This article, and another entitled, “How a Canadian Whiz kid plans to upend the smartphone market” (Shane Dingman, February 17, 2015), are case studies of early-stage companies.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Entrepreneurship, business management, opportunity identification, marketing, economics, location

Key Questions to Explore:

  • What factors contribute to an entrepreneur’s success?
Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

This lesson explores the similarities and differences between two early-stage companies. It is designed to work in conjunction with the lesson plan entitled

‘Toronto Publisher Joe Books finds success in film, TV tie-in deals’, also posted this month.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Divide the class in two.
  • Give half the class the article on Balzac’s coffee and the other half the article on the Smartphone for reading.
  • Pair students who have read the same article and have them discuss the following:
    • Factors that have given rise to success so far
    • Financial model to launch and grow the venture
    • Entrepreneur’s philosophy about startup and growth
    • Entrepreneur’s vision
    • Combine pairs by bringing pairs that have read different articles together.
    • In these combined pairs, have each group describe the entrepreneur and venture they read about.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Compare the factors that contributed to the success of these two entrepreneurs to factors in cases you have previously discussed in class. Are there any unique factors here?
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students are able to identify factors that contribute to the success of a venture.

Confirming Activity:

  • If you have not already dealt with it, move on to the other lesson on entrepreneurship which is linked to above.