Developing the New Venture


This unit focuses upon how an entrepreneur or entrepreneurial team goes about creating a new business venture. It begins by looking at the process of assessing a business idea to determine whether or not it is a true opportunity to add value to a set of customers. Once an opportunity has been identified, the student learns how to develop a business model that can take that opportunity to market. With an understanding of business modelling, the student can then develop a business plan.

Most courses about the “nuts and bolts” of entrepreneurial startup begin and end with the business plan; however, Steve Blank of Stanford University argues that business plans are more appropriate for established companies than for startups. This is because business plans represent a rational, linear approach to problem solving that relies on past experience to predict the future. Only existing companies have the requisite past experience. Startups must follow a much more organic and evolving path to get to where the founders want them to go. This is better captured by an “iterative innovation” approach.

For this reason, this unit introduces students to the “business model canvas” approach. It uses this process to help the startup entrepreneur to first create a business model before trying to write a business plan. It encourages experimentation, which is essential to successful business startup.

Learning outcomes:

The learning outcomes for this unit are as follows:

  • The ability to assess a business opportunity that will add value for a collection of customers, or market;
  • The knowledge required to build a business model;
  • An understanding of how to conduct the background research for and assemble a business plan;
  • An understanding of management and governance issues in entrepreneurial businesses;
  • An understanding of the basics of operations design and management;
  • An appreciation for the use of technology in starting and growing a business;
  • An understanding of how to develop a financial plan and financial documents for a new venture;
  • An understanding of risk management;
  • A basic understanding of marketing in an entrepreneurial venture.


  1. Opportunity Assessment – 1,000 words (20%)
  2. Business Model Canvas - (50 %)
  3. Executive Summary of a Business Plan - 1,000 words (30%)