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MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit (Spring 2017)

MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit (Spring 2017)

Course Outline

The title image of this Course Syllabus says it all...this course is about making things happen!

You do not think inside the box and love working on challenging projects? Next to studying, you are eager to apply your knowledge in the real world and learn from startup teams on the project? You like new ideas and love their execution? You want to dive deeper into the anatomy of business models and get the unit economics right? Then you should opt for Entrepreneurial Spirit. The course is a new format to foster startup growth, entrepreneurial culture and to advance the startup ecosystem at and around the University of Mannheim. With their expertise, the students support the startups in improving their products, services and business models and help them to be more competitive. We will work with real companies in this course and you will actively contribute to their well-being. Thus, high dedication, willingness to take over responsibilities and professionalism are a prerequisite. There are two tracks in MAN 633: One for students who have no startup project yet and one for students (individual or founding team) who work on their own advanced startup project.

MAN 633 helps advance startups in our network by sending students teams as a task force (Track 1) but also helps students with an advanced startup idea to reach their next milestones and gain support in a course format (Track 2). For both tracks, the course starts with an initial educational workshop (2 days). The initial workshop is the same for both tracks and provides hands-on tools to assess, structure and solve startup challenges. The workshop part is concluded with an exam (30 min.). Following this educational element, the students form interdisciplinary teams of 3-5 and solve challenges in real ventures. Experienced MCEI coaches will work closely with the student consulting teams to make sure that they are on track to maximize their learning experience while simultaneously permitting the teams to have as much fun as possible.

Track 1 (for students with no own startup)
Offers students who have no own startup but want to experience the startup world an excellent opportunity to work at eye-level with an experienced real-world startup team. The concept: Solving challenges of young companies with student approaches and on-site by student teams. Assisted by an experienced MCEI coach, the students carry out joint projects with the startup after a needs analysis. The startups are recruited via our extensive MCEI network.

Track2 (for students who already work on their advanced startup project)
Further advance your own startup in class. Your performance appraisal will be according to milestones set at the beginning of class and you will receive continuous counseling by MCEI coaches. MAN 633 offers you the opportunity to recruit a student team from class to work on your startup’s challenges during the course just like in our “client companies” in Track 1. Please approach the instructors upon course registration to sort out whether your startup project is eligible for Track 2. This offer is for advanced startup projects only – you can start greenfield (i.e., at idea stage) in MAN 631.

The direct integration of the students into the startups within the framework of the course enables a joint action-oriented learning experience on both sides. In addition, we strengthen the startup community, promote startup companies as well as potential startups, integrate startups directly into the university's offerings and support the transfer of knowledge and technology between the university and the economy.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students

  • have learned tools to analyze and develop business models and how to tweak them towards growth
  • are able to solve real-life challenges in new ventures in a project format
  • have learned first-hand what it is like to work in a startup by gaining real startup experience
  • have acquired managerial skills and gained familiarity with problem solving in practice
  • have a solid foundation for, e.g., a seminar or master thesis at our chair - especially theses "Inside the Venture"
  • have improved their team work, presentation and consulting skills
  • In total: Real life challenges, learnings for life. 

Registration 2017: 

Please register via the Student Portal during the central registration period (February 2-16).Make sure to login with Portal² before you click on the link. In case of excess demand for a class, there will be a central lottery/ spot allocation conducted by the Dean's Office of theBusiness School of the University of Mannheim. We cannot influence the outcome of this student allocation. Please do not ask us for exceptions or waiting list positions before the course allocation has been completed. The Business School has done their very best to open up this class to all students - if you cannot enroll please talk to your faculty's office/ student planning office. Most likekly, there is a solution to let you apply. We highly appreciate diversity of all kind - including disciplines!

Place & Time: Room 001, L9 1-2 on February 18, 2017 (10am to 5pm) 

Lecturers: Nora Block, Dr. Jan Zybura

Professor: Prof. Dr Michael Woywode


  • Test on educational module (20%)
  • Mid-term client presentation (20%)
  • Final client presentation (20%)
  • Final managerial report (40%)


Language: English

Readings & Resources

  • Ash Maurya (2016). Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth

Course Material:
All course material (where applicable) will be provided via the MCEI Group 'MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit (Spring 2017)'. We will not use ILIAS at any point in this class. Please do not be irritated by the ILIAS option not being available


February 14 (optional) - Get-together in the context of out Startup Lounge and Seed Award Ceremony in Café L3 

February 18 - Intensive workshop in which Track 2 students will pitch their projects and we will cover all the course content in lecture-style. Starts: 10.30am Ends: by 6pm. Room: 001, L9 1-2

tab - Short Exam on workshop content (we will find a date that suits all of you, expect the exam to be held in mid-March)

tba - Status update/ mid-term client presentation  (we will find an individual date with your team, expect the status update pitch to be held by the end of April)

tba - Final Pitches - Final Presentations are due, Final Ceremony (we will find a date that suits all of you, expect the status update pitch to be held by the end of May)

June 20 - Business plan/ written documentation is due


E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • University of Mannheim
  • Institut für Mittelstandsforschung
  • Gründerverbund
  • ESF
  • Europäische Union
  • Baden-Württemberg - Ministerium für Finanzen und Wirtschaft
  • Absolventum