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Discover an entrepreneurial opportunity?

Posted by Sean on 19 January 2007

The second term of my first year at London Business School is now in full swing. I have a full schedule of courses (6 in fact) and most of them are brand new. Last term was very theoretical with subjects like Strategy, Managerial Economics and Corporate Social Responsibility. In their place this term we have some real-hands on courses that will certainly be challenging and exciting.

One class that I am already enjoying is our Entrepreneurship course. The professor warned us in the first 10 minutes of class that the course was not an Intro to Entrepreneurship or Entrepreneurship 101, but rather a course on “Discovering Entrepreneurial Opportunities.” And yes, as part of the course we do actually have to discover an entrepreneurial opportunity! Slightly concerning given our professor’s next warning – our new business idea will be judged as it would in the real world. This means that while we may put in huge efforts in our market research, business planning, etc. we are ultimately graded on whether the idea is a good one and a viable business proposition that people would invest in. I am not sure exactly how our idea’s viability will be decided, but that is probably the point of the trade show. Excerpt from the course outline: “This project will culminate in a ‘trade show’ in which your team will present a 3-D physical prototype (or perhaps a dramatisation, for service innovations) of your solution to the customer problems, pain, or needs you have discovered. Members of the school’s network of business angels and mentors, the Enterprise 100, will be invited to see and judge your discoveries at that event.”

I guess this means we get an A if we line up our first investors! The class kicked off this week with a case about someone launching a wedding magazine for men called “The Stag and Groom.” Sounds crazy, huh? Almost funny? However, after reading the case, I was actually convinced it would work. Our class was polarised during the discussion with especially passionate arguments on the “it’s nuts” side of the coin. Well, after we heard from everyone and heatedly debated the idea’s merits, the entrepreneur (who had been sitting in the class all along) defended himself in person. It was a fascinating discussion and certainly a fun start to the course.

Yes, this course is definitely about learning by doing. I think that theme is also running through our marketing course and our managing organisational behaviour course. A very hands-on and challenging term. Cool stuff!

Comments

This indeed is the kind of learning I love to be a part of, that is, the case method. But perhaps you can't be too practical when you're studying Engineering Mathematics and you just have to ASSUME 50% of the things :S.
Anyway what I want to ask is, does your instructor actually require you to build a 3D-prototype yourself? Because I don't think LBS people want you to master a 3D-modelling software besides developing your entrepreneurial abilities.

I have observed that odd names or catchy names can help in the marketing of a web site and business in general - people remember funny or irrating brand names. This is a factor that certainly plays a role in the success or failure of business.

Good luck with your course!

Adrian

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