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School of Business

New Venture Creation, MGMT 451


Turning Ideas into Companies, IT 495 (Crosslist)
Spring 2016

MGMT 451/IT 495


Syllabus
REVISED 1/20/2016

Assistant Professor Jim Wolfe


Tel. 703-220-9231
jwolfe7@gmu.edu

Purpose: This fundamental entrepreneurship course is designed as an introduction to new


venture creation and the entrepreneurial process. Topics will include screening the opportunity,
creating new ventures, evaluating the entrepreneurial team, product launch, financing, and exit
strategies. The centerpiece of this course is developing a Feasibility Study for a new venture
that you would consider actually starting.
Learning Objectives: This course is for anyone who plans to participate in the creation,
management, financing, or sale of a new venture. Emphasis will be placed on the start-up
business, but we will also examine corporate and nonprofit ventures. Upon completion
students should comprehend the language of entrepreneurship; be familiar with the new
venture process; understand the distinctions between managerial and entrepreneurial
behaviors; and be qualified to join an entrepreneurial team pursuing a new venture.
Desirable Prerequisites: MBUS 300, MBUS 301, MBUS 303.
Format: The course will culminate in the preparation of a business plan by students working in
teams. You are expected to read the text assignment each week before class as preparation.
We will not discuss each topic in class you will be expected to know the material, use it in your
business plan, and use it to complete the exams. The professor should be viewed as a facilitator
to discussion, and not as an oracle.
Buy and read the textbook (it is cheap), and read Blackboard. Cases from real local area
businesses will be posted on Blackboard be prepared to discuss these in class.
Rules of the Road: Students in this class are considered to be adults completing the final year
of their undergraduate education; they will be treated as such. The course is a transitional
program engaging all your previous Mason education to solve typical business process
challenges. Class participation is a significant part of the grade; it is difficult to engage if you
are not present. If you must miss a class, you do not need to let the professor know, but do
inform your team in advance. Use your name placard in each class.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
Assignments. All assignments are to be submitted before class. Note that many
assignments are not graded, but are used to keep you on track for completing the Final
Project. You are expected to keep up with the homework as part of class participation.

New Venture Creation, MGMT 451


Turning Ideas into Companies, IT 495

Assistant Professor Wolfe


Spring 2016

Questions. All questions should be asked and resolved in class, especially those
concerning class assignments. Those involving personal matters should be addressed in
private by phone or email or through a personal meeting.

Dress. This class has several corporate visitors throughout the term. Standard dress is
business casual although for presentations you may want to be more formal for your
presentations. You represent your team, the class and Mason when you interact with
outside personnel. Make sure that everything you write, say and do makes a positive,
business-like impression.

Team Work. Our project work is done in teams. Your participation in the teams work is
among the most critical factors of your class grade and your teams success. Conflicts
should be resolved quickly through team leadership and the professors help, if
necessary. If for some reason you cannot show up to join your team on those project
days, please make sure to inform your team members in advance. The review by your
peers will help determine your grade.

Computers in Class. Laptops and smartphones may not be used in the classroom.
Take your notes by hand (research shows this improves learning) and summarize into
electronic form later. Bring your laptop or a memory stick on days you present in class.

Academic Honesty: Students are expected to know and follow the GMU honor code (
http://www.gmu.edu/facstaff/handbook/aD.html). Scholastic dishonesty, including
cheating in exams or plagiarism, will be treated as a violation of universitys regulations.
As such, appropriate sanctions will be pursued vigorously. This ethical rule does not
prevent the discussion of business ideas with classmates outside the classroom.
Obtaining business ideas or getting notes on quizzes from previous years are not
considered honest behavior, as they hinder the normal discovery and learning process,
and overstate your preparation.

Students Needing Accommodations: If you are a student with a disability and you need
academic accommodations, please see me and contact the Disability Resource Center
(DRC) at 993-2474. All academic accommodations will be arranged through the DRC.

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New Venture Creation, MGMT 451


Turning Ideas into Companies, IT 495

Assistant Professor Wolfe


Spring 2016

Required Text:
Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, 7/E
By Norman M. Scarboroough
ISBN 13:978-0-13-266679-4
Publisher: Pearson
Note that this is an OLDER edition (7th Edition). I highly recommend that you purchase a
used copy online. It is much less expensive!
Wall Street Journal. Students are also required to purchase the Wall Street Journal. Sign up in
class. We will use discussion of current events from the WSJ to kick off some class sessions.
Optional Texts:
The best work on business plans I have found is Writing a Convincing Business Plan
(Paperback) by Dethomas, Arthur R. and Lin Grensing. Barron's Educational Series; 2nd
edition (January 1, 2001). ISBN: 0764113992.
Class Schedule: Thursdays, 4:20 pm 7:10 pm. Location: Fairfax Campus, East Hall 122.
Office hours: Tuesdays before class, or by appointment, Enterprise 45. The best way to reach the
professor is email; please use your GMU account to avoid spam filters.
Grading: The centerpiece of this course is a written Feasibility Study, which is also presented
in-person to the class. Your work on the Feasibility Study as a team will count for 50% of your
grade; your individual assignments count for 50%. The Feasibility Study is written by teams of
up to 4 persons (please get permission if you need a larger team, or would like to work alone).
For individual work, students will complete two exams (a mid-term and a short final) and
actively participate in class. Students should note that class participation is not a trivial part of
the grade. See the Grading Rubric for more details.
Your grading will be weighted 50% team and 50% individual as follows:
Team Feasibility Study Project Presentation
Final Presentation
Final Feasibility Study Written Report
Peer Evaluation
Class Participation
Mid Term Exam
Final Exam (take home)
Total Grade
Grade Structure
95 100 A
90 - 94.99 A85 - 89.99 B+
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50%
15%
20%
15%
30%
10%
10%
100%
75 - 84.99 B

New Venture Creation, MGMT 451


Turning Ideas into Companies, IT 495
70 - 74.99 B-

65 - 69.99 C

Assistant Professor Wolfe


Spring 2016

Below 65 F

SPRING 2016 SCHEDULE


Using Essentials of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, 7th Edition, By Norman M.
Scarborough, Published by Pearson.
Note: This schedule is subject to change.

DATE

TOPIC

Jan 21

Introductions
Defining Entrepreneurship
Course Description and expectations
Details on Feasibility Study Project

READING

In class exercises.

Jan 28
Opportunity Recognition
The Entrepreneurial Mind
Team Formation

Chapter 1, 2
Blackboard:
Silk Road Case

Read the Silk Road Case before


class, and be prepared to discuss.
Feb 4
The Business Model

Chapter 3

First Team Presentations on Idea


Feb 11
Feasibility Analysis
Writing The Business Plan

Feb
18

ASSIGNMENTS
DUE

Chapter 4

5 Minute Team Presentation of


Product/Service/Operations in Class

Blackboard:
Star Progress
Case

Building a Powerful Marketing Plan

Chapter 8

Marketing Research
Competitive Positioning

Individual: Write a 1-2 page


description of your business idea and
post it by Thursday night before class.
Be prepared to present a 1-2 minute
summary of your idea to the class
what it is, why it is great, & how it
makes money.
Team: Write Up 1-page each on 3
possible Team business ideas. Be
prepared to present them in a 3
minute class presentation, with 1
minute on each idea.
Team: 2-page summary of the new
venture and product or service idea
chosen. 1 page SWOT analysis of the
idea chosen by your Team.
- Develop your company name.
-1 page per person biographies of all
team members.
-5 minute class presentation.
Individual: Interview 3 members of
the target market. Write up their
feedback on your product or service,
marketing, and pricing.
Team: 5 minute presentation on
marketing plans.

Feb
25

Legal Forms of Organization


Franchising

Chapter 5,6

No Assignments due. Re-read Star


Progress Case; pay attention to how it
was organized legally.

Review
Chapters 3,4

Team: Present a 10-minute pitch of


your business, market, financials, and
operations.

Mar 3
Mid Term Presentations

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New Venture Creation, MGMT 451


Turning Ideas into Companies, IT 495

Mar
10

No Class Spring Break

Mar
17

Mid Term Exam


Team time to work on Feasibility
Studies

Mar
24

Mar
31

Assistant Professor Wolfe


Spring 2016

Study for the Midterm Next Week!

Financial Analysis
Financial Projections
Managing Cash Flow

Review
Chapters 1-6,
11, 12
Chapter 10, 11,
12

Sources of Funding
Debt & Equity
Lets Make a Deal

Chapter 13

E-Commerce and the Entrepreneur


Continued Financing Discussion

Chapter 9

You must take the mid-term at the


scheduled time.
Team: Monthly Cash flow years 1-2 &
quarterly for years 3-5. Plus 1-page of
financial projections. Plus 1-page of
detailed list of cash flow assumptions
Team: How are you financing your
business? Where could money come
from? Present both to class (4
minutes financials and 1 minute on
sources of funding).

Apr 7
Team time to work on plans.

Blackboard:
WorthPoint Case
Apr 14

Apr 21
Apr 28

Building the Team


Succession Planning

Chapter 16

Exit Strategies
Selling the Business
Going Public The IPO
Final Class
GROUP PROJECT
PRESENTATIONS

Team time to work on plans.


Submit Final Written Feasibility Study
Project

Final Feasibility Studies due by 4:20


pm

May 5

Final Examination
(Take Home Exam)
Due by 4:20 pm

Team: Prepare 2-page Competitive


Analysis paper and 4-minute
competitive analysis presentation.
Who are competitors and how will you
succeed and/or differentiate yourself?

Submit Presentation slides


Review
Chapters
9,11,12,13,16

You must turn in your Final Exam


by the scheduled time.

HONOR CODE: Student members of the George Mason University community pledge not to cheat,
plagiarize, steal, or lie in matters related to academic work. It is your responsibility to know and to
follow George Mason Universitys policy on intellectual integrity. Please see: http://oai.gmu.edu/themason-honor-code/

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New Venture Creation, MGMT 451


Turning Ideas into Companies, IT 495

Assistant Professor Wolfe


Spring 2016

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New Venture Creation, MGMT 451


Turning Ideas into Companies, IT 495

Assistant Professor Wolfe


Spring 2016

Feasibility Study Project


Our final project in Entrepreneurship is a feasibility study for a specific intellectual property, technology,
or business concept. A feasibility study is not a full business plan. Rather, it is a first look comparing the
product or service and the marketplace in order to determine whether there is market demand, and a
chance for a fundable business idea. Simply put, is there a business here, or just an interesting idea?
In the first weeks of the course we will take up some of these issues: finding the idea; conducting market
research; understanding the business model. As we will cover in some detail, this is similar to marketing
or marketing research, but with an important distinction. Most marketing strategy is about selling the
product or service; the feasibility analysis is about determining whether there is a product or service
worth selling at any price, and at whatever cost of production.
The central question is whether we should pursue the given business idea with even more resources
required to write a full plan, and to use up those precious contacts with prospective investors. A number
of preliminary questions need to be addressed:

What exactly is the product or service? How will it be used? Who is the target customer?

What is the appropriate business model, given the type of customers anticipated?

Is there an alternative use for the technology that the owner or inventors have not yet thought
about? Could that be a more profitable approach?

Is the addressable market sufficiently large to support financial returns to outside investors
(whether angels, VCs or corporate partners)? What types of returns might be anticipated?

What are the potential pitfalls in the technology, IP, product or design?

What additional research and study will need to be completed as part of the final, complete
business planning process?

In contrast, a full business plan would go on to fully describe the management team, funding required,
funding approach, competition, competitive landscape, and exit strategy. A complete business plan also
includes financial projections and complete pro forma financial statements; here we only need some
preliminary projections of markets, revenues, and profits. The business plan is the subject for a later,
more advanced course in entrepreneurship.
Finally, it is important to remember that our concerns are about the business; we assume the gadget works
as promised by the inventors or engineers. (And when has a mad inventor ever been wrong, anyway?)

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