Get an edge for your venture

Some prospective entrepreneurs are trying to escape from corporate life, while others are looking to control their destiny, solve a real-world problem, be their own boss, impact society, or perhaps significantly impact their personal wealth.

But starting a business on your own can be intimidating and scary, especially for first-time entrepreneurs or those who
have failed in the past. No one knows if their business idea is brilliant or not, and few have the financial means to quit their jobs whenever they feel like it.

The London Business School's Entrepreneurship Edge is an intensive twelve-week venture development journey with mentoring and support, to help prospective entrepreneurs transform their energy and ideas into successful early stage ventures. Along the way, participants explore new business ideas, work in teams, learn the necessary start-up tools and frameworks, evaluate market opportunities, create a viable business model and financial plan, and articulate their vision for their own enterprise.

The Entrepreneurial Edge

This programme helps participants prepare, launch and grow their business. It develops entrepreneurial skills and expertise, follows various case studies, and culminates in the production of a 10-slide pitch deck. Refining and rehearsing the business proposition every week, with the support of experienced mentors and dedicated peer support groups, boosts knowledge and confidence. This prepares participants to sell their concept to potential team members, partners, customers & investors.

Each week, your Course Director will take you step-by-step, through the key concepts, including live online sessions, before opening access to a wide range of exclusive insights and support. 

  • Faculty masterclasses
  • Founder’s insights
  • Industry experts
  • Live mentoring sessions
  • Peer groups & networking 
  • Pitch evaluation panel & VC investor’s council

Experiential learning

Participants are expected to complete all programme activities, including approximately 5-8 hours of strenuous effort per
week.

The weekly regiment of activities follows a repeating cycle:

  1. Learn: Intensive faculty-led-online masterclasses, Industry expert online interviews & Founder’s insights
  2. Discuss: Interactive sessions with your course director
  3. Apply: Prepare one pitch deck slide
  4. Pitch: Share individual submissions and pitch to your mentor
  5. Refine: Evolve the idea based on feedback from your mentor and support group

Chart your entrepreneurial journey

  1. Bring your own startup concept, or join a team.     
  2. Learn a new discipline and prepare a pitch deck slide each week.     
  3. Participate in weekly mentoring sessions to exchange ideas and compare notes.
  4. Evolve your idea based on learning and detailed feedback from the mentor and support group.
  5. Compare to pitch your idea to real investors.

Who should participate

Launching a venture is not for the faint hearted!
The Entrepreneurial Edge is for anyone with the motivation and determination to build a real business.

Participant profiles include aspiring entrepreneurs creating their first startup, serial entrepreneurs refining their techniques and
corporate professionals seeking to reinvigorate their career with entrepreneurial thinking.

Key takeaways 

By the end of the course, participants will understand how to:       

  • Identify legitimate business opportunities
  • Gauge market demand and size of the opportunity
  • Define the business model 
  • Build an early stage management team
  • Identify an appropriate business plan
  • Create a robust set of financial projections
  • Prepare a go to market strategy
  • Acquire the initial customers
  • Pitch for, and negotiate investment

Syllabus

Module 1 : Understanding entrepreneurial frameworks

Module 2 : Creating a compelling value proposition for your customers

Module 3 : Evaluating the market & addressable opportunity

Module 4 : Market research researching and testing the market

Module 5 : Beating the competition

Module 6 : Leveraging network building team

Module 7 : Acquiring first customers and defining go-to-market strategy

Module 8 : Creating a profitable business model

Module 9 : Growth drivers financial projections

Module 10 : Structuring your legal entity, contracts & ip protection

Module 11 : Negotiating investment

Module 12 : Preparing killer pitch decks

Key details

Duration: 12 weeks

Course start: 26th March

Format: Online, Part-Time

Fees: £1750*

*+Taxes if applicable

For Social Enterprises - £1300

What is a Social Enterprise?

A social enterprise is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being—this may include maximizing social impact alongside profits for external shareholders.

Get London Business School Certified

“If you ask any successful business person, they will always have had a great mentor at some point along the road.”

-         
Sir Richard Branson
Founder, Virgin Atlantic

Meet the faculty

Rupert Merson

Adjunct Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship
BA and MA (Oxford University), FCA,FCIPD

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David Arnold

Adjunct Professor of Marketing
BA MPhil (London), MBA (City), DBA (Harvard)

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John Bates

Fellow of Strategy and EntrepreneurshipBSc (Nottingham), MBA (Harvard)

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Julian Birkinshaw

Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Academic Director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Deputy Dean (Executive Education)

BSc (University of Durham), PhD and MBA (Richard Ivey School of Business, Western University, Canada)


 

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John Mullins

Associate Professor of Management Practice in

Marketing and Entrepreneurship

BA (Lehigh), MBA (Stanford), PhD (Minnesota)





 

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Adam Davies

Programme Lead VIEW Entrepreneurship Course  (University of Oxford)

Visiting Professor (Entrepreneurship), Indian School of Business

Program Lead, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, Spark Accelerator, Melbourne, Australia

Innovation and Creativity in Organisations (Warwick Business School Online MBA)

Find out more

Entrepreneurship articles

Ma Huateng – better known as “Pony Ma” – is the elusive founder, chairman and chief executive of China’s titan tech firm Tencent. The 46-year-old magnate shies away from the spotlight, preferring to lead rather decisively from the shadows. Ma now sits atop the world’s fifth most valuable public firm, worth US$556 billion (£402 billion). Tencent is the collective answer to Facebook, Apple Pay, gaming, WhatsApp, Spotify and Amazon. Ma and his co-founders built a digital platform business from scratch over two decades and they have one of the largest data treasure chests on the planet to show for it.

Good storytelling is especially important when you are trying to get something new off the ground. Whether you’re a lone entrepreneur, R&D engineer, or middle manager with a bright idea, you need to differentiate yourself with a compelling narrative. The stories you tell about your idea and your efforts can generate curiosity, empathy and support. Hit the wrong note and you’ll meet with indifference, suspicion, even hostility.

The notion that established industries will be disrupted by new technology is well known. But traditional businesses such as retail banks have stayed relevant by embracing online and mobile banking.

Britain is an innovation nation. The word innovative is the common tie that binds together some of the UK’s greats, from James Dyson to Tim Berners-Lee, George Stephenson to George Bernard Shaw.

Five thousand, one hundred and twenty six prototypes and James Dyson’s bagless vacuum cleaner still wasn’t doing what he wanted it to. Day after day, sitting in a garden shed, fiddling with a machine that didn’t quite make the grade. For five years. Is there even a word for that level of persistence? 

YouTube provides the modern-day substitute for the philosophical question, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Now it’s, “If it’s not on YouTube, did it really happen?”

Amazon is the single best example of a serial business model innovator,” says Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at London Business School and Academic Director of the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “It’s a company that has relentlessly built new businesses alongside its existing ones. Some of these new businesses have been complementary; some have cannibalised the existing ones. Protecting existing earnings is not a priority.” What can we learn from this master of reinvention? 

Samsung didn’t invent the mobile phone – that honour goes to Motorola – but it took a transformative new technology and ran with it. “Innovation isn’t just about doing something new. It can also be about doing something better,” says Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at LBS and Academic Director, Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 

YouTube provides the modern-day substitute for the philosophical question, "If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" Now it’s, “If it’s not on YouTube, did it really happen?”

His latest research seeks to uncover the reality behind the much talked about emergence of crowdfunding as a means of funding everything from the Statue of Liberty to rock albums. LBSR talks to Gary Dushnitsky.