MMM123-New Venture Start-Up

Module Provider: Henley Business School
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mr Keith Heron


Summary module description:
This is a co-delivered module shared by MM302 (stage 3 undergraduate) and MMM123 (post-graduate) to encourage knowledge exchange across a more diverse cohort.

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...It remains doubtful as to whether such a concept [a business plan] was ever developed by an entrepreneur except as response to acquiring resource from some third party with their need for a formal piece of paper. It is more the invention of the banker, venture capitalist, business school and bureaucrat looking for information, logic and order.

"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.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module students should:
Have 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
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
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
Demonstrable evidence for potential investors
Enhanced employability for students.

Additional outcomes:
Confidence in taking the risk to ‘start-up’

Demonstrated Enhanced reflection capabilities essential for Masters (Level 7) learning.

Outline content:
Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship, sources of opportunity, personal alertness, creativity and idea generation, marketing, selling, team building and team dynamics, sources of finance, especially crowdfunding, 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 comprised of a combination of lectures and interactive group work.
Autumn term lectures provide a theoretical foundation that stimulates the development of individual business hypotheses- or v.1 Value Proposition.

Spring term requires student proactivity to develop and risk 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 12 4
Practicals classes and workshops 12
Guided independent study 48 124
Total hours by term 60.00 140.00
Total hours for module 200.00

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

Other information on summative assessment:
Students shall complete Task 1 in individual mode but for Tasks 2 they can ‘opt-in’ and create mini groups of up to 3 students.
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 ideas at that stage of development and receiving feedback from the tutor and fellow module members (Task 1 is peer marked) and refine this into a Task 2 crowdfund campaign (offline).

The creation of a Task 2 (40 marks) crowdfund campaign for obtaining ‘campus coin funds’ that students can nominally use for (offline and only visible to module members), provides a good understanding of how to actually make this finance raising a reality after the degree is completed. Task 2 involves 50% of the marks based upon a ranking from other students’ allocation of funds.

Task 3 (40 marks) is the report that uses reflections from the two tests to produce a refined VP and BM with a plan for final testing of the VP.

Task 4 (20 marks) is a reflective ‘Level 7’ report.

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 the presentation and your immediate and delayed responses to those words- this is actually the most important of your feedback. You need to practice your words until your confidence grows and you are authentic in your communication- when under pressure.
2-Reactions in 'real time' from your audience is the second type of feedback.
3-There is feedback based on peer responses which indicate if your Value Proposition was understood. Unless they understand it, they can't support it, or buy it, or invest in it.
4-There is feedback based on the ranking order from the votes of other students.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:
No examination

Requirements for a pass:

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

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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