched that will involve students in groups throughout the course. In the last session, each group’s project will be discussed and evaluated.
The innovation contest accounts for 30% of the final grade.
- To test the understanding of theoretical models described in the course and their implications that explain entrepreneurship, students will take a written exam at the end of the course that accounts for 50% of the final grade.
Assessment of not attending students is entirely based on a final written exam. The exam probes the student’s understanding of the concepts inherent to entrepreneurship, digital transformation, and sustainability and the student’s ability to think critically and apply the learned models to business situations that involve technology and sustainability.
- Cases on library course reserve.
- Course Slides.
- Collection of articles.
- Class handouts, material distributed.
- Personal class notes.
- Other material will be assigned at course inception.
- Kaplan, S. 2019. The 360° Corporation: From Stakeholder Trade-offs to Transformation. United States: Stanford University Press.
- Rogers, D. L. 2016. The Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age. Columbia Business School Publishing.
- Other material will be assigned at course inception.