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									                          University of Wisconsin - Madison
                                 School of Business

                       TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP
                                Spring 2007
                                 MHR 765

                              M 4:00-7:00 pm 2185 Grainger


Sanjay Jain
Office: 4271 Grainger
Phone: 262-4025
e-mail: sjain@bus.wisc.edu
Office hours: By appointment

Course description:

A pervasive feature of the modern economy is the integral role played by start-up firms in
introducing new technologies and reshaping existing markets. Each decade has produced
its generation of entrepreneurial firms that have fundamentally transformed the way we live
– Microsoft, Cisco and Genentech from the 1980’s; E-Bay, Amazon and Yahoo! in the
1990’s; and Google, Facebook and YouTube more recently – are testament to this ongoing
phenomena. Combining technical knowledge with business savvy and blending these
within a start-up context represents one of the most exhilarating, challenging and rewarding
journeys an individual can take!

This elective course focuses on identifying the entrepreneurial and strategic challenges
faced by start-ups in two high-technology sectors of the economy -- infotech and biotech –
and provides tools/frameworks to address these challenges. We begin with a quick review
of the salient characteristics of these sectors and identify the key strategic issues associated
with these fields. After that, we turn our attention to understanding techniques for
identifying and assessing entrepreneurial opportunities in these fields. Next we examine
ways in which such opportunities can be resourced and how critical competencies for a
high technology start-up are developed. Finally, we focus on the strategic challenges that
entrepreneurial firms in these fields need to address. These include evaluating modes of
commercialization, engaging in dynamic strategies and shaping the rules of the game in
these fields.

The course will provide students with a practical and deep understanding of technology
entrepreneurship. To this end the course shall have a large number of guest speakers and
case discussions in addition to regular lectures and class presentations. The ideas & tools
presented in this course have clear relevance for students interested in making careers in
consulting, venture capital or general management in high-tech industries. It will be of
particular appeal to students who are interested in starting, building or growing a venture
related to these fields.


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Course Prerequisites:

For the most part, this course deals with the strategic challenges that a technology
entrepreneur is likely to encounter in running his/her business. The course content builds
upon material covered in MHR 723 (Business Strategy) and MHR 722 (Entrepreneurial
Management). Thus, a basic understanding of concepts from strategy and
entrepreneurship is required to participate effectively in class. If you are taking this class
as a business school student, this is probably not an issue. However, if you are not a
business school student or if you feel under prepared for some other reason, please let me
know and I will guide you to background readings that will bring you up to speed on
these fronts.

Learning Objectives:

This course is aimed at giving its audience a comprehensive view of the nature of
entreprenuership and strategy within the infotech and biotech landscapes. The fact that
we are still at a relatively early stage of these two revolutions implies that any knowledge
claims in these areas are likely to be preliminary in nature. This in turn will significantly
impact the pedagogy adopted in the class, which will take on a discussion-oriented
format. As instructor, I will introduce a number of concepts and ideas that I will then
expect to be vigorously debated and dissected by members of the class. As equal
participants in this endeavor of ours, I strongly encourage you to identify phenomena of
interest that you feel are pertinent to the class and bring these to my attention. In turn, I
will work on integrating these materials into the class discussion. Through lively and
rigorous discussions, it is my hope that the class will collectively generate abiding
insights relating to the nature of entrepreneurship and strategy within these sectors.

Textbook (Recommended):

Dorf, R. & Byers, T. Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise. McGraw Hill.

Format and Grading:

The course will be taught via lectures, article/case discussions as well as individual/
group projects. It will also feature numerous external speakers. The grading for the class
will be as follows:

* Class participation                         20%
* Case write-ups                              15%
* Bulletin Board Items                         5%
* In-class Presentation                       15%
* Team project                                45%




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Class participation (20%)

This grade will be based on the quality and frequency of your contributions and your
attendance. Active involvement in class discussions is key to deriving the most benefit
out of this class. In this regard, it is essential that students attend class appropriately
prepared -- with general knowledge of the readings required for class and substantial
preparation of the cases. Absence, lateness, and lack of preparation will each have a
negative impact on students’ class participation grade. Documented illness, religious
holidays, and documented emergencies will be given special consideration.

In order for me to accurately assess the quality of your participation, it is essential that I
know each of you individually as soon as possible. To facilitate this, you need to do the
following (1) bring a name card to class and place it in the slot provided at the front of
your desk; (2) hand in your student information sheet including a small photo of yourself.
I need the student information sheets by Session 2. You will start receiving credit for
class participation after I have received your student information sheet.

Your class contributions will be evaluated on the following:
             your contribution to the advancement of the discussion
             your in-depth understanding of course material
             your ability to persuasively and concisely convey your thoughts
             your willingness to test "new" ideas, rather than "play it safe"
             your ability to provoke a dialogue among participants
             your capacity to support comments with facts and specifics

Case Write Ups (15%)

An important requirement for this course is that students submit copies of the notes they
have prepared in answer to the case analysis questions (that are provided in the syllabus).
These case notes should be about a page in length. Preparation and discussion of assigned
case analysis questions serves multiple goals: to enrich students’ understanding of the
conceptual material, to help students identify concepts and theories for which they need
clarification and to provide a context for students to share their own insights and
experiences with other class members. Students who do not adequately prepare assigned
case analysis questions undermine their own learning as well as the overall quality of
class discussions.

Students will submit their case notes at the beginning of class on the day that the case is
discussed. Typed/printed case notes are preferred but handwritten case notes will be
accepted as long as they are legible. The due dates for these submissions are indicated on
the course schedule. No late submissions will be accepted. If a student is going to be late
or absent, he/she can have write-ups delivered to the instructor’s office (Room 4271) or
email them to the instructor. However, if a student uses this option, the case notes must
arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of class to receive full credit.




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I have assigned five cases over the course of the semester. I expect you to submit notes
for any four of these cases. This does not mean that you are not required to read and
prepare the other cases, only that you do not have to submit them to me. Each submitted
note is worth 4 points of your final grade.

Bulletin Board Items (5%)

During the semester, you need to submit at least TWO bulletin board items. To prepare a
bulletin board item:

(1) Locate an interesting newspaper, magazine article, website printout, memo from a
real organization, or any other document or object from the "real world."
(2) Write a short note that briefly describes the item and specifically links the item to
course concept or principle and/or employs a strategic tool introduced in class.
(3) Bring one copy of the article and your short written note to class. Also post one copy
of the article/note on the course website. Make sure your name is on the copies you hand
to me so that I can give you credit!

The bulletin board item can relate to any part of our whole course. It does not have to link
to the subject matter of the day you bring it in.

We do these bulletin board items to practice tying entrepreneurship concepts to practice,
to broaden our shared knowledge of technological frontiers, and practice quick
application of strategic frameworks/tools to real-world situations.

In-class Presentation (15%)

Students will be assigned to 4-5 member teams to complete this assignment. Students
will assign themselves to teams during Session 2. Note that although some class time will
be devoted to working on team assignments, most teamwork will be completed outside of
class.

The presentation will consist of a team’s analysis of a particular start-up firm with respect
to an assigned topic area. Teams will decide which firm to investigate but must obtain the
instructor’s approval before proceeding with their analysis. Note that the companies
discussed in the cases cannot be used for this assignment. Further guidelines for specific
presentations will be provided in class. The assignment will involves the following
activities:

1) E-mail the rest of the class a set of articles (2-3) related to the firm and the strategic
issue that it is facing as well as a set of discussion questions (2-3) one week prior to the
scheduled presentation (this package will be approved by me before distribution to class)

2) The team will make a presentation during the class session that lasts 10 minutes and
will then answer questions pertaining to the presentation/lead a discussion on the firm-
and the strategic issues it faces for another 10 minutes.



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Teams are encouraged to acquire information from multiple sources. This includes, but
is not limited to, public records, newspaper and magazine reports, management
periodicals, and interviews with organizational employees.

There is no written report for this assignment - however, teams must submit a copy of
their slides to the instructor on the day of their presentation. Grades will be based on the
instructor’s as well as the class’s evaluation. Evaluations will be based on both content
and style.

Regarding content, it is vital that teams apply theoretical concepts to the applications
correctly. Thus, take care to assess and apply the text material appropriately. Teams are
encouraged to contact the instructor in advance for guidance and consultation. Team
presentations should be clear, comprehensive and offer illustrative examples from the
firm. Key content criteria include: knowledge of subject/content, clarity of objectives and
main points, organization of materials and information, effective use of examples, and
clarity of responses to class questions.

Regarding style, team presentations should be professional, polished and engaging.
Presenters should be dressed appropriately. Powerpoint slides or other visual aids should
be used to enhance the clarity of the presentation. Preparation and time management are
critical. Presenters should be well rehearsed and should plan only 10 minutes of material.
Teams will be asked to stop at the end of their allotted time, regardless of whether their
presentation is finished. Key style criteria include: smooth delivery, use of visual
aids/equipment, pacing, creativity, and confidence and enthusiasm.

Team Projects (45%) – Understanding the dynamics of market creation

An underlying theme for this class will relate to understanding the creation of new
markets. As is becoming increasingly apparent, this is perhaps the key entrepreneurial
challenge associated with emerging technology landscapes. While there seems to be no
dearth of promising technologies being developed in the infotech/biotech domains,
constructing viable markets around these technologies is proving to be much more
challenging – the early failures of various business models associated with both these
fields being testimony to this. Given this, the focus of your team project will involve
choosing a specific technology (info- or bio-related), and an entrepreneurial firm
associated with this technology, and then understanding the manner in which the firm has
contributed/ will contribute to the formation of a market around this technology. In
selecting a technology-firm combination, you should do one of the following:

1) Carry out a historical analysis of the formation of the market around a well-established
technology (such as railroads, pharmaceuticals, etc) to understand how a market emerged
around this technology and the role that the firm played in market creation.

2) Study an emerging technology (such as digital music, proteomics, etc) and understand
the factors that will have to fall in place for a market to form around this technology, as
well as the manner in which the firm can help facilitate the process of market creation.



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3) Critically examine a business model that a firm has employed within the
infotech/biotech sector and evaluate its viability for the firm. Also, offer
recommendations on how the firm can fine-tune the business model in order to remain
competitive within the emerging sector. Alternatively, develop a business plan for a high-
technology based start-up that you are involved (or plan to get involved) with.

4) I will also be getting in touch with WARF to help identify projects that involve
addressing specific strategic issues that some of the local high-technology start-up firms
are facing. These will be presented in class as candidates for team projects.

The deadlines for the team project will be as follows:

Session 5 – Proposal for team project due (evaluated for 5% of overall course grade)
Session 9 – Mid-term team presentation (evaluated for 10% of overall course grade)
Sessions 14/15 – Final team presentation (evaluated for 10% of overall course grade)
                 Written report (evaluated for 20% of overall course grade)

Some notes on case discussions

In general, case discussion works best when you:

1. Come to class well prepared. Read the case several times and think about how the
concepts from the chapter and class discussions can be applied. Make notes that you can
refer to during class. You may discuss the case with your teammates or friends
beforehand.

2. Contribute ideas and analysis to the class discussion. This class depends heavily on
the quality of your contributions. Quality contributions are those that represent an effort
to enhance the class’ understanding of the issues being discussed. This may involve
asking or responding to questions in the conventional way as well as any of the
following:
 applying class material to current business situations you have read about or seen in
    the media
 relating class material to your own personal experiences
 responding to others’ comments with a clarifying, supporting or differing view

3. Have fun with it. Given the complexities of the real world, there is no single right
answer to many questions of strategy. However, this does not mean that all answers are
equally valid. Developing and communicating stories that are consistent and convincing
is an important part of what strategic managers do. These can be very creative and
rewarding activities, so you should try to have fun with them. The only requirements are
that you try to use concepts from class to analyze situations and that you listen carefully
to your classmates.




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Some notes on write-ups

Good writing habits are "portable" and will always reflect well on you. Shoddy written
work can have enormous negative consequences (in terms of lost opportunities for new
positions or advancement). I expect a commitment to quality on your part. To this end,
you should proof your work for content (i.e. cohesion of argument, clarity of logic,
support of position, and conciseness), as well as for correct grammar, spelling, and
punctuation (re-read even after running spell check!). Unless you are an uncommonly
gifted writer and strategic analyst, your grade will inevitably suffer if you wait until the
last minute to complete your written assignment. Plan ahead, and allow yourself plenty
of time to think about your answers and revise your write-up. I expect all work to be
original and well presented.

In general, your written assignments should include the following:

   Well-organized and concise arguments (avoid fluff or irrelevancies)
   Clear statements of assumptions and conclusions
   Rigorous use of facts and financial data to support arguments
   Original, not plagiarized text (give credit if you must quote)
   Well-supported creativity and extensions are encouraged
   All written work must be typed, double-spaced with one-inch margins, no greater or
    smaller than a 12 point font size and stapled (folders, etc will not be returned)

Important Administrative Details

Contacting me

I am happy to meet with you in person before or after class, during office hours or at
other pre-arranged times. However, in general the best way to contact either of us is
through e-mail. Both of us check our e-mail throughout the day, and it is probably the
fastest way to get an answer to your questions. In addition, it enables us to respond
intelligently by giving us time to sort through our files or re-read things, which we will
often need to do. Finally, e-mail creates a record, which can be very helpful to both of us
down the road.

If you need special help

If you are having trouble in class (e.g. with participation, assignments, other team
members, etc.), I need to know about your problems as soon as possible. I will do my
best to help students who, despite a sincere and solid effort, are experiencing difficulty. I
will not be accommodating towards such problems if raised at semester end.




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Other Details

   Please advise me in advance of any anticipated schedule conflicts (e.g. interviews).
   Suggested paper lengths are only upper limits. If you can convey your thoughts more
    succinctly in your written assignments, please do so!
   Feel free to form independent study groups to brainstorm about cases and readings
    outside of class.
   Like managers executing actual strategies, we may find that the course syllabus must
    be amended slightly as the semester progresses.




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                             COURSE SCHEDULE
Mtg # & day of week / date
Topic
Activities, readings & reminders

1. M / January 22
Introduction to Technology Entrepreneurship: Theoretical Foundations
“The questions every entrepreneur must answer” Amar Bhide
“Strategy as revolution” Gary Hamel

2. M / January 29
Theoretical underpinnings for understanding key high technology fields
“Increasing returns in the new world of business” Brian Arthur
“Information rules (Chapter 1)” Hal Varian & Carl Shapiro
“The life sciences revolution: A technical primer” Gary Pisano, Stephanie Oestreich &
  Clarissa Ceruti
“Can science be a business?” Gary Pisano
 Individual information sheets due
 Team Assignments

3. M / February 5
Identifying entrepreneurial opportunity – loci of start-up activity
“University Research and offices of technology transfer” Gregory Graff, Amir Heiman &
David Zilberman
“Clusters and the new economics of competition” Michael Porter
Case: The Langer Lab
Guest Speaker

4. M / February 12
Identifying entrepreneurial opportunity – techniques
“Creating new market space” W. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne
“Knowing a winning business idea when you see one” W. Chan Kim & Renee
 Mauborgne
Case: E-Bay
Guest Speaker
Team Project proposals due

5. M / February 19
Resourcing high-tech entrepreneurial start-ups
“Creating something from nothing: Resource construction through entrepreneurial
bricollage” Ted Baker & Reed Nelson
“A garage and an idea” Pino Audia & Christopher Rider
“Attracting stakeholders” Amar Bhide & Howard Stevenson
In-class presentation
Guest Speaker


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6. M / February 26
Resourcing high-tech entrepreneurial start-ups
“Business model analysis for the entrepreneur” Richard Hammermesh, Paul Marshall &
Taz Pirmohamed
“How venture capitalists evaluate potential venture opportunities” Michael Roberts &
Lauren Barley
Case: E-Ink
Guest Speaker

7. M / March 5
Developing human capital in high-tech entrepreneurial firms
“Organizational blueprints for success in high-tech start-ups” James Baron & Michael
Hannan
In-class presentation
Guest speaker

8. M / March 12
Crafting value streams within high-tech entrepreneurial firms
“The legal protection of intellectual property” Michael Roberts
“Capturing value from knowledge assets” David Teece
Case: Surface Logix
Guest speaker

9. M / March 19
Mid-Term Team presentations

10. M / March 26
Selecting market-entry modes in high-tech entrepreneurial firms
“The product market and the market for “ideas”: commercialization strategies for
technology entrepreneurs” Joshua Gans and Scott Stern.
Case: Ecton
Guest Speaker

11. M / April 9
Strategizing to stay ahead within high-tech entrepreneurial firms
“The leader’s (dis)advantage” Peter Coughlan
“Competitor analysis: Anticipating competitive actions” Peter Coughlan
“Judo strategy: The competitive dynamics of Internet time” David Yoffie & Michael
Cusumano
In-class presentation
Guest speaker




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12. M / April 16
Shaping perceptions in high-tech entrepreneurial settings
“The birth of the Kodak moment” Kamal Munir & Nelson Phillips
“DNA: Handle with care” Lori Andrews & Bronwyn Fryer
In-class presentation
Guest Speaker

13. M / April 23
Shaping the rules in high-tech entrepreneurial settings
“The art of standards wars” Carl Shapiro & Hal Varian
In-class presentation
Guest Speaker

14. M / April 30
Final Team presentations
Guest Speaker

15. M / May 7
Final Team presentations
In conclusion: The nature of technology entrepreneurship




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