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Course 2023-2024 a.y.

20870 - BUILDING AND SCALING A TECH-BASED STARTUP

Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

CLMG (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - M (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - IM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - MM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - AFC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - CLELI (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - DES-ESS (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - EMIT (6 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/10) - GIO (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - DSBA (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - PPA (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10) - FIN (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/10)
Course Director:
LUIGI PROSERPIO

Classes: 31 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: LUIGI PROSERPIO


Synchronous Blended: Lessons in synchronous mode in the classroom (for a maximum of one hour per credit in remote mode)

Suggested background knowledge

Being passionate about entrepreneurship and self-managed projects. No coding abilities are required.


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

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 (the Unicorns) 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 start-ups and avoid the burst of a new Internet bubble. We try to nurture conscious entrepreneurship, to take advantage of the endless possibilities of the most advanced technologies (mostly AI, but also IoT and Cloud) to avoid traps and common mistakes. We have built our course around a very concrete field project required for attending students. Your project should include your novel ideas along with a financial forecast both for the star-up and scale-up phases. Being a unicorn is our ultimate goal (of course, we don’t insist too much on the western usual examples, such as Amazon, Google, … We present local cases we worked with. Then, we pitch your projects 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 very strong incumbents, and so on.

CONTENT SUMMARY
  • Idea generation. 

  • Management of your team. 

  • Customer discovery for start-ups: market, prototypes and tests. 

  • Competition and benchmarking. 

  • Very specific P&L rules for start-ups: top line and basic assumptions. 

  • The most important failures to avoid, in order to succeed, both in the start-up and in the scale-up phases. 

  • Operations, technology plan, milestones. 

  • Valuation of your start-up. 


Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
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, and then managerial setting. 

  • List/estimate the assumptions and the financials of a start-up/scale up 

APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
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. 

  • Avoid failures when scaling-up. 

 

The exam, composed mostly of teamwork, together with individual efforts, is the ideal setting to learn and consolidate theoretical and applied knowledge.


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

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, renowned entrepreneurs, to give you a real taste of the entrepreneurial experience. 

That's why attendance for this course is strongly recommended (of course, with the usual Bocconi’s threshold which is 75% of lessons minimum). 


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

    To be defined as attending, a student must: 

    • enrol in a team of students within the class; 
    • craft a field project, together with his/her team members; 
    • carry out the intermediate non-evaluated assignments, intended to prepare and improve the field project; 
    • take the individual exam for attending people; 
    • perform a peer evaluation of his/her team. 

      

    Intermediate activities are not evaluated and are solely intended to provide feedback to students to improve the quality of their final field work. 

      

    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 Field project (as said, the Fieldcproject 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 field project. 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. 
    5. Here the procedure for peer evaluation: 
    6. Students must grade their colleagues’ contribution from 1 to 5 through the eLearning platform 
    7. If each member of the group takes an average grade from 4 to 5, individual grade remains unchanged. 
    8. If only one person of the group gets between 4,5 and 5, he/she will be earned with 1 extra point. 
    9. 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, our field project is a written document describing various aspects of a start-up (idea, business model, the prototype, competitors, operations, financial statements, scaling-up issues). 
    The making of a field project 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 field work is intended to test the abilities requested to real entrepreneurs. 

    The same assessment principles hold for the Elevator Pitch. 

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    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
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

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

    • R. ABRAMS, Successful Business Plan (Secrets & Strategies), Planning Shop,  
      Year: whatever edition is available. 

      

    SLIDES, for the individual exam (MANDATORY): 

    • Slides uploaded on BlackBoard. 

    • Up to a maximum of 2 papers, to be announced throughout the course. 

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

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

     

    Please note that papers are split by topics treated, to give non attending students a good clarity of the subject matter: 

      

    1) Definition of start-ups, and scale-ups + business model 

    • E.D. BEWAIO, Pre-start-up preparations: Why the business plan isn’t always written, The Entrepreneurial Executive, 2010. 

    • D.J. TEECE, Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation, Long Range Planning, 2010.  

    • C. ZOTT, R. AMIT, Business Model Design: An Activity System Perspective, Long Range Planning, 2010.  

    • J. EUCHNER, A. SLYWOTZKY, Business design (interview with Adrian Slywotzky), Research-Technology-Management, 2015. 

    • S. SINHA, The Exploration–Exploitation Dilemma: A Review in the Context of Managing Growth of New Ventures, VIKALPA (is name of the journal), 2015. 

    • Blitzscaling, 2016, Harvard Business Review (an interview with Reid Hoffman by Tim Sullivan). 

    • Hambrick D.C., Lei D., 1985, Toward an empirical prioritization of contingency variables for business strategy, AMJ 

      

    2) Technologies to design a start-up (mainly referred to Artificial Intelligence) 

    • McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), A future that works, Full report, 2017 (148 pages). 
      You should be able to retrieve the file here: https://tinyurl.com/y3xjjobd 

      

    3) Theoretical foundations of impact of technologies on users 

    • Venkatesh V., Davis, F.D., 2000, A theoretical extension of the technology acceptance model: Four longitudinal field studies. Management Science. 

    • Venkatesh V., Bala H., 2008, Technology Acceptance Model 3 and a Research Agenda on Interventions, Decision Sciences. 

      

    4) Small companies and their environment 

    • N. ROIG-TIERNO, J. ALCAZAR, S. RIBEIRO-NAVARRETE, Use of infrastructures to support innovative entrepreneurship and business growth, Journal of Business Research, 2015. 

    • 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. 

    Last change 17/07/2023 09:34