MM302-Entrepreneurial Project

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Mr Keith Heron

Email: keith.heron@henley.reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

New venture start-up involves more than generating a creative idea…it involves what it says in the title…’starting up’ or taking action. Within the confines of an academic module it is not realistic to expect a student to actually ‘start-up’ a new venture but it is realistic to expect a student to have ‘done something’ to test out their start-up hypothesis, in order to build their own and potential investor confidence.



Gibb (2008) states: Many modules or programmes focus on the outputs before understanding the process involved. For example, "it is perfectly possible for a participant in a programme to be able to construct a business plan (often the planned outcome from a programme), cost a product or service, develop a marketing strategy etc. but yet have no real feeling and insight into the ways that entrepreneurs do things, learn, communicate"…in other words the business plan is not a measure of entrepreneurial capacity… and so this module will not require a Business Plan as an assessment but it will require students to report their ‘progress towards start-up’.



 


Aims:

"The success of [a module] can be captured by the extent to which "it enables participants to: behave like an entrepreneur, think like an entrepreneur, feel like an entrepreneur, communicate like an entrepreneur, organise like an entrepreneur and learn like an entrepreneur (Gibb, 2008)."



This module will therefore provide the knowledge, encouragement, and support for students to discover an opportunity, generate their creative idea, package that idea into a ‘value proposition’ and then take some ‘risk’ in testing out their value proposition hypothesis for their start-up venture and receive feedback and reactions from fellow students as well as the tutor. 



It aims to simulate the experience of entrepreneurs in start-up incubators who receive support from fellow start-ups alongside more formal coaching and mentoring (in this module these are the classes and task feedback).



Entrepreneurs have limited resources and this module aims to replicate the experience of limited resources. Please do not try to invent new technology, as that is unrealistic within the scope of this module, but to use existing technology/knowledge in a novel way to create a novel idea for your target market within the financial limits that are provided (£3000).


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students should:



Be able to understand and use concepts in entrepreneurship to describe, discuss and appraise an opportunity

Be able to create the innovative idea matched to the opportunity

Understand the customer’s essential motivations for valuing your Value Proposition

Have demonstrated an effective testing mechanism for the VP

Have analysed and understood the results of the testing

Have demonstrated an understanding of the package that supports the VP- usually represented within a model known as the Business Model Canvas

Have created and then refined their original idea  – modified by reflecting on feedback received- to produce a Value Proposition that they have more confidence in, and which may be launched, post degree

Have acquired (in a portfolio) demonstrable evidence for potential investors and enhanced their employability.


Additional outcomes:

Confidence in taking the risk to ‘start-up’



Confidence in presenting to a large classroom cohort.



Demonstrated Enhanced reflection capabilities(which is essential for students wishing to progress to Masters (Level 7).


Outline content:

Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship, sources of opportunity, personal alertness, creativity and idea generation, marketing, selling, team building and team dynamics, social capital and a business model package.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This course is highly interactive and reliant upon personal initiative and action taking. Sessions are not traditional lectures and are comprised of a combination of mini-lectures and interactive group work.



Initial autumn term classes provide a theoretical foundation that stimulates the development of your search for a business opportunity and your initial creative response to generate your ‘starting idea’- or v.1 Value Proposition.



There is then a 6-week period where there are no classes to allow time for this 1st phase to occur, before classes resume in late Autumn term.



Spring term has 4 classes plus the crowdfund Task 2 presentation weeks (probably 3). The emphasis here requires students to be proactive in risking their personal credibility by presenting their VP hypothesis, in order to receive feedback and reactions from students and tutor and respond to that feedback by enhancing their VP.



The majority of the learning will be self-guided in response to the particular needs of the chosen project under the guidance and mentoring of your tutor.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 8 8
Practicals classes and workshops 2 6
Guided independent study 60 116 0
       
Total hours by term 70.00 130.00 0.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 60
Oral assessment and presentation 40

Summative assessment- Examinations:
No examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students shall complete Task 1 in individual mode but for Tasks 2 and 3 they can ‘opt-in’ and create mini groups of up to 4 students or stay in individual mode.



This is to provide opportunities for students to act as if being entrepreneurs, as in real life entrepreneurs will merge similar ideas to create more effective value propositions.



Task 1 (0 marks but is compulsory with marks deducted from Task 2 if not completed) involves the testing of opportunity spotted and matching ideas. The method will be advised i.e., probably by email with module convenor and in a peer to peer small group event in class. Receiving feedback from the tutor and fellow module members enables you to refine this into a Task 2 crowdfund campaign (this is not live but an offline module-only campaign using a platform designed for teaching). Due week 11 of Autumn Term.



Task 2 (40 marks) is a crowdfund campaign, just for this module’s student. It is a test to see if you can obtain £3000 in donations, in imaginary ‘coins’ distributed to each student in the module. Campaigns to be submitted prior to viewing all campaigns in Week 6 of Spring term. Presentations to commence in Week 7 of Spring term. This can be an individual test or a small team test (1-4 people).

Task 2 involves 10% of the marks based upon a ranking from other students’ allocation of funds and 90% from tutor evaluation of the campaign. It is important to ‘hustle’ (as it is known in USA) your peers into making donations for you but please don’t just collude and swap with friends.

Whatever the outcome of the peer voting of ‘coin’ donations, each student idea (not each student) will be given an imaginary £3000 to conceptualise an additional start-up test that is reported in Task 3. 



Task 3 (60 marks) is a report that asks you to reflect upon Task 2, identify changes to your VP, and imagine how you will use the imaginary £3000 to create a new start-up test of your enhanced VP.  Due final week of the Easter Holidays. This can be done as an individual or in a small team report (1-4 people). Individuals can revert back to their pre-task 2 idea if they wish, but they will need to explain the feedback they have received on that VP idea in order to satisfy the criteria of Task 3.


Formative assessment methods:

Tutor and peer observation and comments from informal presentations made in classes.



For example for the class Value Proposition presentations- Task 1 there are 4 forms of formative feedback:



1-Reflecting on the words you used in how you represented Task 1 to your peers and tutor.

2- Reaction from your peers is the second type of feedback which indicates if your Value Proposition was understood. Unless they understand it, they can't support it, or buy it, or invest in it. You need to practice your words until your confidence grows and you are authentic in your communication- when under pressure.

3-There is feedback based on the ranking order from the votes of other students.

4- There is feedback from the tutor in the form of summative marks and formative comments.


Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. 

(Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)



The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy. 

•  where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;

•  where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work


Assessment requirements for a pass:
40%

Reassessment arrangements:

By individual submission of a new task, by September of the same year.


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 16 August 2018

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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