TECHCOMM 2005NA - Entrepreneurial Strategy and Resourcing

Ngee Ann Academy - Quadmester 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 2005NA
    Course Entrepreneurial Strategy and Resourcing
    Coordinating Unit Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innov Centre
    Term Quadmester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Ngee Ann Academy
    Units 3
    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:
    Friday 24 January 2014 7pm-10pm
    Saturday 25 January 2014 1pm-8pm
    Sunday 26 January 2014 9am-4pm
    Closing intensive:
    Friday 28 February 2014 7pm-10pm
    Saturday 1 March 2014 1pm-8pm
    Sunday 2 March 2014 9am-4pm
    Saturday 5 April 2014 9am
  • 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

    This is a draft schedule and session dates are a guide only. The timetable may be changed during the course delivery if necessary.

    Intensive Day Topic Readings/Activities


    Friday Evening

    Setting the foundations:

    Understand that the rules of today’s world of work have changed.

    Discover the mistakes that declining companies and industries have made and how to avoid making those mistakes in one’s professional life.

    Learn the Startup of You mindset: “Permanent Beta”


    Write your “About Me” entry in the discussion board on MyUni.

    Read Chapter 1 of “The Startup of You”

    Read the discussion questions for Chapter 1 of “The Startup of You” on MyUni and come to class ready to discuss your answers to these questions.


    Saturday Afternoon

    Develop A Competitive Advantage

    Define the three elements of a competitive advantage

    Understand how to fit the three pieces together.

    Identify a market niche where you have a competitive advantage


    Skim read Chapter 2 of “The Startup of You”.

    Choose someone you believe has a “dream job/career” and then determine his or her competitive advantage: their assets, their aspirations, and their market realities. Be prepared to discuss in class.

    Read the discussion questions for Chapter 2 of “The Startup of You” on MyUni and come to class ready to discuss your answers to these questions.
    Saturday Evening

    Developing a market entry strategy:

    What business are you in?

    Identifying competitors and substitutes

    Porter’s “Five Forces” analysis


    Sunday Morning

    Plan to Adapt

    Understand and be able to articluate Plan A, Plan B and Plan Z in your career.

    Understand that modern careers are adaptive and require “flexible persistence”.

    Learn the importance of experimentation over introspection.


    Skim read Chapter 3 of “The Startup of You”.

    Read the discussion questions for Chapter 3 of “The Startup of You” on MyUni and come to class ready to discuss your answers to these questions.
    Sunday Afternoon

    It Takes A Network

    Understand the value of authentic, mutually beneficial relationships to one’s career.

    Recgonize the difference between relationships in a personal context and relationships in a professional context.

    Learn the two types of professional relationships: allies and weaker ties.

    Recognize the importance of second and third degree connections.

    Understand how to strengthen relationships with give and take.


    Finalise teams for team assignment

    Read the discussion questions for Chapter 4 of “The Startup of You” on MyUni and come to class ready to discuss your answers to these questions

    Intensive Day Topic Readings/Activities


    Friday Evening

    Matching strategy and resources:

    SWOT/TOWS analysis

    Articulating your strategy


    Overview of SWOT/TOWS analysis (link on MyUni)


    Saturday Afternoon

    Pursue Breakout Opportunities

    Develop habits of behaviour to increase the liklihood of finding breakout opportunities.


    Skim read Chapter 5 of “The Startup of You”

    Read the discussion questions for Chapter 5 of “The Startup of You” on MyUni and come to class ready to discuss your answers to these questions.
    Saturday Evening

    Taking Intelligent Risks

    Risk is a part of every opportunity.

    Know how to manage risk in your career and business decisions.

    See opportunities where others misperceive risk.

    Recognize that short term risk increases long term resilience.


    Skim read Chapter 6 of “The Startup of You”.

    Read the discussion questions for Chapter 6 of “The Startup of You” on MyUni and come to class ready to discuss your answers to these questions.


    Sunday Morning


    What resources do you really need?

    Minimising resource needs

    Maximising cash flow

    Getting resources without cash
    Sunday Afternoon

    Who You Know is What You Know

    Understand how to leverage your network intelligence to navigate professional challenges.

    Learn how to map your network to recognize who knows what.

    Know how to Synthesize information into actionable intelligence.

    Skim read Chapter 7 of “The Startup of You”.

    Read the discussion questions for Chapter 7 of “The Startup of You” on MyUni and come to class ready to discuss your answers to these questions.

  • 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

    An overview of the course assessment appears in the following Table. Details appear in the following section:

    #AssessmentLengthWeightingDue DateLearning Outcomes
    1 Individual assignment: personal resource networks 1500 words 30% See MyUni 1, 3, 6, 7
    2 Individual assignment: Entrepreneurial Career Plan 3000 words 30% See MyUni 1-4, 6, 7
    3 Individual exam: case study report 3 hour exam 30% See MyUni 5-7
    4 Class Participation 10% Ongoing 1-7
    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%
    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%
    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 3000 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: Individual exam – case study
    Weighting: 40%
    Submission Details:
    Completed on paper in the timeframe of the exam. Worksheets will be provided as relevant.

    At the commencement of the exam, you will be given a case study on a real business to read, analyse and report on. You are permitted to bring text books and articles with you to the exam.

    You have three hours to complete the exam, including the time to read the case study. You are advised to spend no more than 30 minutes reading the case study.

    The exam will be a written report on the case addressing specific questions in the exam paper concerning strategy and resourcing. You will be asked to analyse the case using specific techniques taught in the course and to draw conclusions from your analysis. Worksheets will be provided, where relevant.

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

    Length and Presentation:
    Three hour exam

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    Criteria will be specific to each element of the exam paper, but in general, the criteria used to assess exam work 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 conclusions of analysis to develop recommendations on strategy and resourcing, based on the facts presented in the case.

    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%
    Submission Details: Class participation for all online & face to face aspects.

    Task: Active and knowledgeable involvement in class discussion and activities covering both text and reading material as relates to specifics of discussions.

    Length and Presentation: N/A

    Criteria by which your participation will be marked:

    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.
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    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.

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