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New Technology Ventures, Bachelor Edition



This course provides an integrated programme in which you develop knowledge and skills related to the commercialisation of technology generated in research. There is some emphasis on research-based business in the Life Sciences sector (Pharma and Biotech), the focal point of activities at the Leiden Bio-Science Park and research conducted at the LUMC and the university.
The course runs from November 14th 2017 to February 2nd 2018 and is part of the Science & Research Based Business Minor (30 ECTS). It is also available as a separate elective (15 ects), provided there are places available.


The course is open for all 3rd year Bachelor students who are interested in science and technology as a source for business.

Students can register for the course via uSis. Click here for instructions.

Course content

The course has been designed to arm students with the basic knowledge of how to spot, assess and exploit an entrepreneurial, research-based business opportunity and have been desiged to lower the hurdles for getting involved in the process of starting new technology 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.

The course starts off by exploring research-based business opportunities. Students work in teams to analyse how research-based products and companies came into being, and particularly what scientific developments and discoveries formed the basis of these. The analytical process includes interviews conducted by students with entrepreneurs.
Students also explore the possibilities for developing recent discoveries made during scientific research into actual business opportunities. This includes interviews with the inventors involved, the effect of these possibilities on the market, and weighing up the potential costs and benefits. These activities will gradually establish the important issues in the commercialisation process.

A series of business cases dealing with managerial issues when setting up science and technology-based business is used to take a closer look at various aspects of these issues. Focal points in these cases include entrepreneurs’ personal qualities, the role played by patents, the choice of business model, academic versus surrogate entrepreneurship, making up a team of incorporators, the available options for financing a start-up company, and the way in which investors assess and evaluate business plans. Students analyse the business cases and discuss them using various theoretical concepts.

Towards the end of the course, students work on a business plan in teams. The business plan is for a new company to be set up on the basis of a business opportunity that has arisen from research at the university or in the business sector. It requires the integrated application of the knowledge that students have acquired during the course. A final meeting is held in which each team presents and defends its business plan.

Teaching method and participation

The core of this course consists of practicals in the form of both individual and group assignments (case analysis, essay and report writing), case discussions, presentations, etc. These practicals are linked to and deal with the formal knowledge as described in the books, readers and notes you will to study. A typical day involves reading a case, analysing it with your group preparing an answer (short essay or powerpoint presentation) to deal with the case issues and then finally a full group case discussion conducted by the lecturer, who will also elaborate further on the formal knowledge you can extract from the case. Because the practicals form the basis for learning in this course, participation in all sessions is mandatory.

Course schedule

This course starts on November 14th and ends on February 2nd.

This is a FULL Time course (15 EC in 10 weeks time). Also, it it very much a hands-on course with a lot of group work. So most of the days there is something to do that cannot be delayed or involves working together with fellow students.

Exams and Grading

There are three formal individual tests for which you need to reach passing level to get a grade for the course. In addition, assessment of the group work, case preparation, participation in case discussions and the final report and presentation to be delivered are part of the grade. The final grading of this course is based on a weighted average of the grades of all tests and assignments.

Teaching staff

Coordinating lecturer:
Harmen Jousma


The reading list given below is a preliminary one, intended to give an idea of the readings used in the course. The definitive information will be posted before August 31, 2017. Additional reading materials will be provided in notes and readers.

  • Kubr, Marchesi, Ilar and Kienhuis, Starting up – Achieving success with professional business planning, McKinsey and Company, 1998

  • Scott Shane, Finding Fertile Ground: Identifying Extraordinary Opportunities for New Ventures, Pearson Education, 2005

Please consult the course management before purchasing books




This course is organised by Science Based Business