Each student will interview an entrepreneur of his/her choice. The goal is to provide you with insights about entrepreneurship that cannot be obtained from classroom experience alone. Chose an entrepreneur in an industry that is personally interesting to you. While you may find it difficult to cold-call an entrepreneur, you will find that most entrepreneurs will be honored to be asked about their experiences and will be willing to meet with you. Entrepreneurs’ schedules are often tight, and your biggest challenge will be to find free time to meet them. Extensions will not be granted due to last minute scheduling. Each student will visit the company to meet the entrepreneur, observe how the venture operates. The company can be in any type of business, must be at least 3 years old, and employ 5 people. Written Assignment Write a 6-page 1.5 spaced paper that discusses what you have learned. Please make use of paragraph headings, sub headings and bullet points. (Total 100 points) • Describes the entrepreneur’s background, motivations for starting the venture, challenges in growing the venture. (~ 3 pages) (25 points) • Evaluates the value proposition (target market, product/service description and unique benefit). (~ 2 pages) (25 points) • Conclusion: what makes the company successful (or not)? What are your recommendations for improvement? (1 page) (25 points) • Discuss how the findings of the interview apply or are meaningful to you. What have you learned about your own potential to be an entrepreneur? (1 page) (25 points) The objective is to drill down into the venture and thoroughly understand the entrepreneur and how he or she does business. It is critical that you do not just deal with superficial questions and answers. The key is to probe, to ask why, to delve beneath the surface. What insights can you offer about the person’s career and your own entrepreneurial capabilities?
Tips Interview must be approached rigorously,...
References: These questions are based on work done by: Professor Jeffrey Timmons Babson College New Venture Creation, 5th edition Irwin McGraw Hill Professor Michael H. Morris, Ph.D. Witting Chair in Entrepreneurship Syracuse University
Entrepreneur Interview January 2006
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