This is not your grandma’s entrepreneurship course. The programme's rigour will stretch the abilities of any student, and it will require intensive outside-of-class commitment from all. The intense demands of this programme will require applicants to be prepared to commit serious amounts of time to working on a real company in addition to coursework. Students should be ready to work in a highly competitive environment that will challenge their skills and perseverance every day. Students will work in a motivating and inspirational environment that’s closer to a start-up accelerator than a typical academic program.
Students will learn how to use several conceptual frameworks and analytical techniques to evaluate technologies, markets, and commercialisation strategies. Additionally, students will learn how to attract and efficiently use the resources needed to start a company such as talent and capital, market and sell the idea, prepare comprehensive business plans, structure business relationships, create and grow the company, and manage rapid growth.
The programme is supplemented and integrated with real world practice as students apply skills learned to turn their own ideas into real companies during the course of the programme.
Why Choose Harbour.Space High Tech Entrepreneurship Programme?
• You have a strong desire to be an entrepreneur, you need to gain the skills and knowledge needed to develop your own lean start-up company.
• You need to gain a solid core of management, leadership, and team working skills and the opportunity to hone your technical skills.
• You want to receive support and guidance from our mentors with specialised knowledge in entrepreneurship, company building, and venture capital.
• You want to be able to enter one of the world's best accelerators and compete for funding to develop your own start-up business.
• You want to be able to participate and present your company at WMC, 4YFN, and other local and international start-up events.
Students work through comprehensive core courses in lean start-up, design thinking, sales and customer development, agile product development, and business models and strategy. Early stage start-ups are all about testing assumptions regarding a new or an existing market. Students will learn how to test their key assumptions as quickly and with as few resources as possible to iterate on their original ideas. Students will use this acquired knowledge to see whether their ideas are big enough,
investigate who their target customers are and how to reach them, identify the best business model, and develop the basic customer development and sales path. By the end of the year, students will have theoretical and practical skills to validate or invalidate their idea. The year will culminate in a start-up competition with the top teams matched with mentors, and the best teams will be selected to pitch their ideas to investors.
The course represents a deep dive into concepts and frameworks introduced during orientation. It is designed to teach students the process of creating a new venture. It introduces its participants to the concepts, challenges, and tools needed to create a successful new venture. Business model design & validation frameworks are studied and applied to the teams’ start-ups.
Students are introduced to key market structures and concepts, including: networks and network externalities, two-sided markets, the chasm, the bowling-alley and the tornado, selling for free and “the long tail.” By the end of the module, students will have learned how to bring their ideas to market, how to validate their idea using popular frameworks and methodologies, create a business model for their company, and map out the next three years of study as they further refine their concept and develop a cohesive strategy to develop their start-ups. This class will help you understand your own capabilities and interest in being an entrepreneur.
What are the key ingredients that drive success in entrepreneurial companies? How do entrepreneurs capitalise on new ideas and bring them to market? In this course, students gain valuable insights into how technology entrepreneurs probe the unique mindset that often accompanies a successful venture. Through engaging lectures and hands-on projects, you will discover the best practices of Silicon Valley, EU and Israeli entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
This course emphasizes the critical theoretical perspective on the one hand, and the practical aspects on the other. Students will be introduced to a variety of digital platforms, services, products, marketing, distribution, and pricing channels created by successful entrepreneurs. They will practice product characterisation, applying the acquired methodology to their start-up ideas, including (1) the analysis of the environment relevant to the product, (2) an overview of the market and the target audience, (3) creating the work and development plan, (4) goal setting and timetables, (5) development and analysis of the commercial models and distribution methods.
Even at a very early stage of a new venture, design thinking can be an extremely powerful tool as it teaches how to empathise with your customer, synthesise your knowledge, and promptly prototype and test ideas. Students will explore how Uber, Airbnb, Nest, and Tesla to accomplish breakthroughs in their sectors masterfully used design thinking.
Inspired by thought-provoking real-world examples and mentors, teams will employ human-centred design methods to conceive and visualise their own start-up proposals and find ways to engage in innovative, brand-enhancing new ways. Students will stoke conversations, co-create experiences, spark stories and build engaging relationships with their potential consumers to see how design thinking can benefit their companies. This course is designed to help students master design thinking techniques and immediately put them to use which will guide and inspire teams through prototyping and testing stages.
Nearly half of start-ups fail because there isn’t a defined need for their product in the market. In this course, students learn how to identify and develop comprehensive solutions to some of the most significant business problems. Students will be introduced to needs-finding methods, brainstorming, and concept creation. Students learn strategies for understanding and interpreting business needs, researching literature, and searching patents.
Working in small entrepreneurial multidisciplinary teams, students will gain exposure to techniques of intellectual property analysis and feasibility, basic prototyping, and market assessment. This course is designed to help students create, analyse and screen technology ideas, and to select projects for their future development or perhaps use them in their own project.
Most start-ups fail. Launching a new venture has always been a very risky proposition. Many start-ups fail by not validating their ideas early on with real-life customers as they use traditional approaches to building and launching their products. Lean start-up methodology can make the process of starting a company less risky.
This methodology favours experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional development. This course is built to help students master some of the basic concepts introduced during orientation and is a deep dive into the Lean Start wouldn’t Up methodology. Students will learn: (1) How to actively listen and engage customers to find out what exactly they want in your product and how it should be delivered to them, (2) How to gather, evaluate, and use customer feedback to make a product, marketing, and business model stronger, (3) How to engage your customers through the three phases of the customer relationship management lifecycle: get, keep, and grow, (4) How to identify key resources, partners, activities, and distribution channels required to deliver your product to your customer, (5) How to calculate direct and indirect costs for delivering a product, (6) How to apply these concepts to their own ventures.
This course is largely focused on: testing and launch phases of a new venture. It is an extension of the Lean Start-Up course. Many start-ups were successfully launched in a garage by testing and validating their hypothesis. In this course, the teams develop more elaborate versions of their product/service and business model, perform a series of experiments to test the key hypotheses about their product and business model, and prepare and present an investor pitch for a seed round of financing to a panel of seasoned investors and entrepreneurs.
The key premise for the course is that a robust venture creation process involves development and validation of a series of hypotheses about a new product or service, its value proposition, and how the business will acquire customers, make money, scale up, and raise funds to achieve the key milestones to profitability. This course is designed to help teams learn how to precisely formulate hypotheses and early stage milestones, and how to test them using one or more of the following low-cost approaches: a) online experiments with minimally viable products; b) interviews with partners, advisors, investors, and business experts; c) analogies from existing businesses that were successful in proving hypotheses that are analogous to what the new start-up wants to prove. The course focuses on further developing entrepreneurial intuition and skills.
It is important to learn how to think strategically regarding how to effectively leverage the knowledge, trade secrets, patents, technologies, trademarks, structures, and processes in start-up organisations. This course will focus on the elements of a successful IP strategy, and how that strategy is shaped by economic, strategic, legal, regulatory, and market factors.
Some of the topics we will cover include: (1) Building and managing an IP portfolio that is aligned with business objectives, (2) The innovation cycle and technology transfer mechanisms, (3) IP portfolio monetisation strategies (e.g., licensing, franchise, sale, enforcement),(3) IP considerations in Mergers & Acquisitions, (4) Tax planning related to IP (e.g., cross-border transfer pricing, IP boxes and holding companies), (5) Managing corporate IP litigation risk, (6) The role of the Patent & Trademark Offices, (7) IP rights challenges while doing business in developing countries, (8) IP strategies for start-ups & entrepreneurs. This course also absorbs the practice of structuring contracts. Incorporation, financing, valuations, investment contracts, ESOP, venture capital, and deal structures are discussed. The course is designed to help students understand the intricacies of the legal environment in which start-ups operate and enable them to avoid fatal mistakes as these issues become relevant to their own companies.
Why Rocket and HitFox accelerators are able to build companies in 45 days, whereas others require 3 to 6 or even up to 12 months? What are the key strategies for start-up founders? Why so many start-ups fail? This course introduces students to start-up ecosystems, through a series of intensive master classes with leading practitioners from different ecosystems.
It provides an overview of the key players and key activities in these dynamic ecosystems, using case studies, class discussions, and practical team exercises. There have been several independent studies made to evaluate, better understand, and compare various start-up ecosystems and to offer valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of different start-up models. The top three start-up ecosystems which will be evaluated in this course are Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, and Berlin. Master classes are dedicated to topics such as (1) start-up accelerators, (2) access to venture capital, (3) strategic creativity, (4) creative communities, (5) product innovation, (6) innovation in hightech, (7) nurturing and growing the ecosystem, (8) protection of intellectual property, (9) digital platforms, (10) and technology-enabled services.
Boring but necessary. This course teaches students how to build a financial model to assess the value proposition for a product or investment, analyse and optimise the sources and drivers of firm value, value investment projects, firms, and new ventures, estimate the market potential for their technologies and business ideas, and to build successful companies around them.
Paired with applying newly learned concepts, this course provides a rigorous and realistic experience in the process necessary to prepare a business plan that will attract investors to a venture. There will be heavy emphasis on: (1) knowing the customers intimately, (2) careful analysis of all the potential competitors, (3) and understanding the external environment and how it can affect your business. Your products and support services should be designed around the customers’ needs and should draw from your strengths in order to offer a convincing competitive advantage. Topics include assessing risk, understanding business models, analysing key operational metrics, modelling cash flow and capital requirements, evaluating sources of financing, structuring and negotiating investments, managing organisational culture and incentives, balancing the interplay between ownership and growth, and handling adversity and failure. The plan must thoroughly explain how all these factors have been taken into consideration in designing your business strategy. Finally, all these elements must be reflected in your financial projections.
It is fundamentally important for the founders to find and define their company’s identity, vision, and mission that helps in selling, messaging, and hiring. Every great company has a mission that is bigger than the company. This is how Space X and Tesla have been able to attract some of the brightest minds. This course teaches about successful and failed entrepreneurial communication.
What makes the difference between a successful entrepreneur and an out of the gate failure? Often it is not the quality of the idea, but rather the ability of the entrepreneurs to successfully communicate their vision to potential investors, employees, and customers. Students will learn the basics of persuasive oral and written communication, and then apply these principles to efficiently formulating their own ideas to bring their message through.
Ask 2X entrepreneur and VC, Mark Suster, why so many start-ups fail and he’ll tell you it’s because they undervalue sales. Ask any other VC or start-up executive the same question and all roads lead back to the same place: undervaluing sales. Look at Apple in ’79, Salesforce in ’99, or even Airbnb in 2009. On day-1, these start-ups were selling and getting their first fiercely loyal (and paying) customers even before they had something legit to sell.
This course teaches the basics of sales from building and finding target customers, formalising the company’s selling value proposition, sales scripting, cold calling techniques, and reaching out and finding sales leads. Students are expected to apply learned concepts in their start-ups to see if they can get a soft commitment or, perhaps, even a sale for their companies.
This course is designed to teach what technology makes sense for early/ MVP stage, late stage and scaling in terms of infrastructure, stack, UX/UI, mobile and backend. During product development it is fundamentally important to have the ability to understand the difference between iOS and Android, xCode and Swift, Java and Objective-c, UX from UI, POP and Invision, CSS and CMS, Github and SourceForge, and PHP and Ruby on Rails. You will need someone in your team who knows how to set it all up, maintain it and keep an eye on it. Some specific applications will have some specific needs but that’s something the founders should know anyway.
In this course, students combine their in-depth analytical, engineering, and business skills to design product prototypes, distribution systems, and business plans for entrepreneurial ventures in developing countries to overcome the specified challenge faced by the world's poor. Topics include user empathy, appropriate technology design, rapid prototype engineering and testing, social technology entrepreneurship, business modelling, and project management. Students are expected to apply learned extreme cost saving concepts in their start-ups.
Start-ups operate in a permanent state of chaos. This is why it is important for students to learn how to work around the challenges of frequently changing requirements, imperfect effort estimations, frequent direction changes to the execution of the project as well as lack of coordination between team members. The course introduces proven techniques to manage these challenges.
Topics include the Agile Development technique used extensively by start-ups these days that works well with lean start-up methodology. Successful project management allows teams to control costs, manage risks, and meet deadlines. Students will learn methods to structure technical projects, identify key stages and tasks, determine task dependencies, assess the level of effort and design project plan, etc.
Founders need strong analytic skills to develop smart solutions to problems, but they also need negotiation expertise to implement these solutions and bring them to market. Negotiating effectively will help you reach agreements, achieve objectives, establish interpersonal relationships, and ultimately be more productive. This course is designed to teach you the art and science of negotiation.
In this course you will gain valuable insight into how to be a more effective negotiator in all phases of negotiation and achieve the most of what you want in life. Through a number of simulated negotiations and hands-on exercises in a variety of contexts, students will learn the components of effective negotiations, enhance their ability to understand and predict the behaviour of individuals in competitive situations, analyse their own behaviour, practice their negotiation skills, and develop confidence in managing the negotiation process. Through these exercises, associated readings and the examples of famous negotiators like Ghandi, J.F. Kennedy, Charles de Gaulle, etc. students will explore the basic theoretical models of bargaining such as: prescriptive and descriptive negotiation theory as it applies to two-party, multi-party and team negotiations, buyer-seller transactions and the resolution of disputes, the development of negotiation strategy, and the management of integrative and distributive aspects of the negotiation process.
What’s the “hype” surrounding Big Data? Who are the data scientists everyone is talking about? What kinds of problemsolving skills and knowledge should they have? What kinds of problems can be solved by Big Data? This course will offer answers to all these questions, and start students on their way to becoming proficient with the key technical terms and big data tools and applications to prepare them to apply these skills in their own companies.
This course is designed to help students develop a robust set of skills that will allow to process, analyse, and extract meaningful information from large amounts of complex data and to perform predictive modelling with open source tools and leverage graph analytics to model problems and perform scalable analytical tasks.
Students will begin work on the Capstone Project from the early days of their orientation. They're supported by mentors and regularly discuss their direction and progress. In the first year, students determine a detailed objective for their project, research existing alternatives, outline differentiators of their approach, define challenges, and create a work plan for the next year. Students will be calling prospective customers and testing some basic strategies in year one.
We expect them to have a prototype of the startup by this stage and a decent presentation ready. At the very least the project/idea should be sales-validated via customer interviews/discovery calls. In the end of the first year, students will present their project's Alfa version to peers.
The University will offer regular open lectures by professors, experts, and key figures. Students are required to attend many of the lectures and submit a write-up describing what they have learned during these lectures. Students of the first year will be required to describe the statement of the problem discussed and its significance. And ideally demonstrate how it applied to their company.
Students are expected to talk to potential customers, learn essential sales techniques, be able to find and test various customer acquisition channels, and develop effective messaging and positioning. Teams will be expected to execute their sales and marketing plans, define and build an MVP, and test it with early customers. This is often the hardest part of the journey for start-ups and the programme's rigour will stretch the abilities of any student and push them to the limit.
By the end of the year, students will have an MVP that’s not only validated using frameworks but also tested with early customers. Throughout the process, the teams are assisted by mentors and take advantage of opportunities to pitch their ideas to investors and start-up competitions.
This course teaches students how to (1) use core demand generation principles and guidelines, (2) leverage outbound demand generation, (3) tap inbound demand, (4) combine traditional, social, and mobile media to drive viral demand, and (5) create and use a messaging platform for optimal public relations and buzz marketing. Successful ventures provide products and services that take customer needs into account at every stage of development. The company that has the most paying customers wins. But how do you get the word out, drive demand for your products and services, and generate sales? Today good marketing involves a clear strategy to reach the target audience, execute appropriate tactics, and measure results.
In this course, you will master the fundamentals of outbound and inbound marketing and explore the myriad of options available in today's world of traditional and social media. Learn how to apply your skills to create a robust and innovative marketing strategy for a new product or a new company. In this course, you will learn how marketing is essential throughout all phases of innovation. Through dynamic, hands-on exercises and real- world applications, you will develop the skills and knowledge to maximize commercial success and master the Venture Sales Basics: B2C/B2B, CRMs, Inbound/Outbound, Cold Calling, and Scripts.
This course will explore how to identify what digital assets a new venture needs, and discuss how to create them and how to manage the process of creation and launch. What role do websites fulfil for a company, and what are the benefits of multi-platform responsive website, for example. How can a mobile app contribute to a business? What are good social media strategies? What type of business benefits from sharing video content via platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo? Can social content ever be generic? Why is brand identity important?
Founders hear this all the time from angels and VCs. Tell a story. A big idea is not enough. You need people to understand the story behind your idea. Storytelling is as old as the human language. It is an easy and accessible way to get your idea across. Your big idea needs a story. Stories fuel innovation. They hold the power to transform listeners; to take listeners on a journey that changes how they think, feel, or act. This course will develop an understanding of the process of storytelling and establish deeper connections by incorporating story elements and articulating a narrative within a business context. Students learn how to (1) understand the role story plays in business, and specifically innovation, (2) determine what makes a good (and bad) story, and (3) use and craft stories for internal and external stakeholders, to further your strategic advantage and spur innovation.
This course addresses an entrepreneur’s most important early-stage issue – customer acquisition – it’s easy to waste a lot of money doing wrong things via wrong channels, especially the ones where you go toe-to-toe with the big guys and can easily be outspent. Start-ups are do proceed in a different way! Start-ups will only thrive by engaging in smart marketing, acquiring customers in a fashion that makes them shine bright in the crowd and builds an enthusiastic customer base they don’t have to keep paying for every month. Throughout the course we will focus on the tactics of acquiring customers through outbound or inbound marketing and on motivating them (i.e., to encourage repeat behaviour and/or increase the frequency of interaction).
Specific topics include: search engine marketing (SEM), content marketing, affiliate marketing, social media campaigns, mobile applications, freemium strategies, and the use of web analytics for tracking customer acquisition and conversion rates. The focus will be mainly on digital marketing channels and growth hacking tactics. Students will have to apply their new competencies to improve the process of customer acquisition for their own start-ups.
A start-up may be incredibly innovative from an engineering standpoint, but that does not necessarily mean that it will be a commercial success. What makes an idea successful in the marketplace is the business model, which describes how we will create and deliver value for our customers, and how we will extract some of that value. The business model encompasses our product or service, our customers, and the economic engine that will enable to meet profitability and growth objectives. Business model analysis is important for both start-ups and new businesses, which need to discover a successful business model, and for established businesses, which often need to defend or evolve their business models. This course develops a structured way of thinking about business models to train you in the science of business model analysis and to help you practice the art of business model construction.
Do you have what it takes to inspire folks to practice innovation – rather than just talk about it? Do you know the right way to manage the team you are working with? In this course students will learn how to: (1) manage creativity and innovation of a team on a systems level, (2) gain the skills of a spot-on leader, (3) build and maintain a talented and motivated team, (4) close the knowing-doing gap, and (5) accept "failure" and see it as an opportunity to adapt and learn from mistakes. Ultra-high growth requires getting the whole team to do more, and do it better, and more efficiently.
Students will analyse the differences between leading innovation and managing routine work, learn how to strike the right balance putting together a team which includes both individuals who are good at routine maximisation and those who are catalysts of pioneering ways; and how to incentivise people, and uphold the qualities of competent leaders with a special emphasis on how to stay in tune with the people you lead. The course will feature interviews, workshops, podcasts, and live webinars with world leaders of innovation.
Through this course students will discover how measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of the web data can drive revenue, improve customer experience, and add measurable value to a business. This course should help students understand how different instruments and strategies such as content, social, mobile, conversation, and advertising analytics help to understand user behaviour. Students will get familiar with different analytics platforms such as Google Analytics and Hubspot. Redundant or incorrect tags can distort data measurement and reduce performance. Students will learn how tag managers can simplify the tag implementation and management processes for marketers, analysts, and developers.
This course is a deep dive into using social media tools for customer acquisition and retention. Learn how to select the right platforms to work with for your audience. Social media marketing is only rarely done very well by brands – even though it's the most important point of contact between users and brand. If social media is treated as an obligatory task, it's more likely to put users off than aid marketing efforts. Social media is young, user-generated and democratic by default. This course covers advertising, marketing, and communication strategies in the new media landscape of social media.
The students will get familiar with major social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linked In, and others, as well as their marketing tools that can bring significant value to a business. We will discuss how user-generated content, blogs, forums, and branded content coexist in social media ecosystem. How to build successful social media marketing strategies? How to track the effectiveness of social media advertising? How to create best-of-class content for a branded social profile that can became viral? Students will learn the how to utilise social media to fulfil their marketing objectives. This applied course will focus students' own strategies for the future. With the use of case studies and Capstone projects to experiment with, the classroom will serve as a test-lab for the students’ future endeavours in social media.
Mobile is a hugely expanding platform in established and especially emerging markets – and this is not a reversible trend. Every business will build its omni-platform – and now it is crucial to explore what role digital marketing can play on mobile and wearable devices. What is the future of advertising on mobile and wearable devices? How can data be optimised for digital marketing purposes? How will brands decide what the best way is to engage with their customers? Besides exploring the current reality, this course will give students a head-start by opening up the discussion about where to take digital marketing on mobile and wearable devices in the near future.
The word “growth hacking” has been overwhelming recently. It became trendy at consumer Internet companies big and small to describe in such a way a unique blend of marketing, product management, engineering, analytical thinking and the drive to find scalable and repeatable ways to gain customers. Indeed, growth hacking is disrupting our traditional perception of marketing as we know it. We're seeing a new full –time job role emerge across Silicon Valley: the "growth hacker". Entire growth hacking teams are mixing quantitative direct marketing techniques, data modelling, relentless testing, and the expansion of distribution networks.
Facebook, Twitter, Uber, LinkedIn, Reddit and Airbnb just to mention a few companies who have grown to millions of users with the help of this new type of marketing professionals leading the disruption and ultra rapid scale up. Students will learn from the examples of the best growth hackers in the business world, including the founders of the growth teams of Facebook, Netflix, Dropbox, Twitter and other leading analytical thinkers and entrepreneurs. This course will cover everything from how to be sure that the right growth engine is embedded at the core of a product to how to fly the customer numbers exponentially once the product-market fit is already working.
Digital strategy needs to be the essence of a business strategy. Digital strategy is the process of identifying, articulating, and executing on digital opportunities that will increase an organisation’s competitive advantage. The digital strategy should support all business objectives. The digital strategy course wraps all aspects of learned mastery of digital communications and development of a measured and well-considered strategy into one. It focuses on creating a coherent plan for an organisation that will stand up to the rigour and scrutiny of board-level decision making. This course gives students a helicopter view of all aspects of paid, owned, and earned digital media.
Email Marketing still has the highest conversion rate of all marketing tools. Social media may be sexy, yet B2B marketer’s bread and butter is email, as it is inexpensive, reliable, and the return on investment (ROI) can be very high. But it's getting increasingly harder to capture the attention of subscribers and to engage them effectively without damaging your brand. So, how do you stay ahead of the pack and improve your email marketing results? This Email Marketing Campaigns course will help you design, develop, implement, and track your email marketing campaign the easy way. You will learn all the crucial aspects of email marketing, from forming strategies, setting targets and objectives through to designing engaging content and improving deliverability.
We will also explore ways and ideas for effectively building email marketing campaigns using both freely available tools and commercial applications to send newsletters to your customer base, manage your subscriber lists, and track performance to get maximum exposure.
The founders of future start-ups must possess the strategic and practical writing and oral skills to convince everyone that they know the way to go. This course is designed to immerse students into the essentials of communication strategy and persuasion: audience analysis, communicator credibility, message construction, and delivery. Students will get familiar with a huge palette of the current communication tools and how to use them cleverly. This is a highly practical course that introduces students to the art and science of effective communication strategies, stimulates their strategic thinking, and trains to develop confidence in their speaking and writing abilities.
By doing many presentations and assignments, open lectures and discussions, listening to guest speakers, engaging into simulated activities, and getting videotaped feedback students will sharpen their communication skills, develop clearly organised and effective presentations and documents, diagnose, develop, and expand personal writing and oral delivery style, be able to adapt delivery style to different material and audiences, and create communication strategies at an individual and organisational level.
We've all heard the phrase ”It went viral,” but what does that mean? Viral marketing is a method of creating and distributing content that is so exceptional, it gets shared hundreds of thousands of times over on social digital platforms – organically (this means people share it because they like it, not because they get paid to). Viral content is hard to create because there's no science to it: we can't predict what people will go crazy for – we can at best guess what they will ignore. It's never been more important in marketing to be relevant, meaningful, and extraordinarily funny. Viral Marketing uses every platform and avenue available, whether it's digital or not (flash mobs make for great viral content). In this course, we will explore viral content and learn about successful strategies by looking at great examples as well as failures.
The course is about approaching / interviewing customers. It is very important as part of basic sales and idea validation. Many marketers used to trust focus groups and surveys in order to test the concepts of new products and services. In the new reality, digital space allows for communication and interaction with target audiences much more easily, cheaply, and faster. This course will teach how to conduct marketing surveys in the digital world, using Survey Monkey, Google products, social media, and other new tools. To understand markets, organisations need to answer questions such as: How large is the market for the product? What's important for the target segment?
How does change in the product design affect profits? This course aims to help students ask relevant questions and find data-driven answers to them. The main objectives are to equip students with: 1) an understanding of the value of data – what intelligence it can and cannot provide, 2) exposure to state-of-the-art quantitative tools such as conjoint analysis and cluster analysis to analyse the data, and 3) sufficient hands-on experience with these tools for answering students' own marketing research questions from the perspective of an entrepreneur, marketer, or a consultant. The course is designed to address substantive marketing problems such as: market segmentation, targeting, forecasting demand, pricing, and developing new products.
Retaining a customer is three times cheaper than acquiring a new one, this should be a mantra for a start-up. CRMs and Customer Nurturing techniques are important from the very early days in the company’s lifecycle because the only way to make better decisions is to make informed decisions that are based on data. CRMs are also a way to record, test, and evaluate strategies used with customers. This course will help students to define a CRM strategy and develop a unified customer view across all marketing activities. Today, it remains a fact that businesses must understand CRM as an inclusive process. As a broad term, CRM highlights initiatives that companies can implement to win over customers for greater profit. In sum, the goal of CRM is to align “business processes with customer strategies to build customer loyalty and increase profits over time.”
This course is designed to provide an overview of e- commerce models, applications, decisions, and issues. It introduces the concepts, vocabulary, and procedures associated with e-commerce and the internet. Students gain an overview of all aspects of e-commerce. Topics include the history of the internet and online retail and other forms of digital commerce. We discuss the possibilities of online business as well as e-commerce tools, marketing challenges, payment options, security issues, and customer service, e- commerce strategies and marketing concepts.
Every top-notch digital marketer, strategist, entrepreneur, or creative specialist also needs to be a master of crisp, clear, and compelling communication. We cannot stress enough how important this skill is. It’s paramount to engage in situations that demand being ever more succinct, clear, and engaging. Persuading decision-makers to buy good design is essential whether you’re running a start-up, building a product, or improving an organisation’s website and publications. Selling Design helps students become not just the talented creative individuals, but also accomplished design professionals who can collaborate and work persuasively with colleagues at all levels, from creative directors to budget directors, and from clients to investors to top-level executives.
Through interviews with and presentations by successful designers and entrepreneurs from many walks of the creative life, students learn what it takes to pitch, recognise, combine, push and build on good ideas – and avoid bad ones.
This course covers all the stages of funding for early stage high-growth companies, from seed funding to venture capital rounds to a successful exit. We will concentrate on how entrepreneurs and investors make and should make important decisions. Examples of issues that we will cover are: (1) How can entrepreneurs raise funding successfully? (2) What are typical mistakes entrepreneurs make in raising capital and negotiating with investors? (3) How to choose your investor? (4) How to pitch to an investor? (5) How do angels and VCs generate and process their deal flow and select companies? (6) How are VCs involved in business decisions such as recruiting talent and replacing CEOs? (7)
What are the important provisions of financial contracts between VCs and founders? The course is very applied and mostly case-based. We will discuss a lot of nitty-gritty details that are a must for founders and investors. As a part of the course, students will work on their pitch decks and pitch to classmates and a group of top VCs in the area. These VCs will work with student groups as VC advisors and we will simulate the VC partner meetings. We will have a lot of speakers and case protagonists, founders, angels, and VCs.
Business valuation is particularly tricky for start-ups with little or no revenue or profits and that may be years away from sales. As in the words of an experienced VC it is a belief that the company can return 30X because its financial model shows it. Since only after Series A can this be accurately forecasted with any accuracy. In sharp contrast to traditional valuation courses that teach investment banking valuation models of mature or publically listed companies, this course is largely about the financial decision-making process from the point of view of the founders and investors of an entrepreneurial venture, covering the process from very early beginnings to very late stages.
First, we develop tools and concepts of corporate finance related to financial modelling, valuation, control, and investment decisions within an entrepreneurial context. Second, we use cases with start-ups at different stages of their life cycles from initial angel or venture capital investments through exit decisions, in order to see the issues that arise when these principles are applied in practice. In some cases we show the viewpoint of the entrepreneur and in others the perspective of the investor. After all, as an entrepreneur, one cannot negotiate effectively without understanding an investor's motivation. Conversely, an investor cannot evaluate a potential investment opportunity without appreciating the entrepreneur's perspective and incentives. Finally, we explore new developments in entrepreneurial finance such as crowd funding and early liquidity provisions.
In this course, we will analyse a wide range of tax-related issues affecting business decisions and the environment in which taxes enter an individual's or firm's decision. We will establish a playground for systematic consideration of the role of taxes. We will concentrate on how entrepreneurs and investors make and should make important decisions. Examples of issues that we will cover are: (1) Why investors prefer to incorporate in off-shore holding companies? (2) How to choose a jurisdiction for a new Hold Co? (3) At what stage of the company development should the Founders start spending scarce resources on costly rigorous tax analysis?
(4) What tax related questions the Founders and Investors should focus on? (5) What are the typical quick and smart tax strategies for seed stage ventures? In contrast to tax accounting courses that traditionally concentrate only on technical legal and administrative issues, this course intends to provide a practical framework for recognising how taxes affect strategic business decisions. The key themes of the framework – all parties, all taxes, and all costs - are applied to decision contexts such as organisational form, jurisdiction, incorporation, financing, valuations, investments, hiring employees, cash and equity compensation, tax planning for multiple jurisdictions, and M&A. The goal of this course is to provide students with an approach to thinking about taxes and a practical playground for gaining experience in analysing tax-related issues that will be valuable across jurisdictions even as laws change.
This course is designed to help social entrepreneurs take enterprises and innovative models to the next level. Around the world, social entrepreneurs are revolutionising the approaches to problems in areas such as education, environment, poverty, health care, and social justice. Harbour.Space Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation course is tailored to the needs of successful social entrepreneurs and the challenges they face. The course is designed to help participants move their mission forward by refining their innovations and leveraging their impact.
By integrating social innovation and a mission-oriented philosophy with pragmatic business concepts and skills, this course will provide participants with the key concepts and practical skills needed to start new social innovations with high impact and potential to reach the hundreds of millions of people who need them the most while ensuring that they are developed, deployed, and scaled in a way that is relevant, appropriate, and sustainable. Participants will reach the end of the course with skills that can be applied in a wide range of sectors, organisational types, and cultural contexts.
• Participants can expect to: insight into the basic business functions of marketing and communications, accounting and financial management, and organisational management; • Address the distinctive challenges of starting and growing social ventures compared with traditional for-profit- only businesses; • Forecast the income, expenses, and funding required to launch and/or to grow a social venture and understand different types of financing alternatives and their advantages and disadvantages; • Learn how to identify social venture opportunities, how to establish the amount and type of financing required, and how to create a compelling financial investment proposition; • Develop the tools and skills necessary to attract financial resources for a venture and learn how to evaluate social venture investments as a potential investor and/or partner; • Understand what makes an effective business plan and develop a business plan for a specific target venture; • Evaluate the root causes for failure, success factors, and business practices and tools of the past with the goal to help the next generation of social innovation leaders think about it as lessons for the future, helpful in finding new ways of approaching old problems, all from a practitioner's point of view.
Leadership is difficult. However, one of the main qualities of a strong leader is coachability and ability to adopt and learn from mistakes. Very often leaders can be micromanaging too much, stifling innovation and free thinking, or not giving enough direction. Leading is a tough balancing act. Empathy is very important and also a key attribute of strong leaders. This course emphasises the challenges of managing high- growth, early-stage enterprises, especially those with innovation-based products and services and a scarce resource base at their disposal in the beginning.
Students work in teams to develop skills and approaches necessary to become effective entrepreneurial leaders and managers. In this class, students should be prepared to stoke class discussions about their own leadership experience, the experience of other leaders that can be useful to share with everyone, as well as read the books on these topics such as Influence by Robert Cialdini, some books by Andrew Grove, and the paramount Ben Hotowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things.
In this course the students will familiarise themselves with the main concepts of audience buying through real-time bidding auctions and programmatic models. They will learn to grasp complex concepts of RTB-buying with the ecosystem using DSPs (demand side platforms), SSPs (supply side platforms), DMPs (data management platforms), AdExchanges, private market places, and preferred deals.
In the second year, students present their project's MVP version to a panel of experts.
The third year is essentially about transforming a lean startup into a scalable venture backed business. Students will learn how to automate and scale into a properly running organisation, how to build high-performing sales teams, how to lead and hire for a fast growing organisation, and how to create and nurture company culture as the company grows.
In this final year, students will be pushed to their limit as they turn their start-ups into businesses while planning, designing, and executing much more complex strategies as they prepare to raise Venture Funding and subsequently become the next unicorn. The year will culminate in a Demo Day where student start-ups will compete in front of investors, mentors, and the student body.
The University will offer one-on-one, team mentorship, and workshops with key figures in business world and star innovators. Students will be required to chose several mentors, ideally from a vertical similar to their start-up, and attend a significant quantity of the master classes and submit reports describing what they have learned. Students will be required to regularly present their work to mentors and report about the project progress to the programme supervisors.
Students will learn and apply several frameworks for organization design and human centered design. They'll also get a rare, in-person view into the fabric of industry-leading organizations during project work outside of class. They'll discover how company leaders inculcate the notion of user empathy into their DNA, to create compelling customer experiences and extraordinary work environments.
Employing a human-centered approach, interdisciplinary teams will explore the partner companies and identify opportunities to design for positive organizational impact. After generating a range of initial ideas, teams will prototype focused interventions taking the form of novel roles, tools, spaces, rituals and more. Students will learn how design thinking applies to leading creative organizations. They will be exposed to and experiment with multiple organizational design models in a real-world environment.
The role of the founder undergoes dramatic changes as the company grows. Rapidly growing start-ups can be incredibly hard to manage. Founders need to learn how the company's needs evolve and what frameworks and methods must be adopted to maintain the company growth. Throughout the course, students will learn techniques and concepts pioneered by Hiroshi Mikitani, Andrew Grove, Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen, Clayton Christensen, Al Ries and Alfred Sloan, along with an emphasis on the application of analytical tools to administrative practices.
This course has a strong implementation focus and will teach students competencies and skills that they'll take along with them as their start-ups grow to become large companies. An invaluable course for anyone aspiring to be an efficient CEO/ leader of an organisation.
In the early days of a start-up, the founders have to do the selling. Moreover, in order to scale and grow, the founders need to know how to build highly effective and professional sales organisations. This course will teach students the art and science of building effective sales organisations and the challenges and key issues associated with managing them.
Specific topics include: choosing a go-to-market model (e.g., direct sales, VARs, OEMs, or hybrid models), building and structuring the sales function (e.g., sales learning curve, organisational structure, and allocating territories and quotas), and managing the sales force (e.g., hiring/firing, compensation, forecasting, and culture). The course emphasis is on developing and managing the selling effort and strategies needed for different markets (consumer, business, government, and global) from strategic inception through to execution and implementation. The course will teach students how to build and manage the sales effort at various stages of the company and product lifecycle, hire and train sales personnel, create compensation and incentive plans, do sales forecasting, and address multiple product lines, multiple channels, and multiple geographic regions. These topics are analysed in the context of both early stage ventures and mature enterprises.
This is a common theme in some start-ups where people do not talk/communicate properly that leads to teams breaking up, founders leaving, and some bad blood. The focus of this course is to increase one's competencies in building more effective relationships. Learning is primarily through feedback from other group members. This course is very involving and, at times, can be quite emotional. We deal more with inter-personal issues than with intra-personal ones.
In the last two decades, economic integration has been moving faster and farther throughout the world and the world has effectively become smaller and much more interconnected. This course will teach students how to best use this to their advantage by building efficient value chains for their company. A value chain is the network of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, service providers, and others involved in bringing a product or service to market.
Understanding and effectively managing your value chain is critical to building or scaling a business in the modern age. The right value chain supports the introduction of new products and enables a company to offer services to customers with optimal results. In this course, students will be introduced to best practices, learn how to use value chains to enable innovations in products and services, and understand how value chains can create a competitive advantage as well as how to use their value chain to develop value-enhancing services for customers. Students will learn how to determine what is the right value chain strategy for their business and get an opportunity to test it.
This is a fundamental management course in strategic management of technology- based innovation in established companies as well as startups. The course will tackle and explore the tough questions: Why do so many large companies completely fail at innovation? Why do some technology leaders fail? And how do innovative startups successfully take on and replace incumbents?
This will lead to a deep dive into complex internal management issues, focusing on the design of innovative organisations: designing reward systems, managing growth, overcoming resistance to change, and using organisational culture to promote innovation. Specific topics include: assessing the innovative capabilities of the firm, managing the technical function in a company, understanding and managing technical entrepreneurs, building technology-based distinctive competencies and competitive advantages, technological leadership versus followership in competitive strategy, institutionalasing innovation, and attracting and keeping entrepreneurs. The purpose of the course is to provide students with concepts, frameworks, and experiences that are useful for taking part in the management of innovation processes.
This class is important in the context of leading change/ innovation in large organisations. As in all large-scale enterprises in need of transformative change, leadership matters greatly. Why so many big corporations vanished? What methods of introducing innovation proved to work at the systems level? What lessons the incumbents should learn from garage entrepreneurial set ups? This course focuses on what it takes from a strategic and extremely practical perspective to lead change at the systems level.
We will analyse this topic based on the example of some of the most exciting entrepreneurs today and dissect their leadership styles, strategies, innovations, and solutions. Students will debate the strategies and efficacy of how different leaders approached systems-level change.
Joining a start up as an employee often means that you will be both severely overworked and underpaid, at least in the beginning. This course focuses on a question: How start-ups motivate their key employees to provide effort above and beyond what is normal or expected. Especially, in cases where the key employees are knowledge workers performing ambiguous and creative tasks. In this course, we will explore how the start-up’s culture, mission, and values help to attract, motivate, and retain talent.
We will begin with different concepts of motivation to be explored as theories and as they are implemented in real world companies. One very successful start-up story and a practical example to explore is the HubSpot ‘s Culture Code for Creating a Company. We will stress the importance of the economic theory of incentives, social psychological theories of motivation, and, in particular, when and how economic forces and social psychological forces come into conflict and when and how they can be aligned.
Entrepreneurship is definitely not only for man! Everyone knows Arianna Huffington, Tory Burch, Coco Chanel or J.K Rowling. The world needs womеn entrepreneurs as they see the world through a different lens and, ssubsequently, doing things differently. This is reflected in the kinds of businesses women start, whether we regard Estée Lauder, who turned her passion for skincare into a beauty empire, or Oprah Winfrey, whose media business’ aim is to motivate other women to reach their potential.
How did they manage to become so successful in the business society primarily driven by male? This course will showcase successful women entrepreneurs and their professional and personal journeys from finding an idea to becoming an effective leader, raising money, overcoming setbacks and achieving a fame on a global scale, all the while still managing to keep their traditional female roles. We will also analyse some of the unique challenges women still face when approaching entrepreneurship or professional careers and how it might be possible to overcome them. Through the use of cases, panel discussions, readings and videos and social time with the panellists we will also thematise how men see the female leadership, whether they have any concerns and also open up discussions between the two genders. Speakers will also include female venture capitalists and social entrepreneurs, and male entrepreneurs. This class is appropriate for women and men aiming to start a highimpact venture
In many ways emerging markets is where the future is. Look at mobile banking in Africa or how mobile devices are used in Asia. Why smart phones are so big in Asia? Because they are often the first and only personal computing device for those people. The way WeChat and other services have evolved in these countries is impressive and makes no sense to the western mind. The same goes for some businesses that are only present in India, for example.
The whole range of Crypto currencies have become wide-spread in some countries in Africa while everyone else is hung up on making Bitcoin work. Emerging economies are attractive targets for entrepreneurs because many are just starting to move up the growth curve, and they offer low-cost operating environments that can be great development labs for potentially groundbreaking innovations. At the same time, emerging markets pose serious challenges. In addition to language and cultural barriers, pioneering entrepreneurs are not able to count on the same kind of supportive operating environments that are taken for granted in western countries. They often face cumbersome permit and licensing processes, poorly developed financial and labour markets, problematic import and export procedures, unreliable local supply chains, weak infrastructure, corruption, currency risks, limited investment capital, lack of financial exits, and more. This course is designed to help would-be entrepreneurs to better understand and prepare for these issues as they pursue the opportunities and address the challenges to start, grow, and scale, their highpotential new ventures in these environments and to benefit from them.
Pioneering doesn’t mean to know how to code or how to write an operating system, but mastering the basics of coding (which is probably 1 year of fundamentals, plus a big project class or two) goes a long way towards achieving your goals. This course teaches students some basic relational database stuff, SQL or NOSQL, basic Java or Python, or RoR for prototyping, etc. It is very helpful so people do not say stupid things.
Internet is tightly controlled in China, which makes it seem impenetrable for foreign companies wishing to access this market. Yet, there are hundreds of millions of Chinese people who may want to engage with a foreign brand. The list of global mega tech-corporations that are failing in China is impressive: Google, Yahoo, Uber, and Ebay – and it goes on. In the case of Ebay, the latter was simply unable to compete with its local competitor, Alibaba, which offers listings for free.
China’s determination to promote an alternative to the borderless internet embraced by Americans marks yet another way the country is challenging a US-led world order. Our students will learn about the Chinese state, its extensive methods of control, and its influence on online media, as well as about its internet censorship of Facebook, Twitter, Google, and other digital means. Students will explore possibilities in which foreignborn digital brands – p2p or otherwise structured – may become part of the Chinese economy.
We all intuitively believe that fact-based decision making is good, but we often lack the right skills required to present quantitative information in a meaningful way. Although tables and graphs are widely used, the presentation is often poorly designed, misrepresenting or obfuscating the truth. Why? Because almost no one, including financial analysts and business intelligence professionals, have been trained in information design and leveraging visualisation techniques to help support better decision making.
This course teaches information design fundamentals and introduces a variety of visualisation tools and techniques. At the end of the course, students will be able to identify which visualisation technique will produce the most impact under a variety of scenarios. Students will also learn how to present meaningful information in the most compelling and easy-to-digest fashion.
In the third year, students will present their start-ups during a Demo Day to a panel of venture capitalists, business angels, company builders, and accelerators.