Preface of Textbook
About the Textbook
About the Authors
Book Website at McGraw-Hill
DVD Contents
Stanford 1e Book Website
McGraw-Hill 1e Book Website
Book Contents
Table of Contents
Venture Opportunity, Concept and Strategy
Venture Formation and Planning
Functional Planning of the Venture
Financing and Building the Venture
  Business Plans (App. A)
  Case Studies (App. B)
Online Sources (App. C)
Sample Syllabus
Course Overview
Calendar of Sessions
Entrepreneurial Perspective
Idea or Opportunity
Gathering Resources
Managing Ventures
Entrepreneurship and You
Additional Resources
Schools Using This Textbook
Authors Blog

Entrepreneurs build a financial plan to determine the economic potential for their venture. This plan provides an estimate of the potential of the venture. Of course, any estimate is based on a set of assumptions regarding sales revenues and costs. Using the best available information and their intuition, entrepreneurs calculate the potential profitability of the venture. Furthermore, they need to determine the flow of cash monthly to identify the cash investments that will be required over a two- or three-year period. Also, an income statement and a balance sheet are required to demonstrate profitability and liquidity. Using the estimates of sales, the venture team can determine the number of units it needs to sell to breakeven. Furthermore, they can calculate several measures of profitability that demonstrate the return provided by their venture for investors. The best ventures grow sales consistently and provide positive cash flow and profit early in their life.


ClubTools, Inc.
Discusses the development of an Internet start-up by a recent HBS graduate. Details the company's business plan, incubation, technology development, marketing strategy, and search for funding. Teaching Purpose: How to translate a business idea into a cash flow forecast.
Preview Travel (A)
This case describes the evolution of Preview Travel's business plan and financing strategy and highlights a financial turning point that the company faced in August 1997. In August 1997, the company was in need of an additional cash infusion and had received strong indications of interest from a major U.S. media company. However, Preview Travel was disappointed with the offer the media company eventually made--$4.50 a share--since it was significantly less than the Series E round a year earlier ($9.00 a share). An investment bank advising Preview Travel believed that Preview Travel could garner a higher valuation in the public market and recommended that the company consider an IPO as an alternative means of raising capital. However, there were risks to this strategy.
(DVD Section 17.1) Gajus Worthington: Keeping a Financial Focus
Gajus warns that a lot of entrepreneurs get so caught up in the technology or science behind their product that they forget to focus on the business metrics which drive success. It is essential to pay attention to the margins and avoid price erosions.
David Neeleman: Defining the JetBlue Experience
We spent 4.5 years defining the customer experience, and we tried to put our money into things that mattered to people. Food is one example: I have never heard a single soul say that they haven't had a good meal, and so they'll book an airline ticket. This year, we'll serve 10 million customers. If we'd spent $5 on a meal for each customer, we'd have spent $50 million of food that wasn't appreciated. So we use humor to inform people that there won't be full meals, and we provide snacks at 17 cents apiece. We knew that televisions would be memorable. I remember one of the happiest days when we were starting JetBlue was when we found the companie who installs direct TVs in planes. I wanted to give people control on an airplane. The cost of implementing the televisions was a fraction of the cost of serving full meals. Cleaning the airline was another example. And helping customers put bags away, to improve the gateway time.
Frank Levinson: You need too little money
Number 8 in Frank Levinson's Top 10 Things You Must Have to Start a Business. You need "too little" money. Using the famous coconuts from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" as an example, Frank Levinson explains how innovation is born out of necessity.
Merrill Lynch: How to Read a Financial Report
A straightforward guide on how to read a company annual report so that the reader may become a more informed investor. Includes in-depth explanations of financial reports (balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement) and how to analyze them.
Introduction to Financial Ratios and Financial Statement Analysis - HBS
Introduces and describes meaning and uses for financial ratios to assess profitability, activity, solvency and leverage, and returns to shareholders.
Frank Moyes - Colorado Leeds School of Business
Professor Frank Moyes provides a financial projections tool that can be used as a template for entrepreneurs when putting together their initial financial statements.
Reading Financial Reports - HBS
Financing Entrepreneurial Ventures - HBS
Business Fundamentals are collections of Harvard Business School background materials, reflecting HBS courses and supplemented by self-study aids. This collection helps the entrepreneur negotiate the rugged terrain of financing a start-up. It also includes material on writing a business plan. As part of the Business Fundamentals series, it contains materials used in Harvard Business School's MBA and executive education programs, including: "Bootstrap Finance: The Art of Start-Ups" by Amar Bhide; "Some Thoughts on Business Plans" by William Sahlman; "Note on Acquiring Bank Credit" by Amar Bhide and Howard Stevenson; and "How Much Money Does Your New Venture Need?" by James McNeill Stancill.
Analysis for Financial Management by Robert Higgins
McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 7th edition
Financial and Economic Analysis for Engineering and Technology Management by Henry Riggs
Wiley, 2nd edition
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