Six Critical Skills Entrepreneurs Need to Succeed – Business Planning

Shannon Beeman
November 2, 2011

Skill in business planning is essential for a successful company launch. Entrepreneurial studies courses and programs are designed to teach students how to “operationalize” a business—not just create a document—by bringing together skills used in previous coursework in finance, strategy, marketing and general management.  Ultimately, it answers the question: How are you going to do this thing?

Two courses, New Venture Creation course and Entrepreneurial Management, walk students through the process involved in business planning. To apply learnings from those courses in a real-world setting, the Dare to Dream program has “integration,” phase that requires student teams to complete business plans and construct investor pitches with the goal of launching their companies. Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded to companies once they are legally established. During the final rounds of the Michigan Business Challenge, participants receive professional feedback from seasoned practitioners along with suggestions for improving their business operations and investor presentations. In addition:

  • TechArb,
    the University’s student start-up accelerator that is partially funded by
    the Institute, offers office space, grant funding and coaching to help emerging
    companies become operational.
  • The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium
    brings together company founders, chief executives and management teams of
    U-M spin-outs and local start-ups to vie for an opportunity to pitch their
    plans for “operationalizing” their businesses before venture capitalists drawn
    from across the country. Some of the companies successfully procure angel,
    seed-stage and series A or B round funding at the event.