Spring 2017

Technical Entrepreneurship Seminar




This course provides an introductory overview to the scope of knowledge and activities needed for technical entrepreneurship. The student will have an opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills that can be applied to their own entrepreneurial interests. An entrepreneurial venture is the result of a unique set of circumstances involving the entrepreneur, a business idea/strategy, the environment surrounding the business idea, and the activities undertaken to weave the entrepreneur/ business/ context into a feasible, viable, profitable, and on-going concern.


The course examines how entrepreneurs undertake the necessary tasks for developing entrepreneurial ventures. It explores how entrepreneurs find, screen, evaluate, and test new business opportunities and covers various entry strategies used to gain a foothold in the market. In addition, the course will cover the following topics:





Mark McDermott
Office: UTA 7.220

Phone: 471-3253
Office hours: By appointment
E-mail: mcdermot@ece.utexas.edu



Course outline and schedule:








Ground rules for the course.

Team selection

Ground rules for developing a business plan for this class.

What projects will be considered for the business plan.

How the business plans will be reviewed and how it will be different than the real world.



Business plan development

What constitutes a fundable business plan?

Examples of business plans that work

What constitutes a good marketing plan?

Business Plan Development


Business plan development

Overview of funding models.

Fundable organization structures.

Business Plan Development




Technical Economics

Product cost analysis and modeling

NRE analysis and modeling

Cash flow modeling.

Technical Economics


Special Topic:

The process of generating interest in your business idea.

Special Topic


Market Research

How do you do valid market research?

Example of successes and failures.

Market Research


Market Analysis and Planning

How do you analyze the market research data?

What is real data vs. “noise”?

Technical vs. market driven business plans

Market Analysis & Planning


Market Analysis and Planning

How do you determine who your customers are?

How do you generate a strategy and plans based on the market research?

Market Analysis & Planning


Business plan development

How to do the “10 minute” pitch

The Zilker Labs pitch


10 Minute Pitch



System Complexity Analysis

How to analyze the complexity of the project and if it is doable.

Complexity Analysis


Technical Economics

How to determine the team size? 

Introduce the “The ten man team”

Ten Man Design Team




Technical Economics

Product development planning.

Product development cost models.

Silicon IP & Outsourcing issues.

Product Development Planning



Suggested reading material:


A Good Hard Kick in the Ass, Basic Training for Entrepreneurs. Rob Adams, Crown Business Press.  http://www.amazon.com/


High Tech Start Up, by John Nesheim, The Free Press. http://www.amazon.com/


Launching New Ventures 3rd Ed. (1999). Kathleen Allen. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. http://www.amazon.com/


Additional materials will be delivered in class or via this web. These are noted in the Course Schedule. Web resources are given in the syllabus to provide you with additional sources of information on entrepreneurial topics.

Web resources