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Part I - Prof. Francesco Ferrante

Part II - Prof. Stefano Supino

ECTS: 10

Prerequisites: None


I. Course Overview

Part I: Entrepreneurship Economics;

“The entrepreneur is at the same time one of the most intriguing and one of the most elusive characters…in economic analysis. He has long been recognised as the apex of the hierarchy that determines the behaviour of the firm and thereby bears a heavy responsibility for the vitality of the free enterprise society”. (Baumol, 1968, p. 64).

Entrepreneurship is increasingly in the news. Governments all over the world extol its benefits and implement policies designed to promote it. There are several reasons for this interest in, and enthusiasm for, entrepreneurship. Owner-managers of small enterprises run the majority of businesses in most countries. These enterprises are credited with providing specialised goods and services that are ignored by the largest firms. Entrepreneurs generate productivity gains from dynamic entry and exit, which spurs economic development. This comes about either by selection or by competition. Selection involves replacing incumbents who are inefficient or do not satisfy con- sumer demand by entrants who are more efficient or better meet demand by offering new or better-quality products. Entrants intensify competition and thereby discipline incumbents to provide cheaper or more innovative goods. The most dynamic entrepreneurs pioneer new markets for innovative products, cre- ating jobs and enhancing economic growth. As a striking example, four of the largest US companies by market capitalisation in 1999, accounting between them for about one-eighth of US GDP (Microsoft, Dell, Cisco Systems and MCI), did not exist twenty years earlier (Jovanovic, 2001). Hence it is reasonable to expect that some of today’s new start-ups will grow to become tomorrow’s industrial giants. Even those which do not do so can create positive externalities, for example by developing supply chains that help attract inward investment, or by creating wealth and facilitating social mobility. It is sometimes also claimed that the decentralisation of economic production into a large number of small firms is good for society and democracy, promoting the ethos of a self-reliant and hardy ‘entrepreneurial spirit’.

Texts (required):

1) Simone Parker (2009), The Economics of Entrepreneurship, CUP. (pp. 1-85, 106-162, 401-459)

2) Acs, Zoltan J., Autio, Erkko and Szerb, László, National Systems of Entrepreneurship: Measurement Issues and Policy Implications (August 5, 2013). GMU School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 2012-08. Available at SSRN: or

Part II: Innovation and entrepreneurship

Innovation is the primary engine of competitive differentiation in several industries and the most important driver of economic growth in several countries. It provide exceptional opportunities to firms and incredible advances to all in human endeavors as medicine, agriculture, education and so on. However, innovation is not a “manna from heaven” matter. At the end of the day, the most important mean by which innovation get translated in economic systems is innovative entrepreneurship, since innovative entrepreneurs are the fundamental agents that bring to the markets new products, services and techniques that accelerate economic growth, increase employment and improve our life. This course is oriented to: 1) understanding the fundamental principles of modern technological innovation, focusing on topics as the sources from which innovation arises, the typology and common industry pattern of technological evolution and innovation diffusion, the industry dynamics of innovation in terms of standards battles, dominant design and timing of entry, the “why, how and how much” protect innovation, the strategies of collaboration in innovation; 2) exploring technology ventures, focusing from one side on topics related to their first step as the opportunity analysis, the vision and the business model, the competitive and innovation strategies and on the other side, on topics more strictly related to venture formation and planning, as risk and return, the business plan, the typology of venture, the knowledge, learning and design process, the legal formation and Intellectual Property, the marketing and sales plan, the new enterprise organization and the management of operation.

Textbooks (required):

Schilling Melissa, 2009 Strategic Management of Technological Innovation, Third Edition, McGraw Hill International Edition, chapter 1-2-3-4-5-8-9.

Buyers Thomas, Dorf Richard C., Nelson A.J., 2011, Technology Ventures: from Idea to Enterprise, Third Edition, McGraw Hill, chapter 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14.

II. Course Objectives:

The course is built around a number of core objectives. By the end of the course, you should be able to:

• Recognize the entrepreneurial potential within yourself and others in your environment;

• Appreciate the role of entrepreneurship within society, at the level of the organization, in your country and in your own personal life;

• Understand the process nature of entrepreneurship, and ways to manage the process in different institutional environments;

III. Extra Credit-The Entrepreneurship Diary:

It is strongly recommended that each student begin a diary of business ideas immediately. These ideas can come from reading various business publications. They can also come from your own experiences. For example, is there a good or service that you desire but cannot readily obtain? Are there goods or services that are of poor quality or delivered poorly? Ideas can also come from friends and relatives. As you proceed through the course, you should develop the ability to judge the potential of each idea. When it comes time to produce the Original Concept and Business Model, the best ideas in your diary will be potential concepts. A framework for the Diary will be provided.

IV. Participation Policy:

You are expected to come to class prepared, and play an active role in the discussions that take place during class periods. This means reading all assignments and preparing all cases in advance. The issue is the quality of your contribution more than the quantity. Participation/contribution includes asking questions, answering questions, agreeing or disagreeing with points made by the instructor or your peers, insights provided regarding the assigned cases, and examples that you bring into class of issues we are discussing.

V. Teaching/Learning Style:

The course will involve a lecture format with extensive interaction between students and the instructor. The teaching style will mix theory and academic concepts with practical applications. Students will be challenged to grasp a concept or idea, relate it to other concepts, and then apply it in real-world entrepreneurial contexts. In general, case discussions and student presentations will occur on the second meeting of each week.

VI. Course Structure and Reading Assignments

Please note that we may at times move at a slower or faster pace depending upon class circumstances, student questions, and comprehension (in which case the below schedule is subject to change).

[Ultima modifica: mercoledì 30 novembre 2016]