This article is about the Entrepreneurship course at KIT. It gives a short overview and contains links to the exam questions and their answers.
Overview of the Entrepreneurship course
The Entrepreneurship course is held every semester at the KIT in Karlsruhe by professor Terzidis, head of the EnTechnon. It is a required course in the “Entrepreneurship” module and is valued 3 ECTS. I heard it this semester (WS 15/16) as my second lecture in the Entrepreneurship module. As one of the few courses at KIT it is held in English which attracts a lot of foreign and exchange students and gives it an international flair. The exam is also only in English.
An interesting although not necessary addition are the KIT Entrepreneurship Talks. They are usually after the lectures. A famous entrepreneur is invited and talks about his career. Afterwards, there is the possibility for questions which is also very interesting. The most famous founder this term was Götz Werner, the founder of dm, a German chain of retail stores selling cosmetics, healthcare, and household products.
Unlike other courses at university, the book list provided by professor Terzidis is very relevant. I’ve read the bold ones and can only recommend them if you’re interested in startups although they’re not required for understanding the course’s topics. If you’re unsure whether to read them, just check the reviews at Amazon. The recommended books are:
- Technology Ventures – From Idea to Enterprise.
- The Lean Startup
- Business Model Generation
- The Start Owner’s Manual
- Entrepreneurship: Gründung und Wachstum von jungen Unternehmen
- Entrepreneurship: Modelle- Umsetzung- Perspektiven (2008)
- Entrepreneurship & Innovation (1984)
- Technology Entrepreneurship – A Treatise on Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship for and in Technology Ventures
The exam is comprised of three parts. The first part consists of around 60 questions that are given out in the last lecture before the exam and have to be learned by heart. The second part is a calculation exercise. The third part is about the Business Model Canvas which has to be filled out according to a given company description.
In the next few days I will publish the answers to the exam questions.
As a list of 60 questions with corresponding answers is a bit large, I will put them into separate articles listed below – one article per chapter. I will add a link to the corresponding article as soon as they are released. I’m planning on releasing two or three per day. I published the first two but think this is getting too messy, so I will paste all the answers below. The course consists of the following chapters:
- Introduction and Framework
- Drivers for Opportunities
- Business Model and more
- Lean Startup
- Radical Technological Innovation
- Value Creation
- Intellectual Property
- Organization & Leadership
- The Engagement Gap
- Planning & Constituting a Business
- Entrepreneurship & The Energy Transition
Chapter 1: Introduction And Framework
1) What is the role of entrepreneurship according to the definition of the OECD?
Entrepreneurship is considered key to economic performance, in particular with respect to innovative change, playing an important structural and dynamic role in all economies.
2) How does Joseph Schumpeter define Entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is about new factor combinations leading to new products, production methods or new markets. It is about creative destruction.
3) How can the term ‘Entrepreneur’ be defined according to Dorf & Byers?
“Entrepreneurs identify opportunities, mobilize resources, execute on their vision and manage risks.” (D&B, p.3)
4) Give a definition of the term ‘entrepreneurship’ according to Dorf & Byers.
“Entrepreneurship is focused on the creation of a new enterprise that serves society and makes a positive change.“ (D&B, p.3)
5) Give a definition of the term ‘technology entrepreneurship’ according to Dorf & Byers.
Technology Entrepreneurship is about the creation of a new business enterprise that generates benefits (wealth, jobs, value, progress) to participating parties by creating unique, new arrangements of resources, including technology to meet the needs of customers and the society.
6) What are the character traits of entrepreneurs according to William B. Gartner?
- Will to perform
- Internal Locus of Control
- Risk Tolerance
7) Please name the eight skills of entrepreneurship.
- Initiate & operate a purposeful enterprise
- Operate within the context
- Identify timely opportunities
- Manage knowledge & technology
- Mobilize resources
- Assess & mitigate risks
- Be innovative
- Enable & encourage a collective team
8) What are the motivations for entrepreneurs?
- Financial Success
Chapter 2: Drivers for Opportunities
10) Give a definition of the term ‘business opportunity’.
- Opportunities are situations, where products or services can be introduced and sold at a higher price as their production costs.
- An opportunity is a favorable juncture of circumstances providing a good chance for a successful venture.
11) Please describe the phases of the ‘opportunity process’.
- Opportunity: Economic imbalance, information assymmetry
- Recognize: Cognitive act, vision
- Evaluate: Challenge the vision, first validation
- Exploit: Market solution, Organization
12) What are the differences between static and dynamic paradigms?
I don’t know the answer, yet.
13) Please describe what is meant by the innovator’s dilemma.
“[…] the best firms succeeded, […] because they listened responsively to their customers and invested aggressively […to address] their customers’ next- generation needs.“
„paradoxically, when the best firms subsequently failed, it was for the same reasons […]”
14) What are the seven sources for innovative opportunity according to Peter Drucker?
- The unexpected
- Process Need
- Industry and Market structures
- Changes in perception
- New knowledge
15) What does the Gartner Hype Cycle show?
- Provides a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications.
- Shows how the technologies are potentially relevant to solving business problems and exploiting new opportunities.
- Express a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time.
16) Name the five phases of the Garnter Hype Cycle.
- Technology Trigger
- Peak of Inflated Expectations
- Trough of Disillusionment
- Slope of Enlightenment
- Plateau of Productivity
Chapter 3: Business Models & more
17) Describe what is meant by the term ‘vision’.
The vision articulates a picture of the future and defines the direction for the project.
In the beginning, it is the basis for convincing others to contribute to the project.
The vision is a statement of insight, intention, ambition and purpose.” (Dorf & Byers, 3.1)
A good vision is clear, consistent, unique and purposeful. (G. Hoover, 2001)
18) Please give a definition of the term business model.
A business model is a set of planned assumptions about how a firm will create value for all its stakeholders.
19) Name the components of the Value Proposition Canvas.
See the Value Proposition Canvas.
20) What are business model patterns?
Business models with similar characteristics, similar arrangements of business model Building Blocks, or similar behaviors . These similarities are called business model patterns . A single business model can incorporate several of these patterns.
Chapter 4: Lean Startup & more
21) Give a definition of the term startup according to Steve Blank
[…] a startup is an organization formed to search for a profitable and scalable business model.
22) What is the difference between a startup and an established enterprise?
- Startup searches a business model. Goal and way unclear.
- Enterprise executes a business model. Goal clear, way most often also
23) How is a start-up defined according to Eric Ries?
A startup is a human institution designed to create a new product or service under conditions of extreme uncertainty.
24) What is meant by the term ‘lean start-up’?
Lean Startup is a method, to systematically reduce the risk of projects with high uncertainty (e.g. startups)
25) Describe the four steps involved in the lean startup process.
- Plan project
- See plan as hypotheses
- Decrease risks systematically by testing hypotheses
- Adapt plan (go back to 2)
26) Give a definition of the term ‘cybernetics’.
27) Give a definition of the term ‘minimal viable product’ (MVP) according to Eric Ries.
The MVP is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.
28) Name the five effectuation principles.
- Bird-in-hand principle
- Affordable Loss Principle
- Crazy Quilt Principle
- Lemonade Principle
- Pilot-in-the-Plane Principle