BA: 471/571  Starting New Ventures  FA_07


I     Professor/Office Location/Hours


            Dennis Powers                                 

Adjunct Faculty                     

            Office hours: by appointment                                  

Tel: (503) 292-3513                             


            Wilson Zehr                                       

Adjunct Faculty                     

            Office hours: by appointment                                  

Tel: (503) 789-2676                                                  


II    Course Credit


            3 semester hours (CRN: 2489 / 2657)


III   Course Location and Meeting Times


Fall Term: August 27 – December 14, 2007

Luther Hall Room 122, Thursdays [6-9 PM]


IV   Course Description


Course objective and methodology

            This course, through applied theory and practice, is designed to enable students to begin with a venture idea, and develop the opportunity into a new business beginning with a feasibility study and culminating in a financeable, comprehensive business plan. We’ll utilize lecture, case studies, hands-on exercises and visiting entrepreneurs to inject a “real world” perspective and insight (maybe, even some tips). This is a capstone-type course so the student will draw on knowledge gained in marketing, finance, human resources, organizational behavior, and leadership to culminate in the production of a new venture proposal.


Specific goals for this course include:

·        Knowledge of managing and growing a new venture, including the challenges and demands of the venture launch

·        Understanding of the role of intrapreneurship in existing organizations

·        Understanding of the aspects of creating and presenting a new venture business plan

·        Knowledge to identify, evaluate, and obtain resources

·        Knowledge of basic aspects of entrepreneurial finance

·        Understanding of the integration of venture planning for: markets, finance, operations, organization, launching and troubleshooting

·        Understanding of the ethical and moral issues confronting new venture formation within a Christian perspective.

·        “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer, from his commencement address at Stanford University delivered on June 10, 2005


Through lectures, case analysis, business plan development software (Business Mentor 2003), videos, guest speakers, and a field trip to an Oregon Entrepreneur’s Forum event, this course simulates the new venture formation process.


Each student will gain experience using the four case study analyses to prepare for the development of the feasibility study and 8 components of the business plan outline:


  1. Executive Summary
  2. Management and Organization
  3. Product – Service Plan
  4. Marketing Plan
  5. Operating and Control Systems
  6. Growth Plan
  7. Financial Plan
  8. Supporting Documents/Appendices


By special arrangement with the publisher, the student may utilize the Business Mentor 2003 CD (handout) on his/her personal computer (PC) to prepare the business plan. Some classroom time will be allocated for the drafting of business plan sections.


Classroom discussion and participation has two principal components in addition to the student’s charm and wit: (1) chapter study questions and (2) case analysis. Required preparation for each class will include written responses to the study questions and written, insightful analysis in response to the case-related questions. These assignments are detailed in the attached spreadsheet, which comprises the agenda and assignments for our classes and the term.


If logistically feasible, the class will take a step into the “real world” and have an opportunity to network with entrepreneurs in an informal, casual event of the Oregon Entrepreneurs’ Forum known as “OEF PubTalk” which occurs on Wednesday evenings. Details provided in class.


Required textbook:   New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century, 7th edition, Timmons & Spinelli, 2007, McGraw-Hill/ Irwin.


Additional Reading: New Business Mentor 2007 CD (handout)



On reserve:                Principles of Managerial Finance, Brief Edition, L.J. Gitman, 1998, Addison-Wesley.

                                    The Entrepreneurial Venture, W.A. Sahlman and H.H. Stevenson, Editors, Practice of Management Series, 1992, Harvard Business School.


V  Scoring, Individual Assignments:


        Grades will be assigned to the student’s work in each of the following:


BA Student Evaluation:

             Assignment/Activity                                                   Points

        Class participation & study questions                                   100

        Individual case analyses + interview (3X75, 1X25)                  250

        Venture feasibility plan sections (3X33.3)                              100

        Business Plan section drafts                                               100

        Quizzes (3X50)                                                                   150

        Final exam-complete business plan                                     300

        Total                                                                                 1000



MBA Student Evaluation:

        Class participation & study questions                                   100

        Individual case analyses + interview (3X75, 1X25)                  250

        Feasibility & business plan sections                                                150

        Quizzes (3X33)                                                                   100

        Research paper                                                                  150

        Final exam-complete business plan                                     250

        Total                                                                                 1000


        Grades will be based on the following point totals:

        Grade                    Points               Grade   Points

        A+                                    970- 999            C+                    790- 819

        A                          940- 999            C                      760- 789

        A-                         910- 939            C-                     730- 759

        B+                                    880- 909            D+                    700- 729

        B                          850- 879            D                      670- 699

        B-                         820- 849            D-                     640- 669

                                                            F                      000- 639

Guidelines for Student Evaluation:


Caveats. Any assignment handed in late will be reduced in grade by ˝ letter for each day it is late. Plagiarism in any form is considered academic dishonesty and can result in a failing grade.


                        Classroom participation

This will be based on first, the quality of the classroom contribution, and then if quality is present, the quantity. The key to success in the classroom is careful preparation of the assigned readings and study questions, and case analysis. The hallmark of case preparation is written notes and insightful analysis. Class attendance is a requirement. If you are unable to attend a class please let the instructor know by phone or email in advance. If you miss a class, you are still required to submit the assignment due, and reschedule your presentation as necessary.


The following criteria will be used to assess class participation:

Outstanding:      Self-initiated, insightful, frequent, and substantively

    advances class discussion.

Excellent:           Willing, regular, thoughtful, and helpful to class discussion.

Satisfactory:      Occasional, helpful contribution and participation in class discussion.

Unsatisfactory: Reluctant and infrequent, not very helpful; appears




The Student’s Business Plan. At the heart of any new venture is an idea for a product or service, and the belief that it is achievable. While there is a clear abundance of ideas, there is a real shortage of ones that will survive and become the basis for a durable and profitable business. Higher potential ventures often are conceived and developed through a disciplined process of preparing a Business Plan. Several cases including actual business plans, introductory comments on preparing a business plan, and in-class exercises will help the student focus on preparing to undertake the project, which should be 25-30 pages including exhibits.


The Research Paper: The instructor will hand out separate guidelines for MBA students.







BA 571 Starting New Ventures

MBA Students’ Research Paper



Assignment:   Write a research paper of 1250-1800 words [about 5-7 pages, double spaced, 12pt, APA style]. Paper is due December 7, 2007.



Purpose: The purposes for this assignment are: 1) for the student to become familiar with the relevant research literature in the field of entrepreneurship contained in scholarly journals and books, and 2) for the student to research a topic of interest (see attachment for topic guide) within the field of entrepreneurship.





To prepare for the paper, conduct a literature review on the topic (10 journal articles or books). A good starting point would be to review the journals contained in Frontiers of Entrepreneurship (FER), 1995-2001, published by Babson College. ( Several journals referenced in FER are available electronically through the CU Library using Ebsco Online, Business Source Premier and appropriate keywords, authors etc. Examples include: Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice; Entrepreneurship & Regional Development; Academy of Management Executive; Academy of Management Journal: International Small Business Journal; Administrative Science Quarterly.


Then, propose a research question, discuss the relevant theories and empirical studies surrounding the question or hypothesis, develop your position using evidence from the literature in support/contradiction, and conclude with your findings.