Venture Simulation


This course aims to provide students with an understanding of the challenges faced by an entrepreneur developing and managing a new venture in a high-tech industry.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Antonio Marinho Torres


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





A. Simulation
• EntrepSim (Entrepreneurship Simulation)

B. Case Studies
• Average is Beautiful: An Opportunity Worth Pursuing? NACRA (NA0433)
• King Digital Entertainment. HBS (9-817-117)
• Airbnb: Business Model Development and Future Challenges. Ivey (W16782)
• Term Sheet Negotiations for Trendsetter, Inc. HBS (9-801-358)

C. Notes and Articles
• Eisenmann, Thomas (2014). Business Model Analysis for Entrepreneurs. HBS (9-812-096)
• Eisenmann, Thomas, Eric Ries, and Sarah Dillard (2013). Hypothesis-Driven
Entrepreneurship: The Lean Startup. HBS (9-812-095)
• Applegate, Lynda et al (2011). Pitching Business Opportunities. HBS (9-811-086)
• Kerr, William and Ramana Nanda (2011). Financing New Ventures. HBS (9-811-093)

D. Useful book
• Ries, Eric (2017). The startup way.

Teaching method

This course is delivered through a three-pronged approach: (1) venture simulation: students participate in groups in the EntrepSim Venture Simulation, managing a start-up from seed to exit across five rounds, each involving group discussions and a decision on the way forward; (2) business plan: students work in groups on a brief business plan for a new product, service, or venture of their choice, producing and presenting a short report; and (3) lectures: there are six formal lectures in which relevant topics are presented, together with discussions on related case studies, venture simulation results, and group presentations.

Evaluation method

  • A. Individual Assignments
    Final exam (take home) 40%
    • Class participation 10%

  • B. Group Assignments
    Short Business Plan 30%
    • EntrepSim Venture Simulation 20%

Subject matter

Students manage a start-up from seed to exit in a computer-simulated environment, experiencing the difficulties and thrills of turning a technological development into a successful high-growth business. This hands-on approach is supported by a structured framework (InFACt) based on the four essential elements to turn ideas into successful businesses: Innovativeness, Feasibility, Attractiveness, and Clarity.

Innovativeness addresses the question Is it a good idea ? focusing on customer value proposition, go-to- market strategy, and business model. Feasibility addresses the question Can you make it happen ? focusing on competitive advantage, team capability, and growth path. Attractiveness addresses the question “Does it make money?” focusing on market sizing, financial models, and funding strategy. Finally, Clarity addresses the question Can you explain it ? focusing on mission statement, elevator pitch, and business plan.