This hands-on course introduces students to analysis and actions required to launch and commercialize a tech company, through the use of Harvard Business School cases, visits from entrepreneurs, and two "field assignments". You will learn conceptual frameworks and analytical techniques for evaluating technologies, markets, and commercialization strategies. Additionally, you will learn how to attract and motivate the resources needed to start a company (e.g. people, corporate partners and venture capital), prepare business plans, structure relationships, refine product-market fit, and create and grow enterprise value.
Sample Reading List
- William Sahlman, Some Thoughts on Business Plans
- Geoffrey Moore, Crossing the Chasm
- Thomas Eisenman, Hypothsis-Driven Entrepreneurship: The Lean Startup
- Steven Blank, Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything
- Andy Rachleff, Why you should find product market fit before sniffing ...
- See instructor for complete list
Students must read a case study for each class, plus supplemental readings that lay out key frameworks, totaling 30-65 pages per week. Participation grades are awarded for insightful analysis and fact-based recommendations. For the midterm and final assignments, students select a start-up and interview the founder. The midterm paper is a written analysis of the company, whereas for the final presentation, students must develop a growth initiative and pitch it as if seeking financing.
- Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 35%
- Term Paper(s) - 35%
- Class/Precept Participation - 30%
Not Open to Freshmen.
Prerequisites and Restrictions
Enrollment for the course is by written application bit.ly/ELE491App.
The course includes lecture/discussion sessions, readings from articles, classroom discussions of "cases" describing real entrepreneurial situations, and a few visits to class by entrepreneurs to provide current "real world" guidance.