This course provides the student with the skills necessary to create a business plan for a proposed new venture. This new venture can be either small business or venture based but must be the original idea of the student or group developing it. Examples of venture types not allowed include: franchises, real estate development or financial services firms, consulting, importation of venture concepts successfully launched in other areas or licensing plays where the proposed venture adds little or no value to the core technology or idea. The business plans produced in this class are designed to attract external financing from banks or angel investors.
Business plans can be prepared either individually or in groups up to a maximum of three people.
This class is based on the principles of Market Validation, i.e., proving a market exists for your proposed venture before creating a prototype or developing a minimally viable feature set and the Lean Process, i.e. failing fast and cheap. These two processes were selected as they represent the current state-of-the-art development processes for new ventures. Both these processes have been used by thousands of companies around the globe and have proven to be successful with ventures of all sizes. In addition, this course is based on exposing your proposed venture to as wide an audience as possible to seek the input of more experienced entrepreneurs and representatives from organizations supporting entrepreneurial development. In both these respects, the course takes a West Coast view of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial development.
The course uses a hands-on philosophy that incorporates lectures, guest speakers, case studies, exercises and student-led projects. The goal is to ensure students both understand the mechanics of venture development and how to effectively present this information to outside parties both in a written plan and orally. At the core of the direction is the concept of providing students with an opportunity to apply knowledge presented in the textbook in ways they are likely to encounter along their entrepreneurial journey.