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New Technology Ventures (NTV1): Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Vak 2016-2017


Every business, small dedicated company and big multinational alike, once upon a time was established because their founders saw a business opportunity, or to be more precise: an entrepreneurial business opportunity. Entrepreneurial here indicates that a new firm may have a good chance, and perhaps even a better chance than established companies, of successfully exploiting the opportunity.

Understanding how to recognize and evaluate entrepreneurial business opportunities based on developments in science and technology constitutes the core of this course.

The starting point of this course is the book ‘Finding Fertile Ground: Identifying Extraordinary Opportunities for New Ventures’ by Scott Shane. This is illustrated and elaborated upon in a number of case studies and assignments.

Course programme

The kick-off will be Monday evening, November 14th, 2016, 18.30 hrs..
The subsequent evening sessions will be held on Mondays, in the period running from November 14th, 2016 till January 23th, 2017.
The sessions are mostly practicals in the sense that they entail case discussions, progress meetings and feedback sessions. Participation is therefor mandatory.
The course also includes some mandatory Blackboard assignments and tests.
The main assignment, scouting and assessment of business opportunities in Emerging Technologies based on research and expertise in the Netherlands , is a group assignment. January 16, participants will present their conclusions.
The final exam will be on Monday evening, January 23.
The final (group) paper, an extension of the group presentation, is due before January 31.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
– consider patents and IP more in general as a means to protect a business idea from copying by third parties
– discuss the effect of personal traits and circumstances on the discovery and existence of entrepreneurial opportunities
– assess the effect of risk aversion on the decision to exploit an opportunity
– take into account industry characteristics, technology evolution, market needs, customer adoption, and established company weaknesses in the assessment of opportunities
– use patent databases for searching for opportunities
– explain the concept of “entrepreneurial opportunity” in the context of the economy
– apply this concept as a framework for identifying and evaluating opportunities.
– compose a set of opportunities based on current and expected developments in scientific research.
– using a simple decision tool to rank such opportunities in respect of their feasibility and attractiveness for starting a business


Intended for: MSc students, Ph.D. students, post-docs, university staff and others motivated for creating and working in research-based business.
Course fee:
no fee for university students;
– However a contribution of 20 Euro’s for the reader is required to cover copy right payments
Euro 200 for PhD students,
Euro 500 for non-students.
If applicable, an invoice will be mailed at the beginning of the course.

Enrollment: For this course, it is not possible to register via USIS, instead register through our jot-form

Examination and grading

Written exam on January 23.
Getting a final grade for the course requires a sufficiently high score on the exam and having completed the Blackboard tests, assignments and paper, and sufficient contribution to the group work.

Grades are built-up as follows: 40% Exam, 40% group presentation and paper, and 20 % participation which includes performance on the Blackboard tests and assignments, group and class participation.

Other New Technology Ventures (NTV) Courses

This course is part of a series of three courses with a course load of 5 EC each: NTV Entrepreneurial Opportunities, NTV Business Planning and NTV The Entrepreneurial Process. These courses arm students and (future) researchers with the basic knowledge of how to spot, assess and exploit an entrepreneurial opportunity based on science & technology, and have been desiged to lower the hurdles for students and researchers for getting involved in the process of starting high-tech ventures. This knowledge will be valuable for those who aspire to one day start their own company or who want to become involved in the process of company creation and development as tech transfer managers, business developers, business advisors, investment managers or serial entrepreneurs.

Organized by Science Based Business.