Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship (MSB415)

This course examines the factors that promote entrepreneurial success in new business ventures. The course focuses on knowledge-intensive and socially responsible entrepreneurship. In the knowledge-based economy, entrepreneurial ventures need to be abreast with knowledge on establishing innovative businesses that provide sustained competitive advantage, economic and societal value. 

Students are expected to gain knowledge on how to start a business. This includes idea generation and evaluation, industry and potential markets analysis, potential risks identification, crafting solid value proposition and creating a valid business model for the new business. Through the course students will get an opportunity to connect with a student incubator and participate in new venture creation competitions. During the course, students will also get opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs in knowledge-based firms. They can work on their own ideas or work with a start-up company to develop its business model.

Students enrolled in this course have the opportunity to work closely with InGenious cases or cases from their own network. InGenious is a collaborative project of the Stavanger University with local firms designed in collaboration with the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU). This will enable students to work in close collaboration with start-ups in the Stavanger region.

Course description for study year 2022-2023


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Semester tution start


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In this course, we apply effectuation approach to entrepreneurship. In addition to all tools that students will be provided during the course, such as idea generation tool, pitching techniques, value proposition identification, SWOT analysis, negotiations skills, business model canvas and blue ocean strategy, students will learn about five core principles of the effectuation. Being an entrepreneur is different from being a manager, and thus different skillsets are required. The "Bird in hand" principle is the first effectuation principle students will learn - assessing their own means, who they are and what they know. Being able to handle risk and create future rather than forecast it is another crucial principle. Further, leveraging surprises is a core entrepreneurial ability and students will learn how to take advantage of it. Negotiation and building partnerships are other core skills that will be discussed through this course. Finally, students will learn to put it all together and modify the business idea until they find their niche and achieve market success. Bringing a social, environmental and economic value is a core essence that students will learn in this course.

Course contents

  • Who are entrepreneurs and what is entrepreneurship
  • Idea generation and evaluation
  • Pitch techniques
  • Value proposition
  • Creating a business model
  • Market positioning
  • Strategic alliances and negotiations
  • Social and responsible entrepreneurship
  • Blue ocean strategy
  • Regional infrastructure for entrepreneurship and sources of funding
  • Risk assessment and financial calculations
  • Exit strategies

Learning outcome


Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • have a theoretical and practical understanding of establishing a new business
  • know how to develop a proper business model
  • know how to make a successful pitch
  • understand the importance of economic, environmental and social business values
  • understand the importance of thinking 'glocally' with an international perspective on business development


After this course students will be able to:

  • understand main elements of the commercialization process
  • investigate the market potential for new ideas
  • identify core resources needed for idea implementation
  • exploit external networks and partnerships
  • perform financial and liquidity analysis
  • summarize obtained knowledge in a business plan/business model

Required prerequisite knowledge



Written business plan and oral exam

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Written business plan according to specified requirements 1/2 2 Months Letter grades
Oral exam (presentation and defence) 1/2 Letter grades

The written assignment and the oral exam will be considered together in relation to the final grade. The business plan submission counts for 50% and the oral exam consists of a presentation and defence which counts for 50%.

Coursework requirements

Participation on 70% of all lectures, One oral presentation, Draft of business concept

Supplementary information about the three mandatory requirements:

1. Participation on 70% of all lectures (regular and guest lectures) and seminars.

2. Students will prepare one seminar presentation (individual/group)

3. Students will submit a preliminary draft of the business concept

Course teacher(s)

Course teacher:

Hong Huang

Study Program Director:

Yuko Onozaka

Method of work

The sessions will be organized as a combination of lectures, guest lectures, group discussions, and seminars. Before each session, students are expected to go through the required literature or video materials. Active participation during class sessions is expected. Between sessions, students should work independently with assignments or other deliverables agreed with the teachers. It is desirable that students work together in groups of 2 or 3 students for the assignment. The assignment is based on developing a business idea and a business plan. For this assignment, students will be supervised by teachers and/or mentors from the business community. Based on this assignment, students will present their work through business idea and business model canvas pitch. The final evaluation will be a written business plan and an oral exam at the end of the course. Students will have the opportunity to submit a draft of their business plan to get feedback prior to the final submission.

Expected workload: 250-300 hours

Lectures: 50 hours

Self-study: 100 hours

Business plan: 100 hours

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship (MØA415_1) 10

Open for

All master's students at UiS.

Course assessment

Students will have the opportunity to give feedback on the course first in an early dialogue, and then in a written course evaluation at the end of the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto