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Research Based Business Opportunities



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 journal articles, case studies and assignments.

Course programme

The course begins with self-study using supporting online Blackboard assignments and tests. The subsequent evening sessions will be held on Mondays, in the period running from September 23, 2013 till November 11, 2013. The final evening, participants will present their evaluation of opportunities embedded in research performed at Leiden University. The location will be in the LUMC.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to:
– explain the concept of “entrepreneurial opportunity”.
– apply this concept as a framwork for identifying opportunities.
– explain how and in which circumstances new companies may be better positioned than established companies to exploit business.
– illustrate the concept “entrepreneurial opportunity” with experiences of entrepreneurs.
– compose a set of opportunities based on current and expected developments in scientific research.
– compare 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 due to 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.
Please note: For this course, it is not possible to register via USIS, instead register through our jot-form
In study year 2014-2015 the SBB programme is likely to change. This might affect the courses: RBB Opportunities, Planning 2014, RBB Ventures, Tech Transfer and Business Development 2015 and SBB Management 2015. For MSc students they may be integrated into full-time classes (as opposed to previous part-time evening sessions). Please indicate which topic(s)/course(s) holds your interest so that we can inform you about the developments. Early indication of your interests may be useful as the courses will have a limited capacity.

Other RBB Courses

RBB Opportunities is part of a series of three courses with a course load of 5 EC each: RBB Ventures RBB Planning and RBB Opportunities, which can be followed together as well as separately. These courses arm students and (future) researchers 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 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.

More information on our programme on Science & Research Based Business.