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COURSE NAME: "International Entrepreneurship"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020

INSTRUCTOR: Silvia Pulino
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 11:30-12:50 PM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: Junior Standing
OFFICE HOURS: Wednesdays 9.30-3.00

This course introduces students to issues related to international management and entrepreneurship, with particular attention being paid to formulating creative solutions that take into account differences in national cultures and the business environments. The course examines ways to leverage differences in cultures and leadership styles to achieve enhanced entrepreneurial performance in an international setting including the development of team and communication skills. The course is based on the case-study method.
Global business models. Building blocks of the global venture. Global supply chains. Global alliances. Global organizations.Global entrepreneurship and leadership.

Students having successfully completed the course should be able to:

  • Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate international business models
  • Understand the unique challenges of international entrepreneurs
  • Identify opportunities that may originate far away
  • Structure an international venture to maximize the return to shareholders
  • Understand the drivers of early valuation in international ventures
  • Pitch a business plan to an international venture capitalist
  • Identify the key issues in establishing operations at a distance
  • Avoid conflict and resolve conflicts when they arise
  • Coordinate, communicate and manage in an international startup
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
HBS case packmultipleHarvard Business Publishing Housen/a Students will be required to buy a course pack containing cases and reading material   
Value proposition design : how to create products and services customers want, Osterwalder, Pigneur, Bernarda, Smithn/an/a e-book available in Library   
Root Cause Analysis: the Core of Problem Solving and Corrective ActionDuke Okesn/an/a e-book available in Library   

Class participation 20%
Mid-term Exam 40%
Final exam 40%

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 the cours
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.

Attendance is mandatory and part of the class participation grade.
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.



The following class plan is indicative and subject to change. The operating class plan will be provided in Moodle.

Class 1 Introduction to the course

How to approach cases

Group work

Context/Opportunity/Deal/People framework

Classes 2 and 3 Case discussion: Singulus

Singulus, the compact disk metallizer business of Leybold AG, a large German company, has been put up for sale. In April 1995, buyout firm Schroder Ventures has to decide whether to acquire the business. The investment decision is complicated by a number of factors, including Singulus' assets, which at this stage consist primarily of intellectual property and a customer list.

Class 4  Case discussion: Officenet

Officenet is an office supply distributor in Argentina. The company serves the business-to-business market through a catalog (combined with phone orders) and also through an Internet-based catalog. Officenet is a pioneer in both catalog and Internet channels. While the company is possibly an acquisition target for one of the large U.S.-based office supply distributors, the entrepreneurs have to do a lot of work before they can realize an exit. They have to decide in which direction to grow the company and how to finance this growth. Specifically, a commercial paper program seems feasible in the near future, and the entrepreneurs have to decide on its size.

Classes 5 and 6 Case discussion: @Hoc: Leveraging Israeli Technology in the United States

Describes @Hoc, an idea for an Internet software company, developed by two HBS MBA 1999 graduates, Guy Miasnik and Ly Tran. @Hoc's software, loaded into a browser, enables instant, context-sensitive information retrieval and shopping. @Hoc's R&D team is located in Israel while the rest of the company is located in Boston. By July 1999, the entrepreneurs have developed a high-level prototype, written a business plan, and are seeking to raise approximately $1 billion to $1.5 billion. The entrepreneurs are trying to determine at what valuation they can raise capital and whether they should raise more capital than originally planned.

Class 7 Lecture: Valuation Techniques

Class 8 Case discussion: Ducati, Italy

Describes the attempt of Texas Pacific Group (TPG), a buyout firm, to purchase a controlling stake in Ducati Motor, the world's leading high-performance motorcycle company, based in Bologna, Italy. Ducati is part of Cagiva Group, a family-controlled industrial group. Cagiva has fallen on hard times and Ducati is the crown jewel in the group. Yet even Ducati is under great financial pressure and short on working capital. Abel Halpern, a partner at TPG, is frustrated because a deal with the owners seems to be an ever-moving target. Although TPG has negotiated with the seller for almost a year. In spite of costly due diligence efforts by TPG, Abel Halpern is now ready to walk away from the deal. In his decision he needs to consider not only valuation and the feasibility of hiring new management to turn the company around but also the feasibility of an eventual exit via the public markets in Italy.

Classes 9 and 10 Case discussion: Spotfire: Managing a Multinational Start-up

Spotfire, a software start-up, must address the question of dividing its effort between Sweden and the United States in addition to raising venture capital, obtaining new customers, and managing early-stage growth.

Class 11 - Guest Speaker (TBA)

Class 12 - Mid-term review

Class 13 - Mid-term exam

Classes 14 and 15 Case discussion: TixToGo: Financing a Silicon Valley Start-Up

Describes TixToGo, a Silicon Valley start-up company that offers online solutions to individuals and organizations that want to offer activities and/or collect registration fees for events over the Internet. A serial entrepreneur and his partner started the company in San Francisco in 1997. While the business model seems quite attractive, TixToGo has had difficulty gaining momentum. The founders have therefore decided to hire Lu Cordova, a manager and entrepreneur with considerable start-up experience as CEO. Her first day on the job is May 18, 1999. TixToGo is also her first job as CEO of a company she did not start. The company has $12,000 in the bank. The monthly burn rate is $30,000. Lu needs to act quickly.

Class 16 Case discussion: QI Tech, China

QI-TECH, is a Chinese manufacturer of precision coordinate measurement machines. A foreign investor who holds 50% of QI-TECH must negotiate a sale with its Chinese partner and a potential buyer (a large Western measurement machine company). For this purpose the foreign investor must value the joint venture and develop a viable deal structure and negotiation strategy.

Class 17 Case discussion: Jinwoong: Financing an Entrepreneurial Firm in the Wake of the Korean Financial Crisis

Describes T.P. Lee, the founder and CEO of Jinwoong, a 19-year-old entrepreneurial company in Korea that has grown to become the world's largest manufacturer of camping tents. Labeled by Fortune as one of the most promising entrepreneurs in Asia in 1993, Lee faces some serious management challenges by October 1998. Largely due to the Korean financial crisis of 1997-98, Lee must rethink the financing and expansion plans for his firm. To deal with these challenges, he could seek outside funding from two different groups of private equity investors or from a corporate restructuring fund set up by the Korean government. All of these decisions reflect Jinwoong's long-term strategy and Lee's assessment of the different offers.

Class 18 Case discussion: Telewizja Wisla, Poland

Claire Hurley and her business partner have obtained a supra-regional TV license for Poland. Their company has received initial funding from Polish investors and now faces the difficult challenge of raising an additional $7 million to fund the start of operations of a TV station. Claire and her partner have to resolve questions about strategic partners, company valuation, and deal structures. Teaching purpose: Explores the challenges of starting a media company in Poland. Allows discussion of entrepreneurial start-ups in transition economies. Also involves analysis of economics and valuation of TV stations. Highlights challenges of raising capital from foreign partners.

Classes 19 and 20 Case discussion: TCS: An Entrepreneurial Air-Express Company in Pakistan

Introduces Khalid Awan, co-founder of TCS, an entrepreneurial air-express company in Pakistan. Awan has succeeded in building a sizeable company despite serious obstacles, including pressure from the public postal system, an environment prone to corruption, and a nonexistent market for venture capital. The firm largely followed an organic financing strategy and made extensive use of leasing contracts. However, in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Awan is now faced with a number of questions regarding further expansion of the firm. The tragic events of September 11 will most likely put pressure on the firm's revenues and create considerable uncertainty. Awan is also starting to think about diversification of his personal wealth, which is concentrated almost entirely in TCS. Decisions on all these issues will impact the firm's future financing policies and growth.

Class 21 - Guest Speaker (TBA)

Classes 22 and 23 Case discussion: TelePizza, Spain

TelePizza, is Spain's leading chain of pizza restaurants and delivery services. TelePizza has experienced rapid growth to 500 stores since its creation in 1987. The company went public on the Spanish stock market in late 1996. Franchising has played an important role in the firm's expansion to date. For further growth, the founder and CEO is contemplating three strategies: further expansion in Spain, international expansion, or the creation of new restaurant concepts.

Classes 24 and 25 Case discussion: VacationSpot.com & Rent-A-Holiday: Negotiating a Trans-Atlantic Merger of Start-Ups

Describes a potential trans-Atlantic merger between two young companies in the Internet space. VacationSpot.com, based in Seattle, and Rent-A-Holiday, based in Brussels, both offer online listings and reservations for independent leisure lodging (i.e., villas, apartments, and bed and breakfast places) around the world. Both companies were started in 1997. At the time of the case (April 1999), the two companies are world-market co-leaders and discussing a merger. While the lodging inventory of both companies is very similar, their most recent post-money valuations have a ratio of approximately 9:1. Merger negotiations have come to a standstill over the valuation issue. Both sides need to decide whether to restart negotiations and what terms to propose.

Classes 26 Group Work

Class 27 Presentations

Class 28 Review