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 course is about building and leading a business in a turbulent environment. It provides students with opportunities to look beyond the official façade of Russian business and gain insights into how Russian and foreign entrepreneurs and corporations navigate the Russian economic maze. They will learn how to design, build and grow businesses in highly uncertain and dynamic environment by meeting accomplished businesses leaders, interacting with founders of start-ups and questioning venture and private equity capitalists. During three days in Moscow and two days in St. Petersburg the students will work as consultants to entrepreneurial companies and their owners and will explore rich Russian culture and its impact on business. The lessons from this course go beyond Russia and could be applied to building and growing businesses in all turbulent environments
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.
Since the development of Bitcoin and Ethereum, there has been an explosion of decentralized venture formation and a democratization of participation in blockchains more generally. Tremendous value has been created through the entrepreneurial activities of individuals and teams who have discovered new opportunities that leverage crypto-blockchain technologies in what some are calling the “Web3” ecosystem. The course will cover new developments and hot topics in Crypto Entrepreneurship such as liquidity pooling and yield farming in decentralized finance (“DeFi”), digital asset ownership through non-fungible-tokens (“NFTs”), smart contracts using Ethereum and other infrastructure, and decentralized autonomous organizations (“DAOs”) that can be used to govern ventures without centralized leadership.
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 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.
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.
This is an experiential module designed for students who have already started a venture or would want to start a venture or joining one as an early team member. This is an opportunity for students, working alone or in teams, to immerse in a high-impact entrepreneurial venture during three periods (P3-P5) and develop business ideas through teambuilding, customer development, prototyping and networking.
This Capstone is designed to bring together everything students have learnt during the MBA year into an integrative, immersive, and inspirational experience. This course is meant to provide a stimulating experience where students will work as a team to confront the real-life challenge of the first two years after taking over a healthy growth venture.
This Capstone is designed to bring together everything students have learnt during the MBA year into an integrative, immersive, and inspirational experience. This course is meant to provide a stimulating experience where students will work as a team to confront the real-life challenge of the first two years after taking over a healthy growth venture