UCL School of Management

Module Fact Sheet

MSING016: Strategic Management of Entrepreneurial Ventures

Taught by
MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship students only
Term 2
Delivery method
3-hour lecture/discussion/workshop 
(x 10 weeks)
Final Group Case Submission 25%, Final Take Home Case Memo 30%, Class Participation 25% and Group Case Submissions 25%

Course overview

This course will expose students to key strategic challenges faced by investors, managers and technologists at different stages of the development of knowledge-intensive businesses. Characteristic of such businesses is an emphasis on innovation, ecosystems and standards. As per Stern et al (2015), there are critical strategic choices for startups to make, between building IP-based, architectural, disruptive and value chain based ventures– and selecting the right option maximises the chance to turn an opportunity into a profitable business.  Through an individual course assignment, class-based discussion of business cases and a group project, students are familiarized with a range of strategic analysis and strategy-making tools and frameworks. Cases focus on firms in high-tech sectors, both on startups/early stage firms and on innovative contexts in larger firms.

Learning outcomes

Following completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • assess the suitability, feasibility and acceptability of strategies in high-tech contexts.

  • understand various schools of thought regarding strategy formation and apply them to creating or allowing the emergence of ‘personal’ strategies, startup strategies and innovation strategies in large businesses.

  • select between IP-based, disruptive, archietectural and value chain based strategies and understand the management implications of building a startup according to that strategic choice.

Topics covered

Topics covered will include:

Week 1:  The dominance of return on capital as a metric and its significance for large company innovation. Focus and variance, Disruptive innovation.  Case:  Emerging Business Areas in IBM

Week 2:  Industry context, business environment, capabilities and time pacing.  Lifecyles and dominant designs.  Case:  SmAL Camera.

Week 3:  Competitive strategy, ecosystem-based competition.  Case:  ARM Holdings.

Week 4:  Architectural Innovation.  Case:  Beepi.

Week 5:  Organisation design.  Case:  Uber.

Week 6:  Organisation design 2.  Case:  tbc

Week 7:  Acquisition strategy and unicorn-building.  Cases:  live and various.

Week 8:  Building the disruptive startup.  Case:  Netflix.

Week 9:  Student presentations workshop.

Week 10:  Student presentations.

Assessment summary

Final Group Case Submission 25%, Final  Take Home Case Memo 30%, Class Participation 25% and Group Case Submissions 25%

Essential reading

Rumelt, R. (2011). Good Strategy, Bad Strategy.

Past versions of this module

MSING016 16/17

Last updated Monday, 26 June 2017