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Wayne Postoak Business Strategy - PDF


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                                                                               Summer 07

Class Meeting Times: Thursdays, 5:30 - 9:30 pm
Location: Minneapolis Campus
Instructor: Carol A. Harris       651–523-2985(O)
Required Texts: New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century
                (7th Edition) written by Jeffry A. Timmons and Stephen Spinelli
                Entrepreneurship (5th Edition) edited by Robert W. Price

Course Description
In this course, students will learn what it takes to identify a new venture idea, evaluate
the potential success of that idea, convert the idea into a business, grow and harvest
the venture, and replicate that success. We will assess what entrepreneurial traits
founders need for ongoing success. We will rely on case analysis to give you real world
examples of concepts that you will learn.

Many public sector studies cite the need for increased innovation and stronger
personal leadership. They call it public entrepreneurship. There is a trend in the non-
profit sector toward social entrepreneurship and applying traditional private sector
business concepts to the non-profit world for increased accountability and innovation.
In the corporate (for-profit) world, leaders look for managers who can identify and
capitalize on new growth opportunities. Finally, the trend toward creating your own
business continues to meet the needs of individuals who want to create their own

Course Objectives
After completing this course, students will understand
  The difference between an idea and a potential business
  How to create and grow a new venture
  How to plan for and maximize the venture’s harvest
  How to determine your venture’s financial requirements
  The concepts of
  • Idea Generation
  • Venture Screening
  • New venture management and the new venture team
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Equity versus debt capital
  • Valuation and deal structure
  • Managing growth
  • Harvest strategy
  Through supplemental articles students will also learn about:
  • Unique selling propositions
  • Advisory boards
  • Angels versus venture capitalists

   • Initial Public Offering
   • Mergers and acquisitions
Teaching Methodology
A combination of readings, class discussion, case studies, presentations, and group
projects will be used to illustrate concepts and develop the skills above. The project
experience will help you develop both the entrepreneurial and leadership skills
necessary for new venture success and for growing existing non-profit, public, and
private entities. Case studies will provide the opportunity for critical analysis and
opportunity to apply concepts learned.

Teaching Philosophy
You are in charge of your own learning. And learning is an interactive activity.
Therefore, the more you participate, the more you will learn and the more others will
learn from you. To that end, I encourage you to come to class fully prepared and
ready to share your ideas. Don't be afraid to share your thoughts, even if you feel that
your perspective represents the "minority opinion".        There are usually several
approaches to a problem, which should be explored. Therefore, it is more important
that you articulate your perspective and are able to support that position.

My expectations of you, as a graduate student will be high. Be prepared to challenge
yourself. Open debate and discussion of issues are invited. However, it is important that
you provide a reasoned argument for your conclusions and disagreements.

If you are having trouble with any of the course material, don’t panic. Feel free to form
study groups and discuss concepts with your peers. Or, let me know of any difficulties
you are having as soon as possible. Don’t suffer silently or fail to turn in a paper. I will
gladly help if you ask.

Some tips for success in this class (or any class, for that matter):
      Plan Ahead. The assignments take time and thought. You will not be able to
      fully prepare if you begin the night before.
      Show respect. For other people, for other cultures, and for other points of view.
      Always assume positive intent on behalf of others. Treat others as you would like
      to be treated. Attack issues, not people.
      Be a team player. You will be working in teams a great deal. Your teammates
      will be counting on you. Be prepared. Be on time for group meetings. Do your
      part, honor your commitments, and practice good “teaming” skills, which will be
      important for your success in the workplace.
      Follow the rules. Comply with all ethics and attendance policies.

Finally, be creative and take some risks – let’s have some fun with the topic!

Course Structure
Most of our time will be spent applying the fundamental principles of entrepreneurship
and how to apply them within an organization and/or how to create a venture.

Emphasis in grading will be placed on your ability to integrate concepts into the

Major Assignments and Grading
This course will require a significant amount of your own drive and self-direction, two key
skills of an entrepreneur. You are required to respond to weekly discussion threads.
Threads will be posted by 10 am on Wednesday, at the latest. All responses must be
submitted by 6 pm on Monday of each week.

1 . Assignments are due at the beginning (5 : 30pm) of the class period on the indicated
    due date. Late papers will be docked one full letter grade. Any assignment
    received one week after the due date will be considered a missed assignment.
    Missed assignments will be counted as a “0” grade.
2. All written assignments must be typewritten or in the appropriate electronic format
    (MS Word, MS Power Point, MS Excel)
3. Oral presentations should be supported by a visual presentation, which could serve
    as a "stand alone" document. In other words, I should be able to follow your thought
    process and conclusions just by reading the Power Point slide presentation.

Written Case Analysis
Cases will be an important component of your learning experience in this class. Each
student is required to prepare a written analysis assigned in the course. The written
report should not exceed 3 typewritten pages (double-spaced) plus 1 or 2 exhibits, if

When preparing your written case analysis, please assume I am familiar with the case.
There is no need to re-state the background of the case. I am most interested in how
you approach and analyze the case to reach your conclusions and recommendations.
I will be looking at your critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making skills.

Group Strategic Business Plan
You will develop a Strategic Business Plan for a new business venture. There are two
“deliverables” for the StratPlan:
1.    A completed business plan (15-20 pages in length) documenting all aspects of
      your business and its success factors.
2.    A 20-30 minute presentation will outline your rationale for its success and
      convince an investor’s participation.

The presentation will carry significant grade weight as does the written report. In the
"real world", you need to convince investors, top management, city managers,
strategic partners, etc of the outstanding potential of your venture. It's not just the facts
and analysis that count - it's how well you communicate them! You will also evaluate
each other’s presentation. In your capacity as leaders, you will need to learn how to
assess the quality of proposals presented to you. This is a chance for you to hone those

Course Grading                                            Grading Policy

Class Participation                   10%                     A              94 -100%
Case Analysis                         10%                     A-              90 - 93%
Venture Opportunity Screen            10%                     B+              86 - 89%
Personal Entrepreneurial Strategy     10%                     B               83 - 85%
Marketing Plan                         5%                     B-              80 - 82%
Financial Analysis                     5%                     C+              76 - 79%
Strategic Business Plan               30%                     C               70 -75%
Business Plan Presentation            20%                     F            Below 70%

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date. Late papers will be
docked one full letter grade. Missing assignments (week late) will be counted as a "O"
for final grade calculations.

Attendance Policy
Given how much learning occurs through class participation, class attendance is very
important. Your thorough understanding of the concepts and their application will be
achieved in the class setting through interaction with your peers.
If you miss a class, you are expected to submit written analysis of the case for the class
missed. This will help preserve your class participation grade

Use of Technology in the Classroom
Feel free to bring your laptop or an audio tape recorder to class to facilitate note
taking/your learning. Do not use class time to check your e-mail or check Internet sites.
Use of any and all technology for presentations and assignments is recommended and
encouraged. I have Microsoft Office and will accept your written assignments and
presentations in electronic format. (Saves you the printing time and expense.) You may
e-mail them to me prior to class or give me a copy on disk. However, it is your
responsibility to make sure I have received your document on time and in the proper
format to open it (i.e., follow-up by phone or email).

Students will be expected to uphold the highest ethical standards in their conduct in
the classroom and on assignments. Academic dishonesty and plagiarism will not be
tolerated. Be sure that you fully understand the GSM Rules and Procedures. All
materials prepared by a student for this class must be their original work, and prepared
solely by that individual for this class. All assignments are submitted to
Students must give proper citations and attribution to the source for any part of the
materials taken from another source. On a group project, each student in the group
must contribute his or her fair and proportionate share to the project. Failure to comply
with these standards will result in a failing grade for this assignment and/or class.

Minneapolis Cohort
                                                                                                                                          Summer 07

    Class                         Class Preparation                     In-Class Discussion                              Assignment Due
        10 May    T&S: Ch 1-3                              Roxanne Quimby Case
                  P: Articles 3-6 & 9                      New Venture Ideas
                  Roxanne Quimby Case

     17 May 07    T&S: Ch 4, 5, 19                         Burt’s Bees Case                                    Burt’s Bees Case
                  P: Articles 11, 36, 37, 41               Securities Online, Inc. Case                        Securities Online, Inc. Case
                  Burt’s Bees Case                         Target Customer                                     Personal Entrepreneurship Reflection
                  Securities Online, Inc. Case             Market Potential                                    Paper

     24 May 07    T&S: Ch 6, 7, 8                          Newland Medical Case                                Newland Medical Case Maclean
                  P: Articles 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16       Maclean Palmer Case                                 Palmer Case
                  Newland Medical Case                     Competitive Analysis                                Venture Opportunity Evaluation
                  Maclean Palmer Case                      POD

     31 May 07    T&S: Ch 9, 10, 11                        Wayne Postoak Case                                  Wayne Postoak Case
                  P: Articles 19-22                        Midwest Lighting Case                               Midwest Lighting Case
                  Wayne Postoak Case                       Marketing Plan                                      Marketing Plan
                  Midwest Lighting Case                    Management Structure

       7 Jun 07   T&S: Ch 12, 13, 14                       Forte Ventures Case                                 Forte Ventures Case
                  P: Articles 17, 18, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28   Production and/or Distribution Plan Overall
                  Forte Ventures Case                      Schedule of Activities
                                                           Funding Plan

      14 Jun 07   T&S: Ch 15, 16                           Bank Documents Case                                 Bank Documents Case
                  P: Articles 30, 31, 32, 33, 38           EverNet Corporation Case                            EverNet Corporation Case
                  Bank Documents Case                      Critical Risks and Assumptions                      Critical Risks and Assumptions
                  EverNet Corporation Case                 Financial Plan                                      Financial Plan

      21 Jun 07   T&S: Ch 17 & 18                          Lightwave Technology Case                           Lightwave Technology Case
                  P: Articles 39 & 40                                                                          Final Strategic Business Plans
                  Lightwave Technology Case

      28 Jun 07   Presentations                            Presentation and Evaluation of Strategic Business


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