The focus of this course is on the concepts and practice of creating a new business. The course has many components in our attempts to make it realistic and useful, and these can be collected into two major categories: identifying and evaluating business opportunities, and conceiving, writing, executing and defending a business plan.
Identifying and evaluating business opportunities contains several components including understanding the technical state of the art, the characteristics of the relevant market, and the nature of the competition. A new idea can only be evaluated in the context of these issues, which makes the analysis fundamentally interdisciplinary.
Conceiving a business concept, then writing and defending the plan encompasses a wide range of conceptual and practical problems. These problems include, for example, how can one best develop a competitive advantage, formulate realistic goals, organize to meet those goals, assess the need for capital, recruit the right management team, gain the financial strength to survive and thrive, enter the market or create a new market, develop an intellectual property strategy, develop an appropriate FDA regulatory strategy and create a strategy for alliances and partnerships.
Student teams will be formed to identify and evaluate business opportunities, then to write and defend business plans for early stage ventures. The course will be taught as an interactive course with heavy faculty mentoring, student coaching, and student participation in every facet of the course, both on their own projects and evaluating the other student teams’ ideas.
Second year student status, and permission of the instructors. ALS457or an alternative course that includes venture finance is strongly recommended as a pre-requisite course.
Students will work in teams to evaluate the technical background, market opportunities, competition and strategies needed to capitalize on a new business opportunity. This is a real-world team exercise that integrates and reinforces many different aspects of the MBS degree – marketing, financial analysis, intellectual property assessment, technical assessment, strategic and competitive analysis. Finding a market opportunity is a very creative exercise, and this course will challenge and expand student’s creative abilities. Financial analysis will be a significant part of the business plan development.