MAN 626: Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Enhancing Access to Capital via Crowdfunding

Today’s economic landscape is strongly influenced by highly innovative ventures. This development is driven by rapid technological change and digitization. This implies that existing firms, large and small, family-owned or widely held, as well as new or established will need to entrepreneurially adapt their businesses and manage innovation processes. Hence, these entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial skills combined with the state of the art in innovation management and an understanding of digital business are seen as key competencies of entrepreneurs but also (future) top level executives in today’s fast-moving, networked business world. Therefore, the focus of this course is to supply students with a deep understanding of the theoretical foundations of entrepreneurship and practical tools to create ideas and start their own business in the digital age. Light is also shed on digital forms of entrepreneurship, especially crowdfunding and crowd interaction, competitive positioning and advantage in entrepreneurial firms, and strategic dimensions of recent developments in the market such as digitalization and their implications for new ventures, family firms, and business models.
Students will have the chance to understand and train these tools and topics while developing and presenting their own business idea in a team.

Learning outcomes
Students will not only learn the theoretical foundations of entrepreneurship, crowdfunding, crowd interaction, and innovation management, but they will also learn practical approaches and tools. They will have the chance to apply these learnings for developing and pitching their own business ideas hands-on, with a focus on a digital and crowdfunded environment. The learned skills allow entrepreneurs to successfully enter the market with their own businesses, but also enable “corporate entrepreneurs” to support existing firms in developing new products, services, and innovation strategies helping them to stay ahead of competition. The module is thereby suitable for individuals thriving to engage in either innovative intrapreneurial thinking within existing companies or in setting up their own entrepreneurial ventures. After the course, students will:
• Understand the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, crowdfunding, and innovation
• Gain insights into the German entrepreneurship landscape
• Discuss the impacts of digitalization on innovation and entrepreneurship
• Learn tools to generate and develop business ideas
• Be able to design and iterate business models based on the ideas to fill a lucrative niche
• Acquire a deep understanding of how to develop a business plan for acquiring (crowd-)funding
• Gain practical experience by applying the learnings to their own business idea and pitch
• Learn which objective criteria constitute a great pitch given stiff competition
The course will be a markedly international in nature with participants joining from the international partner universities as it is part of the MBS Summer School. The course is scheduled as a one-week block course at the end of June.

Necessary prerequisites
not taken MAN 634

Recommended prerequisites
A basic understanding of business foundations is helpful.

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS4 SWS
ECTS credits3
Graded yes
Form of assessmentVideo presentation (75%, 4 videos), pitch presentation (12,5%), campaign & business plan (12,5% )
Restricted admissionyes
Further informationYou have to apply separately to the Mannheim Business School for this course. A list of the required application documents, the application deadline and further details can be found at the following link. Please read the information carefully:
Website of the Mannheim Business School
Performing lecturer
Prof. Dr. Jan-Philipp Ahrens
Dr. Jan-Philipp Ahrens, Dr. Andrew Isaak, Dr. Baris Istipliler, Dr. Kateryna Nekit
Frequency of offeringSpring semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationM.Sc. MMM
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1, CG 3