COMPGC18 - Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice

This database contains 2016-17 versions of the syllabuses. For current versions please see here.

Year MSc
Prerequisites None
Term 2
Taught By Philip Treleaven (CS) & David Chapman (MS&I)
Aims To provide students with the theory and practice necessary to launch a new business venture making maximum use of eCommerce strategies and software tools for entrepreneurs
Learning Outcomes First hand experience of the selection and deployment of tools, techniques and theories for the identification, validation and structuring of a new business venture.

This is UCL’s principal Entrepreneurship course for students seeking to develop and test a new business idea. Over the past ten years we have taught entrepreneurship to around 3000 students resulting in the launch of a number of innovative businesses. The course covers: the new business lifecycle (selecting and testing a moneymaking idea, preparing a business plan, raising finance, the Exit), aspects of new business operation (registering a company, setting up your office, understanding financial statements), and exploiting new eCommerce tools and techniques (doing business electronically, company web sites, online business software and services).


  • Invention and innovation – finding & qualifying new opportunities. Business Model Generation.
  • Confirming customer needs & testing market demand. Customer development.
  • Lean Start-ups: what is your minimum viable product? The value of prototyping.
  • Delivery channels and customer relationships. Business Plan & Preparing a Pitch.
  • Financial Forecasting, Costing and Pricing. Management accounts. Cash-flow and Profit & loss.
  • Developing sustainable competitive advantage. Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Corporate form & structure. Founder dilemmas - team, equity, remuneration etc. Developing your brand.
  • Defining and testing critical business model uncertainties. Measuring progress - common start-up metrics.
  • Sources of Funding. Presenting to VCs.
  • Class presentations. Conclusions and next-steps.

Method of Instruction:

10 x 2-hour lectures; 

10 x 1-hour New Venture Clinics;

10 x 1-hour Guest entrepreneurship lectures.


The course has the following assessment components:

  • Group coursework portfolio (60%);
  • Individual coursework (40%).

To pass this module, students must:

  • Obtain an overall pass mark of 50% for all components combined.





Blank, S. & Dorf, B. 2012. The Startup owner’s manual: The step-by-step guide for building a great company. K&S Ranch inc.

Mullins, J. 2006. The New Business Road Test. FT Prentice Hall

Osterwalder, A. 2014. Value Proposition Design. Wiley.

Ries, E. 2011. The Lean Startup: How Constant Innovation Creates Radically Successful Businesses. Portfolio Penguin