The purpose of this new blog series is to create a publishable guidebook that can serve as a companion to Wiley’s Patterns of Entrepreneurship Management, 6th Edition (2020) as well as in support of various classes taught by the authors at Columbia University and globally by Venture for All® faculty including the new Entrepreneurial Innovation and Finance program in partnership with McGraw Hill.
At Columbia Business School, instilling entrepreneurial thinking in our students is part of our mission. Entrepreneurship is fully integrated throughout the MBA and EMBA curriculum. Launch Your Startup is one of the core courses offered in the entrepreneurial track. The course is an advanced, accelerated offering providing an intensive learning experience that focuses on the creation, evaluation, development and launch readiness of a new business or social enterprise. Each student enters the class with a venture idea that they are passionate about and have been actively engaged in extensive market research & customer discovery. Using a proprietary sequence of eight modules, the course leverages weekly structured assignments to support the development of the new venture. Students learn how to assess the industry and market attractiveness for their venture idea, form competitive strategies, develop minimum viable products and services, prioritize customer acquisition strategies for early traction, and generate full financial statements. They leave the program fully equipped with the tools and frameworks required to create and launch their new startup.
Students learn the applied elements of venture creation and planning in a specially sequenced modular format. Each module provides the students with the knowledge and tools required to develop a comprehensive new venture plan. At each stage, participants are exposed to critical terms, tools that support research and decision making, and explanations of how each major planning activity fits into the new venture creation process. During each module, participants respond to a series of “worksheets” guiding them through the planning process in a self-directed, supportive manner.
The Eight Modules
1. Your Idea: Articulating the problem to be solved and the potential benefit to the customer.
2. Your Business Model: Developing an initial business model to support early assumption testing and validation.
3. Your Customer: Testing your assumptions about the alignment between your product offering and targeted customers through customer interviews and surveys.
4. Your Market: Synthesizing the unique benefits of new offerings and positioning against the competition in the marketplace.
5. Your Product: Designing minimal viable products to quickly test customer acceptance.
6. Your Brand: Creating an integrated marketing and brand strategy for early traction.
7. Your Financial Plan: Identifying revenue sources while minimizing cost factors with a focus on break-even and cash management.
8. Your Launch: Selecting team members with the right mix of knowledge and skills and creating a culture for sustained growth.
Upcoming blog posts will explore each module in detail, providing content and tools to support aspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders, family businesses, and corporate “intrapreneurs” & innovators.
For more on this subject and other entrepreneurship topics, get a copy of Patterns of Entrepreneurship Management, 6th Edition.
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