MMM123-New Venture Start-Up

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

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 starting-up or taking action.



In this module we expect a student to have done something to test out their start-up hypothesis, in order to build their own and potential investor confidence, prior to venture launch.



A start-up business plan is not a measure of entrepreneurial capacity. This module will not require a Business Plan as one of the task assessments but it will require students to design ‘tests’ of the Value Proposition thinking and explain the learning from their progress towards start-up.



This module also provides an option for students to test and develop an idea generated by an external entrepreneur, thus enabling greater engagement with a real business situation. This will only occur where the module convenor has assessed the client idea as being suitable for conforming to the aims and assessment specification of this module.


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 provide the knowledge, encouragement, and support for students to:



 




  • discover an opportunity for a business idea and generate their creative idea

  • package that idea into a ‘value proposition’ and then (the important aspects for learning),

  • take some ‘risk’ in testing out their value proposition hypothesis to receive feedback and reactions from fellow students as well as the tutor

  • learn from feedback to enhance the value proposition hypothesis



 



The module aims to simulate the experience of entrepreneurs in start-up incubators who receive support from fellow start-ups alongside more formal coaching and mentoring.



 



There is the option of a client idea introduced by the module convenor students will be required to slightly modify the above stages to critique the client opportunity and idea prior to engaging in the testing of it.


Assessable learning outcomes:

Theoretical Knowledge:

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 what is a Value Proposition, with its component parts



Application of Theory:

Have demonstrated testing of the Value Proposition which is the package of the idea and its purpose for an intended customer

Have analysed and understood the results of the testing

Have demonstrated an understanding of the feasibility factors that support 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



Personal development:



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



International Awareness:

Interacted with students of different nationalities and exchanged and learned from cultural market intelligence.


Additional outcomes:

Enhanced personal confidence and competence for ‘start-up’.



Organisation, competence and confidence in presenting to a large classroom cohort.



Demonstrated enhanced reflection capabilities which are essential at 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, social capital, business model analysis, crowdfunding as a source of customer interest. 


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

 



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



The initial classes provide the theoretical information and resources for discovering the opportunity, which is to be presented in Task 1 as your individual business hypotheses- or version 1 Value Proposition.





Subsequently students are required to be proactive in risking their personal credibility by presenting their VP hypothesis, in order to receive feedback and reactions from fellow 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 lecturer/module convenor.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 2 16
Practicals classes and workshops 4
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 28 30
    Wider reading (directed) 10
    Peer assisted learning 10
    Preparation for presentations 30
    Preparation of practical report 20
    Group study tasks 10
    Carry-out research project 20
    Essay preparation 10
    Reflection 10
       
Total hours by term 30 170 0
       
Total hours for module 200

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

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

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. Please find and re-use existing technology/knowledge in a novel way to create a novel concept that can be tested with your intended target customer audience within the financial limits that are provided for your Task 3 customer engagement test (£3000).



The purpose of the Task 1 and 2 tests is to receive real information that helps each student learn and modify their idea as it progresses to market launch.



It is recognised that more than £3000 will usually be required to fund the actual launch, but this module is intended to build confidence, through demonstrated tests, to go on a launch the idea post module completion.



 



3 assessment tasks:



Task 1 (0 %). This is compulsory if you wish to receive feedback from the tutor.

It involves the testing of your initial business idea (value proposition.

At this early stage of development, receiving feedback from the tutor and fellow module members helps you gain different perspectives for you to refine this into a Task 2 crowdfund test.



This is an individual task.



Submission Spring Week 1.





Task 2 (40 %) is an ‘offline’ crowdfund campaign.

This can be completed in teams of up to 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. 



Submission Spring term Week 8.



 



Task 3 (40 %) is a report that asks students to reflect upon Task 1 and 2 and use imagination to design of the ‘what next’ customer engagement test.

It requires an explanation of how your imaginary £3000 funding will be allocated to create a new start-up test of the enhanced VP. 

This is an individual task with a reflective component.



Submission Spring term Week 11+2.

 



Task 4 (20%) is a reflective ‘Level 7’ report. Submission Summer Term Week 1


Formative assessment methods:

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

In addition there are self-reflection learning opportunities:



1-Reflecting on the words you used in your presentation of Task 1 and your Task 2 campaign 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- 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.



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 page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx 

 



 


Assessment requirements for a pass:
50%

Reassessment arrangements:

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


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Specialist equipment or materials -  up to £100. For video editing software for Task 3 – although free versions with fewer capabilities are available.


Last updated: 8 July 2020

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

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