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BA 260: Introduction to Entrepreneurship





Professor: Dr. Manuela Hoehn-Weiss, Assistant Professor in Strategy & Entrepreneurship

Office: Austin Hall 322, College of Business, Oregon State University

Phone: (541) 737-3687

E- mail: (best way to contact me)

Class Schedule: Section 001: MW 1000-1150 (AUST 216); Section 003: MW 1400-1550 (AUST 216);

Office Hours Tuesdays 3pm-5pm, Wednesdays 4pm-5pm, and by appointment

Course Credits: 4 hours

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing


If you need to communicate with me outside of my office hours, please e-mail me with a meeting request.




"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new."

Albert Einstein


"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity."

Amelia Earhart


“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.”

Anais Nin


“Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” Henry Ford



Course Introduction and Learning Objectives



This course introduces the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, and it will expose you to the concepts, practice, and tools of the entrepreneurial world. Specifically, the course is designed to provide you with an understanding of the entrepreneurial process, that is, the process of taking an idea and finding a high- potential commercial opportunity, gathering resources such as talent and capital, and deciding how to sell and market the idea. A primary objective of this course is to encourage entrepreneurial thinking. Whether you simply want to learn more about entrepreneurship or whether you desire to launch an actual venture, this course will expose you to the tools you will need to be more effective in the entrepreneurial process.


Entrepreneurship goes beyond starting new companies. In fact, having an entrepreneurial mindset means using a different way of thinking, which you could then leverage within an existing national or multinational company or by starting your own company. When others see insurmountable problems, you will learn that people with an entrepreneurial mindset look for opportunities, often involving technology, and business solutions. When others see constraints, you will learn to see sources of creativity. When others see   chaos, you will learn to embrace uncertainty and to start moving forward in a new direction. In addition, you will learn what it means to bounce back and persevere when faced with rejection or negative  feedback regarding your ideas.


In this course I create an active learning environment, so you will learn through a combination of engaging lectures, discussions, readings, speakers, exercises, illustrative cases, and a field project.



Because the most effective way to understand entrepreneurship is to practice it, a major part of your learning will occur when you—in teams of 6-8 students—will jointly propose and investigate starting a  new business venture in an iterative entrepreneurial project. (Please note that a significant part of your grade will be based on this iterative team project.) This team project reflects the modern “lean startup” approach to entrepreneurship, which is the guiding philosophy for this course. In a nutshell, the “lean startup” approach stresses iterative development of a business idea based on data and hypothesis testing, referred to as “validated learning.” In this course we will progress through the first three stages, specifically (1) coming up with a business idea, (2) understanding assumptions and formulating hypotheses that underlie this idea, and (3) testing and validating these assumptions and hypotheses in the market. Unlike the traditional approach to entrepreneurship that emphasizes business planning and writing a more “fully-baked” business plan before approaching investors and potential customers, the “lean startup” approach emphasizes reaching out to potential customers and validating the need for your product or service as well as its market potential before starting a business or even investing a significant amount of time in business planning. I don’t expect you to start a business in this course (although often several groups of students decide to pursue their entrepreneurial ideas during or after the course); however, you are expected to successfully complete the first three steps of the “lean startup” process,  that is, (1) idea generation, (2) opportunity validation, and (3) go-to-market plan development and validation. The course’s structure, lectures, speakers, external coaches and judges, as well as the  reading materials are there to effectively guide you through this process.


In summary, in this course you will learn to:


·         Shift your thinking toward an entrepreneurial mindset

·         Understand the issues faced by entrepreneurs when starting a venture

·         Recognize and analyze new business opportunities that exist in the marketplace

·         Evaluate the feasibility of pursuing an opportunity that you’ve recognized

·         Understand, articulate, and communicate value propositions and the components of a business model

·         Gain some experience working in teams


With these foundational tools, you should be better prepared for the subsequent courses in the entrepreneurship program at OSU, and you should also be better equipped to identify entrepreneurial opportunities in your career and to become a more valuable team member in today’s fast-paced business environment.



Use of Canvas



I plan to use Canvas frequently—to make announcements, to post slides, to direct you to additional readings or resources, etc.—so you should familiarize yourself with it, if you have not yet done so. To access Canvas, go to, click on “Canvas” under the Tools and Services tab, and then log in with your ONID username and password. Each time I post an announcement on Canvas, a copy will automatically be sent to your e-mail address that is on file with the OSU Registrar, so please make sure to check this e-mail account on a regular basis and to adjust your Canvas notification settings such that you will receive e-mail messages from Canvas in a timely matter.



Required Text and Additional Readings



Ø  Textbook: Barringer, Bruce R. & Ireland, R. Duane. 2016. Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures (5th edition); Pearson.


Ø  In addition to the above-mentioned text, I have also assigned a number of articles from Harvard Business Review, and other sources. These additional articles are posted (or have links) on Canvas.



Assignments and Grades



Student evaluation and final course grades will be based on the following:


Individual Components (60%): Midterm Exam 1: 25%

Final Exam: 25%

Contribution to Class Discussion: 10%


Team Component: Iterative Entrepreneurial Project (40%):   Entrepreneurial Idea Evaluation Presentation: Progress evaluation

Entrepreneurial Opportunity Assessment Presentation: Progress evaluation Go-to-Market-Plan Poster Presentation: Progress evaluation

Elevator Pitch Competition: 10%

Final Project Presentation (adjusted by Peer Evaluations): 30%



Individual Components


·         Exams: 50% of Course Grade (25% for midterm; 25% for final exam)


There are two exams, one midterm and the final. Both exams are multiple choice exams. The midterm is scheduled for October 24; the final exam schedule will be determined by the university later this quarter. There will be 40-60 questions on each exam covering material from the lecture, classroom discussion, textbook, assigned articles, videos, guest lectures, and any other supplemental materials pertinent to the course.



·         Contribution to Class Discussion: 10% of Course Grade


This class will give you the opportunity to learn in an active and collaborative environment. For the learning process to be effective, it is essential that you carefully prepare the readings prior to class and actively participate in the discussion during class.



To prepare the readings for class, do not simply scan the readings, but actively engage with them. Unless you have thought about and adopted a personal position on a given topic or issue, it is very difficult to evaluate and learn from comments offered by your peers.


Please note that contribution to class discussion means you have attended class regularly, completed the assigned readings and preparation prior to each class, and actively participated in class discussion in a professional, value-added manner. Value-added contributions do not simply recite facts from the readings but (a) offer responses to comments made by others, (b) identify issues and competing ideas, and (c) apply facts, models, and analysis. Since I often call on students whose hands are not raised, please let  me know before the start of class if you are not prepared, so that I will only call on you if your hand is raised. Please note, however, that this should only occur for exceptional reasons. Lack of preparation will result in a zero contribution grade for that day. If you "wing it" during class without adequate preparation, this will result in a substantial penalty to your contribution to class discussion grade. Also, simply restating what others have already said will not suffice for a good class contribution grade. I value quality of your comments over quantity.


I will use the following criteria to develop my opinion regarding your contribution to the class discussion:

1.  Are your comments factbased? Are you applying the lessons of the readings or lectures?

2.  Are your comments relevant to the question under discussion at that moment?

3.  How thoughtful, insightful, and original are your comments?

4.  Do your comments advance our understanding of the issue at hand?

5.  Are you willing to challenge, respectfully, the ideas expressed by others?


From time to time, it may be necessary to miss a class due to illness or personal matters. Please inform me in advance of these absences.



Team Component: Iterative Entrepreneurial Project


Starting a new venture and successfully managing it is a team effort. The group project provides an opportunity to “roll up your sleeves” and to apply the concepts discussed in class while gaining experience working on a real business opportunity in a team-based environment. For this project you will form teams of 6-8 people, and you will stay in the same teams throughout the quarter. We will do some in-class team formation exercises to help you find team members based on common interests. Some of you may already have a specific business idea, and may want to start recruiting team members for that idea. Teams will be finalized in class by the end of the second class, on September 28. Once your team has formed, I recommend that you and your team members talk explicitly about goals and expectations, including those for grades, up front so there are no misunderstandings later on.


In order to guide you through the "lean startup" process, you will have an opportunity to present and receive feedback on each of three steps before you do your elevator pitches and your final project presentation:


1)  Entrepreneurial Idea Evaluation

2)  Entrepreneurial Opportunity Validation

3)  Entrepreneurial Go-to-Market Plan




Peer Evaluations of Each Team Member: At the end of the quarter I will ask you to review your team members' professionalism and contribution to the team. I will reconcile your team members’ assessments with my own opinion to determine your grade. These peer assessments of your contribution to the team will be used to adjust your final project presentation grade, which constitutes 30% of your overall grade   (to reward exceptional effort or to reduce the scores of those who shirk or free-ride).



Summary of Due Dates, Submission, and Presentation Requirements


Team Assignment

Deliverable and Due Date

1) Entrepreneurial Idea Evaluation

Oct. 5: Canvas submission of 2 PPT slides AND a brief in-class presentation

2) Entrepreneurial Opportunity Validation

Oct. 26: Canvas submission of 4 PPT slides AND a brief in-class presentation

3) Entrepreneurial Go-to-Market Plan

Nov. 14: Canvas submission (poster materials) AND in-class poster presentation

4) Elevator Pitch

Nov. 16: Canvas submission of 1-page pitch write-up AND a brief in-class presentation

5) Final Project Presentation

Nov. 28: Canvas submission of PPT slides AND Executive Summary

Nov. 28 or Nov. 30: In-class presentation



·         Team Assignment 1: Entrepreneurial Idea Evaluation: Progress Evaluation


Entrepreneurial idea evaluation consists of the following three steps:


I.  As a first step, by relying on brainstorming and other creativity-boosting techniques, your team will identify a business idea that is original, creative, and has real business potential.


"Original" means that this idea results from brainstorming, market research, effective observation and other creativity-boosting techniques that your group has participated in, and not from merely "taking someone else's idea."


"Creative" means not doing things the way they have been done before. It does not necessarily mean that you need to be innovative in a technological sense, but you should show your ability to identify an idea  that is not a mere replication (copy) of an existing business but that represents a creative solution to a specific market need or that is an enabler for new technology (think iPods, which people didn’t even know were missing from their lives). If the need you are addressing—often referred to as “pain” of the customers—is urgent and vital, then even better.


"Has real business potential" means that the idea needs to be able to generate revenues and profit over time. How much profit? It depends on the type of business you are creating. For instance, if your business idea can be viewed as a "side" business that would potentially take 20-40% of your time, then it could be fine to expect relatively modest revenues because it is likely to be one of several revenue streams you would potentially have. However, if you are proposing a business that would require 100% of your time, your potential revenue and profit must justify such a commitment. Finally, if your business idea has a



strong social value-add component and even if making money is not a priority, your idea is still expected to generate enough revenue and profit to remain in business.


II.  By the beginning of class on October 5 (or any time earlier) you need to upload on Canvas 2 Power Point content slides (plus a title slide, which does not count as an extra slide) explaining your group's business idea. You should describe the attractiveness of your business idea using the 5 dimensions of the Opportunity Evaluation Framework learned in class:


1.       product/service

2.       need/pain

3.       attractiveness/durability

4.       timing/market environment

5.       fit with your team


III.   You will present your business idea in class on Wednesday October 5 and receive feedback from me and your peers. Before your presentation that day, be your own toughest critics. This will help steer your project towards feasibility and reality. I will evaluate whether you are making very good to excellent progress, average to good progress, or below-average progress.



·         Team Assignment 2: Entrepreneurial Opportunity Validation: Progress Evaluation


Entrepreneurial Opportunity Validation consists of the following steps:


I.           Conduct market research for Product/Service Feasibility and Market Size Validation (in order):


1)      Market Need Validation: Conduct interviews of potential target customers in order to validate the existence of the need or pain that you have assumed they have. The objective is to learn how potential customers think and what they might need, and not to sell your idea, so be sure to focus on open-ended questions.


2)      Product/Service Desirability Validation: Conduct additional interviews of potential target customers in order to validate the hypotheses you formulated about some key attributes of your product or service that the customers would value. Identify a potential Minimum Viable Product (MVP), if appropriate given your business idea. Again, the objective is to learn how potential customers think, what features they might value and how they might use the product, and not to sell your idea and your features.


3)      Product Service Demand Validation: Create a Buying Intentions Survey to validate the attractiveness of key features of your product/service with potential customers and how likely it would be for your potential target customers to buy your product/service. Also, try to assess what price your potential target customers would be willing to pay. In addition, use secondary research—industry, market and financial reports—to understand relevant market trends and whether demand for your product/service is established, changing or needs to be established.


4)      Market Size Validation: Use secondary research—industry, market and financial reports—to justify the potential market size for your product/service. For both Product Service Demand



Validation (described above) and Market Size Validation, you will find valuable resources to help with your secondary research in the BA 260 Library Guide, which has been prepared for you at . Note that the OSU Business Librarian will also give you an overview of available library resources in class on October 3.


II.         Report your research methods and findings on Canvas on or before October 26 (by the beginning of class):


1)      On or before October 26 upload on Canvas 4 Power Point content slides explaining your research methodology, collected data, and findings (plus a title slide, which does not count as an extra slide).


2)      Reserve one of your four content slide to explain your conclusions based on your research findings.


III.       Present your opportunity validation research and findings in-class on October 26:


1)      Present the methodology you used, why it is appropriate, and what pivots you made after each of the four steps of the Product/Service Feasibility and Market Size Validation.


2)      Clearly explain your findings.


3)      Clearly explain your conclusions based on your findings (e.g., you will keep the same idea; you will pivot—make changes to the original idea, and if so, which ones; you will drop the idea and come up with a new idea). Again, you will receive substantial feedback from me and fellow classmates, which will help you as you advance to the next step in the “lean startup” process. Again, I will evaluate whether you are making very good to excellent progress, average to good progress, or below-average progress.



·         Team Assignment 3: Entrepreneurial Go-to-Market Plan: Progress Evaluation


Your team will present a summary of your analysis using the Business Model Canvas during a poster session on November 14. Each team will receive feedback from me, guest coaches from OSU’s Advantage Accelerator, and fellow classmates. The poster can consist of something as basic as a poster with hardcopies of PPT slides attached to it, or it can be a more elaborate poster. I highly recommend demonstrating your product/service as best as you can. During the session team members should spend equal amount of time “manning” the poster while the other team members circle around the room and give feedback to other teams’ posters. The feedback you will receive following your presentation will help     you fine-tune your message that you will present during the elevator pitch competition on November 16. The feedback will also help you (significantly) revise your go-to-market plan, which you will present during final presentations on either November 28 or November 30.


I expect to see the following components in your poster presentation:


1.       The Business Model: a realistic representation of the business model of your group's business idea using Business Model Canvas, a framework learned in class. You are expected to use



different colors on your Business Model Canvas to explicitly highlight different aspects of your business model: in GREEN—business model factors that you had an opportunity to validate already (via primary and secondary research) and feel certain about; in ORANGE—factors that represent low to medium uncertainty for your project feasibility and that can be relatively easily validated; in RED—factors that represent high to very high uncertainty for your project feasibility and that you would absolutely need to validate before pursuing your idea (and pitching it to investors, etc.).


2.       Marketing Mix: a coherent marketing plan that effectively combines the 4Ps (Product, Place, Price, Promotion) and helps you achieve all the key six marketing goals.


a.       You have to be able to clearly explain where and how you are going to sell (Place), Promote, and Price your Product.

b.       You need to clearly explain how you are going to reach all the key six marketing goals: (1) create awareness; (2) provide knowledge; (3) create a favorable impression; (4) stay in customer's mind; (5) create a purchase intention; (6) make a sale.

c.       You clearly explain which approach you used to determine the pricing for your product or service: cost plus, competition-based or value-based (or a combination of these three).


3.       Strategy: your group needs to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the competition by effectively using the 5-Forces Framework and any relevant macroenvironmental factors that could affect your industry. You should also clearly explain your start-up's potential strategic positioning (differentiation or low-cost) as well as include answers to the four key questions from the strategy video (Class 12).


4.       Financing: by conducting comparative analysis and industry research, your group needs to demonstrate a realistic understanding of the startup costs that would be needed to get your business “off the ground,” key cost components, revenue streams and expected profitability. Specifically, you should include a Cash Flow statement including startup costs, a cost-revenue analysis (break-even point), amount of funding you are seeking as well as type of investor you plan to approach.


5.       In addition, your group needs to address any items for Organizational and Financial Feasibility

that are not already covered in the above four areas.



As before, I will evaluate whether you are making very good to excellent progress, average to good progress, or below-average progress toward preparing your elevator pitches and the go-to-market plan that you will present during the final project presentations.



·         Team Assignment 4: Elevator Pitch: 10% of Course Grade


Picture this: a wealthy Beaver alum has come to campus to drop off a new Tesla that she bought for her child who attends OSU. You happen to meet up with her as she is walking to her car in the parking lot.  You introduce yourself and find out who she is. As it turns out, she is a business angel who invests in new startups. You mention to her that you are working on a startup yourself (as part of your BA 260 class).

She then asks you about your company. Here is your big opportunity to give your elevator pitch!



Your elevator pitch is a concise and attractive presentation of your business idea. Elevator pitch competitions are a common place for entrepreneurs to present and seek external funding for their project. For the benefit of your learning, you will have an opportunity to experience an elevator pitch competition   in realistic conditions. You must be able to deliver your elevator pitch in 2 minutes or less, and you should be concise and polished. Please note that you should write out your team’s pitch in a Word document and upload this document on Canvas before class on November 16. I will post a grading rubric on Canvas.


In your elevator pitch, you should address the following:

1)      Prove that there is a market—who cares?

2)      Explain what your solution is—what is it and why will they buy it?

3)      Prove you have a real advantage doing this—why you?

4)      Prove the time is right—why now?

5)      Address what you want from me—an investor, a coach, a partner?



·         Team Assignment 5: Final Project Presentations: 30% of Course Grade


On either November 28 or 30 your team will present your final project, where you will show how you incorporated or at least addressed feedback from prior presentations and the poster session. The guest coaches from OSU’s Advanced Accelerator who attended your poster presentations will now join me as judges. Regardless of whether you present on November 28 or 30, you will submit copies of your presentation slides as well as a 1-page executive summary of your group’s complete business idea via Canvas before class on November 28.


Final project presentation: Your final project presentation is an essential part of your experience in this course. You will have an opportunity to present your business idea, receive feedback and discuss your project with expert judges. You will be expected to professionally answer their questions and discuss whether (yes/no and why) and how you integrated (or not) their feedback received after your poster presentation and the feedback you received after your elevator pitch. The time limit for your presentation will be announced in class (depends on the total number of groups formed) but is usually about 10 minutes. Although I will take the judges’ feedback into account, please note that I am the only one who assigns your grades.


Executive summary: If you were to write a formal business plan, the executive summary would usually appear in the very beginning of your document. It is thus one of the first things that potential investors, partners or other interested stakeholders will see and read. Therefore, the executive summary is crucial  for creating interest and motivation for a reader to get to know your business plan and idea in more detail. The Executive Summary is a concise and clear description of the problem you and your business solve, how you plan to solve it, the strategic advantage of your product or service, your startup's business  model, marketing, strategic and financial plans. Your executive summary should also clearly state the value that your team brings to this project, and how you would define or measure the future success of your company. The executive summary should not exceed one page in length, should be well written, and be captivating and compelling throughout. I will post a grading rubric on Canvas.



Summary of Assignments, Due Dates, and Percentage of Course Grades



Due Date

Percentage of course grade

1. Contribution to Class Discussion



2. Team Entrepreneurial Idea Evaluation

Oct 5—Canvas submission (PPT) and in-class presentation

Progress evaluation

3. Midterm Exam

Oct 24


4. Team Entrepreneurial Opportunity Validation

Oct 26—Canvas submission (PPT) and in-class presentation

Progress evaluation

5. Team Go-to-Market Plan Poster Presentation

Nov 14—Canvas submission (poster materials) and in-class poster presentation

Progress evaluation

6. Team Elevator Pitch Presentation

Nov 16—Canvas submission of 1- page elevator pitch write-up and in- class presentation


7. Team Final Project Presentations

Nov 28 and 30—Canvas submission (PPT plus 1-page Executive Summary) and in-class presentation


8. Final Exam

Finals Week







Questions about Grades: I expect you to raise any questions about grades on exams or assignments during regularly scheduled office hours (or by making an appointment) within one week of receiving the

grade. Please note that I rarely change grades and that my policy is to regrade an entire assignment, not to revisit questions independently. As a result, your grade may go up or down if your assignment is re

graded. There will be no “extra credit” assignments offered or accepted.


Please pay attention to the due dates and times. All assignments are to be submitted at the beginning of class, except as noted in this syllabus. Assignments will lose one full letter grade for each 24 hours (or portion thereof) that the assignment is late. This means that if a paper is due at 2:00pm on Monday, for example, and you turn in an “A” paper between 2:01pm Monday and 12:00am Tuesday, it will receive a “B.”


Grading Scale: The letter grade equivalent for the total percentage points of your course grade is as follows:


Letter Grade

Minimum % Points in the Course





























Course Policies



Academic Integrity and Student Conduct: I expect the highest standards of academic honor and integrity of all class members, consistent with OSU’s Code of Honor. Please note that a code of honor represents the moral commitments of those abiding to it. While each person lives by his or her personal code, the establishment of collective values creates a universal goal to which we can aspire. It is through the pursuit of these professional attributes that we reduce the possibility of immoral actions ourselves. As a student taking classes in the OSU College of Business, you have taken the following oath, and you are expected to comply with all regulations pertaining to academic honesty.


COB Code of Honor:





The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles, integrity stands as the backbone of character and is essential for success.



Respect for others and yourself is a commitment to the fair treatment of and the fair competition with others. Through respect we embolden the character of others and ourselves.



We are held accountable for our words and actions as professionals to embed a steadfast commitment to honor in our decisions.


You may have noticed that attitudes toward academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, differ across professional contexts and even across cultural settings. For example, what may be an accepted writing convention in a corporate setting, such as attaching a list of sources used at the end of a report without citing specific references within the text, is considered academic dishonesty in an academic setting.

Academic dishonesty is one of the most serious academic offenses you can commit.



What constitutes academic dishonesty? According to OSU student conduct regulations, academic dishonesty is defined as an intentional act of deception in which a student seeks to claim credit for the work or effort of another person or uses unauthorized materials or fabricated information in any academic work. Refer to the OSU Student Conduct code (576-015-0020) and also for a comprehensive definition of academic dishonesty and information regarding how to avoid academic dishonesty. If you have any questions about this, please ask! It is your responsibility to understand what academic dishonesty is and to avoid it.

Excuses such as claiming ignorance about what constitutes academic dishonesty, citing time constraints or claiming that the copying/paraphrasing was done to fulfill “just” an academic assignment are NOT acceptable under any circumstance. All cases of suspected academic dishonesty will be handled in strict accordance with OSU policy and College of Business policy. Any violation of the academic honor code will result in an F for this class.


I expect you to interact with your peers and team members in a constructive and respectful manner. Disrespectful, dishonest, disruptive, vulgar and/or otherwise unprofessional behavior will not be allowed. Student conduct is governed by the university’s policies, as explained in the Office of Student Conduct:  information and regulations . Also, be aware that entering a classroom late or leaving a classroom when class is in progress distracts your classmates and me, so please keep these disruptions to a minimum.



Non-Use of Electronic Devices in Class: Per department policy, laptops, cell phones, PDAs, and other personal electronics must be turned off and stowed for the duration of class time. Research has shown that the use of electronic devices during class time interferes with the ability to learn course material and negatively impacts the performance of both students who use the devices in class and their classmates (see Fried, 2008; Sana et al., 2013).


Fried, C.B. (2008). In-class laptop use and its effects on student learning. Computers and Education, 50, 906-914.


Sana et al. (2013). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers and Education, 62, 24-31.


Written Communication: I expect all assignments and written communication (including e-mails you send me) to use standard business writing style, that is, proper grammar and no text-messaging-style abbreviations. Also, please be sure to include your class time (10am or 2pm) in the subject line of any e- mails to me. If you prefer, please feel free to communicate with me using Canvas instead of e-mail.


Disability Accommodation: If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact Disability Access Services (DAS) immediately at 541-737- 4098. DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations.


Exam Policies: Exams must be taken on the day and at the time they are scheduled. You must present written documentation to me and obtain prior approval to take an exam at a time other than that scheduled.



Incompletes: Take this course only if you plan to finish it in a timely manner (during this term). I assign an "I" or incomplete only when there is a strong and compelling case for doing so (e.g., health reasons, military commitment). I will not consider assigning an incomplete unless you have completed over 75% of the course tasks. Please note that students receiving incompletes are subject to assignment weight reduction (and consequently may not be eligible for A or A- grades) because some of their work will be submitted late.


Withdrawals: Students may withdraw from a course with a W grade after the tenth day of classes and through the end of the seventh week of classes. After the seventh week of classes, students are expected to complete the class and will receive letter grades for all courses in which enrolled unless they officially withdraw from the university. Please refer to the term Schedule of Classes for procedures for withdrawal from individual courses.


Last, if you have questions about anything in this syllabus, please ask!



Course Schedule

This is a general guide. There may be changes during the course of the quarter; any changes will be posted on Canvas or stated in class.








Additional information


1: Wed Sep 21


NO CLASS (Conference Travel)




2: Mon Sep 26

Course overview

Introduction to entrepreneurship Team formation





3: Wed Sep 28



Creativity and idea generation

·         Syllabus (Canvas)

·         HBR article: Managing for creativity (Canvas)

·         Chapter 1



4: Mon Oct 3


From idea to business opportunity


·         Chapter 2

·      Chapter 9 (pp. 294-307)

Guest speaker: OSU Business Librarian;

Guest coaches


5: Wed - Oct 5



Entrepreneurial idea evaluation





6: Mon Oct 10


Business model: Value proposition and value delivery

·         HBR article: Why the lean startup changes everything (Canvas)

·         Chapter 13


7: Wed - Oct 12

Business model (cont.)





8: Mon - Oct 17


Feasibility analysis and market validation—Who are your customers and what do they want?

·         FORTUNE article: The B- school lean startup revolution is underway (Canvas)

·         Chapter 3


9: Wed - Oct 19

Feasibility analysis and market validation (cont.)



10: Mon - Oct 24



11: Wed - Oct 26


Entrepreneurial opportunity validation






12: Mon - Oct 31

Competition and strategy

·         Chapter 5


13: Wed - Nov 2

Financing your venture

·         Chapter 10


14: Mon - Nov 7

Reaching your customers: Pricing and marketing

·         Chapter 11




15: Wed - Nov 9



Successful elevator pitches—Putting your best foot forward

·         HBR article: How to pitch a brilliant idea (Canvas)

·         FORBES article: How to craft a job search elevator pitch





16: Mon - Nov 14


PRESENTATIONS—Go-to-market- plan


Guest coaches

17: Wed - Nov 16






18: Mon - Nov 21


Entrepreneurial ecosystem and local resources


·      Chapter 9 (pp. 307-315)

Guest speakers: OSU Advantage Accelerator, Austin Lab, and RAIN

19: Wed - Nov 23


NO CLASS—Happy Thanksgiving!



20: Mon Nov 28



Guest judges

21: Wed Nov 30



Guest judges

Final Exam Week Dec 5-9







About your Professor



Dr. Manuela N. Hoehn-Weiss is an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at Oregon State University. Before joining the faculty at Oregon State, she held an Assistant Professor position at the University of Washington Bothell. She is an active researcher and award- winning teacher with international, high-technology industry experience and first-hand knowledge of the high-tech centers of Silicon Valley, Boston, and Seattle.


In her research, Manuela investigates how firms, particularly at early stages of their life cycles, obtain access to and acquire resources that are critical to their operations. The core of her inquiry examines how alliances, which can be a key resource-acquisition mechanism, affect firms’ performance. Her research has been published in the Strategic Management Journal, Strategic Organization, Journal of Private Equity, and Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. She has presented her work at the Academy of Management annual meetings, the Strategic Management Society International annual conferences (where her work has been nominated twice for the SMS Best Conference Paper Prize), the West Coast Research Symposium on Technology Entrepreneurship, the annual Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conferences (BCERC), the Society of Entrepreneurship Scholars Conference & Manuscript Boot-Camp, and the Colloquium for Competition and Cooperation (CCC). Manuela was selected as one of four finalists for the Academy of Management Entrepreneurship Division's 2007 Heizer Award for outstanding dissertations in entrepreneurship. She is currently a Representative-at-Large for the Entrepreneurship and Strategy Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society and has been invited to join the Editorial Review Board of the Strategic Management Journal.


Manuela teaches strategic management and entrepreneurship in undergraduate, MBA, and Executive Education programs, and has been recognized with several MBA teaching awards. She currently teaches Entrepreneurship in the College of Business.


Manuela earned her doctorate at Boston University in Strategy and Policy, and she holds a B.S.C. degree (magna cum laude) in Marketing from Santa Clara University. Prior to pursuing her doctorate, Manuela worked in industry in Silicon Valley, California. She held program management and product marketing positions at Cisco Systems, as well as international marketing management and product marketing management positions at Livingston Enterprises (a startup) and Lucent Technologies.