MBA Elective Courses
Entrepreneurship & Family Enterprise
China has emerged as an economic superpower and dynamic entrepreneurial force. It has made the entire world wake up to new economic models. On this field trip you will see these new models in action and learn about the unique opportunities and obstacles faced by entrepreneurs in China. Even for those who are not planning to start a company in China, the course will help them understand investment opportunities and the future of Chinese business in the global economy. Students will meet – and learn from – a wide variety of entrepreneurs, executives and INSEAD alumni who are living, working and building companies in China.
What opportunities and obstacles face those who build a company in the hot-bed of growth entrepreneurship that is India? How does the Indian context and rich entrepreneurial tradition shape the country’s growth ventures? What ideas can you borrow from India’s dynamic entrepreneurs to help build a company elsewhere? The best way to answer these questions is to go there in person, meet members of the Indian entrepreneurial community and learn through asking further questions. With two days in New Delhi and three in Mumbai, this field trip will expose students to a whole new world of entrepreneurial opportunity.
The only way to understand Silicon Valley fully is to be there. And so this entire one-week mini-elective takes place in Silicon Valley itself. It will enable you to meet key Valley players – entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and executives in large companies – some of whom will host sessions. Above all, it will teach you how to break into the world entrepreneurship – and succeed – in Silicon Valley or anywhere else in the world.
Building new businesses inside established firms presents very special challenges. Whether you are starting a new line, setting up a new practice, opening an office in a new geography, managing a spin-off or creating a new joint venture, you have to be entrepreneurial yet follow internal processes to be successful. Through case studies, guest speakers and a final project, this course addresses issues such as: getting the resources you need; preventing the old business from holding back the new; deciding how far to integrate with the rest of the firm; and selecting, managing and motivating the right employees.
Companies like Amazon, Airbnb, Zillow, and Uber are creating new ventures or corporate ventures that leverage digital technologies to create and exploit new markets. Although digital entrepreneurship shares some features of traditional new venture management – forming founding teams, business model analysis, board management – it also differs in important ways because of the accelerated growth potential of these technologies. This course provides a series of frameworks for innovating and managing ventures founded around digital technologies.
This dynamic business simulation puts participants in the shoes of an entrepreneurial team competing in a consumer-durable market. The aim is to simulate the pressure-cooker environment of managing a new venture in the critical second-round financing stage. The highlight is the relentless focus on action and the realism – as you take dozens of strategic and tactical decisions under enormous time pressure, significant uncertainty and intense competition. Prepare for long hours and late nights!
Research shows that family-controlled firms outperform publicly owned companies – and that they are also the most prevalent form of business in the world. This course therefore has a wide appeal. Whether students are part of a business family, whether they intend to work for, advise or buy/sell family firms, they will gain important insights about what makes family businesses so different from other organisations, yet so similar across geographies. In particular, the elective covers the main recurring themes of family business: relationships, values, communication, strategy, governance, ownership, succession, conflict and stewardship.
This is an intensive project-based course that prepares students for entrepreneurial impact careers within corporations and provide a toolkit of entrepreneurship for the common good. Students will form teams around one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), match it with a corporation or industry of their choice, and then design a new impact initiative aligning corporate goals with societal goals. The course leverages the potential of business as a force for good in society and allows students to learn and apply innovation methodologies to develop new entrepreneurial initiatives inside corporations.
For students who are looking for an entrepreneurial experience during your MBA, this experiential elective allows you to learn from seasoned entrepreneurs while working on your startup. Focusing on mentoring, facilitation and empowerment, the SBE is organised around a series of activities that complement the entrepreneurship electives and accelerates the entrepreneurial ambitions of the MBA students.
This course teaches the principles of buying into entrepreneurship. Students will explore the main value-creation strategies involved in successful leveraged buy-outs and evaluate the respective risks and rewards. There is a strong practical focus: analysis of real-life case studies and practitioner guest speakers. The class will also cover leveraged buy-outs from all perspectives: the equity provider, the management team, the banks and the vendor. The course concludes with a practical team assignment in which students have to submit a recommendation for a buy-out – including a 100-day plan and post-buy-out value creation plan – to private equity investors.
When times are good, anyone can lead a business. But turning around a failing business requires special skills – which are relevant to regular business practice as well as the turnaround industry. This course addresses the reasons why companies slide into decline and the mechanics of executing a successful turnaround in such a way that shareholder value can be preserved through the ups and downs of the business cycle. Using case studies and guest speakers, the course covers: the turnaround profession; typical stages of a turnaround; “special situations” investment vehicles; legal and financial issues; marketing and operational issues; change management and HR; and communication with stakeholders.
Media industries are in the midst of a fundamental transition from analogue to digital business models. The growing markets of Asia have also emerged as an epicentre for understanding the implications of digital disruption and the emergence of business models to deal with it. The focus of this course will be on the Asian context and its implications for multi-sided platform business models. Students will understand what is happening in Asia, which will help companies to create rather than destroy value because of digital disruptions.
How can an entrepreneurial idea be converted into an up-and-running, revenue-generating business? This course is for anyone interested in the answer to this question, regardless of whether or not they have a definite plan to build a business from scratch. It draws on case studies, experiences of guest-speakers and a final group project – complete with a pitch to a real panel of angel investors–to give students a blueprint for starting a new venture. By the end, students will be able to develop a concept, design a compelling business model, recruit a team and embark with confidence on their entrepreneurial journey.
Even though the course was originally motivated by the phenomenal growth of the private equity industry over the past two decades, the recent financial turmoil has given it additional relevance: will the private equity industry become a role model for the "new" financial markets of tomorrow or will it face dramatic changes as well? The course attempts to provide a balanced overview of the private equity landscape and covers the entire spectrum from early to late stage investing, with a focus on recent developments and industry specific discussions. Using mainly the case method and industry speakers, it addresses the mechanisms and principles of private equity deals that are common across the various private equity types and highlights the most important differences.
If you think that someday you would like to buy a company for yourself and will be involved in the acquisition process as a private equity professional, an investment banker or a consultant, this course is for you. Using cases and class discussion, students will learn how to find a company, acquire it, manage it, add value to it, turn it around and ultimately sell it. Class discussions will be enhanced by examples from real business situations and guests will bring cases to life with added insight. The course involves a project whereby participants will search for a suitable company to buy, analyse the opportunity, value it, develop a business plan and seek backing through a final presentation to a panel of seasoned private equity professionals.
In this course, we will explore the drivers of strategic and operational challenges specific to the field of social entrepreneurship. This course has a particular focus on enterprises whose businesses concentrate on improving the lives of people living at the bottom of the wealth pyramid in emerging markets. This course will be built around a field trip to an emerging market economy. During the field trip, we will engage with not-for-profit and for-profit institutions and enterprises with a social mission or 'bottom of the pyramid' strategy. By taking this course, people will also acquire practical insight into the dynamics of planning, implementing and scaling social enterprises. At the end of this course, students will be equipped to address some of the key practical issues that would confront someone who wishes to establish or contribute to the development of a social enterprise initiative.
The title reflects the action-learning, workshop nature of this class, which focuses on the steps and considerations involved in developing a technology innovation from raw concept to market introduction. It provides you with the essential tools for commercialisation: innovation diligence and potential; IP licensing and technology transfer; resource planning and capital requirements; product lifecycle and innovation trajectory; opportunity sizing and market penetration. During the course, students will collaborate directly with engineering teams to implement product and market plans for their inventions. There will also be opportunities to expand on projects in pursuit of grants and innovation awards after the course is over.
Emerging markets, such as the BRIC countries, Indonesia and Turkey, represent the biggest opportunities of the 21st century. How do you build a business in an emerging market, be it a corporate venture or a start-up? How do you know whether the strategies you typically use in mature markets are going to be effective in emerging markets? What are the unique challenges in emerging markets? How can you overcome these challenges and turn them into value propositions for your growth ventures? Students will explore the unique challenges and practical strategies required for success in emerging markets.
This capstone will challenge and test what you think that you know, what you have experienced in your career to-date, and what you have learned during your time at INSEAD. Your First Hundred Days is a business simulation, attempting to give you the sensation that you actually are living through the first one hundred days of leading your newly acquired company. As such, there will be many usual and ordinary activities as well as surprises along the way as you go through a series of events and crises simulating what you might well experience in the real world.