Course 2022-2023 a.y.


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


The course enables students to understand what a digital start up is, how it differs from more traditional companies, and its major challenges and how to approach them. To facilitate this objective, it will rely on case studies illustrating the emergence and the evolution of digital start-ups. Another primary goal of the course is to push students to grasp the key entrepreneurial drivers of success and failure in the digital age, raising relevant questions and developing possible answers. The course will also leverage on the presence of external speakers in class, who will share their experiences and discuss both the innovation and entrepreneurial aspects of digital start-ups. Moreover, the class will be divided in teams to provide additional hands-on experience to students. The final team project will be evaluated at the end of the course by both industry experts and faculty.


The course develops around two main themes.

Digital start-ups

  • Definition of a digital start-up and its key characteristics.
  • Critical elements in a digital start-up.
  • Different phases and challenges in a digital start-up’s life.


Digital entrepreneurship and digital transformation

  • The difference between digitalization processes and digital transformation.
  • Definition of entrepreneurship in the digital era and its implications.
  • Corporate entrepreneurship: how big firms inbreed a start-up’s culture

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Identify digital start-ups and their main features.
  • Understand the different phases faced by a digital start-up.
  • Understand the main challenges and risks of entrepreneurship in the digital age and the different strategies available to approach them.
  • Recognize the key entrepreneurial drivers of success or failure in digital start-ups.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand digital start-ups according to the framework developed during the course.
  • Recognize threats and opportunities brought by the digital age.
  • Exploit digital tools to come up with innovative solutions to existing problems.
  • Think strategically within the context of rapidly evolving digital businesses.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


Business cases are discussed to identify theoretical frameworks from real situations, therefore students are expected to read the assigned cases prior to the related sessions so to engage in active discussions in the class. Students will take part in a team project that will require them to develop a business idea in the digital domain and some key elements of the business plan.

In addition to face-to-face lectures, case studies, and interactive class activities, we expect to have guest speakers to share their experiences on digital entrepreneurship.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
x   x


Interaction is key to maximize learning within the course. Attendance is recommended and class interaction and participation will be evaluated. Students are also required to take part in a team project which will make up part of the final grade. A final written exam will evaluate students' overall understanding of the topics. The final grade will be computed as follows:

- Class participation (20%)

- Team project (30%)

- Written exam (50%)


Rules for class participation


Class participation will be evaluated at the team level. Students are expected to divide into self-formed teams of 3 to 5 students. Each team needs to pick a name and elect a team spokesman, to whom the instructors will address any specific communication. The name, members and representative (with e-mail address) of each team should be communicated by Friday of the first week of classes at noon with an email to During the course, the instructors will evaluate class participation based on the voluntary contribution of teams to class discussion.


Assessment of non-attending students is entirely based on a final written exam that probes the student’s understanding of the concepts inherent to digital transformation, its management, and to rapidly growing digital start-ups. Moreover, the general exam should probe the student’s ability to think critically and apply the learned notions to business situations that involve digital start-ups and digital transformation.

Teaching materials


  • Handouts distributed throughout the course.
  • Cases as in the syllabus.
  • Readings as in the syllabus.
  • Suggested reading: the textbook will be communicated at the beginning of the course.


  • The textbook will be communicated at the beginning of the course (it is mandatory and will substitute for Handout materials).
  • Cases as in the syllabus.
  • Readings as in the syllabus.
Last change 13/06/2022 16:32