|SES #||TOPICS||LECTURE SUMMARIES|
|Part I: The global environment for entrepreneurship|
|1||Course overview and introduction||
Introduction to course purpose, structure, and faculty.
Entrepreneurship in emerging markets.
|2||Issues for entrepreneurs in developing markets||
Certain institutions have been shown to be central for the healthy development of entrepreneurial ventures. Most countries, however, possess suboptimal versions of most, if not all, of those institutions. These institutional shortcomings translate directly into structural barriers for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs must find ways around structural barriers, and do so in often creative ways.
Live case: Live discussion with Leila Velez, Beleza Natural
|3||How entrepreneurial companies respond to corruption||
India is widely acknowledged to have one of the most corrupt business environments in the world. Yet a number of entrepreneurs have built up successful businesses and have pursued an explicitly ethical strategy. Infosys is one of the most interesting examples.
1. How did Infosys manage to grow in this corrupt environment?
|4||Opportunities amid extreme unpredictability||
How do emerging markets differ from developed markets for entrepreneurs? What challenges and opportunities are the same? Which are different? How and why and to what degree? How do those answers change over time as markets become more established? Using the example of post-Soviet Russia, we will examine several live cases of success and failure by entrepreneurs in Russia in the last 15 years to better understand the critical differences inherent in "doing a start-up in a start-up country."
Guest speaker: William Shor, CEO, Core Carbon Group.
1. Russia 1995
2. Frontier Markets
3. Russia 2008
|5||Team-building mixer||Each section will have an informal mixer, in which students with similar interests can meet one another and create G-Lab teams.|
|6||How the government shapes the entrepreneurial environment||
Entrepreneurship in Shanghai: getting the story right about the competitiveness of China.
1. What kind of entrepreneurship is most important for countries like China?
|7||Legal environments and IP protection||Property rights, IP protection, and other legal institutions have often been cited as indispensable elements for innovation and entrepreneurship in an economy. What can entrepreneurial firms do in environments where such legal protection is lacking?|
|Part II: The challenges facing entrepreneurial firms|
|8||Working in a G-Lab project||
Using a G-Lab case from 2004-05, we'll look at G-Lab projects from the inside, focusing on issues of process, client management, and team dynamics. We'll end the class by discussing the match acceptance process and how you should begin working with your host company.
Study issues and questions:
In addition to the questions posed at the end of the case, please consider the following. Imagine that you're Ailton and you're applying to host a G-Lab team. What should be the team's project scope? Now imagine you're on the G-Lab team. How will you set out to complete the project?
1. What will you do?
|9||Life sciences overview, biotech entrepreneurship||
In this class, Professor Fiona Murray will speak about biotech companies in emerging markets. We traditionally think of the biotech industry as being dominated by firms in the US and, to a lesser extent, in Europe. However biotech firms are emerging in growing numbers in non-traditional locations including India, China, Brazil and even Cuba. In this class we will examine how these companies develop and actually take advantage of or circumvent the various institutional differences in their nations in institutions such as intellectual property, public research and healthcare.
Guest speaker: Professor Fiona Murray, MIT Sloan School
Study issues and questions:
1. Should Biocon add the Clinegene division?
For a variety of reasons, including size or maturity of their home market, entrepreneurial firms in emerging markets must go abroad for growth opportunities. While economically sensible, such incursions entail significant challenges, quite distinct from those faced by traditional multinational corporations. How should start-ups internationalize? What are the risks and opportunities?
Guest speaker: Professor Don Lessar, MIT Sloan School
|11||Team meetings||Team meetings with faculty advisors.|
|12||You are not alone||
Mechanisms and networks firms use to circumvent environmental weaknesses.
Live case: Live discussion with Endeavor
Guest speakers: Laura Esnaola, Entrepreneur Services, Endeavor, Cindy Ko, VP, International Expansion, Endeavor
Library research: techniques and resources (Alex Caracuzzo, MIT Libraries.)
Team meetings with faculty advisors. Note: Some teams will meet during class times, others outside of class. TAs will work with the teams to schedule meetings.
|14||Global sales strategies for ambitious entrepreneurs||
This class will cover the sales and marketing challenges faced by startup companies in emerging markets. We will use the case from a Sales and Marketing perspective; it is not necessary to read the financials in the case. The discussion will be about global sales strategies for a startup.
Study issues and questions:
1. The Company's original plan was to sell their data visualization tools to a wide range of industries. Spotfire received their first (A) round of venture capital funding from a Swedish VC firm to pursue the "horizontal" marketing plan.
2. Spotfire started as an idea in a project in a university lab. They had no business plan, no business people, and no customers. Somehow they got funded. Why? Would you have funded them?
3. Chris approached every potential customer in Sweden he could think of and asked them to "buy" his prototype. This early stage market activity is something akin to "throwing spaghetti against the wall until it sticks."
4. Subsequently the company changed its strategy initially to focus on only one industry ("vertical marketing").
5. The Company moved their headquarters from Göteborg to Boston/Cambridge while retaining the software development operations in Göteborg. Whose idea was that? Why? What are the dynamics around software development operations in high cost countries?
6. In the life of a high tech startup company with global ambitions when is the right time to recruit someone like Rock? What does it take to make the relationship successful?
7. Some tips on how to think about Sales and Marketing Research on behalf of your host company.
|15||Being an entrepreneur||This session will consist of a panel discussion with several entrepreneurs from different emerging markets. The goal of this session is to familiarize you with the key challenges and major opportunities entrepreneurs face trying to build start-ups in several of the countries G-Lab teams will visit.|
|16||Team meetings with faculty advisors|
Pakistan is deemed "too unstable" a country for us to send G-Lab teams to. Pakistan suffers from extreme political instability, weak rule of law, poor oversight of capital markets, and extremely limited and generally laughably poor quality research available on publicly listed companies. Yet in 2006, this country was one of the best performing emerging markets in the world, with more than US$18 billion in foreign investment. How do professional investors and multi-nationals evaluate companies and markets when considering new investments or expansion plans, when so little market and competitive data is available and when the quality of that data is often so unreliable?
This session will present a framework of standard financing and investment alternatives available to startups and entrepreneurial firms operating in emerging markets, which can often differ significantly from the options open to tech firms in Silicon Valley or Route 128. In the second half of the session, guest speakers representing early stage EM investment firms will present perspectives on how these challenges to financial modeling and investment analysis are met on a pragmatic, real-world basis.
Guest speakers: Bill Jarosz, Managing Director, Cartesian Capital; Vikram Mansharamani, SeaCross Capital
|18||Team meetings with faculty advisors|
|19||Investigation and analysis||We will use an open-ended case to apply the frameworks and tools discussed in class thus far. We will focus on types of data, particularly how to look into and beyond the information a company may give.|
Emerging technologies are often useful for several different markets and types of customers. Because of a variety of constraints, entrepreneurs must decide which of those markets to target first, knowing that the decision could be the difference between firm success or failure. How should they choose their target market?
Guest speaker: Dr Charles Sodini, MIT Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, creator of SMaL Camera Technologies
|21||Team meetings with faculty advisors|
|22||Organizational development and human resource management||Developing and scaling the organization, hiring and retaining the right people and other challenges of success.|
|23||Best practices overview||
We will begin by discussing consulting best practices with a McKinsey director, then turn to a panel of G-Lab alumni for a view from the trenches on the G-Lab onsite internship, with a focus on common pitfalls and traps. We will reserve significant time for Q&A.
Guest speakers: Alex Gouvea, Director, McKinsey; G-Lab alumni
|24||Building trust||Pulling it all together? Building trust in a challenging environment.|
|Part III: The internship and final reports|
|25||Following month: G-Lab internship||
Your internship will take place during at least three weeks of IAP 2008 (January 1 - February 1, 2008). All four team members must be together, on-site, throughout the internship.
You will make a formal presentation to your company at the end of your onsite internship and provide them with supporting written analysis and data as appropriate.
|26||One week following end of internship: Faculty meetings||During February, teams will meet with the faculty to present their reports: The process, the findings, and the lessons learned.|
|27||10 days following end of internship: G-Lab poster session||
We will hold a major G-Lab event 10 days following end of internship. Every team must prepare a poster and staff a presentation position during this event.
You get to showcase what you did and why, for the entire MIT community. The poster session will be widely advertised and you should expect considerable interest, scrutiny, and questions.