Kick-Starting Ventures

Program Overview

In Kick-Starting Ventures, participants learn how to mentor start-up ventures. During the intense, hands-on course, participants gain a solid understanding of many of the vital issues in starting a high-potential startup, including: assessing opportunities, testing business plans, and understanding organizational requirements for early stage of company growth. Through case studies, working with entrepreneurs and hands-on exercises, participants will build their ability to coach new entrepreneurs through the hazards of deciding whether to start the venture, developing an approach, and actually launching the business. During the course faculty members will work with entrepreneur participants in developing an action plan to apply the tools and techniques learned in the workshop to the entrepreneurs’ challenges. The course is developed in partnership with the London Business School, under the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program.


Graduates of the program will be able to mentor and run short-duration courses for entrepreneurs on critical issues in starting a new venture. Topics covered in Kick-Starting Ventures include:

•    Assessing opportunities and Case Learning
•    Understanding what makes entrepreneurs entrepreneurial
•    Examining and testing business plans and understanding the journey to Plan B
•    Assembling resources and sharing equity
•    Understanding organizational practices for different phases of growth

Course Structure:

The Mentor Development Courses are the most intense courses offered in entrepreneurship education. They are designed specifically to enable participants to work effectively with entrepreneurs, and to produce concrete results. Courses therefore include much more than classroom work, and cover several modules. A vital component of the Kick-Starting Ventures program is the apprenticeship, during which faculty will have an opportunity to mentor startups alongside seasoned mentors.

Module 1 –     Kick-starting Ventures, classroom work, 3 days

Module 2 –     On ground support by NEN Consultants, to help execute apprenticeship (3 months)

Module 3 –     Active Mentoring: Faculty will find or be matched with a raw-startup-stage entrepreneur. They will mentor this start-up for a minimum of three months and will have debriefing sessions with seasoned mentors. 3 structured mentoring sessions: Faculty will partner with seasoned mentors to work with 3 different teams on each of 3 monthly sessions. The sessions will also have a group discussion, during which the faculty will be exposed to 9 different startup teams.

Module 4 –     Resource Bureau will provide access to industry and other experts to supplement the mentoring process.

Kick-Starting Ventures culminates in debrief and evaluation with the seasoned mentor and the startup they have been mentoring.


John W Mullins Associate Professor of Management Practice in Entrepreneurship, London Business School

Business School Prof. John Mullins brings to his teaching and research 20 years of executive experience in high-growth firms. He founded two ventures, one of which he took public. His two defining books for entrepreneurs, The New Business Road Test and Getting to Plan B, have received rave reviews; INC, America’s top entrepreneurship magazine, has listed Getting to Plan B as one of the best books for business owners. Prof. Mullins’s research has won him national and international awards from the Young Presidents’ Organization, Marketing Science Institute and the Richard D. Irwin Foundation. He earned his MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and his PhD in Marketing from the University of Minnesota.

* Not all courses are offered every year please check the NEN Faculty Development Course Calendar 2012/2013 for the availability of this course. Additionally, you may write to , or sign up on for the latest course updates.