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COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Entrepreneurship "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session I 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Silvia Pulino
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 11:00-12:45 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Sophomore Standing
OFFICE HOURS: Daily by appointment

This course examines the entrepreneurial process, from recognizing opportunity to planning, organizing and growing a new venture. We will highlight innovation and its methods and applications on business opportunity analysis. Topics covered also include significance, status, problems, and requirements of entrepreneurial businesses. Students will have the opportunity to identify a business opportunity and develop the idea to the point of being start-up ready.This course will serve as a foundation for students who might want to own a business, and it is meant to be accessible also for non-business majors.


Thinking entrepreneurially: mindset, motivation and behavior. Creativity, Opportunity, and Feasibility. Research and Validation. Value Proposition. Business Model. Marketing Strategy. Testing Key Assumptions. Funding the Venture. Pitching the Idea. Building and Growing the Company.

Course content will include materials related to identifying and analyzing market opportunities, evaluating resources required to exploit market opportunities, and launching a new venture. This process will be assessed mainly from the perspective of an individual entrepreneur.



At macro level, after successful completion of the course the student will be able to identify new business opportunities and take the first steps towards implementing a business idea.

Specifically, students will apply their learning through a variety of activities designed to test their ability to:

·         Generate innovative business ideas

·         Systematically evaluate business ideas and feasibility studies

·         Understand key elements of a successful strategy

·         Conduct an industry analysis

·         Conduct a PEST analysis

·         Perform a competitive analysis

·         Recognize the importance of business plans and learn what the key building blocks are

·         Define a working business model

·         Strategically position a new venture

·         Formulate and deliver a persuasive elevator pitch

·         Understand the pillars of a good marketing strategy

·         Forecast sales

·         Preparing budgeted financial statements for the first three years of the venture

·         Identify the key legal aspects of starting a new business

·         Understand key aspects of human resource management in new ventures


Additionally, the course activities will help students perfect a selection of transferable skills, including:

·         Business writing (industry analysis, competitive analysis)

·         IT skills: cloud computing and modeling using excel spreadsheets (Google docs, mandatory Computer Lab, preparation of forecast financial statements)

·         Oral presentation (brief presentations, elevator pitch)

·         Presentation tools (Powerpoint or Prezi for final presentation)

·         Project Management and team work (work in teams throughout the semester)

Research (research on industry and competitors)
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Disciplined EntrepreneurshipBill AuletWiley978-1-118-69228-8  
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Entrepreneurial Small BusinessKatz and GreenMcGraw Hill International EditionISBN 9780071220941  
Guide to EntrepreneurshipSeveralFrohring Library’sn/a Found at: JCU website / Library / Library Research Guides / BUS 305 Introduction to Entrepreneurship (http://johncabot.libguides.com/BUS305)
- The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful BusinessesEric RiesCrown BusinessISBN 0307887898  

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Crossing the ChasmGeoffrey A. MooreCollins BusinessISBN 978-0-06-051712-0HF5439.H54M66 
Class attendance, preparation and participationThe class participation grade will reflect preparation, attendance and quality and frequency of participation. Class preparation will require students to read all the assigned material and to explore the guiding questions provided in Moodle. Class participation will help students understand the material better and build confidence in public speaking. In each class, I will ask a student to make a brief presentation of the material s/he prepared, but all students are encouraged to participate in almost every class at least once and if possible more than once, actively engaging in the debate. The instructor may also indicate university open lectures that are relevant to the course; students are expected to attend such lectures (unless there is a scheduling clash with another course) as part of their class participation activities. Participation to these activities will enhance the class participation grade. Students will be evaluated on preparation, participation and interaction with other students. In particular, students are expected to read all the assigned material, engage with the assigned questions, bring to class evidence of their study in the form of notes, and participate in the general class discussion.20%
Business IdeaStudents will submit a Business Idea and will present it to the class. The written paper will be a 2-3 page report, the presentation should last no more than 3 minutes. Guidelines for the Business Idea will be provided on Moodle.10%
Elevator Pitch CompetitionTowards the end of the semester students will make a formal, 2-minute elevator pitch for their business idea, participating to the university-wide Elevator Pitch Competition. They will present individually and will be graded on innovation, thoroughness, presentation and persuasiveness. 10%
Start-up PortfolioStudents will work in groups to develop a business idea in detail. Throughout the session they will work on the individual pieces needed to develop a business plan; these pieces will be collected under the Start-up Portfolio, and they include: - Value Proposition - PEST analysis - 5-Force analysis - Competitive map - End user profile - End user persona - Business Model Canvas - Marketing Plan (executive summary) - Sales forecast - Financial summary The portfolio will be graded on a stand-alone basis. The paper grade may be modified upwards or downwards for each student in the team depending on individual commitment and effort. A bonus will be given to papers that show consistency in quality and style, representing a homogeneous effort rather than the compilation of several individual components.40%
Group PresentationIn lieu of a final exam, students will present their business idea to an (imaginary) group of potential investors. The assumption will be that investors have already seen the 2-minute pitch and want to hear more, in a 10-minute presentation. Performance will be judged on the basis of content, visual support, delivery and fielding of questions.20%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.


Students are expected to come to class and to arrive on time.

Absences: students are allowed up to 2 absences during the semester.

Tardiness: students arriving more than 5 minutes late for class will be marked as absence (though they may stay and follow the lesson).

Persistent absence or tardiness usually precludes satisfactory performance in the course, and will result in a lower class participation grade. In any case, students are responsible for all material covered by the syllabus and/or discussed in class, whether or not they are actually present.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.



NOTE: This table is merely indicative. The definitive schedule is the one on MOODLE.


Week 1

  • Generating ideas
  • Identifying opportunity
  • Value proposition
  • Assessing feasibility

Week 2

  • Industry conditions and analysis
  • Macroeconomic change and PEST analysis
  • The competitive landscape and competitor analysis

Week 3

  • Understanding the customer
  • Need and solution
  • Scalability
  • Designing the Business Model

Week 4

  • The Marketing Strategy
  • Forecasting Sales
  • Minimum Viable Product
  • Testing Key Assumptions

Week 5

  • Proforma financial statements
  • Pitching the idea
  • Final Presentations