BUU22570 Creative Thinking, Innovation and Entrepreneurial Action

(5 ECTS)


Gorkem Aksaray 

Email: aksarayg@tcd.ie 
Office Hours: Online/by appointment

Module Description:

The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical perspective of the major trends, dynamics, and opportunities currently marking the field of entrepreneurship. Over the past decade, entrepreneurship has become one of the most relevant disciplines in business and has attracted the interest of scholars, policymakers and practitioners from all over the world. Entrepreneurship is deemed a key driver to innovation and economic development, regional and urban competitiveness, and a critical source of jobs. Yet entrepreneurship has also been criticized for underpinning wealth and income inequality, particularly in sectors where “the winner takes all”.

As entrepreneurship progresses and spreads globally, and generates opportunities and controversies, a multi-disciplinary and international approach is required. Acknowledging the complexity of modern entrepreneurship, this module will draw on both theoretical and practical resources. Each week of the module will be devoted to the study of a specific topic, mostly by discussing state-of-the-art literature and analysing successful cases in a variety of global industries. Departing from in-class discussions, students will be working on group projects focusing on the resolution of distinct issues, as well as on the development on their own business plan.

Learning Outcomes:

The completion of this module will provide students:

  • A thorough understanding of the chief dynamics underlying the formation and growth of entrepreneurial ventures;
  • The ability to develop and present a business idea;
  • Critical thinking skills;
  • Personal skills including creativity, idea generation, initiative, research and reflection.

Textbooks and Required Resources:

The module draws on academic articles, cases, practical examples, newspaper articles, and exercises. In addition, podcasts and video clips will be used in class, and guest speakers will also be invited to share their experiences. A full reading list as provided below will be made available in course intranet. Required readings must be read before attending the class. You are asked to supplement these with your own literature reviews as relevant to your coursework and assessment requirements.

Required core course textbook:

  • Blank, Steve, and Bob Dorf. The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company. K&S Ranch, 2012. (ISBN-13: 9780984999309)

Recommended books:

  • Bygrave, William, and Andrew Zacharakis. Entrepreneurship (4th edition). Wiley, 2016. (ISBN- 13: 9781119298809
  • Reis, Eric. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. The Crown Publishing Group, 2011. (ISBN-13: 9780307887894)
  • Osterwald, Alexander, and Yves Pigneur. Business Model Generation. John Wiley & Sons, 2010. (ISBN-13: 9780470876411)
  • HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Entrepreneurship and Startups. Harvard Business Review Press, 2018. (ISBN-13: 9781633694385)

Module Communication:

Relevant module material (module outline, supplementary materials etc.) as well as administrative information and any module announcements will be posted on the module intranet site (Blackboard). Please ensure that you have access to the module site on Blackboard and please check this regularly along with your college email. If needed, the lecturer and others involved in delivering the module will contact you directly via your college email. If you experience difficulties with this module or have special needs, please make contact as soon as possible to arrange a meeting and discuss any supports that may be required.

Evaluation and Assessment:

  1. Deliverable I: Elevator Pitch Recording (10%)
    • First, you will submit a recording of an elevator pitch of your ideas. An elevator pitch is a brief (usually less than a minute) description of a proposition. You are encouraged to start brainstorming and working on your ideas right from the beginning of the module, keep a diary of different ideas you may have, discuss them with your mentors and peers, and create an assessment sheet (available under the Resources folder) for each of your most promising ideas
    • Due: October 13, 2022 
  2. Deliverable II: Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Demo (15%)
    • Second, you will submit your MVP demo. (MVP is a standalone, early-form product that you can use to get feedback from your prospective users/customers.) This could be a sketch, an illustration, a wireframe, or any other form of demonstration to communicate your idea very clearly to others
    • Due: October 27, 2022
  3. Deliverable III: Primary Customer Research (20%)
    • Third, you will conduct a small-scale primary market research to verify your idea to get customer/user feedback. This could be done via a semi-structured interview, a survey, or a field research. Either way, you will pick a method of research and utilize it to gain customer insight. You will document your findings and whether your findings support the feasibility your idea. You are expected to utilize this information to further develop (or modify if needed) your idea and your business model canvas (i.e., your next assignment)
    • Due: November 10, 2022 
  4. Deliverable IV: Business Model Canvas (25%)
    • Finally, you will submit a complete business model canvas (using the canvas provided under the Resources folder). This is a template used for developing and documenting new and existing business models. A business model is how a business operates to sustain itself financially. You are encouraged to have multiple versions (v1.0, v1.1, v2.0, etc.) as you work on your business models. This is called iteration (as in a build-measure-learn loop). Getting feedback from your prospective users/customers will help you learn from them and further refine your business model. However, be careful not to overcrowd your canvas: use a minimal amount of bullet points to convey the gist of your business (and revenue) model.
    • Due: December 1, 2022 
  5. Final Exam (30%)
    • The written final exam will be held online on Blackboard and will consist of questions based on topics covered during the lectures. While most questions will be multiple choice, other types of questions such as fill-in-the-blanks, calculation, and matching can also be asked. One session towards the end of the module will be dedicated to Q&A and reviewing the course material in relation to the final exam.
    • January 25, 2023

After each submission, you will get constructive feedback from your mentors. (Note that it is your responsibility to contact your mentors during their tutor hours and seek the help you need.) You are expected to use these as you move on to the next assignment.