0160 Understanding Business/Business Planning
Richard Olbrecht, MSc (WU), Diana Lauer, M.Sc., Melina Mazzucato, M.Sc.(WU),M.Sc.(NOVA)
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
12/01/23 to 12/04/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Bachelor Programs
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 12/05/23 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Thursday 12/07/23 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Tuesday 12/12/23 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Thursday 12/14/23 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM TC.5.03
Tuesday 12/19/23 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Thursday 12/21/23 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM TC.4.12
Tuesday 01/09/24 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Thursday 01/11/24 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Tuesday 01/16/24 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001
Thursday 01/18/24 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM TC.5.03
Tuesday 01/23/24 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM TC.4.12
Thursday 01/25/24 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.001

In this course, students are exposed to the most important aspects of a new business venture from an academic and practical perspective.

The course is structured along the process phases of:

  1. opportunity recognition/evaluation (ideation, market analysis, competition, etc.)
  2. strategic opportunity exploitation (strategy, business model, etc.)
  3. operational opportunity exploitation (finance, organization, marketing, etc.)

In workshops with industry experts and faculty members, students will get input on all these phases and develop a pitch deck for a new venture based on their own business ideas.

Learning outcomes
  • Students gained first insights on how entrepreneurs spot market opportunities for new businesses, and how to exploit such opportunities.
  • Students have understood business planning as the process of determining a commercial enterprise’s objectives, strategies and activities to ensure its viability from the perspective of all involved stakeholders
  • Students are able to apply basic business planning techniques and they understand how these techniques relate to each other in enabling professional business planning:
  • Students know how to conduct simple market analyses (market size, segmentation, trends, market growth, product life-cycle)
  • Students can apply simple strategic/competitive analysis tools
  • Students know the most common types of legal structures of businesses and why their choice is important
  • Students know the basics of how to obtain debt and equity financing for a new or an established business
  • Students can translate planned business activities into planned/projected cash flow and income statements
  • Students are able to do simple breakeven analysis
  • Students understand how different planning/forecasting tools (sales forecasts, cash flow forecasts, planned operations) relate to each other
Attendance requirements

Students need to attend at least 80% of the classes in order to pass the course successfully.

Please note that attendance is mandatory during the first two sessions!

Teaching/learning method(s)
  • The course follows a problem-based learning approach
  • Students are assigned to teams of 5-6 students and work together on a pitch deck
  • They get input regarding the different elements and their interplay by lecturers and experts
  • In coaching and co-working sessions they get individual feedback on their (preliminary) pitch decks
  • At the end of the semester, they present their business ideas in a pitch in front of a jury

The final grade depends on:

  • 40% Final pitch & pitch deck (team assignment)
  • 20% Mid-term pitch deck (team assignment)
  • 20% In-class participation (individual assignment)
  • 10% Reflection paper (individual assignment)
  • 10% In-class module checks (individual assignment)



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Availability of lecturer(s)

Dr. Jakob Pohlisch:
Richard Olbrecht MSc.:

Last edited: 2023-06-06