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CourseDescription ENTRE 472 71016

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CourseDescription ENTRE 472 71016 Powered By Docstoc
					                                        Course Description

                           Michael G. Foster School of Business
                     Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE)
                                  University of Washington

                                       ENTRE 472/473
                                     Creating a Company
                                    *(A two quarter class)*

Instructor:     John R. Castle, Sc.D.

Office:         222 Mackenzie

Office Hrs:     Monday and Wednesday, 1030 – 130, by appointment recommended.

24 HR Phone: 425-503-1079

UW Phone:       206-616-1067 (Office hours only, use 24 hour phone to leave messages.)

Fax:            (206) 616-0790

Email:          castlej@u.washington.edu

Class size:     30 maximum - (5 teams of 6 persons)

Recommended Textbooks:
a. Abrams, The Successful Business Plan, 4th Edition, The Planning Shop, 2003
b. Ittelson, Financial Statements, Career Press, 1998


I.        Course Summary

THIS COURSE WILL GIVE STUDENTS THE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE THE
EMOTIONS AND TENSIONS THAT ARE A PART OF FOUNDING AND/OR JOINING
A STARTUP COMPANY. AT THE SAME TIME YOU WILL LEARN LEARNING THE
     ART OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP BY BEING ONE. WHILE THE COURSE
     MATERIALS PROVIDE INITIAL GUIDANCE, YOUR SUCCESS WILL BE
DETERMINED BY YOUR OWN INITIATIVE, IMAGINATION, ENERGY AND LUCK.

BUSINESSES NORMALLY TERMINATE OPERATIONS BY THE LAST DAY OF THE
SECOND QUARTER. HOWEVER MANY CHOOSE THIS CLASS AS A VEHICLE TO
INCUBATE A BUSINESS THAT THEY WISH TO CONTINUE AFTER GRADUATION.

NOTE:           STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE ENTRE 473 IN ORDER TO RECEIVE
                GRADUATION CREDIT FOR ENTRE 472!




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“Creating a Company” Course Description




II.     Course Description

“Creating a Company” ENTRE 472/473 is a two quarter course designed to introduce students to
the basic steps required to start and actually run a business of their choosing. If a student does not
complete ENTRE 473 immediately following ENTRE 472 then no graduation credit will be
awarded.

The course provides a conceptual framework of “how it all fits together” and a compelling
incentive for learning how theory relates to practice in subsequent functional area courses. It
offers beginning business students an opportunity to gain an overview of the “big picture”,
through an actual classroom/real world experience.

This is neither a “game” nor a “simulation”. Students are required to identify “real” business
customers and clients; to define and respond to needs of these customers and clients; to define
and deliver products and services: to negotiate with suppliers, administrative agencies and other
stakeholders; to finance company operations; and to be accountable for cash flows and company
budgets. This is a real world experience, supplemented by classroom analysis and sharing of
lessons learned.

The goal is to provide the students with a learning experience that is challenging and rewarding.
At the same time the course will reveal to them what they don’t know and motive them to answer
those lingering questions about business in subsequent CTE courses.


III.    Learning Objectives

Students are expected to develop a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts of business
management and functional activities, including:
         Basic financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flow,
            break even analysis)
         Estimation of business start-up costs
         Fundamentals of employee relations
         Basic principles of marketing, including market research
         Concepts of organizational structure and design
         Management styles and leadership techniques
         Industry and market analysis
         Banking systems
         Negotiation and decision making
         Competition and competitive analysis
         Barriers to entry
         Basic operations management
         Contracts, form of business, other legal instruments


Students are also expected to acquire the following abilities and behaviors:

           Working familiarity with a range of information sources
           Business writing and presentation skills


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“Creating a Company” Course Description


           Entrepreneurial instinct and teamwork skills
           Experience in giving and receiving constructive criticism
           Collaboration with business service providers and facilitators
           Understanding of information technology and the ability to use certain business
            related tools and applications

IV.     Class Format and Activities

To a great extent this will be a self-directed class wherein student responsibilities will be of a
different scope and nature than in the normal classroom environment. The class will be organized
into project teams of 5-6 persons/team with each team initially challenged to develop a business
plan for the establishment of a viable business. The Team Concept is absolutely essential in that
students must develop a plan for the business in the first quarter and convince investors to fund it
and them. They then implement the plan during the second quarter, testing their skills in making
real-time decisions, under intense time pressure with insufficient information.

The instructor’s role is primarily to facilitate the process by providing structural guidelines and
oversight during the planning stage. Once the implementation phase has begun, the instructor
becomes the Chairman of the Board of each company, guiding and critiquing management. He
also acts as coach, advisor and consultant to the operating companies. Through this close
involvement the traditional academic needs for individual and team evaluation are met.

Every team is required to have a Mentor, who is an experienced executive at a company whose
business is related to that of the students’ company. Mentors should be consulted regularly, and
will be asked to provide a written critique of the company to the instructor at the end of each
quarter.

First Quarter Activities

         During the first quarter, each student team will be required to define and develop a new
venture which must be approved by the instructor. As part of this process the teams must
complete a business plan; complete documents to license the company and find 6 to 8 qualified
sales leads. The team will then proceed to implement, operate, and if they wish to subsequently
exit the business.

        Week 1 – During this week, students get acquainted, learn about what they might expect
from each other, assess their potential resources and match them against possible task demands.
Students organize themselves into project teams, and establish their preliminary goals and
objectives. Getting well acquainted, building trust and confidence, and learning to identify with
the group in this “team building” phase are important elements to future success, as will be
demonstrated later.

         Week 2 – This period involves team members working together to figure out who will do
what and how individual efforts will be coordinated. A business is selected for evaluation and
strategic analysis begun including preliminary market positioning and resource requirements. An
initial CEO is chosen and organizational policies and structure are established.

         Week 3-6 – In this phase, teams are deeply involved with project scheduling, budgeting,
market research, sales and marketing and operations planning. Each plan will be divided into a
series of steps which build on one another sequentially, and each week students must present



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“Creating a Company” Course Description


progressively more detailed descriptions of their proposed business activity along with supporting
evidence that demand exists.

As part of this process, teams will prepare and submit a feasibility (Strengths, Competition,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis in preparation for their formal presentations. To
complete this analysis effectively, a number of issues must be included such as:
    1. What is the background of the industry chosen. How has the industry developed? What
        has been its growth? What is its future? How well do small businesses prosper in the
        industry? How does your team’s business fit into the industry?
    2. What products will your venture offer or provide? What makes these products unique?
        What will consumers purchase these products from your venture? What needs do your
        products address? Will your products be profitable and competitively priced?
    3. What are your teams’ strengths and weaknesses in terms of technical skills?
        Management? Personal characteristics?

       Week 7 – Mentors must be recruited and a letter of commitment obtained from them.
Incorporation documents must be completed and accepted by the instructor and the bank. Bank
accounts and credit lines for each company will then be established.

         Week 8 – Business plan drafts will be submitted to the instructor for review prior to their
presentation to the judges. The organizational structure of each company during the operating
quarter is established. The capital requirements for each business are carefully reviewed and
defended by management

         Week 9 – Final Business Plans are sent to the judges. Dress rehearsal presentations are
made before professional review panels of selected faculty and business executives in preparation
for the competitive presentation the following week.

        Week 10 – The teams will finalize their presentations of the business plan and present to
judges for funding. Funding will be in the form of an operating loan to each company. The
amount of the loan is determined at the sole discretion of the judges. Grades are largely
determined by the extent to which the judges are confident in the teams’ ability to achieve
the projected results.

         Week 11 - Full-scale implementation of business operations begins at this point for all
companies as the student teams begin to run their businesses. Organizational structures,
individual responsibilities, and operational controls need to be discussed and modified. In some
cases the research and assumptions made will be validated and the students will need to deal with
a variety of operational demands. Others may find that their conclusions about the opportunity
were wrong and they will need to respond accordingly. Each team is asked to consider what
problems its business might face and develop contingency plans for the things that might go
wrong.

Second Quarter Activities

        Weeks 11- 20 – During this period, the businesses become fully operational. Each team
reports weekly to their Board of Directors, represented by the class as a whole, describing and
evaluating their activities and results. Key metrics for the businesses are developed, tracked and
used as the basis for tactical changes and revised projections. Any problems encountered must
be identified and discussed openly.



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“Creating a Company” Course Description


         During this period most teams will do business with other companies outside the course
and the university. This exposure to the real world provides great insight into the diversity of
relationships that can develop and the range of people and styles that are encountered in the
business community.

         Each team also meets regularly with the instructor for in-depth discussions of all of their
internal and external relationships. These sessions are intended to uncover major unresolved
issues critical to the company’s success and identify alternatives to minimize damage to the
business. It is expected that minor problems will have been identified by the teams themselves
and delegated to the appropriate team member for resolution.

        Week 20– Final reports to the Board are prepared which include a review of activities
and lessons learned. These are written so that they will provide guidance to future companies that
attempt a similar venture. In addition team members will each submit their personal reflections
on the merits of the experience, including such matters as whether their expectations were met,
how their initial ideas or attitudes changed and suggestions to improve the experience for later
teams.

         Week 21 – At this point, each team reviews its final prognosis and negotiates an exit plan
for its business. If the team intends to discontinue operations, final balance sheets are submitted
and the assets turned in to the Creating a Company Fund. If it is necessary to continue operations
for a limited period to liquidate non-cash inventory or complete obligations to customers, special
provisions are negotiated to allow that to occur without disruption.

If some team members wish to purchase the assets and continue the business as a private venture,
appropriate terms are negotiated to encourage their initiative.




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“Creating a Company” Course Description


V.      Resources

You will be given links to important networking organizations and supplemental reading
that will improve and intensify your experience as an entrepreneur. It is your choice and
your responsibility to use these community resources to benefit your business.

Guest speakers are frequently invited to discuss critical and complex issues such as
branding, organizational conflict, organizing for sales, customer relationship management
and the practical use of financial statements.


        A. You must be able to fund initial setup costs, that will be reimbursed if you are
           awarded an operating loan.

        B. Students must be familiar with typical business software such as: Microsoft Word,
           for producing documents; Microsoft Excel, for designing spreadsheets; Microsoft
           Power Point, for designing presentations; and the use of the Internet. Software will
           be provided from CIE or through University computer labs.

VI.     Performance Measurement & Grading

        First Quarter (30% of final grade)

                Participation & On Time Attendance                        20%
                Final Business Plan Ranking by Judges                     80%

        Second Quarter(70% of final grade)

                Response to changes                                       40%
                Profitability of company                                  30%
                Performance to business plan                              10%
                Business complexity                                       10%
                Accuracy of Reporting and Financial Records               10%


Class Attendance and active participation in class discussions will affect participation grades.
Individual contribution scores will be affected by peer performance evaluation ratings. Grades
for the first and second quarters will be combined to determine the overall 8 credit hour grade.
NO GRADE will be given for one quarter’s completion.


VII. Use of Profits – Gift to UW Business School Building Fund

If the Creating a Company account grows above a certain threshold due to sustained
profitable operations by the Companies, those accumulated excess profits will be donated to
the business school in the name of your Entrepreneurship class and CIE.




2aaffeda-18d2-4124-ba12-f52317f0e5f6.doc                                                           6

				
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