MSING016: Strategy for High-Tech Ventures

Simcha Jong

MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship students only
Term 2
3-hour lecture/discussion/workshop 

(x 10 weeks)
40% unseen 2.5 hour examination; 35% group assignment; 25% individual coursework.

Course overview

This course will expose students to key strategic challenges faced by investors, managers and scientists at different stages of the development of knowledge-intensive businesses. Characteristic of such businesses is an emphasis on innovation, ecosystems and standards. Through an individual course assignment, class-based discussion of business cases and a group project, students are familiarized with a range of strategic analysis and strategy-making tools and frameworks. Cases focus on firms in high-tech sectors, both on startups/early stage firms and on innovative contexts in larger firms.

Learning outcomes

Following completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • assess the suitability, feasibility and acceptability of strategies in high-tech contexts.
  • understand various schools of thought regarding strategy formation and apply them to creating or allowing the emergence of ‘personal’ strategies, startup strategies and innovation strategies in large businesses.

Topics covered

Topics covered will include but will not be limited to:

  • Lifecyles
  • Disruptive technology/innovation
  • Industry context, business environment, capabilities and time pacing
  • Competitive strategy, including ecosystem-based competition
  • Strategy formation
  • Open Innovation
  • Acquisition strategy
  • Organisational “purpose”
  • Organisation design
  • Standards and standard-setting

Assessment summary

40% unseen 2.5 hour examination; 35% group assignment; 15% individual coursework (2,000 word essay); 10% class participation.

Essential reading

Rumelt, R. (2011). Good Strategy, Bad Strategy.