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Unit information: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise in 2020/21

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Unit name Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise
Unit code INOVM0013
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Mr. Sam Crawley
Open unit status Not open

Professional Studies A (CENG20004), or Professional Engineering (CENG20008)



School/department Centre for Innovation
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise (IEE) unit provides an unparalleled opportunity for you to prepare yourselves for the world beyond the University of Bristol.

You will find that this unit requires and rewards different approaches to study than other units you may have undertaken so far. In business, there is a difference between a technically-right answer and a commercially-viable answer; this unit will help you understand that difference.

The world of work is changing rapidly; new technologies are creating not only new companies but new ways of working. Small companies are disrupting established businesses and permanent jobs in many sectors are being discarded in favour of flexible contractors and freelancers. Even established old companies are furiously trying to innovate new offerings to keep up and avoid being disrupted out of business.

To succeed in this emerging economy, you’ll need to not only embrace technology but be enterprising and entrepreneurial in your behaviour to spot and seize opportunities for yourself and for the companies you’ll work for. Entrepreneurial thinking is not just the preserve of Silicon Valley, it’s a way of searching for and executing on business ideas that is relevant to anyone trying to create value for themselves and others.

The aim of this unit is to develop your understanding, abilities and skills in all aspects that are essential to set up or be part of a successful entrepreneurial venture.

You will work in a team, with mentor advice, to develop a business plan and give a presentation to potential investors. You will need to generate a business idea that is sustainable in both senses of the word; firstly, it is economically viable for the ongoing future and, secondly, the impact of the business to the planet’s resources has been thought through and mitigated.

We’re also interested in how your idea developed; and one part of the assessment specifically asks you to document the process through which your team and idea developed.

The broadest view of entrepreneurship is taken in the unit - the entrepreneurial venture could take one of several forms, for example:

•A commercial start-up company which is solely economic growth/profit oriented

•An initiative concerned with social entrepreneurship or a not-for-profit enterprise which combines economic sustainability with some form of social impact

Lectures and workshops will cover examples and latest thinking in several generic areas related to entrepreneurship. However, groups will be expected to identify and engage with a wider range of material, both of an academic and business nature, as required by their particular venture

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will have, as part of working in a team on an entrepreneurial venture:

  1. Developed their ability to design an innovative technology-based product, process or system as the basis for a successful entrepreneurial venture to satisfy a new customer or market need;
  2. Knowledge and understanding of a range of management and business practices from outside engineering and the ability to apply them effectively in an entrepreneurial venture, taking into account a range of industrial and commercial constraints;
  3. An ability to apply relevant theories and concepts from management science in a reliable manner, taking into account their limitations, to support decision making in a new entrepreneurial business;
  4. The ability to identify, understand and evaluate both technological and commercial risks associated with a new entrepreneurial business and put in place appropriate management and mitigation measures;
  5. The ability to identify and extract commercial, business and reference information pertinent to the entrepreneurial venture and analyse this with computer software, where appropriate;
  6. Developed their skills in team working, critical self reflection, internal negotiation of team rewards and action planning as a basis for taking the business forward;
  7. An understanding of the importance of and ability to produce a professional presentation, executive summary and detailed business plan report for potential investors to consider.

Teaching details


Group meetings


Assessment Details

Business Plan Assessment (100%) [ILOs 1-7]; The unit will be assessed through the submission of a group business plan assessment. The plan will make a case for a commercial or social venture at the start-up stage. It will give students a holistic view of being an entrepreneur and its context whilst at the same time developing teamwork and leadership skills.

Reading and References

  • The lean startup: how constant innovation to creates radically successful businesses - Eric Ries, 2011
  • Value proposition design - Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, Gregory Bernarda, Alan Smith, 2014
  • Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers - Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, dawsonera, 2010
  • The innovator's method: bringing the lean startup into your organization - Nathan Furr, Jeff Dyer, BusinessNews Publishing Ltd, dawsonera, date of publication not identified
  • The new business road test: what entrepreneurs and executives should do before launching a lean start-up - John W. Mullins, dawsonera, 2013
  • Blue ocean strategy: how to create uncontested market space and make the competition irrelevant - W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne, c2005