MLD-839M: Entrepreneurial Finance II

Semester: Fall 2

Credit: 2.0

Syllabus: Click here for syllabus

Faculty: Carl Byers


Day Time Location
Term Start Date 10/18
Meet Day T/Th 2:45 PM - 4:00 PM Littauer Bldg L230 (HKS)


Entrepreneurs create novel services, products, and organizations in the hopes of delivering value-both financial and social-to the world. Foundational to such work is an understanding of the language of finance and the process of developing new ventures, both of which are explained in the course that precedes this one, Entrepreneurial Finance I. As a result of work in that course, or in equivalent prerequisite activities, students enter Entrepreneurial Finance II with a fairly well developed idea and a robust financial plan. From this starting point, students in this course will take their ideas to the next stage of development by engaging in work "outside the building" to refine their business model hypotheses and their financial assumptions. They also will learn in depth key financial concepts related to entrepreneurship, with a particular emphasis on the types of financing transactions that are needed to fund innovation and growth. By practicing the work entrepreneurs must do in early stages of launching a new organization, from "customer development" to doing deals, students will aim to improve the ideas, strategies, tactics related to their plans and thereby increase the odds of success. This course will start with lecture and discussion sessions aimed at ensuring a shared understanding of key concepts and enabling productive work for the balance of the course. Next, students will develop and implement a "customer discovery" plan to test key hypotheses in their business models and in their financial plans. Finally, the class will engage in a series of team-based exercises (games and simulations) that emphasize key steps in launching a venture: fundraising, managing the financial requirements of growth, and achieving scale (or exiting). These interactive sessions are designed to reveal key issues and challenges, so that students can reflect on lessons learned and embed those learnings into an enhance operating plan. The work of the course will be channeled into a private blog for each student / venture, where key deliverables, reflections, and lessons learned will be memorialized. With this blog as a running list of key learnings, students will then produce a final paper that explains learnings and related changes to business model and financial assumptions as a result of the coursework. Prerequisite:MLD-829M or permission of the instructor

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