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Ashesi University Entrepreneurship Course Outline Fall 2014

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Course Outline for Entrepreneurship Fall 2014 at Ashesi University, taught by Sena Agyepong and Todd Warren. Based on the Lean LaunchPad curriculim from steve blank and co.

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Ashesi University Entrepreneurship Course Outline Fall 2014

  1. 1. ENTREPRENEURSHIP I Instructor: Todd Warren Office: 213 Tel Ext: 1028 E-mail: Class time: Thurs 1330 - 1640 Office Hours: Friday 1000 - 1200 or by appointment Class location: 218 Instructor: Sena A. Agyepong (PhD) Office: 205 Tel Ext: 1058 E-mail: Class time: Thurs 1330 - 1640 Office Hours: Tues & Thurs 1500 – 1700 or by appointment Class location: 218 Faculty Intern: Michael Asiedu Office: 209 Tel Ext: 1076 E-mail: Discussion time: Tuesday 1330 – 1500 Office Hours: Tuesday 900 - 1100 Discussion location: 218 Page 1 of 9 Course Description: Entrepreneurship has been held by many as the key to development in the under developed world. It is key as it holds the potential of aiding people come up with innovative products and services that will improve the lives of many as well as help in alleviating poverty by providing job opportunities and social interventions needed by the deprived. If Africa, and indeed other developing economies can achieve the MDGs and beyond, there will be the need to develop profit generating enterprises as well as social enterprises to serve as the backbone and propellant of this effort. There is absolutely no need for an unemployed graduates association, neither is it absolutely required that all graduates work for established corporations and multi-nationals. Ashesi has been fortunate to have some of its graduate’s start-up business and some having grown them into small and big corporations causing waves across the globe. This class, in a bid to further position graduate to understand the nuances of start-ups, integrates the various skills and knowledge obtained from courses offered in their past three years on campus. This class will teach students what a start-up business is, and make the clear distinction between a start-up and a small business. It will take students through ideation, and developing business concepts that will be modelled using the Business Model Canvas, from the ideas generated. The methodology is based on the “Lean Launchpad” class used by the US National Science Foundation, Stanford, and University of California Berkeley. The core teaching philosophy of this class will have experiential, learner-centric and inquiry- based classes that help to develop the mind-set, reflexes, agility and resilience an entrepreneur needs to search for certainty in a chaotic world. This will be achieved with the adoption of a number of teaching aids, prominent amongst which is the Launchpad Central, and videos from Steve Blank’s class on “How to start a business”. To be stressed will be the need to “get out of the class room” and bring the business models to life. Since this is a capstone class, the first half, which will be undertaken in the first semester, is what the course outline will be based on. It will guide students to come out with a laudable business concept which will be presented to established entrepreneurs to feedback for further development in the second half. Course Objectives: By the end of this class, students should have: 1. An understanding of the elements and journey of entrepreneurship and how an entrepreneur uses the concept of ‘effectuation’ to decide where to enter; 2. A general understanding of the opportunities and differences in being an entrepreneur in Ghana: 3. An understanding of how to develop a business model hypothesis using the business model canvas.
  2. 2. Entrepreneurship I – Fall 2014 Page 2 of 9 4. The experience of testing a business model hypothesis using customer development techniques, and formulating and executing a ‘minimum viable product’. Text: “Start-up Owner’s Manual (SOM): Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company” by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf © 2012 Supplementary text and material:  Kuenyehia on Entrepreneurship (KOE) by Elikem Nutifafa Kuenyehia © 2012;  Videos from the Udacity class on “How to Start a Business” by Steve Blank (distributed in class);  8 month access to LaunchPad Central; and  Articles as will be deemed necessary and posted on courseware by instructors. Measuring of Learning Outcomes: The above mentioned learning outcomes will be measured by the activities identified below: Assessment Detailed Scores Total Score Weight 1 Online and In class Participation, and attendance 10+10+10 30 6 2 Interviews in LPC 20+20+20+20 80 16 3 Case Reviews and Industry Sector Research 20+20+10 50 10 4 Idea hypothesis and Canvas updates 25+25+25+25 100 20 5 Mid-point concept evaluation 100 100 20 6 Weekly team blog posts 20 20 4 7 Final concept presentations 100 100 20 8 Lessons learnt presentation 20 20 4 500 100 Team formulation: Teams will be formed at two levels: 1. Following the industrial sector taxonomy used by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) in the development of its budget, students will select their industry of interest and will be grouped as such for idea ‘elevator pitch’ sessions. a. Agriculture: crops; livestock; forestry and logging; fishing; agro processing; breweries and beverages; etc b. Industry: mining and quarrying; petroleum; manufacturing; electricity; water and sewerage; construction; consumer goods; media; pharmaceuticals; telecommunications c. Services: trade, repair of vehicles, household goods; hotels and restaurants; transport and storage; information and communication; financial intermediation; business, real estates, and others; public administration & defence; social security; education; health and social work; consumer & industrial products and services 2. In the various industrial interest groups, students will be tasked with pitching different business ideas for the instructors of the class to select the ones that are likely to be
  3. 3. Entrepreneurship I – Fall 2014 Page 3 of 9 successful. This will be followed by a session of student idea collaborations etc to form various business teams. The focus of team formulation will need to be on compositions with strengths that complement each other, rather than composition based on friendships. Teams will agree on a team charter to guide team activities, produce weekly team logs for assessment. As part of the charter, team members will define the major milestones that they will need to meet (at least 5), and appoint one team member to be in charge of each milestone. Assessments: Week Class Date Assignment Due 1 04/09/2014 Case 1 : 1 pager & presentation (Due in Discussion Section) 2 11/09/2014 Case 2: 1 pager on a business from & short presentation in class Industry Sector Research: What are problems worth addressing; identify many Weekly Blog 3 18/09/2014 Idea hypothesis Team charter LPC interviews #1 Weekly Blog 4 25/09/2014 LPC interviews #2 First Canvas in LPC Weekly Blog 5 02/10/2014 Update to the canvas in LPC Weekly Blog 6 09/10/2014 Weekly Blog 7 16/10/2014 Mid-point canvas and report Weekly Blog 8 23/10/2014 LPC interviews #3 Customer Acquisition Tactics Budget/Hypothesis Weekly Blog 9 30/10/2014 10 06/11/2014 Update to canvas Weekly Blog 11 13/11/2014 LPC interviews #4 Weekly Blog 12 20/11/2014 Update to canvas Weekly Blog 13 27/11/2014 Lesson Learned Document Weekly Blog 14 04/12/2014 Final presentation, canvas and report Weekly Blog Participation Participation will be based on attendance, in class discussion, online discussions, as well as peer feedback given during in-class critique sessions in the launchpadcentral (LPC) platform.
  4. 4. Entrepreneurship I – Fall 2014 Page 4 of 9 Regular and prompt attendance as well as active participation in this class is crucial to your understanding and enjoyment of this class. Should there be a need to miss a class, please be sure to inform the instructors in advance. Attendance and participation during discussion sessions and participation in online discussions, will contribute to your grade, so be sure not to miss class, discussion sessions and online sessions, and be engaged while at it. Interviews in LPC (4 sets of interviews) A key part of entrepreneurship, and the method we are using to teach it, is the idea of getting out of the building. That is to say, the answers you are looking for to better formulate your business are not between your ears, but out in the world. Much will be learned by talking to customers, ideally in person, but also on the phone and online. We expect that teams will perform at least 80 interviews with potential customers and stakeholders in their business before the close of the semester. The interviews are due on 4 dates throughout the semester; 20 interviews per team per date. Our intention is that each person will be involved in interviewing, and so for a team of 5, an average of 4 interviews will be done per person. Some interviews will be very extensive; others will be very brief. At the beginning, these interviews will be open ended, and then later in the semester more focused on gaining feedback to your product prototype and value proposition. Interviews will be recorded in LaunchPadCentral, and scored appropriately. Teams may also earn up to 20 points extra credit, one point for each interview beyond 80. The point value is 1 point per extra interview. Case Reviews (2 cases) Early in the quarter, we will have two cases that students will prepare in teams. The students will prepare a short paper and then present to their peers, first, on a set of start-up companies the faculty team assigns (discussion section after (4/9/2014); and for the second case, on a start- up company of the team’s choosing from (11/9/2014). In each case, students will work together to analyse the business model of the target company, their competitive environment, and their competitive advantage. The same team will be used for both projects, and we will factor in a peer and overall team assessment. Each case will be 20 points. 10 points for the short paper and 5 points for the presentation. Industry Sector Research (1 report) In the first class, we will break into teams by industry sector. Each individual within the team will be responsible for producing a one page industry brief. The brief will potential opportunities, trends, and customer segments that could be served by new startups. We encourage teams to divide the space between them to get as much breadth in the sector as possible. Idea hypothesis and Canvas updates (4 updates) We will start with elevator pitches and then an idea hypothesis. The idea hypothesis will follow a format provided by the instructors, focused on describing a scenario where the start-up’s product is applied. The other 3 canvas updates will occur in the LaunchPadCentral tool. Students will be graded on the completeness and reasoning for each piece of the business model canvas. As students move to later critiques, they will be judged on the extent to which they match interviews to canvas hypothesis to improve their understanding of how to adapt their business idea to the reality of the market.
  5. 5. Entrepreneurship I – Fall 2014 Page 5 of 9 Mid-point concept evaluation This is evaluation to be done before the mid-semester break. Students will be required to submit a complete canvas, with supported hypotheses for each aspect of the canvas. Students will also prepare a mid-term presentation, and a panel of industry advisors will assist in giving student teams feedback. Weekly team blogs Each Team will be required to produce a blog post for each week on the Ashesi courseware system. The focus of the blog will be: key insights, accomplishments, and plans for the next week, and lessons learned. You should make the posts exciting to read. The task should be rotated between team members. Individuals are encouraged to read posts by other teams in the class and give them feedback regularly. (PS: this will count towards online participation and engagement) Final concept preparations The final concept for the semester will include the following components: First, a business report describing the start-ups current thinking on the elements of the business model canvas, as well as its competitive position. Second, a business pitch will be done before faculty and a panel of industry advisors. Finally, a video concept pitch, of length 2-4 minutes, which is an amalgam of your product and pitch, leading us through your company, customers served, problems solved, and product you are producing. Ashesi's Learning Goals Ethics and Civic Engagement An Ashesi student is an ethical, responsible and engaged member of his/her community. To be ethical as an entrepreneur means to ensure that the business concept is one that fits within the Code of Conducts of doing business within the context the business will be established in. It will also mean putting in place structures and making assumptions that makes the entrepreneur conduct business with integrity. In this class, students will receive feedback on their business ideas and concepts from the instructors and from class guest to teach them the ethos of doing business locally and internationally. Also, the methodology for the class will have students taking their ideas outside the class room and testing them. This will make them engage with their communities, who will form part of their target customer base, and all the feedback from these engagement efforts will shape their ideas to be sure they are sensitive to the requirements of the communities. Critical thinking and Quantitative Reasoning An Ashesi student is able to apply critical thinking and quantitative reasoning to approach complex problems. In the entire class, students will be expected to make very sound business decisions and assumption, as well as justify these decisions and assumptions. This capstone class will give them the opportunity to integrate the critical thinking and quantitative reasoning skills acquired over the years. They will further conduct various research and customer feedback sessions that will need to be analysed to help them draw on sound conclusions to feed into their business ideas. This class thus gives them an excellent opportunity to sharpen this skill and develop new techniques for approaching complex problems as young entrepreneurs.
  6. 6. Entrepreneurship I – Fall 2014 Page 6 of 9 Communication An Ashesi student is an excellent communicator in a variety of form The class and discussion sessions will be filled with written and oral presentations to help students hone their communication skills. Also, interactions with class guests and their peers will help the students pick up key communication up points for an entrepreneur including listening skills, giving and receiving feedback, and pitching ideas and business concepts to potential partners, investors, customer and other stakeholders. Leadership and Teamwork An Ashesi student is adept at leading and functioning in teams. The entire class is based on team activity and team effort. Students forms teams very early in the semester and work together as a team till the end. Instructors in this class pay attention to how team development occurs and coach students on how to work together focusing on what contribution each team member makes to it, and minimize the differences they have to help them succeed. The students would have also worked in different teams from their enrolment at Ashesi, but with these team projects as a subset of the various classes. In this class, they will realize how they ultimately must rely on each other, and learn the hard lessons of having no option than to work together to attain success for the team and individually as well. The hope is that, they will be able to put into practice, some of the team formulation skills they would have learnt in previous classes. Innovation and Action An Ashesi student takes intellectual risks and demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit. The foundation of this class starts with the ideation process the team goes through and how they are able to come up with creative ideas and work throughout the semester to make them feasible. They will learn how to be proactive as a team, analyse the risks that they and their teams are subjected to, find ways of mitigating these risks and work at achieving team success. This assignment will require them being bold, intellectually justifying all assumptions and decisions, and developing the tenets of an entrepreneur. They will at the end of the class be ready to graduate from Ashesi and start businesses with all the calculated boldness that goes with it. Curiosity and Skill An Ashesi student is inquisitive and confident, has breadth of knowledge, and has attained a high level of mastery in his/her chosen field. A student who is not curious, does not question the status quo, and fails to apply all the knowledge garnered from classes taken prior to this class, will not be able to succeed in this class. The structure of the class is such that, students will learn how to be intellectually curious through various research and customer feedback interviews. Also, they will learn how to probe properly in the critique sessions and master the art of confidently projecting their points while they objectively receive feedback for improvement. The integrative nature of the class will also have them drawing and knowledge acquired in previous classes, and have them read up on materials from other sources including professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, etc to feed their curiosity buds and to help them achieve project success. Technological Competence An Ashesi student is an effective and flexible user of technology. Over the years at Ashesi, students have been introduced to various technologies to help aid these classes, as well as make them functional when they go out for internships and in their social settings. In this class, students will be introduced to the Launchpad Central software for developing start-up concepts. The very interactive interface will require a consolidation of knowledge in the use of ICT from various classes, as well as help students adapt very quickly to a new interface, which is what
  7. 7. Entrepreneurship I – Fall 2014 Page 7 of 9 they will be faced with in industry. In the second week of class, students will be introduced to this software, and the expectation is that, by the end of the semester, they would have mastered it. This will aid students hone their skills in adaptation to technology, and proactively studying and practicing how to use these, to help prepare them for life after graduation. Class Schedule & Readings Week Class Date Part 1 Part 2 1 04/09/2014 - Course Introduction - Entrepreneur Speaker - Introduction to and elements of entrepreneurship:  Who is an entrepreneur  How do they find ideas  What are the elements they need to think through - Basic background on the business model canvas and an example - Break into industry sector teams of 5 - Work in teams to develop the business model canvas of the enterprise that presented, turn in at the end of class - Work on developing an overview of opportunities and trends in the sector for discussion session 2 11/09/2014 - Analyze and write summaries on businesses on to cover:  Brief about business  Business model  Customer segment characteristics  Value to the customer - Teams formulation 3 18/09/2014 - Teams present their ideas for general feedback on soundness  Each team present 2 ideas  Presentations should address: the business hypothesis, customer segment, value the business will add to customers, and stakeholders of the business - Business model hypothesis - Define customer segment - Go out and test: Customer Interview 4 25/09/2014 - Market Research  Purpose  Methods - Market type  Hypothesis - Competition  Strategies to manage them - Persona Definition - The business Model Canvas Critique  Attempt The Canvas on their current idea.  Discuss The Canvas as has been developed. Each team will present for critique. If we run out of time, teams will continue at discussion. 5 2/10/2014 - The Value Proposition  Assess needs/ problems of various market segments  Propose solutions to needs/ problems identified  Identify ways in which the solution has added value  Find other creative ways of adding value to modify product/ service - Team meeting on MVP
  8. 8. Entrepreneurship I – Fall 2014 Page 8 of 9 Week Class Date Part 1 Part 2 6 9/10/2014 Guests: discuss MVP decisions of their businesses - Customer relationships  Identifying customer expectation  Integrating with business model  Evaluating cost of relationship - Channels of reaching customers  Selecting channels  Testing channels  Assessing channel efficiency - Assignment: customer acquisition tactics and budget for discussion section. 7 16/10/2014 - Midpoint concept evaluations - show prototype of product/service - submit a draft document  overview  sections in canvas  competitors and strategy  appendix - Midpoint concept evaluations - show prototype of product/service - submit a draft document  overview  sections in canvas  competitors and strategy  appendix 8 23/10/2014 Feedback sessions with instructors Feedback sessions with instructors 9 30/10/2014 Mid - Semester Break 10 6/11/2014 - Business Model critique session  Focus should be on what has been changed after the mid- point evaluations - Business Model critique session  Focus should be on what has been changed after the mid-point evaluations 11 13/11/2014 - Revenue Models - Resources - Cost decisions - Partners - Industry guest speakers to share their experiences.  an entrepreneurs  - venture capitalists 12 20/11/2014 - Business Model Critique  Focus on revenue models, cost, resources etc - Business Model Critique  Focus on revenue models, cost, resources etc 13 27/11/2014 Lessons learned presentations Lessons learned presentations 14 4/12/2014 Final concept presentations Final concept presentations
  9. 9. Entrepreneurship I – Fall 2014 Page 9 of 9 Reading List Week Class Date Lean Launchpad Video Reading 1 4/9/2014 Lecture 1 Lecture 1.5A Lecture 1.5B SOM p1-20 (Chapter 1-3) 2 11/9/2014 KOE Chapter 1-3 3 18/09/2014 Lecture 2: Value Proposition SOM p51-84 (Chapter 4 and 5) 4 25/09/2014 Lecture 3: Customer Segments KOE Chapter 4 SOM pp85-97, 112-125, 203-217 (problem), 218-221 (customer) 5 02/10/2014 MVP Intro: inimum-viable-product-guide.html and Eric Ries Video ( ml?) 6 09/10/2014 Lecture 4: Channels Lecture 5: Customer Relationships SOM p291-343,357-409 7 16/10/2014 8 23/10/2014 9 30/10/2014 10 06/11/2014 SOM 413-425 (Chap 11: positioning) 11 13/11/2014 12 20/11/2014 Lecture 6: Revenue Model Lecture 7: Partners Lecture 8: Resources, Activities, and Costs 13 27/11/2014 14 04/12/2014 SOM=Startup Owner’s Manual KOE=Kuenyehia On Entrepreneurship Lean Launchpad videos will be made available to the class

Course Outline for Entrepreneurship Fall 2014 at Ashesi University, taught by Sena Agyepong and Todd Warren. Based on the Lean LaunchPad curriculim from steve blank and co.


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