Entrepreneurship Bridge Elective Spring 2005


Class Hours:     Monday/Wednesday 1:30-3:20. Balmer 303


Instructor:        Emer Dooley, Business School;; 369-7248


Course Description

The course provides an overview of the major aspects of entrepreneurship and creating a business. In a short five-week survey, we will attempt to cover the startup lifecycle from idea generation and opportunity recognition to entry strategy, growth and exit. Classes will be a combination of case study, discussion and lecture. The structure may be more fluid than standard. In the spirit of entrepreneurship we’ll be trying lots of new ideas. Be flexible!


Course Objectives

1.       To provide students an opportunity to learn enough about the area and decide if this is something they’d like to pursue further.

2.       To give students an opportunity to think more deeply about opportunity recognition, by interviewing a local entrepreneur and assessing business opportunities.


Course Project/assignments and grading

This is busy. Please try to stay on top of it!


Interview an entrepreneur and assess their business: 30%  Due Wednesday May 24th .

Either an analysis of a business opportunity OR analysis of a business 20% Due Wednesday May 17th

Class participation 20%

Take-home final: Analysis of a business opportunity. 30% Due May 31st.


Required Reading: Reading packet available from RAMS 4144 University Way NE, Seattle, 98105 - (206) 632-6630

Background (non-required) reading :

• Built to Last by James Collins and Jerry Porras (How great companies are built)

• New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century, Jeffry Timmons







May 1st

Week #1

Introduction to the Class

Goals and expectations.


Soup to nuts on entrepreneurship

  • Critical factors for starting a business
  • Lifestyle vs enterprise businesses
  • Opportunity recognition
  • What is success?



May 3rd


Intro to entrepreneurship continued.

Examining your options.


Kevin Mooney case.


May 10th

Week #2

Opportunity recognition and entry strategies

  • Seeing the world differently
  • Case studies on great ideas
  • Buying a going concern
  • Franchising
  • Starting from scratch




Read “Developing ideas and business opportunities”, by Jack Kaplan.

“Buying an existing business”

By Peggy Lambing and Charles Kuehl.

Chris Maskill, Founder, Builders Capital

May 12th


Case study: Iced Delights


Case: Iced Delights


May 15th

Week #3

Funding the business –Staying alive

  • Bootstrapping
  • Funding through customers, suppliers, bartering etc..
  • Finding a sponsor
  • Banks and other asset-based lenders
  • Angels/Venture/I-banking


Read: Bootstrap finance: The art of startups, by Amar Bhide.

Tom Eckmann, Founder, Greenwood Stoves.

May 17th


Technology startups and disruptive technologies

Read “Catching the wave” by Christensen.


May 19th




Sales traction


Case: Zaplet

May 22nd

Week #4

Growth opportunities and challenges

Case: Crunch

Guest: Joe Fugere, Founder Tuttabella Pizza


May 24th


In class discussion of  “live” business

Due: Entrepreneur’s interview 

May 31st

Week #5

Discussion of entrepreneur interviews and wrap up

Guest from startup. LS

Due: Final




Class planning/timeline

Week 1: Plan your entrepreneur interview.

Please read the guidelines for this interview at the front of your reading packet before you start. You need to call someone this week to set this up in time.

Week 3: Due Wednesday May 17th


Propose a business idea you would like to pursue:

In a two-page summary outline your idea, the market, the customer, the distribution strategy and the business model i.e. How will you make money? You should have proposed revenues and costs. Points will be awarded for originality and creativity. You are not expected to have exact numbers but you are expected to list assumptions justifying any conclusions.


Hot Business Startup Areas. 

List 5 areas that look like hot prospects for startups. Say why: Market demographics: E.g. Everyone is getting fatter, older and living longer; that creates a market of X million people who need plus size workout gear and replacement joints. If you need a better idea, read Hot Businesses Ideas 2006. Pick 5 and say why you like them. Obviously you get more points for originality.


Business assessment

Pick any three businesses on your way to work, school or fun. In 2 pages or less tell me who’s making money? What are the revenues and costs and a rough stab at the bottom line. You can walk in and ask the entrepreneur or you can take a stab at revenue: Number of people a day by average sale. Costs: See for some average operating costs if you need them. You can make any reasonable assumption. You will get far more points for coming up with a an interesting justification than just copying something as a given from Bizstats.


Week 4: Entrepreneur Interview due May 24th.

Please read the guidelines for this interview at  of your reading packet before you start.

Week 5: Final exam due May 31st.



Case Preparation Questions:
Kevin Mooney:

1.       What should Kevin Mooney do and why?

2.       What criteria and considerations should be weighted, and how?

3.       What are the relevance, risks and rewards of the two opportunities and their implications in terms of Kevin Mooney’s apprenticeship?

Iced Delights

1.       Evaluate the ICEDDELIGHTS opportunity

2.       What are the critical risks faced by

·         the business

·         each of the individuals

3. What are the potential rewards?
4. Evaluate the deal as finally structured.



1.       Upon his arrival at Zaplet, Baratz discovered the company pursuing five very different strategies.  As the new CEO, what information would you gather to make an informed decision as to the direction of the company?  How would you bring the management team to convergence on the new direction?

2.       Why did the charter customer opportunities fail to materialize? Is the cause the product, distribution method, economy or some other cause?  What are the remedial actions for each situation?

3.       With downturn, Baratz realizes that he can’t raise additional capital. What would you recommend as the quickest path for Zaplet to achieve a cash flow positive position? 

4.       Analyze the course of decision-making taken by Baratz.  What could Baratz have done differently to avoid the challenges faced at the end of 2001

5.       What suggestions would you have about their marketing/distribution plan? What has happened to this type of enterprise-sales software model?



1.       What is the crunch experience? What does the brand stand for?

2.       What are Doug Levine’s strengths and weaknesses?

3.       How have they financed growth? What are the operational considerations in running a business like this?

4.       Is the acquisition a good fit?

5.       Is the organizational structure and company skillset adequate to take the company to the next level?