ASTK18227U  Entrepreneurship for Political Scientists

Volume 2018/2019

Bachelor student: 10 ECTS

Master student: 7.5 ECTS


The Entrepreneurship for Political Scientists course is a practical, hands-on course. The students will - as individuals or self-selected groups - pursue specific entrepreneurial ideas. As a student, you will learn ideation, develop business plans, validate ideas and present them to the class. The hands-on, collaborative approach entails a requirement that students are present and actively participate in all classes and work with ideas between classes. If you are uncertain about this course is a good fit to you, you are encouraged to contact the lecturer prior to enrollment (details below).


As it becomes clear we need new ideas and companies to solve societal problems and reap the benefits of new technologies, entrepreneurship is rapidly becoming more popular and prominent. Although entrepreneurship is often presented as something fast and intuitive, true entrepreneurship is guided by theories and methodologies.


The theories and methodologies of entrepreneurship has largely been taught at business schools. Although some political science graduates become entrepreneurs during the study or after graduation, there is a significant untapped potential. With sharp minds, a strong theoretical and methodological foundation, an appreciation for complexity and strong domain
knowledge in politics and government, political scientists have many skills that can be leveraged in entrepreneurship.


In this course, we will read, discuss and try the theories, methodologies and tools of entrepreneurship. We will approach the art and science of entrepreneurship from a political science perspective. We will examine the strengths of our generalist political science education. And we will discuss the weaknesses and blind spots of the education in an entrepreneur context and learn methodologies and theories to overcome them.


The course will help students generate and explore entrepreneurial ideas. Ideas for entrepreneurship can take many forms: for-profit or non-profit, small or big, digital or analogue. The ideas can be targeted government & politics but don't need to be. All ideas are welcome - and the very premise with this course is to let the students spend time on their ideas and find out if it's right for them to pursue them after the course and graduation. In the beginning of the course we will learn ideation techniques, so having ideas prior to the course is not a prerequisite. To get the inspiration flowing, you can examine some of the companies founded by political science graduates: Better Collective, TwentyThree, BetterNow, Notem Studio, Fluks, Complia, NOPA, Sigrid.AI, and Bridge Figures. This is for inspiration only - and students shouldn't limit their ideas or thinking to ventures like these.


The aim of the course is not to romantise entrepreneurship. In the dominating Silicon Valley led narrative, entrepreneurs are widely idolized online and in TV shows on the digital platforms. But this narrative romantises the benefits of being an entrepreneur versus pursuing other career opportunities. We will discuss these opportunities in the class objectively. In the end, this class
will help you answer: Is a career as entrepreneur right for you?


About the Lecturer

Thomas Høgenhaven (1983) has a M.Sc. in Political Science from University of Copenhagen (2009) and a ph.d. in IT Management from Copenhagen Business School (2013). Thomas has led digital strategy and product development in Better Collective (2009-2018), a Copenhagen based startup. As respectively Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Product Officer, Thomas has been part of the executive management team driving the growth from a small startup with a team of 3 to a publicly listed company with more than 250 employees in 5 countries. The company has bee awarded the Børsen Gazelle award for 8 consecutive years and won numerous industry
awards. Simultaneously, Thomas has been on the board of directors in two Danish startups: Gamepay (2013-2015) and Vigga (2015-2018).

Phone: 60616163 | Mail:


Draft syllabus:
Week 1: What is entrepreneurship?
Week 2: Customer & Opportunity Identification
Week 3: Design thinking: Exploring ideation & creativity
Week 4: Developing prototypes
Week 5: Finding the right business model
Week 6: Product/market fit: Measuring progress with KPIs and OKRs
Week 7: Prototype & business model demo day
Week 8: Validating prototypes
Week 9: Funding a company
Week 10: Marketing
Week 11: Product validation demo day
Week 12: Scaling a company
Week 13: A career as entrepreneur
Week 14: Conclusions & exam preparation

Learning Outcome

Upon completing the course, students are expected:


  • To be able to describe the theories and methodologies of entrepreneurship.
  • To be able to master different business models.
  • To be able to understand strengths and limitations of methodologies.
  • To be able to reflect on a career in entrepreneurship vs a career in government.



  • To be able to apply entrepreneurship methodologies in practice.
  • To be able to develop business plans and validate underlying ideas.
  • To be able to evaluate if an idea is worth pursuing.
  • To be able to present their ideas through a succinct pitch.



  • To be able to examine an idea through lean startup and design thinking methodologies.
  • To be able to start a venture through a new company.
  • To be able to start a venture in an existing organisation.
  • To be able to structure work independently in a self-selected team.
  • To be able to independently take responsibility for pursuing and validating ideas.

Course literature is a syllabus of 900 pages set by the lecturer and approved by the Board of Studies. If the syllabus includes literature that has been read previously during another course, the student must list additional literature in a supplementary literature list so that, in total, 900 pages of new literature are specified. The student must sign a solemn declaration of compliance with the rule about supplementary literature.


Tentative literature

Peredo, Ana Maria, and Murdith McLean. "Social entrepreneurship: A critical review of the concept." Journal of world business 41.1 (2006): 56-65. (10)


Blank, S., Why the lean startup changes everything, Harvard Business Review, May 2013, 63–72


Amit, Raphael, and Christoph Zott. "Creating value through business model innovation." MIT


Sloan Management Review53.3 (2012): 41-49. (10)


Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. "From spare change to real change. The social sector as beta site for business innovation." Harvard business review 77.3 (1999): 122-32. (11)


Fishkin, Rand. Lost and Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World. Penguin, 2018. pp. 89 - 110 (22)


Thiel, Peter A., and Blake Masters. Zero to one: Notes on startups, or how to build the future. Broadway Business, 2014. Pp. 5-35 (30)


Ries, Eric. The lean startup: How today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. Crown Books, 2011.


Müller, Roland M., and Katja Thoring. "Design thinking vs. lean startup: A comparison of two user-driven innovation strategies." Leading through design 151 (2012).


Porter, Michael E. "The value chain and competitive advantage." Understanding Business Processes (2001): 50-66.


Doerr, John: Measure what matters 2017.


Von Hippel, Eric. "Democratizing innovation: The evolving phenomenon of user innovation." Journal für Betriebswirtschaft55.1 (2005): 63-78. (16)


Christensen, Clayton. The innovator's dilemma: when new technologies cause great firms to fail. Harvard Business Review Press, 2013., pp. 1-69 (70)


Brown, Tim, and Jocelyn Wyatt. "Design thinking for social innovation." Development Outreach 12.1 (2010): 29-43 (14).


Collins, James Charles, and Jim Collins. Good to great: Why some companies make the leap... and others don't. Random House, 2001. Pp 164-187 (24)


Feld, Brad, and Jason Mendelson. Venture deals: Be smarter than your lawyer and venture capitalist. John Wiley & Sons, 2016. pp. 5-18


Mollick, Ethan. "The dynamics of crowdfunding: An exploratory study." Journal of business venturing 29.1 (2014): 1-16.


Kuppuswamy, Venkat, and Barry L. Bayus. "Crowdfunding creative ideas: The dynamics of project backers." The Economics of Crowdfunding. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. 151-182.


Manigart, Sophie, and Harry Sapienza. "Venture capital and growth." The Blackwell handbook of entrepreneurship (2017): 240-258. (19)


Brush, Candida, et al. "The gender gap in venture capital-progress, problems, and perspectives." Venture Capital 20.2 (2018): 115-136. (22)


Knapp, Jake, John Zeratsky, and Braden Kowitz. Sprint: How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days. Simon and Schuster, 2016. pp 7-37 (31)


Thompson, Ben. Aggregation Theory 2015 https:/​/​​2015/​aggregation-theory/​


Thompson, Ben. The Voters Decide 2016 https:/​/​​2016/​the-voters-decide/​


Thompson, Ben. TV Advertising’s Surprising Strength — And Inevitable Fall 2016 https:/​/​​2016/​tv-advertisings-surprising-strength-and-inevitable-fall/​


Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010).Business Model Generation: A handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, And Challengers. Wiley.


Brown, Tim. "Change by design." HarperCollins (2009).


Zott, C., Amit, R. and Lorenzo, M. (2011): The business model: recent developments and future research. Journal of Management 37.4: 1019-1042.


Høgenhaven, Thomas. Open Government Communities: Does Design Affect Participation?. Copenhagen Business School [Phd], 2013. Pp 362-379


Prahalad, C. K., & Hammond, A. (2002). Serving the world’s poor profitably. Harvard Business Review, 10.


Brown, T. & Wyatt, J. 2010. " Design Thinking for Social Innovation ." Stanford Social Innovation Review.


Garrette, B. and Karnani, A. 2010. " Challenges in Marketing Socially Useful Goods to the Poor ." California Management Review , Vol. 52 (4): 29-47


Kirk, M. Hickel, J. & Brewer, J. 2015. " Using Design Thinking two Eradicate Poverty Creation ." Stanford Social Innovation Review.


Klaff, Oren. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading and Winning the Deal. McGraw-Hill, 2011 (pp 1-68).


Kim, W. Chan, and Renée Mauborgne. "Blue ocean strategy." California management review 47.3 (2005): 105-121.


Burlingham, Bo. Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big, 10th-anniversary Edition. Penguin, 2016. pp 1-23


Verganti, Roberto. Design driven innovation: changing the rules of competition by radically innovating what things mean. Harvard Business Press, 2009.


Kohavi, Ron, Randal M. Henne, and Dan Sommerfield. "Practical guide to controlled experiments on the web: listen to your customers not to the hippo." Proceedings of the 13th ACM SIGKDD international conference on Knowledge discovery and data mining. ACM, 2007.


Belsky, Scott. The Messy Middle. Portfolio, 2018


McAllister, Ian. What is Amazon's approach to product development and product management?., 2012: https:/​/​​What-is-Amazons-approach-to-product-development-and-product-management


Goleman, McKee & Waytz Empathy (HBR Emotional Intelligence Series). Harvard Business Review Press. 2017


Kimbell, Lucy. "Rethinking design thinking: Part I." Design and Culture 3.3 (2011): 285-306.


Frederiksen, Dennis Lyth, and Alexander Brem. "How do entrepreneurs think they create value? A scientific reflection of Eric Ries’ Lean Startup approach." International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal 13.1 (2017): 169-189.


Kannan, P. K. "Digital marketing: A framework, review and research agenda." International Journal of Research in Marketing 34.1 (2017): 22-45.


Drucker, Peter. Innovation and entrepreneurship. Routledge, 2007. 1-32, 229-240 (44 pp)

Students need a general understanding of political science. Students should have an interest for entrepreneurship and a desire to work independently with own ideas.

Entrepreneurship often lacks diversity, so we strongly encourage everyone with an interest for entrepreneurship to join the course.
Regular classes, group work, practical exercises and student presentations.
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
3-day compulsory written take-home assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

- For the semester in which the course takes place: 3-day compulsory written take-home assignment

- For the following semesters: Free written assignment

Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28