Syllabus & Calendar

View an overview of this syllabus as a PDF
The sessions for this course are organized into four modules:

1-4: The Entrepreneurial Perspective
5-10: Opportunity Recognition and Evaluation
11-16: Assembling Resources and Managing Growth
17-20: Entrepreneurship and You

1: Course Overview

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Summary: What is E145? This first meeting of the course will provide a complete overview of the course including teaching team introductions and expectations, and exactly how we plan to exceed students’ expectations.  We will discuss our goals and objectives in examining the fundamentals of technology entrepreneurship. Students must attend this session to be considered for admission into the course.

Quote of the Day: "A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one who makes opportunities of his difficulties." Harry Truman

2: Silicon Valley & Key Frameworks

Thursday, April 1, 2010
Summary: What exactly is technology entrepreneurship?  We will give an overview of this process of creating and growing high potential ventures using several frameworks.  What exactly is the significance of "Silicon Valley"?  How has it been created?  What is unique about Silicon Valley, and what could be replicated in other regions of the world?  This session will examine the economic and cultural underpinnings of the center of technology entrepreneurship.

We will also provide information on the term projects (OAP and OEP).

Quote of the Day: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." Aristotle

3: Creativity & Improvisation

Monday, April 5, 2010
*Reminder: this class will be held 1:30-3pm in the Old Union Clubhouse Ballroom on Monday.  We will also meet on our regular time on Tues. April 6th from 10-11:50am for and team project meetings.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010
In this class we will watch the movie, portraying the adventures and mistakes of a team of cofounders from raising capital to bad lawyers to having to fire employees. Teams will also have a chance to meet about their OAP projects. We will discuss the movie, time permitting at the end of class.

5: Accounting and Case Method Workshop

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Summary: This session is meant to give you a basic overview of accounting principles that will be helpful in case analyses to understand:
  • how to read the financial statements of a company (balance sheet, income statement, and the statement of cash flows)
  • how to determine the health of a company from financial statements
  • how well a company is performing
  • how accounting definitions of "value" differ from those of a financial or market determination of "value"
After this session, you will be expected to "run the numbers" when evaluating a case. We will also discuss the case method of instruction.

6: From Idea to Opportunity 1

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Summary: This is the first of two sessions where we discuss the differences between an idea and an opportunity.

7: From Idea to Opportunity 2

Thursday, April 15, 2010
Summary: This is the second of two sessions where we discuss the differences between an idea and an opportunity. In this session, we look at the particular challenges of new ventures in the life science industry.

8: Entrepreneurial Marketing

Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Summary: The importance and implications of the technology adoption life cycle are examined. We also survey the key elements of entrepreneurial marketing including a compelling product/service strategy, a well-crafted positioning and competitive differentiation and a subsequent penetration strategy (including distribution, promotion and pricing). The concept of marketing as a set of relationships (i.e., partnerships and alliances) with customers, technology allies, distribution and promotion partners and even competitors will also be discussed. We also investigate the importance and critical elements of "thinking globally" from a startup's perspective.

9: Customer Development & Business Models

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Summary:   The first part of this class will focus on customer development.  Once you have an idea, sized the opportunity, and have convinced yourself it is a business worth pursing, what do you do next?  How do you execute and bring the product to customers and have them clamoring at your doorstep to buy it? Effective entrepreneurs understand that startups are not small versions of large companies.  Bringing startup products to market are not the same as launching products from large established companies. Because marketing is an art rather than a science, there are a plethora of marketing models entrepreneurs can follow.

10: IP & Legal

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Summary: This session will focus on intellectual property (IP), which is the cornerstone of a technology venture. Whereas old economy businesses built value in the form of factories and equipment, new economy businesses create the lion share of their value in intangibles; patents, copyrights, trade secrets and trademarks. An effective entrepreneur knows how to establish these key assets, and how to use them with investors, partners and competitors. IP issues vary across industries and product categories.  For example, protecting IP with patents is less critical for web 2.0 software ventures than it is for biotechnology ventures.

11: Partnerships

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Summary: Startups need all the help they can get. Choosing your stakeholders and negotiating critical relationships with an ecosystem of partners (suppliers, distribution partners, and others) can make or break your company. More often than not startups have little leverage in their relationships, so skill and tenacity are crucial. Intellectual property may be your primary bargaining chip. In this case study we will relive Steve Perlman's harried and complicated negotiations in the creation of WebTV. WebTV was a big idea that brought together top tier venture capitalists, big name consumer electronic companies, and leading technology companies.

12: OAP Presentations and Team Workshop

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

At the beginning of this session you will present your OAPs. 

Then we will work through a process to improve the functioning of your team.  We will learn about group dynamics and how to improve the functioning of teams and groups that you find yourself in, both during your educational experience and in your career.

Study Questions (Policy on Study Questions.)

13: Building the Startup Team

Thursday, May 6, 2010
Summary Entrepreneurship is a team sport. What are the critical human resource issues for new ventures? The NanoGene case examines the big three: assembling a team, developing a compensation policy, and creating an innovative culture..

Quote of the Day:
"Never, never, never, never give up." ~ Winston Churchill  

Guests (Click for Bios)
Dan Dorosin, Fenwick and West
Lewis Cirne, New Relic

14: Introduction to Venture Finance

Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Summary: How do entrepreneurs set priorities when gathering financial resources?  Today's session introduces the topic of venture finance.

Quote of the Day: "Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." ~ Booker T. Washington

Guests (Click for Bios)
Ravi Belani, Draper Fisher Jurvetson

15: Financings

Thursday, May 13, 2010
Summary: What is the value of "staged financings" for both entrepreneurs and venture capitalists? The Hirschtick (SolidWorks) case illustrates a classic first-round venture capital deal and highlights career paths both in technology entrepreneurship and venture capital.

Quote of the Day: "The key to a leader's impact is sincerity. Before he can inspire with emotion he must be swayed by it himself. Before he can move their tears his own must flow. To convince them he must himself believe." ~ Winston Churchill

Guests (Click for Bios)
Chi-Hua Chien, KPCB

16: Venture Finance Workshop

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summary: Raising money is arguably one of the most important decisions a founding team has to make. How much to raise? How much equity to give up? What is a fair valuation? What does the term sheet really say?

17: OEP Team Presentations 1

Thursday, May 20, 2010
For information on this session please see the Term Projects page.

The 6 Group A teams will present in Session 17 and the 6 Group B teams in Session 18.

*All teams, regardless of which day they are presenting, must post their PowerPoint deck to their website and send to the e145-homework list by 9 AM before this session.  No updates to decks are allowed after 9 AM.

Guests (Click for Bios)
Corey Reese

18: OEP Team Presentations 2

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
For information on this session please see the Term Projects page.

The 6 Group A teams will present in Session 17 and the 6 Group B teams in Session 18.

*All teams, regardless of which day they are presenting, must have posted their PowerPoint deck to their website and sent to the e145-homework list before Session 16 (not this session).  No updates to decks are allowed after 9 AM on Tuesday.

Guests (Click for Bios)
Matt Cohler

19: Stock Options, Careers, and Social Entrepreneurship

Thursday, May 27, 2010

*This class has two sections, Stock Options and Careers / Social Entrepreneurship.  Make sure to scroll all the way down.

Stock Options

Summary: Barbara Arneson must decide which job offer to take. With all other factors being equal, she is now down to a decision based on the value of the stock options offered by each company. One company is a public company with easily gathered data on the financial status of the company.

20: Course Summary

Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Quote of the Day: "To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Study Questions (Policy on Study Questions.)