TECHCOMM 2005 - Entrepreneurial Strategy and Resourcing

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

The strategy concept; Strategic decision making; Forming and formulating strategy; Organisational structure; The entrepreneurial strategic context; The innovative strategic concept; Managing change; Debt and equity financing as strategic decisions; The forms and sources of non-financial resources.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code TECHCOMM 2005
    Course Entrepreneurial Strategy and Resourcing
    Coordinating Unit Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innov Centre
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Course Description The strategy concept; Strategic decision making; Forming and formulating strategy; Organisational structure; The entrepreneurial strategic context; The innovative strategic concept; Managing change; Debt and equity financing as strategic decisions; The forms and sources of non-financial resources.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Gary Hancock

    Program Director Contact Details:
    Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    Name: Gary Hancock
    Phone: +61 8 8313 0125

    Teaching Staff:
    Shane Cheek

    Short Bio:
    Shane has 15 years experience in technology commercialisation and venture capital. He is Managing Partner of Acumen Ventures, an early stage venture capital fund, and Managing Director of Method Advisory, a boutique corporate advisory firm based in South Australia.

    Previously, he was an Investment Manager with Playford Capital, an Australian based venture capital fund.

    Prior to this he was State Manager with the Australian Institute for Commercialisation where he provided corporate advisory and commercialisation advice to high growth companies in industries including automotive engineering, medical devices, environmental sciences, geospatial imaging and mining technology.

    For several years he worked in university technology transfer and business development roles and founded a technology commercialisation company which specialised in the energy, utilities and waste processing industry.

    He holds an undergraduate business degree from the University of South Australia and a Master of Science & Technology Commercialisation from the University of Adelaide. Shane is an Adjunct Faculty member of Carnegie Mellon University and lectures Entrepreneurship at the University of Adelaide.


    Phone: +61 401 095 999

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Opening intensive:
    Monday 17th, Tuesday 18th & Wednesday 19th March 2014
    Napier 210

    Closing intensive:
    Monday 14th, Tuesday 15th & Wednesday 16th April 2014
    Napier 210

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    The overall aim of this course is to enable students to:

    1. identify and analyse a range of strategic tools and resources for entrepreneurship
    2. understand the range and benefits of resource acquisition;
    3. have a sound understanding of the entrepreneurial model for careers.
    4. understand the different types of strategies depending on the context, in particular the innovative and entrepreneurial contexts

    At the end of this course, students should have an appreciation of the following:

    1. the concepts of strategy, and formulation of strategy in the innovative and entrepreneurial contexts;
    2. identifying strategic resources and ascertaining the most appropriate means of accessing the resources needed
    3. preparing a strategic plan that is suitable for a innovative venture that is operating in an entrepreneurial environment
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 7
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 4
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Text book: 
    The Startup of You by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha – available as Kindle ebook on Amazon.
    Recommended Resources
    Library Resources
    The University of Adelaide’s Barr Smith Library provides a range of learning resources including texts, journals, periodicals, magazines, and access to online databases and information services. It also offers a virtual library which is accessible via the University’s website. The University Library web page is: 
    From this link, you are able to access the Library's electronic resources.
    Online Learning
    MyUni is the University of Adelaide's online learning environment. It is used to support traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and workshops at the University. MyUni provides access to various features including announcements, course materials, discussion boards and assessments for each online course of study (see:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course is offered in blended learning mode with the face-to-face component offered as intensives.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    As a guide, a 3 unit course comprises a total of 156 hours work (this includes face-to-face contact, any online components, and self directed study).
    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Number Assessment Length Weighting Due Date Learning Outcomes
    1 Individual Assignment:
    Personal Resource Network
    1500wds 30% Friday 4th April 1,3,6,7
    2 Individual Assignment:
    Entrepreneurial Career Plan
    1500wds 30% Friday 25th
    3 Individual Assignment: Entreprenurial Pitch Deck 12 Slides 30% Friday 9th May 5-7
    4 Class Participation 10%
    TOTAL 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students should attend all classes in order to pass the course. There is considerable experiential learning in workshops during the intensive classes that build your knowledge and thus enable you to be
    successful in this course.  

    Course results are subject to moderation by the ECIC Board of Examiners

    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Individual assignment - leveraging personal networks to acquire resources
    Weighting: 30%
    Due Date: Friday 4th April 5pm
    Submission Details: Online through My Uni

    The overall task is to use your personal networks to access resources for an entrepreneurial business idea of your own. There are two components to this task:

    Map your personal networks in the form of a mind map. Mind-mapping will be discussed in class. Hand-drawn mind-maps are acceptable, but there are numerous mind-mapping software products, some of them available as freeware, which you should consider using.

    This component of the assignment should be completed before the second intensive study session commences. Bring a copy of your mind-map to the first class.

    Students will develop a project plan to work on something that could lead to a Plan B. Students should orient it around a skill or experience that is different but related to what they’re doing now. Perhaps they have a business idea they want to pursue, or a skill that they want to learn, or a relationship they want to form, or some other curiosity or aspiration they want to explore (either via a class, internship, job, club or on their own). Students will see how many resources they can identify for this idea through their personal networks. Students may wish to set up social networking sites, such as Facebook or LinkedIn to focus these networks. Aim to identify as many potential resources as possible that can be obtained without involving any financial payment – without, of course, acting illegally or unethically!

    Your written assignment should report on the results of your project, identifying what resources were initially identified as required, what resources you were able to obtain through your networks, the anticipated costs, and which networks proved the most valuable in finding resources.

    This assignment will assess your understanding of the course topics of: personal networks; leveraging networks; and bootstrapping new ventures.

    Length and Presentation:
    Approximately 1500 words covering the following:
    1. A brief outline of your new business idea
    2. What resources you initially believed this idea would require, together with a very rough estimate of their cost.
    3. How you went about seeking resources using your personal networks and the results obtained. Include an explanation of how you decided which networks to use and how you chose to go about seeking resources through these networks.
    4. What key actions and steps will be required to fulfil the project goal?
    5. A copy of your personal network mind-map as an attachment (not part of the word limit)
    The bulk of your report should be spent on items 3 and 4.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    Detailed marking criteria will be supplied on the MyUni site prior to the second intensive study period.
    · Completion of a mind-map of personal networks. This is a hurdle requirement. The mind-map itself is not graded, but it must be completed in order to pass this assignment.
    · Clear explanation of the original business idea and overview of the resources required and rough costs. Ability to communicate a business idea clearly is crucial to attracting resources.
    · Identification of a wide range of personal networks, including any new ones established during the period of the assignment.
    · Evidence of a proactive approach to using networks to find resources.
    · Clear story of how networks were used to seek resources, including reasons for prioritising particular networks or not using others.
    · Depth of reflection on the experience and what was learned from it.
    Bonus marks may be awarded for success in attracting genuine resources for a genuine new business venture.

    Assessment 2: Individual, Entrepreneurial Career Plan
    Weighting: 30%
    Due Date: Friday 25th April 5pm
    Submission Details: Online through My Uni

    Popular career planning advice says you should decide where you want to be in 10 years and then develop a plan for getting there. Popular life advice says you should [ind your passion and then pursue it. These philosophies have serious strengths, but also huge drawbacks.

    But these approaches presume a static world. In fact, you change, the competition changes, and the world changes. They presume that fixed, accurate self-knowledge can be easily attained through introspection. In fact, your identity is not found solely through introspection but rather emerges through experimentation.

    Entrepreneurial career planning and adapting is about being flexibly persistent: always ready to adapt, but also persistent in driving towards set goals. Flickr and PayPal are two examples of companies that adapted significantly, and Sheryl Sandberg’s adaptive career is an example of flexible persistence.

    Make the assumptions and hypotheses in your plan explicit. You’ll never have complete certainty; identify areas of incomplete knowledge about yourself or your industry and make plans that will help you [ill those gaps.

    Prioritize learning. Start-up companies prioritize learning over profitability in the early days, so you should likewise prioritize learning (soft assets) over cash salary (hard assets) for the majority of your career. In the long run, you’ll likely lead a more meaningful life, as well as make more money.

    Learn by doing. Actions, not plans, will generate the lessons that help you adapt to the next phase of your journey.

    Think two steps ahead. What next move will maximize the quantity and quality of follow-on opportunities?

    You will be required to prepare: Plan A, an alternative Plan B, and an unchanging, certain Plan Z.

    Plan A: What you’re doing now. Your current implementation of your competitive advantage.

    Plan B: You pivot to B when your plan isn’t working or when you discover a better way toward your goal.

    Plan Z: You shift to Z if something goes seriously wrong. It’s the lifeboat you can jump in if your plan fails and you need to re-load before getting back in the game.

    This assignment will assess your understanding ability to articulate a Plan A, Plan B and Plan Z in your career.

    Length and Presentation:
    Approximately 1500 words explaining the strategy you have developed for your Plan A, B and Z. Further advice on presentation format will be provided in class and on the MyUni website.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    Detailed marking criteria will be supplied on the MyUni site prior to the second intensive study period.
    · Clear explanation of the Plan A, B and Z.
    · Clear identification of potential pivot points from Plan A to Plan B. Demonstrate an understanding of when it is time to change.
    · Correct use of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Formatting as per University guidelines.

    Assessment 3: Entrepreneurial Pitch Deck
    Weighting: 30%
    Due Date: Friday 9th May 5pm
    Submission Details:
    Upload to MyUni in PDF or Powerpoint format only.

    Using the pitch deck structure provided in slides 228-229 of the course slides, construct a pitch deck overview of a business opportunity/startup provided in a case study format (to be provided by the lecturer).

    Slide 1: Title Page
    Slide 2: Problem Statement
    Slide 3: Vision/Mission
    Slide 4: Product/Solution
    Slide 5: Market Size
    Slide 6: Distribution/Acquisition
    Slide 7: Revenue Model
    Slide 8: Product Roadmap/Timeline
    Slide 9: Traction/Milestones
    Slide 10: Projections/Metrics
    Slide 11: Team/Advisors
    Slide 12: Funding or Resource Requirement (“the ask”)

    This assignment will assess your understanding of the course topics and your ability to apply them to a real business presentation, working alone.

    You will NOT be required to present the pitch deck. Therefore you should design your slides to be read by an individual, rather than by a crowd in presentation format.

    Length and Presentation:
    12 Slides EXACTLY (no more, no less)

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    Criteria used to assess the assignment are:
    · Ability to apply analysis techniques using data from the case study
    · Ability to interpret analysis and draw reasonable conclusions regarding strategy, resources and fit between the two.
    · Ability to use appropriate communication methods to present information.

    You are not expected to do any additional research beyond the data presented in the case study, however you may find it useful to refer to articles that have been covered in the course.

    Assessment 4: Class Participation
    Weighting: 10%
    Due Date: Ongoing
    Submission Details: Class participation for all online & face to face aspects.
    All text based assignments must be submitted via MyUni.
    Please refer to step by step instructions:

    There are a few points to note about the submission of assignments:
    • Assignment Submission:  Assignments should not be emailed to the instructor; they must be lodged via the MyUni Course site (unless specified to do both). Note that assignments may be processed via TURNITIN, which is an online plagiarism prevention tool.
    • Cover Sheet:  Please submit, separate to your assignment, the completed University of Adelaide Assessment Cover Sheet providing details of yourself and your team members (if applicable), your assignment, the course, date submitted, etc. as well as the declaration signed by you that this is your (your team’s) work.  Note that the declaration on any electronically submitted assignment will be deemed to have the same authority as a signed declaration.
    • Backup Copy of Assignments:  You are advised to keep a copy of your assignments in case the submitted copy goes missing.  Please ensure that all assignment pages are numbered. If your assignment contains confidential information, you should discuss any concerns with the Course Lecturer prior to submission.
    • Extensions of Time:  Any request for an extension of time for the submission of an assignment should be made well before the due date of the assignment to the Course Lecturer.  Normally, extensions will only be granted for a maximum of two weeks from the original assignment submission date.  Extensions will only be granted in cases of genuine extenuating circumstances and proof, such as a doctor’s certificate, may be required.
    • Failure to submit: Failure to submit an assignment on time or by the agreed extension deadline may result in penalties and may incur a fail grade.  Note that a late penalty of 5% of the total available marks for that assessment item will be incurred each day an assignment is handed in late (Unless otherwise stated in 'Assessment Related Requirements' or 'Assessment Detail' above) Assignments handed in after 14 days from the due submission date will fail even if a 100% mark is granted for the work.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Resubmission & Remarking
    Resubmission of an assignment for remarking after reworking it to obtain a better mark will not normally be accepted.  Approval for resubmission will only be granted on medical or compassionate grounds.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.