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Unit information: Start-up Funding and Finances 101 in 2020/21

Unit name Start-up Funding and Finances 101
Unit code INOVM0010
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Mr. Sam Crawley
Open unit status Not open




School/department Centre for Innovation
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The unit aims to give students a starting point in reporting and forecasting of the finances of start-up innovation led entities, the different types of funding opportunities and how to secure funding. In this context, the unit will analyse how start-up enterprises can create sustainable, competitive financial advantages.

Fundamental concepts for planning and running the financial side of a start-up enterprise will be introduced, including marketing sizing, pricing, profitability forecasting, and quantifying the unknown. The unit will also address key finance questions which challenge all entrepreneurs such as how much money can and should be raised; when it can be raised and from whom; and how funding should be structured.

Students will be asked to analyse and present the finances of a start-up enterprise. During these tasks, they will face challenges such as making decisions in the absence of perfect information, assessing resources, defending their financial plans, and practise pitching for funding to implement their ideas.

Intended learning outcomes

At the end of the unit, it is expected that students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the concepts and terminology related to entrepreneurial financing;
2. Evaluate and critique the various financial sources available to different types of entrepreneurial businesses;
3. Conduct basic analysis of financial statements and projections;
4. Reflect critically on case studies and conduct a basic financial valuation of a start-up firm;
5. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how the terms and conditions between entrepreneurs and external investors may be structured.

Teaching details

Lectures, Group meetings and Workshops.

Assessment Details

The unit will be assessed by (i) an individual 2000 - word essay worth 40% critiquing case studies, financial models and/or fund raising strategies and (ii) a financial plan and presentation in groups or as individuals, worth 60% (which will include peer assessment).

The essay intends to assess the application and evaluation of different financial tools and techniques (ILO 1, 2, 4 & 5)

The group exercise intends to give hands-on experience in financial management, planning, forecasting and fund raising strategies of a start-up enterprise, the ability to reflect on their own experience, and skills to think strategically (ILOs 1, 3 & 5).

Reading and References

● The Financial Times Essential Guide to Budgeting and Forecasting: How to Deliver Accurate Numbers (The FT Guides) Nigel Wyatt, ISBN: 978-0273768135, 2012
● The Entrepreneur's Growth Startup Handbook: 7 Secrets to Venture Funding and Successful Growth (Bloomberg Financial) David N. Feldman, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN: 978-1118445655, 2013
● Financial Modeling for Business Owners and Entrepreneurs: Developing Excel Models to Raise Capital, Increase Cash Flow, Improve Operations, Plan Projects, and Make Decisions, Tom Y. Sawyer, Apress, ISBN: 978-1484203712, 2014
● Crowdfunding Intelligence: The No-Nonsense Guide to Raising Investment Funds on the Internet, Christopher Buckingham, LID Publishing, ISBN: 978-1907794988, 2015
● The Startup Pitch: A Proven Formula to Win Funding, Chris Lipp, ISBN: 978-0991113705, 2014