LOJA10284U  Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Volume 2013/2014
Content

A growing need for innovative solutions and start-ups has shifted entrepreneurship and innovation management from a mere business school agenda to career options and demanded competencies across academic disciplines. Students are challenged to engage in venture teams and use their knowledge for bringing innovative solutions to society. This course is specifically designed for non-business students who want to find out more about idea development and start-up processes in new ventures, and also about how existing organizations can become more entrepreneurial and manage the non-technical aspects of innovation processes. It introduces students with little or no background in business studies to theories and tools for entrepreneurship and innovation management that can assist them in idea development and realization. To combine the process with their “own world” students will build venture teams and develop a venture idea that addresses a challenge connected to their fields of study. The challenge themes are: Food, health, clean-tech & natural resources, developing countries & the bottom of the pyramid, and communications & media. Ideas are not limited to new products or new for-profit ventures, but may include any type of innovation in a new or existing for- or non-profit setting. The specific challenges will be defined each year based on collaboration with relevant enterprises and stakeholders, including student incubators and entrepreneurship support organizations. Students who would like to use the course to work on their own business idea have the opportunity to turn their idea into a challenge a student team could work on. The conditions are that the student contacts the course organizers well before course start (before 15 June for block 1 and before 1 March for block 4) to assess feasibility and turn the idea into a venture challenge case.

At the beginning of the course a group formation process will be initiated. This will be followed by a kick-off session in which the specific challenges will be presented by representatives from the challenge hosts. The course itself will then include theory input and insights from practitioners, but will have a strong focus on project work and feedback sessions. Theory sessions presented in online and guest lectures will include an introduction to A) innovation theories and innovation management tools that can be applied in new ventures or existing organizations (creativity techniques, innovation process models, design thinking, business modelling), B) classic and new entrepreneurship theories (opportunity discovery and creation), and C) a “two toolboxes” approach of “effectual” tools (e.g. means-driven action, affordable loss, stakeholder commitments, leveraging contingencies) and “causal” tools (e.g. business plans) for developing a new venture. In project work sessions students will need to work in their “venture teams” and apply these theories and tools to develop venture ideas through group work, in-class exercises, and interaction with real stakeholder. The project work will be supplemented by regular feedback sessions consisting of presentations, guest lectures, and supervision hours.

Learning Outcome

An entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to manage and support innovation processes under conditions of

uncertainty and distributed knowledge is essential to new venture creation, but has also become a key competence in existing private and public sector organizations. The purpose of the course is to provide nonbusiness students interested in developing their own ventures or in entrepreneurial and innovation processes with a basic set of theories and roadmaps of possible actions and tools they can use to engage in new ventures or innovation teams. Moreover, the course is in general designed to stimulate entrepreneurial and innovative activities in- and outside university and in different business and nonbusiness future employment situations, including especially work in cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional set-ups. The course aims to create awareness for an entrepreneurial and innovative mindset in the students’ specific area through a focus on the interdisciplinary and team-based application of theories and tools within 5 current socio-economic challenge themes that relate to their fields of study. The final outcome is that students will be able to build on the knowledge and teamwork experiences from the course during their entrepreneurial career, and in further graduate courses on specific topics within innovation, entrepreneurship, and business development.

On completion of the course the student will be able to:

Knowledge:

  • Show an overview of theories and concepts in entrepreneurship and innovation management, including entrepreneurial and innovation processes, design thinking, business modelling, and venture development
  • Identify and describe the characteristics of entrepreneurs
  • Classify different types of innovation (e.g. product, process, organizational) and degrees of innovation (radical, incremental)
  • List and describe tools and approaches to new venture creation and innovation management
  • List and describe creativity tools for innovation management

Skills:

  • Explain entrepreneurial and innovation processes with cases in their fields of study
  • Select and critically assess new venture development and innovation management tools for starting-up new business activities or managing innovation processes
  • Communicate ideas to stakeholders including investors and other potential partners

Competences:

  • Discuss the role of entrepreneurship and innovation management in a new or existing organization
  • Apply the theoretical foundations and the approaches learned about in the course to engage in entrepreneurial activities in a new or existing private firm, a public organization or an NGO
  • Develop an understanding of the role of design thinking, planning, control, stakeholders, goals, and resources in new venture creation
  • Independently find and approach stakeholders necessary for the further development of ventures and ideas
  • Evaluate the feasibility of different tools in the context of different initial set-ups and available means.

Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur Y. (2010) Business Model Generation. Wiley, New Jersey.

The course is designed to give students from a broad range of educations an introduction to entrepreneurship and innovation and no prerequisites are required.
The course targets 1) students who would like to be entrepreneurial and innovative but do not know how to get started, and 2) students interested in fostering innovation in existing organizations. The course engages the students with current socio-economic discussions on the role and characteristics of entrepreneurship and innovation, and gives them an overview of entrepreneurship and innovation management theories. A large part of the course is then set-aside for presenting and using tools entrepreneurs and future employees may use to develop their ventures and manage innovation processes in organizations. To practice real-life applicability of theories and tools students will be requested to apply online lecture and guest presentation contents to their own venture idea projects. Through project work students will engage in possible courses of action to iteratively develop venture ideas under conditions of uncertainty and unpredictable outcomes. They will learn what kind of information and knowledge they need to gather to apply certain tools, and will practice how to approach partners and stakeholders in real life. Teaching and learning methods will be based on a mix of class lectures, online lectures, guest lectures (entrepreneurs, experienced business people, business support organizations, or scholars in specific fields), and team assignments related to the student’s projects. Furthermore, students will give and receive feedback on their project work, will need to learn how to work and organize themselves in groups, and will practice to communicate their ideas through intermediary and final presentations of their venture idea to internal and external stakeholders.
Credit
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Oral examination in a chosen question relating to curriculum and in the project.

Weight: 100%
Exam registration requirements
Satisfactory completion of course tasks and presentation of project results in presentation sessions at the end of the course
Aid
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Re-exam
If 10 or fewer register for the reexamination the examination form will be oral.
Criteria for exam assesment
See course learning outcome
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • E-Learning
  • 10
  • Theory exercises
  • 24
  • Practical exercises
  • 24
  • Project work
  • 92
  • Guidance
  • 4
  • Preparation
  • 20
  • Exam
  • 2
  • Total
  • 206