TECHCOMM 2006NA - Opportunity Assessment

Ngee Ann Academy - Quadmester 2 - 2015

Developing an opportunity assessment programme; Assessing potential success of a number of possible opportunities; Risk analysis of commercialisation of innovation; Assessing technological innovations; Assessing market and financial issues of commercialisation; Constructing and communication of conclusions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code TECHCOMM 2006NA
    Course Opportunity Assessment
    Coordinating Unit Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innov Centre
    Term Quadmester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Ngee Ann Academy
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description Developing an opportunity assessment programme; Assessing potential success of a number of possible opportunities; Risk analysis of commercialisation of innovation; Assessing technological innovations; Assessing market and financial issues of commercialisation; Constructing and communication of conclusions.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Gary Hancock

    Name: Hermina Burnett

    Short Bio: Dr. Hermina Burnett was born in the Netherlands, but has lived in Australia for over twenty five years. She arrived in Australia as a primary school teacher, but instead of continuing her career, she joined the ‘migrant dream’ by founding and operating four successful commercial companies.

    In1999, because of her interest in other start-up entrepreneurs like herself and (Not-for-profit) Entrepreneurship in general, Hermina developed a federally funded Not-for-profit ‘Business Incubation’ program for the Northern Metropolitan Region of
    Melbourne and became the general manager of New Business Development Services. This service provided a range of networking events, seminars, counselling and mentoring programs to more than 300 start-up entrepreneurs in their first three years of operation.

    Hermina returned to university in 1999 to undertake an MBA followed by a PhD to further develop and teach Entrepreneurship & Innovation courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

    Based on her different experiences in for profit and not-for-profit Entrepreneurship practice, teaching and research, her interests and papers are in Business Incubation, Social Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurship Education.

    Hermina holds a BEd, a Post Grad.Cert in Teaching & Learning Higher Ed, an MBA and a PhD.


    Phone: 0419 552 787
    Course Timetable

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

    Singapore timetable

    Opening intensive:

    Friday 17 April 2015 7pm-10pm Promising entrepreneurs need a drive to succeed and a thirst for knowledge.
    Saturday 18 April 2015 1pm-8pm
    Sunday 19 April 2015 9am-4pm

    Closing intensive:

    Friday 22 May 2015 7pm-10pm Promising entrepreneurs need a drive to succeed and a thirst for knowledge.
    Saturday 23 May 2015 1pm-8pm
    Sunday 24 May 2015 9am-4pm
    Saturday 13 June 2015    9am-11am
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 The difference between an idea and an innovative business opportunity
    2 How to articulate a new venture investment proposition and communicate ideas and concepts effectively
    3 How to build an assessment process for a new opportunity or venture to determine its viability and sustainability
    4 To identify the areas of risk in research commercialisation and/or in introducing new technologies or other innovations into a market
    5 To produce a feasibility report for your own or another new venture opportunity
    6 To make conclusions and recommendations on an opportunity for new venture development based upon a comprehensive assessment
    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. 1,4,6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3-5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Fredrick, Howard, O'Connor, Allan and Kuratko, Donald F. (2013). Entrepreneurship: Theory, Process and Practice, 3rd Edition. Cengage Learning.
    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

    LEARN is the University of Adelaide’s platform for dedicated online delivery. LEARN is a customised version of Moodle, and houses all course requirements including the course profile, announcements, additional course materials (beyond the prescribed text), assessment items, discussion forums, grading, feedback, links to various university and course resources, an internal website email system, a technical assistance facility, etc. LEARN is only accessible once the URL and a password have been provided to the student on enrolment. Students are given access to the course prior to the start date to familiarise themselves with the operational aspects and functionality of the website.

  • 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 Preparation

    Day 1

     1. Introduction
    - Overview of course and outline of syllabus, assignments and assessment
    - Confidentiality and personal backgrounds
    - MyUni tools
    - Opportunity: the core of entrepreneurial activity The role of innovation
    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 5

    Day 2

    2. Thinking entrepreneurially
    - Thinking and behaviour
    - Pattern building and pattern breaking
    - Mental processing
    - Entrepreneurs and innovators have a competitive advantage
    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 5 .
    3. Exploring Opportunity Concepts
    - Group activity
    - Guidelines for individual presentation in session 9
    - Knowing your audience
    - Overview of the elements of an opportunity screen

    4. Compelling Need?
    - Problem definition Communicating the need

    Solomon 2002, Ch4

    5. Identifying the customer
    - Needs and wants
    - Customer motivations
    - Customer identification and segmentation
    - Market Analysis: size and growth

    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 10

    Lehman & Winer 2005, Ch5
    Kaplan & Warren, 209 Ch4

    Day 3

    6.Right time, right place?
    - Environment analysis: The importance and impact of environmental factors
    - Sources of opportunities
    - Life cycle analysis
    Rice et al 2010, Ch3
    Schaper & Volery 2004, Ch3
    7.Industry and Market Dynamics
    - Who is the customer?
    - Channels to market
    - Industry value chain analysis and profitability
    - Channel power and five forces analysis
    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 9

    Porter, 1979
    Rice et al 2010, Ch 3
    8.Concept presentations
    - Individual presentations Pitching concepts review and discussion
    Assignment 1 (Part A)
    9.Competitor Analysis
    Who are your competitors?
    - Category mapping Competitive position 
    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 9

    Supplemental: Aaker 2001,Ch 4
    D’Aveni 2007 Ch3

    Intensive Day Topic Readings/Activities

    Day 4

    10. Review and introduction to intensive block 2
    - Review
    - Assignment discussions
    - Case study preparation
    (Case Study TBA)
    Day 5
    11. Sustaining of new ventures
    - Thinking about Exit
    - Resource based view Internal value chain and other logics
     Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 11

    Dollinger 2003 Ch2 Afuah 2003 Ch 3
    12.  Internal Analysis
    - Mission
    - Value and Principles Business Ethics, CSR and Triple bottom line (TBL)
     Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 11

    Supplemental: Wickham 2006, Ch18
    13. Group assignment and case study discussion
    14. The entrepreneur and the team
    - Capabilities and constraints
    - Personal objectives
    - Management team Identifying gaps and building teams
    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 2

    Kuemmerle 2002. Harper 2008
    Day 6
    15. Assessing Strategy
    - The business model
    - Acquiring resources Entry strategy and failing fast
    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 11
    Sull 2004
    Morris, Schindehutte and Allen 2005
    16. Resilience (Can the risks be managed?)
    - SWOT analysis
    - Risk Management principles Fatal flaws
    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 11 English 2006, Ch 5
    17. Financial analysis for opportunity assessment
    - Managing cash
    - Start-up resources
    - Set-up costs
    - Fixed and variable ongoing costs Break-even analysis
    Frederick, O’Connor and Kuratko 2013, Ch 15
    18. Wrap up and review
    - Review main points
    - Relationship to the business plan Structuring the major assignment
    Specific Course Requirements
    This course requires you to present mature and well reasoned work that addresses the assessment of ideas and technologies for feasibility in a professional business context. You will specifically refer to those factors that promote or work against successful opportunity assessment. Of prime importance is to show insight into limitations and risks of any approach you suggest or take – you therefore need to always take a critical stance.

    You will need to read more widely on the topic then the list of references provided and beyond hits found on Google.

    Your work will need to be succinct and you should avoid overly verbose presentations. Do not labour the point, regurgitate theory or address irrelevant issues. Examples or cases may be used, if appropriate, to illustrate your point as they will serve to strengthen your arguments.

    You are also required to structure your work so as it flows logically and your reasoning needs to be logical, sound and clear. The proper use of headings, sub-headings, bullet points and paragraphing will assist this purpose. Further, an executive summary or abstract at the beginning of your work will provide a clear overview of what follows in the body of your report.

    Keep to the word limits and do not ramble. In every instance present your work as if it is a submission to a Board of Directors – succinct, clear, structured and reasoned. 
  • 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 Opportunity Concept Proposal
    (Individual) (Concept proposal andExecutive Summary)
    1 minute oral proposal
    1000 word Executive Summary
    15% (5% Oral presentation & 10% Executive summary) See MyUni 1,2
    2 Opportunity Assessment Framework (Group) Report max 2500 words 25% See MyUni 1,3,4
    3 Opportunity Assessment (Individual) Max 3000 words 30% See MyUni 4,5,6
    4 Exam 2 hour 30% See MyUni 3-5
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    It is expected that assignments will be typed, using word processing software such as Microsoft Word. The preference is for you to hand in a printed and bound assignment, and also email the file as per the instructions in the following section.

    Don’t cram too many words onto a page: use a line spacing of 1.5 lines, and a right-hand margin of 4cm (to enable feedback and comments). If software other than Microsoft Word is used, the file format must be one that can be read using Word, such as .doc or .rtf (rich text format). PDF (Acrobat) format is not acceptable unless accompanied by an editable Microsoft Word document or similar. All assignments may be scrutinised using Turn-It-In as per University policy (see below).

    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: An Opportunity Concept (Individual)
    Weighting: 15% (5% Oral Proposal and 10% Executive Summary)
    Submission Details: Executive Summary online through MyUni.

    This assignment comprises a one minute oral presentation of a proposal to seek permission to explore an opportunity concept and prepare a short Executive Summary of the opportunity. You are required to pitch a perceived opportunity to an interested audience with the primary aim to win support and resources to pursue the concept to full opportunity assessment. This is your chance to attract team members for assignment two and showcase your skills and abilities. The opportunity is to be positioned as a real business case and you will need to convince your audience of the perceived potential of the opportunity and your competence as a team leader or member. The opportunity could be from your workplace, be known to you through family or friends, or be a new venture perceived from environmental sources or influences. As a minimum your oral presentation and Executive Summary should include your perception of the following:

    · A description of the product or service
    · Identification of the potential customers and/or end users
    · A description of the opportunity in terms of innovation
    · A description of the market in terms of life cycle
    · An estimate of the size of the market
    · Any supporting evidence that the opportunity is real and exists

    The pitch will allow up to an additional 5 minutes for question time.

    Your Executive Summary should address at least all the points included in your presentation and further include an outline of the tasks to be undertaken to complete the opportunity assessment. Depth and detail is not the objective of this assignment rather it is concerned with your ability to structure and present a persuasive and compelling case.

    This assignment will assess your understanding of the course objectives 1 and 2

    Length and Presentation:
    The Executive Summary no more than three pages long and not exceed 1000 words.
    Oral presentation – two minutes with up to 5 minutes for questions

    Criteria by which your assessment will be marked:
    The oral presentation will be assessed against the following criteria:
    · Engagement with the reader/audience
    · Extent of preparation
    · The structure of the pitch and executive summary
    · The professionalism of the presentation, and
    · The persuasiveness of your argument

    The Executive Summary, in addition, will include an assessment of the extent to which the key content areas are covered succinctly and accurately.

    Assessment 2: Opportunity Assessment Framework (Group)
    Weighting: 25%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    Based on desk research and possible interviews with knowledgeable people analyse and critique with your team of no more than four members an Opportunity Assessment Framework that can be used to validate a venture concept. Review the selected framework, nominated by your lecturer, and contrast the approach with alternate methodologies. From this analysis draw together, justify and demonstrate the value and use of the framework for various opportunity assessment contexts namely: social ventures, corporate ventures, angel investors and venture capital investors.

    During the second intensive your team will be given an opportunity to present a summary of your analysis, critique and conclusion on the opportunity assessment framework for class discussion. Base this presentation on clearly articulated conclusions drawn from your research and analysis. Each team will have up to twenty minutes to present and discuss their chosen framework in class addressing the merits and pitfalls of opportunity assessment when approaching different contexts.

    This assignment will assess your understanding of the course objectives 1, 3 and 4.

    Length and Presentation:
    Reports are to be posted to the MyUni grade centre.
    The body of the report should not exceed 3,000 words; however, appendices may be used for supporting documents or demonstration of analysis to the extent that is appropriate. The report should be submitted as an electronic version in WORD. No report will be accepted in Adobe Portable Document Files (pdf) (they cannot be electronically marked).

    Your team's single page poster (or similar) will need to be a separate submission in Adobe pdf format and posted on the MyUni discussion board by the due date.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    The standards by which the assignment will be assessed include:
    · Ability to find, access and interpret available literature
    · Ability to recognise important aspects of concept validation
    · Ability to present principles in a succinct and useable format
    · Originality and ability to present the concepts in a single-page poster that reflects the essential principles
    · Completeness and coverage of the Opportunity Assessment Framework report

    Assessment 3: Opportunity Assessment (Individual)
    Weighting: 30%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni

    Prepare a full Opportunity Assessment report that outlines the possibilities of a technology or business concept of your own choice. Make your recommendations clear and base these on clearly articulated conclusions drawn from your opportunity assessment investigations and analysis.

    This can be a go, no-go, or go-if decision as long as it is clearly motivated. There are three possible recommendations for the business concept being presented.
    1. Yes, this appears to be a feasible and sustainable opportunity. The report should fully outline the reasons and rationale for this assessment to the reader of the report. Your report should further show what actions are next required to capitalise on the opportunity.
    2. No, this is neither a feasible nor sustainable opportunity. The report should fully outline the reasons and rationale for this assessment to the reader of the report. In this case the report should also suggest a course of action in response to the rejected opportunity. This should include a recommendation on what could be done to re-position the opportunity, an outline of other areas of potential opportunity discovered through the assessment process or actions that might be required in response to others who may detect or seek to exploit the opportunity.
    3. Yes, this may be a potentially feasible and sustainable opportunity if certain conditions occurred or actions were achieved. The report should fully outline the reasons and rationale for this assessment to the reader of the report. In this instance the report should outline the conditions and/or actions that must change or occur in order for the opportunity to be both feasible and sustainable. Where appropriate, the report should also recommend who should undertake further action and by when.

    Consider using the frameworks and tools presented in the course.

    This assignment will assess your understanding of the course objectives 4, 5 and 6.

    Length and Presentation:
    The body of the report should not exceed 3,000 words; however, appendices may be used for supporting documents or analysis to the extent that is appropriate. The report should be submitted as an electronic version in WORD. No report will be accepted in Adobe Portable Document Files (pdf) (they cannot be electronically marked).

    Criteria by which your assessment will be marked:
    · Ability to find, access and interpret available literature relating to the assessment
    · Ability to apply the assessment principles presented in the course
    · Originality and ability to present your findings in a clear succinct manner
    · Ability to draw sound conclusions from your investigation
    · Ability to make clear recommendations based on the analysis and conclusions
    · The inclusion of external data
    · The inclusion of additional research
    · The extent to which assumptions have been validated.
    · Succinctness and businesslike presentation

    Assessment 4: Exam (Individual)
    Weighting: 30%
    Submission Details: In class exam

    You will be expected to complete a combination of short answer and essay type questions for this exam. Questions will be designed to test your knowledge of topics relevant to this course. You can expect the exam to cover between four and eight of the following topic areas:
    · Defining opportunity
    · Entrepreneurial thinking
    · Innovation and the opportunity landscape
    · Environmental analysis
    · Market analysis
    · Identification of customer, value proposition and compelling need to buy
    · Internal analysis
    · Competitive analysis
    · Issues of sustainable competitive advantage
    · Financial analysis, cash projections and break even analysis
    · Management team, networks and advisors
    · Risk identification
    · Exit strategy

    This exam will assess course objectives 3, 4 and 5.

    Length and Presentation:
    Completed on paper in the timeframe of the exam (two hours). Worksheets will be provided as relevant.

    Criteria by which your assessment will be marked:
    · Depth of your knowledge of the selected topic areas
    · The extent to which you are able to relate analytical tools to the opportunity assessment task
    · Your understanding of risk relative to commercial opportunities in terms of markets and/or technology
    · Your ability to frame opportunity within the context of feasibility and sustainability
    · Clarity of written expression
    · Succinct presentation of ideas and concepts
    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.

    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.
    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.

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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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  • Policies & Guidelines
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