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Entrepreneurship

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published: 28 Aug 2017

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Transportation
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
RAPID, a private company with complex ownership and nontransparent management systems, faces challenges associated with fast growth and an archaic governance structure. The founders of the company recognize the challenges, but lack knowledge and experience to deal with them. Specifically, they are about to discuss replacement of the CEO and reorganization of their governance system. The system of corporate governance which has emerged at RAPID represents a strange mix of some contemporary practices such as a separation of chairman and CEO roles, and independent audit, family traditions, and an informal entrepreneurial approach. The case recounts the different approaches the RAPID founders explored in approaching the CEO succession and governance reform, and shows how their thinking process evolved and what decisions they made at different stages of the change process.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The pedagogical objective is to give students the opportunity to see the real situation in managing a family business, the challenges such a firm faces, and possible ways to deal with them. Moreover, the case study allows students to see how local companies in emerging markets enter the global world, how such growth affects the culture and the management system inside the organization, and how challenging it is for successful first-generation entrepreneurs to adapt and to switch to a different, international corporate and financial strategy.

Keywords:
Corporate Governance, Management, Board of Directors, Family Business, Ceo Succession, Entrepreneurship, Founder, Russia, Corporate Governance, Board Process and Remuneration at the Top

published: 28 Aug 2017

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Fashion
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This case illustrates solutions to a) the vexing problem of how to stop counterfeit luxury goods from being sold on the Internet; and b) the larger issue of how to sell lots of pre-owned personal luxury goods without fear of undermining their lofty prices. When the “fake luxury goods” problem first appeared in the mid-2000s, brands like L’Oreal, Hermès and Tiffany responded by taking one of the biggest online marketplaces, eBay, to court. The big brands won millions in damages and dragged eBay’s name through the mud for years to come. But on the sidelines were three different sets of entrepreneurs, almost all French, who saw in this scandal the opportunity of a lifetime. Separately they launched three competing digital platforms where pre-owned luxury products can be bought and sold on the condition that they are fully authenticated by experts. While all three are still in business, the company that started with six co-founders has been the most successful. This case examines the role of all six people and why eight years later the two “techies” were able to leave the company on good terms.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case can be taught in executive education and elective MBA courses in luxury management, organizational behavior and entrepreneurship. With the case, instructors can focus on a wide range of issues related to both the sourcing and distribution of second-hand personal luxury goods within a global market. When sellers first offer goods for sale on the Vestiaire Collective platform, curators take them through a number of steps to ensure that the products are suitable for inclusion in the catalogue. Matching supply with demand is a key variable of success in this business, since fashion products have an especially unique set of characteristics that vary from one region to another, from one designer to another and from one epoch to another. Once a purchase is concluded, curators then ascertain if the actual product conforms to the seller’s description and is a genuine item. Creating trust among customers is also an absolute necessity in this business. In sum, instructors can use the case to discuss the essentials of business and management in an easily accessible setting.

Keywords:
Digital Platforms, E-Commerce, Fashion, Product Certification, Authentic Goods, Counterfeit Goods, Personal Luxury Goods, Premium Designer Clothes, Vintage Clothes, Curation, Concierge Service, Videdressing, Vestiaire Collective, Instantluxe

published: 26 Jun 2017

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Commercial physical and biological research
  • Region: Asia

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Abstract:
A Korean agricultural biotechnology company spun out from university research is at a crossroads. Using advanced fermentation technology, it has created a string of unique products for consumers and farmers. It now has an opportunity to license and develop a proprietary technology to solve a major social problem: odour from animal waste. Should it devote all its efforts to this new technology and new market?

Pedagogical Objectives:
Using the example of an entrepreneurial company that developed a product portfolio over 15 years, students are able (1) to chart a logical growth path around proprietary intellectual property; (2) to consider when and how to pivot from one technological trajectory to another; (3) to understand how entrepreneurial ventures develop and deploy competencies as a complex bundle of technological, applications and market knowledge.

Keywords:
Entrepreneurship, Biotechnology, Korea, Growth Strategy, Intellectual Property, Diversification, Strategic Management, University-Based Spinoffs, International Growth

published: 29 May 2017

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Abstract:
In 2011, Partners Group is nearing the end of a year-long quest for a new mandate from a European pension fund, Future Plan. The fund has struggled with its 6-year old PE programme, consistently falling short of its target allocation to the asset class and generating poor returns, seemingly always one step behind the opportunity in the market. Future Plan has built its PE programme by investing in closed-end funds of PE products managed by two executives, one focused on European markets, the other on global markets. But the fallout from the global economic crisis wreaked havoc with Future Plan’s PE programme and something has to change. With an interest in expanding its PE activity to include secondary and direct investment strategies, Future Plan begins a manager search process with one goal in mind: to achieve the target return to the asset class by 2014. The case charts Partners Group’s role in the selection process and how its expertise and services, along with a novel holding structure, offer a way to achieve Future Plan’s goals.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case provides a ringside seat to follow the actions taken by a medium-sized pension fund when managing its private equity portfolio allocation. Students explore the rationale behind making investment decisions, the key challenges faced by institutional investors when constructing and managing a PE portfolio, and compare the characteristics of primary, secondary and direct PE investments. The case provides data and a step-by-step guide for students to develop an investment strategy (across these three categories) that will enable Future Plan to hit its target allocation to PE by year-end 2014 and achieve its goals.

Keywords:
Private Equity, Partners Group, Pension Fund, Institutional Investor, Portfolio Construction, Portfolio Management, Portfolio Optimization, Target Asset Allocation, Global Financial Crisis, Direct Investment, Secondary Investment, Primary Fund Commitment, Limited Partner, Private Equity Programme

published: 27 Feb 2017

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Telecoms, connected traffic cloud
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
The case describes how telecom giant Ericsson’s Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) team developed the Connected Traffic Cloud (CTC) due be launched at the prestigious Mobile World Congress. The CTC solution had already created a huge buzz internally. Competition was tough to be selected for launch at this annual conference, witness to the solution’s huge potential for Ericsson’s expansion into new arenas. All the customers the team hoped to reach were present at the conference. The timing was also good as the six year project in Germany where Ericsson had partnered with a consortia on ITS had reached its final stages with positive results in the domain. For the CTC solution to be successful building an ecosystem would be essential be it with road authorities, auto manufacturers, service providers or IT companies the possibilities were endless. The case discusses the challenges Ericsson faced constructing this ecosystem and options for monetizing the innovative solution. It was a new and complex landscape for Ericsson to navigate but with 140 years in the telecom space the company had global scale and local presence required for the ITS domain. Auto manufacturers were looking to redefine their value chains with cars becoming connected and automated, and were therefore investing in communication and cloud solutions.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Students should gain an understanding of what makes an ecosystem - what partnerships, what service / product offerings, and what business model. They should be able to answer the following questions: • What are the biggest risks of Ericsson’s current approach to Connected Traffic Cloud? • How are competitors likely to respond or enter this space when it matures? • What are the key modifications that Ericsson must make to create and capture value in this space?

Keywords:
Corporate Entrepreneurship, Connected Traffic Cloud, Infrastructure, Sweden, Intelligent Transport Systems, Transport, Networked Society, Connected Vehicle Cloud, The Internet of Things

published: 14 Oct 2016

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Diversified
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This two part case series presents the reorganisation of 3M's European operations in 1992 from a strong, autonomous country structure to a pan-European product line structure matrixed with a regional structure. The cases describe the transition, and the resulting rewards and the challenges, in the context of 3M's unique culture and processes, which have made the American multinational corporation a benchmark in innovation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case series permits the exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of an entrepreneurial corporation in undertaking and managing change, as well as some of the more delicate complexities in transitioning organisational direction and process within such corporations. Additionally, the cases sensitize the student to the challenges a company faces in serving the evolving, integrated market of Europe. These cases are appropriate for either an MBA or executive audience.

Related:

published: 14 Oct 2016

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Diversified
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
This two part case series presents the reorganisation of 3M's European operations in 1992 from a strong, autonomous country structure to a pan-European product line structure matrixed with a regional structure. The cases describe the transition, and the resulting rewards and the challenges, in the context of 3M's unique culture and processes, which have made the American multinational corporation a benchmark in innovation.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This case series permits the exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of an entrepreneurial corporation in undertaking and managing change, as well as some of the more delicate complexities in transitioning organisational direction and process within such corporations. Additionally, the cases sensitize the student to the challenges a company faces in serving the evolving, integrated market of Europe. These cases are appropriate for either an MBA or executive audience.

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published: 26 Aug 2016

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Private Equity
  • Region: Europe

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Abstract:
George Bachiashvili, deputy CEO of the Partnership Fund, is asked by the Prime Minister of Georgia to create an investment vehicle funded entirely with private capital for local investments. The goal is to spur foreign investment and stimulate long-term economic growth in the country. Having no precedent for such a vehicle in Georgia, George has to identify best practice from other sources to get it off the ground. Georgia clearly needs capital but is not on the radar of most international investors. However, the US$1 billion anchor investment pledged by the PM with no strings attached gives it some serious chips in the game. Even so, “frontier markets” are among the most challenging contexts in which to raise private funding, as capital deployment is often hindered by an unstable political environment, weak institutions and corruption. The task is daunting but, if successful, could transform the economy. The case describes in detail the different options for finding investors.

Pedagogical Objectives:
Students should be able to address the following issues: 1. Identify the mission of the fund, and the strategic and financial goals behind it. 2. The type of additional investors to be targeted for this type of fund e.g., global or regional, pension funds, funds of funds, sovereign wealth funds, high net worth individuals, family offices, development finance institutions. 3. Draw up a comprehensive investment strategy for such a fund. 4. Identify which private equity fund structure would best enable George to fulfil the fund’s strategic and financial objectives, satisfy the needs of the LP base, and execute his investment strategy.

Keywords:
Private Equity, Georgia, Frontier Martkets, Funds, Gpei, Gpei-Case

published: 26 Aug 2016

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Abstract:
The case describes how the Pro-invest Group – a boutique investment firm specialising in private equity real estate and real estate asset management – built its business and raised a first-time private equity fund. The Pro-invest founders had boot-strapped the business since its inception in 2013, but in-house funds were running out by mid-2014 and they needed third-party capital to take the venture to the next level. After deciding on a suitable fund structure, the Pro-invest team hits the fundraising trail. Turmoil erupts when a potential investor pulls out at the last minute, leaving the team in shock to re-evaluate its fundraising options. The case explores the pros and cons of each option in detail.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows students to evaluate the different options when creating a new fund, and more generally to understand the fundraising options available for PE funds, especially first time funds. They should be able to: 1. Understand the central elements (e.g. control, economics) that private equity fund managers consider when raising capital. 2. Gain insight into the fundraising dynamics in the real estate private equity industry. 3. Step into the shoes of a fund manager’s Management Committee and evaluate the pros and cons of the various fundraising options, from institutional investors to family offices. 4. Appreciate the questions and due diligence requirements of large institutional investors before allocating funds to a real estate PE fund. 5. Appreciate the challenges of balancing the efforts of fundraising and executing investments in parallel, in particular when raising a first-time fund.

Keywords:
Private Equity, Real Estate, Fundraising, Australia, Hotel Industry, First-Time Fund, Fund Structure, Global Financial Crisis, Pere, Family Office, Gpei, Gpei-Case

published: 22 Apr 2016

  • Topic: Entrepreneurship
  • Industry: Health
  • Region: Global

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Abstract:
mySugr is a mobile health startup which allows us to explore several interlinked trends. One trend is the proliferation of health related applications, and an understanding of factors which seem to be related to success in the digital health space. Another trend is the role of patients in managing their own health, an issue of increasing importance as chronic diseases touch the lives of a growing number of individuals and consume an increasing part of the health budget. A third related concept is that of asset based approaches for health, a concept which seems to be linked to the success of a number of health apps.

Pedagogical Objectives:
The case allows for the exploration of several trends in health care, including the recent proliferation of different types of mobile health tools, the role of patient-driven innovation in chronic disease management, and some factors which seem to be related to their success. The context of the mySugr application set allows for a discussion of these factors and their relation to health sector trends regarding patient centricity, as well as to the health as an asset concept.

Keywords:
Healthcare, Diabetes, Chronic Disease Management, Mobile Health, Health Informatics, Business Model Innovation, Apps, Digital Health, Startup, Patient-Led Innovation, Patient Hackers, Medical Device, Hmi, Healthcare Delivery and Management, Hmi, Business Science

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