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Managing the Early-Stage Venture

Course Module in Entrepreneurship


Course Modules help instructors select and sequence material for use as part of a course. Each module represents the thinking of subject matter experts about the best materials to assign and how to organize them to facilitate learning. Each module recommends four to six items. Whenever possible at least one alternative item for each main recommendation is included, as well as suggested supplemental readings that may provide a broader conceptual context. Cases form the core of many modules but we also include readings from Harvard Business Review, background notes, and other course materials. I. Overview of suggested content (HBS cases unless otherwise noted) Title Author Product Number 310032 803095 Publication Year 2009 2003 Pages Teaching Note 311082 804015

1. Pre-Launch Legal Considerations Urban Decay: A Great Idea Alternative: Sheila Mason & Craig Shepherd Supplement 1: Entrepreneurial decision and legal issues in early venture stages: Advice that shouldnt be ignored (Business Horizons article) Supplement 2: The Legal Protection of Intellectual Property and The Legal Forms of Organization (HBS note) 2. The Very Small Enterprise Dry Goods (Kellogg case) Alternative: Feed Resource Recovery (Babson case) Supplement: Cash Management Practices in Small Companies (HBS note) Frand Addante, Serial Entrepreneur Alternative: Apples Core Shein, Joyce & Cornuke Zacharakis & ZacharakisJutz Bowen et al. KEL509 BAB156 2010 2009 8p 16p KEL510 BAB656 Goldberg Roberts 6p 18p

Marcum & Blair

BH425

2011

10p

--

Roberts

898230

1998

8p

--

Roberts

898825

1998

10p

--

699047

1998

8p

---

3. Assembling Non-Financial Resources Wasserman & Uy Wasserman 809046 809063 2008 2008 13p 8p 810019 809132

Supplement: Assembling the Startup Team (HBS note) Pandora Radio: Fire Unprofitable Customers? Alternative: StudyBlue (Stanford case) 5. Risk Management Playing with Fire at Sittercity (A) Alternative: Black Duck Software Supplement: Beating the Odds When You Launch a New Venture (HBR article)

Wasserman

812122

2012

5p

--

4. The Impact of Financing Models on Business Evolution Shih & Tecco Morgridge et al. Wasserman & Gordon Bagley & Lane Gilbert & Eyring 610077 E373 2010 2010 13p 18p 610078 E373TN

809009 806121 R1005G

2009 2006 2010

18p 18p 8p

810120 806174 --

II. Rationale for selection and sequencing the items in this module The purpose of this module is to focus on early-stage ventures, starting with the idea stage, moving on through the initial development of a small business, and continuing to somewhat larger businesses to explore issues of risk management. Section 1 explores the legal issues at the foundation of any business venture. The main case, Urban Decay, explores many pre-launch legal considerations for the entrepreneur, including the legal relationships that can be formed through oral discussions about business ideas and actions founded upon those ideas. An alternative item for pre-launch consideration is the case Sheila Mason & Craig Shepherd, which examines issues around departing from a firm to start ones own business. Section 2 looks at the special challenges faced by seemingly simple, small businesses. Both cases profile businesses with intuitive appeal and should engage students. Section 3 concentrates mainly on the important connections among people that constitute the foundational capabilities of entrepreneurial firms. Frand Andante, Serial Entrepreneur examines the lessons a young entrepreneur has learned about forming founding teams, splitting equity with his cofounders, hiring executives to work for him, and when to take outside funding. The alternative case, Apples Core, looks at similar issues facing Steve Jobs and Steve Wosniak during the early days of Apple Computer. Section 4 features case protagonists who are contending with funding issues. The focus, however, is less on the nuts and bolts of financing than on the relationship between funding sources and the evolution of business models. In the main case, Pandora Radio, students will consider financing alternatives on a business as it changes over time. The alternative case, StudyBlue, looks at the CEO of a young company facing a series of difficult decisions, which include: determining an appropriate business, which customer segment to target, and how much new capital to raise (and from whom). Section 5 deals with risk management. The cases examine risk-management issues in, respectively, a babysitting web service (Sittercity) and a software development business (Black Duck Software). The supplementary reading, Beating the Odds When You Launch a New Venture contradicts the widely held stereotype that entrepreneurs are cavalier about taking risks; on the contrary, this article argues that the

best entrepreneurs are relentless about managing risks. The article gives some insights about the approaches these prudent entrepreneurs take to reduce risk and increase the value of their enterprises.