Skandalaris Center

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The Hatchery (Business Planning for New Enterprises)

Class Format

In this course, student teams pursue their own business idea or support community entrepreneurs by researching, writing, and pitching business plans for new commercial or social ventures. Enrolled students can recruit a team to work on their own business idea, or can join a team working on another’s idea.

Most of the work for this course is done outside the classroom with the support of mentors, advisors and the instructor(s). Classes are held once per week for the first half of the semester. Workshops and rehearsals are required in the second part of the term. At both the midterm and the end of the semester students give presentations to a panel of outside judges including faculty, venture capitalists, angel investors, philanthropists, funding agencies, experienced entrepreneurs, and individuals involved with early stage ventures.

Prerequisites

The Hatchery is offered both fall and spring semesters, and is open to students from all schools and levels. Prerequisites for the course include:

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship (MGT 421 or MGT 521)
  • Social Entrepreneurship (MGT 500T or S-50-5060)

Permission to take this course without the prerequisites may be granted by the course instructor(s).

Community Entrepreneurs are Welcome!

Community entrepreneurs may apply for a Hatchery team by emailing Jessica (Stanko) Weldon, jessica.weldon@wustl.edu, with a complete description of the venture idea, as well as the current status of the venture and what they hope to get out of a student team. If the idea is accepted, the community entrepreneur is invited to the first class of the semester, where they can pitch their venture to students and potentially form a student team. If a team is formed, the fee for a community entrepreneur in a commercial venture to participate is $3,000. There is no fee for not-for-profit entities. Each student is expected to work a minimum of 150 hours, including classroom instruction.

At the end of the course, the entrepreneur has a plan that represents the students’ best estimate of what the future can hold for their venture. Final deliverables may include any of the following, depending on which type of project the students are working on:

  • Executive Summary
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Financial Projections for 3 – 5 years
  • Capital Needs and Uses
  • Market Analysis
  • Operations Plan
  • Management Team
  • Social Return Assessment
  • Intellectual Property
  • Investor Presentation