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Updated A.Y. 2019-2020

Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ENT & INNO)


(Prof. Massimiliano Pellegrini)



Responsible for the module and teaching assistants:


Prof. Massimiliano Pellegrini

Email: massimiliano.pellegrini@uniroma2.it

Office Hours: Thursday 5pm- 6pm.

Room: 3C-3, 3rd floor Building B

Please book an appointment via email also for other time


Mohammad Fakhar-Manesh (teaching assistant)

E-mail: mohammad.fakhar.manesh@uniroma2.it (to be contacted only for inquiries regarding attendance and material)


Guglielmo Giuggioli (teaching assistant)

E-mail: guglielmo.giuggioli@uniroma2.it (to be contacted only for inquiries regarding attendance and material)



Pre-requisites for the Course:





Course description


This course aims at offering a comprehensive view of the entrepreneurial process, so understanding how entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ideas can be stimulated, formulated, structured and finally translated into businesses and start-up. This aim is fulfilled through an experiential learning approach that allows the application of tools and analytical techniques for development a new venture or new business ideas, strategizing business models and acting entrepreneurially. The role of prominent role of entrepreneurship and innovation in any organizational or social unit have been well-documented and in the bulk-eye for years from business people and politicians and policy-maker. So, why does Europe, and thus Italy and other European countries still struggle in such matters? The comparison with U.S. or other global leader country shows that Europe as a top player in relation to inventions and scientific development but lags behind in concretize those in viable businesses and profitable initiative.

This calls for a renewed attention to students and the whole higher education system, that may form future generations of entrepreneurs. Having a brilliant idea can be a common thing but creating and growing a new venture around this or implement it in an organizational setting is a task that few individuals are able to accomplish. The entrepreneurship and innovation module has been designed in a way that students be stimulate to act more innovatively and being change agent of established realities or to pursue careers as owner/managers, foundation of new venture.



Learning Objectives


A complex conceptual domain of analysis emerges from a close look at the entrepreneurial process, demonstrating inherent interdependences with other subject areas, with exciting new ground for theoretical and empirical discoveries and debates.

Thus, despite the necessity of a basic theoretical scaffolding to increase knowledge and understanding of students of relevant tools for entrepreneurship and business ideas creations, a holistic and personal development is expected to take place and this is even a more important outcome. As a matter of fact, the module fundamentally wants to stimulate and develop students’ capacity to think innovatively about business ideas and act entrepreneurially to give course to these ideas. For these reasons, the course will be principally based on practical exercises and simulations, using an experiential learning approach. 

The course is divided into three logically consecutive sections that follow the structure of an entrepreneurial process:

  • Section I. Creating business ideas: Entrepreneurial acting
  • Section II. Structuring business ideas: The business model
  • Section III. Concretizing business ideas: Attract resources


Upon successful completion of this module, assuming attendance, active participation, and completion of the formative assessments designed throughout the module, the students should be able to:



1. Acquire and demonstrate a good understanding of the general concepts related to entrepreneurship and business ideas creation specifically:

1.1 Basic concepts of entrepreneurial acting and approaches;

1.2 The entrepreneurial process, from spotting the opportunity to the growth of the venture;

1.3 The business model, its constituting elements and refinement;

1.4. Tools for attracting resources as the business plan and methods to accrue money (entrepreneurial finance).



2. Being able to develop innovative ideas

3. Showing the ability to interpret and elaborate a business model, with implied internal logics



3. Being able to elaborate autonomous strategies and plans to develop and implement entrepreneurial ideas.

4. Showing relational and entrepreneurial abilities to engage with concrete situations so to spot or create opportunities 



5. Presentation and pitching skills in reasons of the weekly assignments, final presentation, and oral exam.



Teaching methods


The whole module will blend formal lectures, indeed a few, cases, workshops and videos and group work. It will place emphasis on developing critical skills of analysis, strategic choices and implementation of innovative business ideas. Methods will include critical reading and thinking; engagement with new business ideas/opportunities from case studies and presentations/pitches; conceptual development of models and theories of entrepreneurial practice; peer-interaction; secondary data research and analysis. 

The frontal lecture will be used only to offer a panoramic view on the theoretical concepts necessary facilitate the understanding of the experience. However, this teaching method represents only a limited part of the module and the lectures will be not just characterized by the transfer of knowledge and concepts but rather a strong interaction between the professor and the students.

The substantial part of the module instead will be focused on student-centered and student-led activities, with a series of tools to support experiential learning. Indeed, to offer students a true possibility of personal development and a glimpse of what could be real business situation many opportunity of group working and critical reflection will be provided. To such a scope, exercises, simulations, business cases, and presentations will be organized. Students will be expected to demonstrate independent study skills and personal initiative in workshops and seminars, which are provided as a forum for discussion. As such, there is a strong emphasis on dialogue and interaction between teacher and students with the sharing of ideas and experiences. These seminars will draw heavily from the students’ own experience and knowledge. As a result, the success of the seminars is dependent on the students’ willingness to participate. In preparing for seminars students should ensure that, in addressing the questions/areas identified for debate, consideration is given to:

  • The use of relevant conceptual analysis in addressing the core issues of tasks/questions/case studies;
  • Demonstration of understanding of the relevant essential reading material and, where relevant, highlighting of alternative perspectives on the issues involved in the discussion;
  • Encouraging involvement in the discussion by the rest of your seminar group.


The attending students are strongly encouraged to actively participate to all lectures and constantly engage with group work assignments, since this will facilitate the creation of the final essay. 


Attending students are strongly recommended to participate in ALL home assignment and exercise sessions.



Main References


A) Textbooks:

  • Osterwalder A., & Pigneur Y. (2010), Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, Hoboken (NJ), Wiley & Sons Inc.
  • Osterwalder A., Pigneur Y., Smith A., Bernarda G., & Papadakos L. (2014), Value Propositions Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want, Hoboken (NJ), Wiley & Sons Inc.


Attending students’ study program

  • As for the book Business Model Generation (Osterwalder and Pigneur, 2010) the following parts need to be prepared for the exam:
  1. Ch. 1: Canvas (pp. 12-51)
  2. Ch. 4: Strategy (pp. 177-241)
  3. As review material Other chapters
  • As for the book Value Propositions Design (Osterwalder et al., 2014) the following parts need to be prepared for the exam:
  1. Ch.1: Canvas (pp. 1-63)
  2. Review material Ch.2: Design (pp. 64-171)


Non Attending students’ study program

  • As for the book Business Model Generation (Osterwalder and Pigneur, 2010), the whole book needs to be prepared for the exam.
  • As for the book Value Propositions Design (Osterwalder et al., 2014) the following parts need to be prepared for the exam:
  1. Ch.1: Canvas (pp. 1-63)
  2. Ch.2: Design (pp. 64-171)



B) Mandatory readings for all students (will be provided on the web platform):

  • Pellegrini M.M., Ciappei C., Marzi G., Dabić M., & Egri C.P. (2019), A Philosophical Approach to Entrepreneurship Education: A model based on Kantian and Aristotelian thought, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, online first, 1-29.
  • Shane S., Venkataraman S. (2000) The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research”. Academy of Management Review, 25(1): 217-226.
  • Sarasvathy S.D., (2001), Causation and effectuation: toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency”. Academy of Management Review, 26(2), 243-263.
  • Alvarez, S. A., & Barney, J. B. (2007). Discovery and creation: Alternative theories of entrepreneurial action. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal1(1‐2), 11-26.
  • Bhave, M. P. (1994). A process model of entrepreneurial venture creation. Journal of business venturing9(3), 223-242.


C) Supplementary Materials of interest

  • Kuratko, Donald F. & Hornsby, Jeffrey S. (2009). New Venture Management: The Entrepreneur’s Roadmap. Upper Saddle River (NJ), Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • Kim C. W. and Mauborgne R. (2005) Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, Boston (MA), Harvard Business School Press.
  • Blank, S. (2017). Why the lean start-up changes everything. Harvard business review.
  • Lumpkin, G. T., & Dess, G. G. (1996). Clarifying the entrepreneurial orientation construct and linking it to performance. Academy of management Review21(1), 135-172.
  • Sahlman W. (1996) “Some thoughts on business plans”, HBS, 14 Nov 1996
  • Wiklund, J., & Shepherd, D. (2005). Entrepreneurial orientation and small business performance: a configurational approach. Journal of business venturing20(1), 71-91.


Slides and other material will be available on the module web site. The upload of the material will be done weekly.

The slides represent only a support to facilitate you in summarising concepts and topics and to guide you in studying the material. USING THE SLIDE ONLY WILL NOT grant you enough knowledge to an effective and successful preparation for the exam.





Due to the module design and the learning approach, attendance is prominent. To be considered attending students and so to receive the opportunity to present, students should have around 85% of attendance, contrary they will be not granted to access to the presentation and thus students will be not considered as attending. In other words, only TWO absences (six hours in total) will be given.


NOTE: Attendance to the first session is mandatory. Important information about the course and the instructor’s expectations are given during the first session. To determine the attending student status, formal rules will be introduced, such as collection of signatures at the beginning of each lecture. A delay of more than 20 minutes, not communicated nor agreed upon, will be considered as half absence. If you know that you will have to be absent for one session, please contact you’re the teaching team.



Exam procedure


The purpose of the whole module an opportunity for students to apply what has been learned to a concrete business idea.


Attending Students

To be considered attending students, in addition to the evaluation of the attendance (please refer to the specific paragraph), it will be necessary prepare a presentation about a business idea.


  1. Formative assessments (no formal grade)

All regular attending students are kindly invited to create working groups (MINIMUM 3 PERSONS – MAXIMUM 5 PERSONS) from the second week. The same group should perform all the in-class activities and home assignments.

All these formative assessments aim at demonstrating knowledge and mastery of the theories, ability in apply them to real-life situations experienced during the course by the groups, making sound judgements and reflections, and not least stimulate relational capabilities to deal with the social environment and the others.

At the end of the module groups will be asked to present to the class their final work.

The structure of the presentation should be as follow:

  1. Overture with a pitch video, plus one introductory slides to clearly express the business idea.
  2. First part: business CANVAS as a whole.
  3. Second part: Value propositions and value map.
  4. Third part: refinement strategies.
  5. One closing slide with the final remarks.


Each student will be involved in the actual presentation and its the preparation. The presentation should be designed to integrate concepts learnt during the module.

This presentation for attending students represents only a recapitulation/summary of several exercises and presentations, formative in nature, already done during the module.

Yet, the final presentation and the rest of the course work will help student to develop their communication skills both in terms of public-speaking and preparation of written materials, in a clear and logical way. However, also presentation will not be formally evaluated but it will be basically the building blocks of the final essay.


  1. Written exam

The written exam is an essay, a group work to be submitted during the pre-exam period. The assessment consists in essay based on a collective reflection about the business idea did for the presentation. The essay should be at least 2500 words and should express and comment the same objects of the presentation:

  1. An introductory paragraph about pitching the idea.
  2. First part: the description and explanation of the CANVAS for the business idea.
  3. Second part: the description and explanation of the value map for the business idea.
  4. Third part: the description and explanation of the SWOT analysis and the possible adjustments in relation to a blue ocean strategy.
  5. Fourth part: Explanation of the implementation of the business model and why it will be successful.


For these reasons, the written exam (the group essay) aims to verify a proper acquisition of knowledge, the ability to apply this knowledge to concrete business cases, and the capacity of making own critical judgments. Yet, the communication skills, in the form of clarity, logical flow, and structure of the essay elaborated will be also evaluated.


  1. Oral exam

An INDIVIDUAL ORAL EXAM where students will be asked to comment and integrate the concepts of the module into the real experience presented during the formative assessment. The questions will be directed on motivation and evidences that led the group to make the final choices and solution suggested for the business model. Such questions have also a theoretical content but are based on the presentation of each group. A good grade will be granted to those able to critical analyse the decisions made by the group.


Non attending students


1. Individual written exam

The written exam will contain one case study/hypothetical situation related to entrepreneurial idea or a real case and four open questions about topics covered in this module as indicated in the syllabus. For the case study/hypothetical situation, the students will need to interpret the real context offered and elaborate personal strategies, according to the theory, to solve the problem. For the open questions, excellent answers are those with an appropriate mix between theory, pertinent to the questions, and practice, i.e. business examples in which the theory can be applied. Yet, theoretical connections among different topics/theories, the ability to criticize and reflect upon the validity of the theory, and elaboration of strategies to a better implementation are also evaluated. For these reasons, the case study part aims to develop abilities in making critical judgments mostly; in addition to that, the open questions verify a proper acquisition of knowledge, the ability to apply this knowledge to concrete business cases. Yet, the communication skills, in the form of clarity and logic flow and structure of the answer will be also evaluated.

The total time for the written exam is 3 hours.




Analytical Syllabus









Section I

Creating business ideas: Entrepreneurial acting



Introduction and Conceptual map of the module          

Syllabus, Slides pack 1, Pellegrini et al. (2019)

  1. What is entrepreneurship?
  2. Deconstructing Entrepreneurship



Opportunity recognition

Slides pack 2 Shane & Venkataraman (2000), Sarasvathy (2001), Alvarez & Barney (2007)

  1. Entrepreneurial concept presentations
  2. Effectual business idea



Entrepreneurial process

Slides pack 3, Bhave (1994)

  1. Effectual business idea presentations


Creativity techniques: Six Hats

Slides pack 4

  1. Six hats exercise


Section II

Structuring business ideas: The business model




Slides pack 5, Business model generator, Ch.1

  1. Canvas business case
  2. Canvas ideas


Value propositions

Slides pack 6, Value propositions, Ch.1

  1. Value propositions business case
  2. Value propositions ideas



Strategies for business model

Slides pack 7, Business model generator, Ch.4

  1. Business model refinement business case
  2. SWOT e blue ocean strategy refinements



Zoom in and out business model


  1. Business model creation


Section III

Concretizing business ideas: Attract resources



Business plan

Slides pack 8

  1. Value propositions business case


Entrepreneurial finance

Slides pack 8

  1. Platform pitch
  2. Platform pitch video




Group Business model presentations




Group Business model presentations



1. Learning activities (performed in class)

2. Home assignments (Learning activities performed outside the class in groups)