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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 case studies and assignments.

Course programme

The kick-off will be Monday evening, November 9th, 2015 at 19.00 in the LUMC.
The subsequent evening sessions will be held on Mondays, in the period running from November 9th, 2015 till January 25th, 2016.
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.
Also part of the course is a short individual paper to be written based on attending a number of interviews with or presentations by entrepreneurs at either LUGUS and the Science meets Business Cafe’s.
The main assignment, evaluation of opportunities embedded in research at Leiden University, is a group assignment. January 18, participants will present their conclusions.
The final exam will be on Monday evening, January 25.
The individual paper and the final group paper, an extension of the group presentation, are due before February 1.

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 and evaluating 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.

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 25.
Getting a final grade for the course requires a sufficiently high score on the exam and having completed the Blackboard tests, assignments and papers, and sufficient contribution to the group work.

Grades are built-up as follows: 45% Exam, 30% group presentation and paper, and 25 % participation which includes performance on the Blackboard tests and assignments, the individual paper and group and class participation.

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, 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.