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CASE STUDY(ENT600) : GUIDELINES & TEMPLATE

TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP
(ENT600)

TECHNOPRENEUR CASE STUDY (20%)

OVERVIEW

A case study is an academic essay of an activity, event or problem that contains a real or
hypothetical situation and includes the complexities you would encounter in the business. Case
studies are used to help you see how the complexities of real life influence decisions.,
Therefore the main objectives of this interview case study are:
 Determine the key success factors of entrepreneurial business growth, specifically among
technological entrepreneurs (or technopreneur).
 Relate the theory to a practical situation; for example, apply the ideas and knowledge
discussed in the coursework to the practical situation at hand in the case study.

INSTRUCTIONS

1. This is a group project and the students are required to form groups.

2. Each group needs to identify ONE startup company and interview the entrepreneur behind
the company. The majority of the information should be obtained through personal interview
with the owner.

3. The group needs to relate and analyse the findings in accordance to contents of the text
book.

4. The group needs to write a final report using the given format.The written report (original;
excluding appendices) should not be less than:
 3,000 words (3 in a group)
 4,000 words (4 in a group)
 5,000 words (5 in a group)

5. Use Times New Roman 12 or Arial 11 (with 1.5 spacing and paragraph justified) when
writing the report. Use proper numbering and heading format (thesis format).
6. Use quotation when necessary (not too often). Italize the quotation statement in a separate
paragraph. Paraphrase/reword the sentences, and analyze the content according to the
syllabus. Use passive rather than active sentences.
7. The report must be submitted on or before ______________. Failure to do so will
jeopardize the student’s grade for this subject.

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CASE STUDY(ENT600) : GUIDELINES & TEMPLATE

CASE STUDY WRITTEN REPORT FORMAT GUIDELINE


Before & during the interview:

 Carefully plan the questions to be asked. This document only serves to guide you on the
areas that need to be investigated. You have the freedom to go specific into details.
 Listen to the interviewee by focusing on his/her cues and directions. Then explore, ‘zoom-
in’ and focus your questions to that new direction (which may not appeared in this
guideline).
 Questions asked can be his/her life experiences dealing with business in the past, current
and future.
 DO NOT ask questions that are quoted literally from this guide, word by word. Construct
and modify your own questions.
 You may NOT need to ask all questions (from Area 2.1 to 2.6) if the interviewee has
covered multiple areas within a single answer. Concentrate on what the interviewee is
saying so that you are not repeating the same type of questions over and over again.

After the interview:

 Transcribe the interview to be inserted in the appendix section.


 Discuss and elaborate on things that you learn from the interview, by relating it with the
syllabus and the literature.

GUIDELINES FOR CONTENTS


Following is a suggested guideline for preparing your case study report:

1. INTRODUCTION

 Highlight why the technopreneur is chosen and relevant with ENT600 course. Briefly
describe the purpose of the case study. Provide information of the interviewee (name,
position, department, job description, work experience, business experience etc).
 Briefly elaborate on the background of the company, its size (employees, asset, branches
etc), its main products/services, its marketing and operational strategies, and financial
highlights over the past 3 years (revenue and profit).
 Do not spend more than 20 minutes of your interview time to ask about the background of
the business, unless their answers contain the main findings (see below).

2. MAIN FINDINGS
 This is the most important part of your interview, which findings shall become the main
section of your essay. Allocate majority of your interview period by focusing on this aspect.
The facts discovery should involve causal factors that influence the variables (highlighted
below), and its main outcomes. Below are the sample of potential questions for each of the
variables. Remember that the questions below only serve as guides; you have to be
creative in digging and exploring for details from the interviewee.

2.1 OPPORTUNITY-SEEKING
 How opportunity is discovered and exploited.
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CASE STUDY(ENT600) : GUIDELINES & TEMPLATE

 Push or pull factor?


o Push factors refer to the conflict between individual current and desired occupational status –
some level of dissatisfaction with the individual current circumstances. By contrast, pull factors
connotes the expectation of individual that he would be better off as an entrepreneur.
 Prior knowledge for how to exploit opportunity.
 Decision to exploit opportunity. Does it happen accidentally, or requires careful planning?
 Future market and products expansion.

2.2 RISK-TAKING

 Uncertainties faced.
 Financial and non-financial commitments.
 Learning from failure.
 Risk reduction strategies.

2.3 CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

 Uniqueness of the product offerings.


 To what extent is the innovativeness in the new products offered?
 Need to be adaptative to changes within the external environment.
 Barriers to creativity and organizational change.

2.4 PRO-ACTIVENESS

 Ask questions that gauge the interviewee’s attitude and personality. Is the person self-
confident, ambitious, eager, self-driven (motivation), independent and responsible?
 First mover advantage and disadvantages.

2.5 RESOURCES

 Technology of the product offerings: radical/incremental, deficiency in current technology,


difficulty of others to imitate,
 Knowledge: Individual posession of information, technology, know-how and skills.
 Access to financing & funding: difficulty, cost, control amount of debt etc.

2.6 NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

 Customer and market: is there market needs analysis study conducted?


 Product positioning and segmentation.

2.7 STRATEGIC DIRECTION

 Company’s SWOT Analysis: Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats


 Mistakes that need to be avoided by aspiring technopreneurs.

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CASE STUDY(ENT600) : GUIDELINES & TEMPLATE

3. CONCLUSION
 Sum up the main points from the findings and discussion.

4. REFERENCES

Make sure all references are cited correctly using APA 6th edition. Recommend that you source
interviews, business journals, periodicals, and textual references as well as some online research.
Make sure you support your ideas with facts and figures. Please try to use your own words and
ideas based on research rather than copy and paste other’s words from the internet.

5. APPENDICES (if any)

Attach the original transcript of the interview, photos and other related documents.

SAMPLE OF INTERVIEW QUESTIONS (NOT TO BE RESTRICTED TO THESE ONLY)

 How would you describe your journey as an entrepreneur?


 How has your company been performing over the past 3 years? (in terms of sales, net
income, assets, employees, company value).
 Do you encourage people in your company to take risks with new ideas? If yes, can
you please share how you did it?
 Are you willing to accept at least a moderate level of risk of significant losses, in order
to make effective changes to your products’ offering?
 How do you look for new business opportunities?
 Would you engage in risky investments (e.g. new employees, facilities, debt) to
stimulate future growth? Why? How?
 What are your strategies to find new businesses or markets to target?
 Do you find that your implemented strategies/plan always work? Why?
 What have you done to ensure that customer needs are being met in your products
and services?
 Would you consider your company as an innovative company? Why?
 What is your approach in problem solving?
 What are your strategy to improve your product? How do you benchmark your product?
(can also touch on ‘production process’, ‘new product development process’,)
 Are there any particular opportunities that you have either hit or miss, or perhaps both?
Please share your stories.

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CASE STUDY(ENT600) : GUIDELINES & TEMPLATE

IMPORTANT NOTES ON TURNITIN

1. Students also required to submit soft copy of the report via Turnitin. Only reports that
achieve less than 20% similiarity index are accepted (those exceeding >10% will be
gradually penalized). Please ensure:
a. Put the title of the submission using the company’s and interviewee’s name (e.g.
Tesla Motors-Elon Musk).
b. Name of group members should be listed on the first page.
c. The uploaded soft copy must reflect the hard copy report submitted.
d. Include the front cover in the Word file before uploading it to Turnitin (together with
the student’s name, group etc).
e. The transcript can be excluded from Turnitin (to prevent from similiarities), but
included in the final soft copy & hard copy submission.
2. Marks will be deducted for late submission