MEEN40940 Corporate Entrepreneurship (Intra-preneurship) for Engineering Managers

Academic Year 2022/2023

This module is for students on the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) programme only. Students must have a minimum of 5 years industry experience to take this module.

This module is delivered in an intensive format from weeks 1-6 of the trimester. Each week there will be a four hour workshop session (Friday afternoons).

This course provides real-world, hands-on learning on how to identify an opportunity within students own companies and how to exploit that idea to commercial reality (intra-preneurship, or corporate entrepreneurship).

This class is not about how to write a business plan. This is a practical class, essentially a lab, not a theory or book class. Our goal, within the constraints of a classroom and a limited amount of time, is to create a intra-preneurship/corporate entrepreneurship experience for you with all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage start-up. It will be hands-on talking to customers, partners and competitors as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how to fully exploit an opportunity within your own organisations.

You will work in teams, learning how to turn an idea into a new business. You will learn how to use a business model to brainstorm each part of a company and customer development to get out of the classroom to see whether anyone other than you would want/use your product. Finally, based on the customer and market feedback you gathered, you will use agile development to rapidly iterate your product and turn it into something your customers would actually use and buy. Each block will be a new adventure outside the classroom as you test each part of your business model and then share the hard-earned knowledge with the rest of the class.

Class Culture: Communication in a start-up is very different from that in a university or large company. The culture is dramatically different from the university culture most of you are familiar with. At times it can feel brusque and impersonal, but in reality it is focused and oriented to create immediate action in time- and cash-constrained environments. We have limited time, and we push, challenge and question you in the hope that you will quickly learn. We will be direct, open and tough, just like in the real world. We hope you can recognize that these comments are not personal, but part of the process. We also expect you to question us, challenge our point of view if you disagree and engage in a real dialogue with the teaching team. This approach may seem harsh, but it is all part of our desire that you learn to challenge yourselves quickly and objectively, and to appreciate that as entrepreneurs you need to learn and evolve faster than you ever imagined possible.

Amount of Work : This class requires a significant amount of work on your part. Projects are treated as real start-ups, so the workload will be intense. Getting out of the classroom is what the effort is about. It is not about the lectures. You will be spending a significant amount of time between each of the lectures outside your lab talking to customers. This is a customer-centric approach to understanding solving problems. This class is a simulation of what start-ups and entrepreneurship are like in the real world, with all its chaos, uncertainly, impossible deadlines, conflicting input, etc. This class pushes many people past their comfort zone. It is not about you, but it is also not about the class or the teaching team. This is what start-ups are like (and the class is just a small part of what it is really like). The pace and the uncertainty pick up as the class proceeds.

Team Organisation : This class is team-based. Working and studying will be done in teams. You will be admitted as a team. We want you before you come to the first class to think of ideas or products that you could use for this course. You should use your own companies as the initial source of ideas. At the first class we will run an ideation process where we will help the class come up with ideas.Team projects can be software, a physical product or a service of any kind. The teams will self-organize and establish individual roles on their own. There are no formal CEOs/VPs. Just the constant parsing and allocating of the tasks that need to be done. Besides the instructors and TAs, each team will be assigned a mentor to provide assistance and support.

Suggested Projects: While your first instinct may be a web-based start-up we suggest that you consider a subject in which you are a domain expert, such as your own employers. In all cases, you should choose something for which you have passion, enthusiasm and hopefully some expertise. Teams that select a web or mobile-based product will have to build the site for the class. Do not select this type of project unless you are prepared to see it through.

Deliverables: Teams building a physical product must show us a costed bill of materials and a prototype. Teams building a web product need to build the site, create demand and have customers using it.
Your team will present a weekly in-class PowerPoint summary of progress

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

1. Create brainstorming processes for idea generation/innovation.
2. Formulate a persuasive oral argument to convince internal/external stakeholders of the merits of your idea/innovation.
3. Synthesize feedback on ideas/innovations from customers and other stakeholders into actions which inform the next iteration of your idea/innovation.
4. Assesss the dynamics of working in a team to foster innovation and to realise opportunities for firm growth.
5. Evaluate the various forms of finanical instruments that enable innovation in an engineering firm.

Indicative Module Content:

Ideation and Business Model Innovation
The Customer Development Journey
Lean Leadership / Self-directed Teams
Competitor and stakeholder analysis through Design Thinking
Revenue Models, Funding and Costs
Navigating the Environment / Competing at Business Model Level

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
active/task-based learning;
peer and group work;
reflective learning;
problem-based learning;
student presentations, 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

This module is for students on the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) programme only. Students must have a minimum of 5 years industry experience to take this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Concept generation, development and pitching. Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Module Text:
"Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works", Ash Maurya, publisher O'Reilly Media Inc.

Reference (Optional) Texts:
"Business Model Generation: A handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers", Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur, publisher Wiley.
"The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company", Steve Blank & Bob Dorf, publisher Wiley.
Name Role
Ms Mary Cronin Lecturer / Co-Lecturer