NEW VENTURE CREATION (2018/2019, Semester 2) 

 MODULE OUTLINE Created: 12-Aug-2007, Updated: 15-Jan-2019
Module Code TR3002/BSN3702
Semester Semester 2, 2018/2019
Modular Credits TR3002 ( 4 ) / BSN3702 ( 4 )
Faculty School of Business
Department Business Policy
Timetable Timetable/Teaching Staff
Module Facilitators
MR Douglas Abrams Lecturer
HO EN QI JOEY Teaching Assistant
SIN JIE YING Teaching Assistant
Tags --

Learning Outcomes | Prerequisites | Teaching Modes | Time and venue | Synopsis | Syllabus | Assessment | Milestones & Deadlines | Text & Reading


Creating a new business is a challenging and complex task. The road to entrepreneurial success is long, winding and strewn with pitfalls, obstacles and blind turns. The risks of starting a new business are high, as illustrated by the high failure rates for new ventures. However, as is always the case, the rewards are commensurate with the risk: in addition to the psychic rewards of starting a business, witness the dominance of entrepreneurs in the Forbes 400 list.
The purpose of this course is to:

  • Help students understand the process, challenges, risks and rewards of starting up a new business
  • Equip them with the tools required to start their own business
  • Improve their chances of successfully starting their own business
Learning objectives are:
  • Ability to create and assess business ideas
  • Develop creative problem-solving skills required in entrepreneurial businesses
  • Ability to create a business plan, including:
  • Ability to analyze market opportunities
  • Develop a business model and strategy
  • Form and work successfully in a team
  • Make a professional presentation



No pre-requisites except a strong interest in being involved with a start-up.


Classes will consist of both lectures and interactive workshops, both of which are compulsory. The lectures and workshops will facilitate the construction of the business plan. Relevant topics will be covered as the plans are developed and workshops will be used at plan milestones. Both lectures and workshops will include discussions with active participation. Experiential in-class exercises will also be included.
Students are expected to:

  • Make several in-class presentations.
  • Participate actively in class,
  • Engage in problem solving and group discussions.
  • Read and solve problems as part of preparation for class. 
  • Meet with their project teams outside of class
  • Work in a team to prepare a written business plan and investor presentation


TUESDAY from 1700hrs to 2000hrs in HSSMLCR - NUS Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library, EVERY WEEK.


Students will learn the process of new venture creation through actually working through the process themselves. Participants will:

  • Develop an idea for a new business
  • Create a professional-level business plan and investor presentation
  • Present the business plan to a panel of investors/judges
Each business plan should include:
  • Value proposition and innovation
  • Market identification and analysis
  • Marketing and sales strategy
  • Sustainable competitive advantage
  • Company products and services
  • Team
  • Expansion plan
  • Operational plan
  • Financials
By the end of the course, each student team should have produced a business plan that could be presented to an angel investor or a venture capitalist. 

Session Topic Milestone Class Exercises Class Presentation
Course overview: Why entrepreneurship and introduction to business plans
Generating, evaluating and presenting scalable business ideas
   Register at innovative engine  
2 Innovation and Value Proposition      
3 Idea Presentation     One-min Pitch
4 Idea selection and team formation Idea approved and teams formed  Idea selection and team formation  
5 Innovation and Value Proposition     Innovation and value proposition
6 Competitive strategy 1st draft Business Plan due    
RW Recess Week      
7 Competitive strategy Presentation     Competitive strategy
8 Financial plan      
9 Winning negotiations 2nd draft BP due Negotiation experiential exercise  
10 Fundraising and Deal Terms Financials Due    
11 Building, managing and motivating teams   Team building experiential exercise   
12 Presentation workshop Final BP due Presentation exercise Complete run through
12 Final Business Plan Presentations Final Presentation    


The course will have no final written exam and will be 100% based on the following continuing assessment components:

Participation (25%) - Individual

Participation marks will depend on in-class participation as well as the individual’s contribution to the final business plan. All team members will be required to write peer reviews.

Business Plan (50%) - Group 

Plans will be evaluated on the quality of the idea, and the thoroughness and professionalism of the plan. A successful plan will be one that could be submitted to a VC and would be seriously considered for funding.
Teams are required to submit 2 drafts before the final business plan. The drafts will not be graded but any late submission will count towards penalty points in the final business plan.
Business plans are restricted to a maximum of 25 pages. 

Presentation (25%) - Group 

Presentations will be evaluated on their persuasiveness and professionalism. A successful presentation will be one that resulted in the examiners wanting to schedule a follow up meeting to discuss the plan.
Participation marks will be by individual. Presentation and Business Plan marks will be by group. In cases where individuals did not contribute proportionately to the business plan or presentation, their marks may be adjusted accordingly. It must be highlighted that even though the business plan will be a group mark, students who have made negligible contribution will have their marks deducted.

Academic Honesty & Plagiarism
Academic integrity and honesty is essential for the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge. The University and School expect every student to uphold academic integrity & honesty at all times. Academic dishonesty is any misrepresentation with the intent to deceive, or failure to acknowledge the source, or falsification of information, or inaccuracy of statements, or cheating at examinations/tests, or inappropriate use of resources.
Plagiarism is ‘the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own' (The New Oxford Dictionary of English). The University and School will not condone plagiarism. Students should adopt this rule - You have the obligation to make clear to the assessor which is your own work, and which is the work of others. Otherwise, your assessor is entitled to assume that everything being presented for assessment is being presented as entirely your own work. This is a minimum standard. In case of any doubts, you should consult your instructor.
Additional guidance is available at:
Online Module on Plagiarism:

Eg. 21st August Saturday night, 11.59pm.


Textbook, Cases and Other Reading Materials

The textbooks for the course are Scott Shane’s Finding Fertile Ground: Identifying Extraordinary Opportunities for New Ventures (2005) and Kuratko and Hodgetts’ Entrepreneurship: Theory, Process, Practice (6th Ed).


The following books on a range of topics which will be useful to an entrepreneur, while not required, are highly recommended.







The Elements Of Style

William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White

Strunk, White

William, E.B.

Classic work on writing style and usage


Mathematical Illiteracy and its Consequences


John Allen


A Random Walk Down Wall Street



Burton G.

Classic on financial markets valuation techniques

Envisioning Information




Classic on graphic design

Visual Explanations

Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative



Classic on graphic design

The Visual Display Of Quantitative Information




Classic on graphic design

The Age Of Spiritual Machines

When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence



Interesting discussion of machine intelligence by a successful entreprenuer

The New New Thing

A Silicon Valley Story



Story of Jim Clark, successful entrepreneur who started SGI and Netscape

The Emperor's New Mind

concerning computers, minds and the laws of physics




Competitive Strategy

Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Companies


Michael E.

Classic marketing text

Market Driven Strategy



George S.

Good overview of marketing strategy


The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists at Work


Randall E.


Prisoner's Dilemma





Mathematics For The Nonmathemetician





Finding Fertile Ground

Identifying Extraordinary Opportunities for New Ventures


Dr. Scott A.

How to create scalable businesses. Approach very similar to ours.


The illustrated guide to design/production/editing



Classic work on print layout and design

The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions



Thomas S.


Getting To Yes

Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In




Crossing The Chasm

Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers


Geoffrey A.


Venture Capital

The Definitive Guide for Entrepreneurs, Investors and Practitioners




Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them

Lessons from the New Science of Behavioral Economics




Against the Gods

The Remarkable Story of Risk


Peter L.


The Tipping Point

How little things can make a big difference




When Genius Failed

The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management



Inside look at the rise and fall of the most famous hedge fund

Numerical Techniques in Finance




Good treatment of spreadsheet modeling

A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market



John Allen

Excellent analysis of irrationality in investor behavior

Stocks For The Long Run

A Guide to Selecting Markets for Long-Term Growth


Jeremy J.


Fooled by Randomness

The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets


Nassim Nicholas

Challenges basis of finance and investment theory

Burn Rate

How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet



True but hilarious account of dot-com start-up

Monkey Business

Swinging Through the Wall Street Jungle

Rolfe, Troob

John, Peter

True but hilarious account of working in an investment bank


The following supplementary readings on entrepreneurship, while not required, are highly recommended:

Practical Entrepreneurship Guides

  1. Bagley,C. and C.Dauchy(1998), The Entrepreneur's Guide to Business Law, West
  2. Berndt,S.(1997), The 10 Commandments for Building a Growth Company (3rd Ed.), Archipelago Press
  3. Kawasaki , G. (1999), Rules for Revolutionaries, Harper Business
  4. Lang, J.(2002), The High Tech Entrepreneur's Handbook,
  5. Weintraut,J.N. and C.Barr(2002), Lightspeed Business, Wiley
  6. Nesheim, John L., High Tech Start Up: The Complete Handbook for Creating Successful New High Tech Companies, The Free Press

More Scholarly Work on the Entrepreneurship Process

  1. Bhide,A.(2000), The Origins and Evolution of New Businesses, OxfordUniversity Press
  2. Lee,C.M. (2000), The Silicon Valley Edge, Stanford Business Press
  3. Roberts,E.B.(1994), High Technology Entrepreneurship, OxfordUniversity Press
  4. Stevenson,H.H. (1999), New Business Ventures and the Entrepreneur, (5th ed.), McGraw-Hill
  5. Geoffrey Moore, Crossing the Chasm
  6. Paulos, John Allen (2003), A Mathematician Plays the Stock Market, Basic Books


 Journalistic Accounts of High Tech Start Ups and Silicon Valley

  1. Kaplan,J.(1994), Start Up: A Silicon Valley Venture, Houghton Mifflin
  2. Branson,P.(1999), The Nudist on the Late Night Shift and other Tales of Silicon Valley, Broadway Books
  3. Kaplan,D.(1999), The Silicon Boys and their Valley of Dreams, Perennial
  4. Komisar(2000), The Monk and the Riddle: Education of a Silicon Valley Entrepreneur, HarvardBusinessSchool Press
  5. Kuo,D. (2002), dot.bomb: My days and nights at an Internet Goliath, Little Brown
  6. David Sheff (2002), China Dawn: The Story of a Technology and Business Revolution, HarperBusiness