Business Plan Execution
This is an experimental course that is offered to MBA students who wish to implement a business plan. The prerequisite for this course is MBAX 6830/EMEN 5825 Business Plan Preparation.
In the Business Plan Preparation course teams are formed to write the plans. It is expected, although not required, that these teams will remain together to take the Business Plan Execution course. Students, who have written a business plan without taking the prerequisite, may take the course with permission of the instructor.
The objectives of the course are for students to:
- Implement the business plan
- Refine the business plan for presentation at a national competition
There is a core of six subjects that will be covered:
- How to ask for funds from investors?
- How to make presentations to investors?
- How to structure, price and negotiate a deal?
- What needs to be done during the due diligence process?
- What is the exit strategy?
- How to recruit the right people?
- How to set up the compensation and stock option programs to attract and retain employees?
- Who is going to do what, when the venture starts?
Legal and Tax Issues
- What intellectual property issues does the venture face and how to address them?
- What should be the employment agreements?
- How do you decide among the various legal forms that exist?
- What does bootstrapping really mean?
- How to get initial sales?
- What people and assets are needed to get started?
- How to develop prototypes?
- What financial and operating controls are required?
What is the fatal flaw(s) faced by the new venture and how should it be addressed?
Most business plans do a poor job in defining their competitive advantage. Students will rigorously evaluate their business strategy to insure that they can sustain their competitiveness.
In addition to these subjects there will be specific issues that need to be addressed for each business. This will be done through assigning and discussing appropriate readings and bringing in industry experts.
In the Fire
The key to this course is the process students will go through during the semester to improve heir plans. This approach is designed to expose students to the rigorous questioning that entrepreneurs experience when they are launching their new venture. Each stage represents an increasing level of intensity.
An initial appraisal of the plan will be made to identify the major strategic issues faced by the venture, utilizing the evaluations from the judges in the Business Plan Competition and the course instructor of Business Plan Preparation. Students will be required to revise their plan based upon this appraisal. To assist them, a small Board of Advisors will be formed, comprised of businesspersons from the industry or local community, and a faculty member.
Presentation to Advisors
Students will then submit their revised written plan to the course instructor and the Board of Advisors, and then make a formal 1 to 2 hour presentation. This presentation will simulate the environment that entrepreneurs face when trying to raise money. Teams will present their plan, while sitting around a conference table, to the Board of Advisors, using PowerPoint slides or overheads. This will allow in-depth questioning of all the team members to test the soundness of the business plan and their ability to “think on their feet”. Based on this first meeting, teams will take the necessary steps to revise their business plans.
Presentation to Industry Experts
The revised plan will be will then be submitted to a group of 3 to 4 businesspersons, who are in the same or similar industry as the students' new venture. As in the previous step, teams will present their plan to the industry experts to demonstrate their understanding of the industry and the competitive environment. Each team member will be exposed to in-depth questioning regarding the business strategy and its implementation. Teams will again revise the plan as needed.
Presentation to Investors
In the final iteration the revised plan will be submitted for review by a group of 3-4 investors made up of venture capitalists, bankers and/or angels. This should be the most intense and difficult of all the stages. The approach will be the same as the previous two stages. Teams will present their plan to investors and be required to answer the kind of questions that would be asked when trying to raise money. Teams will again revise the plan as needed.
At the conclusion of this course, teams will have been tested in the fire three times. Students should then have the confidence that they have written an attractive and rigorous business plan; can make compelling presentations; and are able to answer probing questions about their business in an adversarial environment.
At the beginning of the course each team will establish with the instructor a clear definition of at least 3 major goals that must be achieved during the semester to implement the plan. Each student will be evaluated on how well the team does in achieving these benchmarks; his or her contribution to the team effort; and participation and contribution to the class.
Leeds School of Business
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0419