1. Creative application of accurately referenced academic principles, theories and ideas and from the module syllabus

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High marks will be awarded to new, creative and innovative solutions that are clearly profitable and supported by details and evidence (research) that aim to attract finance: investment and/or loans.  

The main Value Creation e.g. Value Proposition Canvas and the Value Capture e.g. Business Model Canvas parts and other elements of the taught syllabus (which includes the readings) should be correctly understood and applied.  A superficial understanding (i.e. not at QAA level 6) will not pass.  

The syllabus contains many techniques to find and access new/innovative business opportunities that would be attractive to investors.  

Opportunities must be a) feasible (not based on fanciful ideas and assumptions) and b) financial viable i.e. clearly profitable based on evidence and c) have the potential in future to scale.  

Opportunities can a) be completely new or b) a re-engineered or re-imagined version of an existing business.    

Student must specify which techniques from the syllabus they used to develop the opportunity.   

Opportunities used in previous modules are not acceptable, opportunities that are copies, clones or close variants of existing opportunities are also not allowed.   

Students can create new value by a) discovering new ends e.g. unmet needs and/or b) applying new means yo solve existing needs e.g. i) Block-chain, ii) Artificial intelligence iii) Carbon neutral iv) Circular no environmental economy v) Social inclusion and equality.  

The emphasis in your work must be on: a) how you found the opportunity b) the novelty, uniqueness, creativity of the opportunity b) the financial profitability of the opportunity, c) evidence gathered using academic research methods, d) the realism and feasibility of the business development (value capture) plan. The value capture plan must be of a quality to gain the finance needed to bring the opportunity to reality.     

Students are advised to use diagrams (e.g. VPC, MVP, BMC and other models), tables and spreadsheets to support their plan (it also saves on word count).  

Do not cut and paste from lecture notes and websites etc., it doesn’t demonstrate understanding. All references will be checked during the marking process and should be from the taught syllabus readings or closely related sources.   

Marking Criteria 1. Creative application of accurately referenced academic principles, theories and ideas and from the module syllabus. (30%)   

Students must demonstrate engagement and study of the content of the taught syllabus and its core texts (Ries, Osterwalder and Pigneur, and readings e.g. Blank, etc. and other learning materials at a detailed level. The concepts used in this module are not self-explanatory and referenced definitions are expected at university level 6.   

Use of primary and secondary data to support your decisions (30%)  

You must engage with customers, suppliers and other partners using the VPC and MVP. Your decisions must be supported by primary and/or secondary data e.g. marketing research. Many students lose marks here by not providing evidence to support their plan.  The university provides access to several up to date professional secondary market research databases e.g. Mintel, Market Line, etc.    

Critical entrepreneurial/business evaluation (30%)  

Use of feedback and expert opinion. You must reflect upon (think about) and assess your choices e.g. different options and their strengths and weaknesses in terms of robust entrepreneurial judgement/business acumen. Show evidence of working with and sharing information with other C levels in your group as a C-level team, using experts, and tools e.g. Simventure (You can request a free evaluation license at:  


Part A Compulsory Individual PowerPoint slide Presentation to be uploaded on Turnitin 

This compulsory assessment is essential preparation and foundation using the feedback for the Part B assessment.   

Individual students will upload the presentation. 


Format: PowerPoint slides must be converted to a PDF file (to reduce file size) submitted to Turnitin.    

Word Limit: Ten (10) slides. It is a visual presentation use diagrams, tables, etc not words.  

PowerPoint slides full of text will received a low mark and will have to be re-submitted, annotated detailed notes must be provided at the bottom of each slide. 

Clear presentation of content on the slides helps the understanding of your ideas.   

Students must regard the reader for Parts A and B as potential investors/financiers. e.g. for Part A angel investors and banks screening new lean start-ups before allowing a detailed Part B to be prepared  Structure:    

For Part A students must   

  1. Explain why this is a profitable, competition beating, value creating ‘lean’, investable entrepreneurial opportunity. Complete this sentence: If your lean start-up never existed, the world would be worse off because… 1 slide 
  2. Details of your creative cognitive work that applied elements of the taught syllabus to develop and validate the new opportunity. 1 slide.  
  3. 4/5. Present and explain Value Creation using a Value Proposition Canvas (with extensions and detailing as per the taught syllabus) 2 slides e.g. a) Customer Profile b) Value Map. Note: Begin with Customer Jobs (the part of their life where you create value).  

    6. Present and explain the Business Model (means to ends transformation process) and an outline Business Model Canvas (Value Capture) (with extensions and detailing as per the taught syllabus) 2 slides. 

    7. Business Research and Data Gathering Plan i.e. The Part B hypotheses to be researched (see Ries Chapter 4 alchemy to science) 1 slide.  

    8. Principal Harvard style references listing a) scholarly works and b) secondary data sources. 1 slide. Note simple cut and pasted web references URLs (uniform resource locator) are unacceptable at level 6 1 slide.  

Part B Summative Assessment: Individual Venture Development Proposal (submitted to Turnitin as Word Document) (100% of module marks  

Format: Lean Start-Up Business Development Plan (one C-level perspective) with full Harvard references.  

Font: Arial font size 11 or 12 point, (this font). In the business world organisations will have a compulsory ‘house style’ and font.  

Word Limit: 3000 words i.e. the Appendices and References do not count towards the 3000 word limit.    

Prerequisites for Part B:   

The individual report must reference the tutor’s prior approval, presentation of Part A and the feedback received.  Any reports not meeting these criteria will not be read, not given feedback, and will receive a mark of zero.   


As this is individual work students should cover all the  Plan from a CEO  perspective from:   

Marketing Plan – value proposition, advertising, customer engagement, sales, etc.  

Operational Plan– doing the business, making product, delivering service, shipping, orders, suppliers, partners, etc.  

Technology/Information Plan ) – Core technical solution (if there is one) also key IT systems and data processing, etc.     

Human Resources Plan() – deciding the organisational structure, the balance between employed and contract staff, specifying, hiring and developing people to be employed in the business, etc.  

Financial Plan  - costing, pricing, cash management, need for finance, raising finance, etc.  

Lean Start-Up Business Plan Components.   Structure Note:  

Cover page. A photo or diagram of the product/service that conveys its creativity.   

  1. Introduction to the Lean Start-Up. (250 words). The C level perspective being taken, the Part A process including feedback. Profit, creativity, lean characteristics.   
  2. Business Objectives.  Profit, sales revenue and profit margin objectives for the first three years of operation (250 words).     
  3. Value Creation: Customer Value Proposition Canvas (Diagram) Minimum Viable Product  

    Individual student explanation, extensions and details as per the taught syllabus. (500 words)  
  4. Value Capture: ‘Lean’ Business Model Canvas (Diagram)   

    Individual student explanation, extensions and details as decided by the individual student) of the Business model (means-ends transformation process. (500 words)  
  5. Detailed Development Plan (1000 words) with references to Appendix I One of :   

    Marketing Plan   

    Operational Plan   

    Technical Solution and Information Technology Plan   

     Human Resources and Organisation Plan   

     Financial Plan (Note: All students must explain why the start-up is financially viable and profitable)   

  6. Critical evaluation of the plan and any possible future developments, competitor moves, changes in customer needs that need to be accounted for (e.g. Pivots see Ries Chapter 8). (250 words)  
  7. Summary: Why is a profitable, competition beating, value creating ‘lean’, investable entrepreneurial opportunity? Why should someone invest in and/or provide loan finance to this Lean Start-Up?  Complete this sentence: If your start-up never existed, the world would be worse off because…  (250 words)  

    The plan must include one appendix: (not included in the word count).  

    Appendix I) Primary and Secondary Market Research  

    Supporting data for the specific C level plan presented e.g. market size, market growth, customer preferences, segments, competitors, key partners, channels, technologies, job descriptions, labour market information, sources and cost of finance, etc. 

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