1 Stylized view of entrepreneurship Certain institutions have been shown to be central for the healthy development of entrepreneurial ventures. Most countries, however, possess suboptimal versions of most, if not all, of those institutions. These institutional shortcomings translate directly into structural barriers for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs must find ways around structural barriers, and do so in often creative ways. During the semester, we will explore different issues and ways that entrepreneurial firms develop innovative strategies to overcome these barriers.  
2 Income inequality, social stratification and market opportunity at the bottom of the pyramid: The case of Brazil How do you build a business when your customers are apparently too poor to be able to buy anything other than basic necessities? Are there really fortunes to be made "at the bottom of the pyramid"? If so, what do these opportunities look like — and what exactly is involved in building a successful business? How can a G-lab team add value in such a situation? We begin with a G-Lab classic: a successful project with a dynamic, high-energy, high-growth firm in an undeserved market.  
3 Mixer Today will be an informal mixer, in which students can (a) create G-Lab teams with people of similar interests, and (b) talk to the faculty and advisors about projects. Bring your laptop to class.  
4 Where are we in the global cycle? All entrepreneurial opportunities are affected by the global economic cycle. Downturns do not necessarily mean that you cannot start a business, but it helps to know where you are in the cycle — and what may be coming next. What are the shocks that you should expect — and how can anyone build a business that may have some resilience? This discussion will recap macroeconomics and link it to the latest financial market developments. We'll form a picture of which countries face what kind of risks in the near term.  
5 Entrepreneurship diasporas; Team dynamics

All global entrepreneurs have diaspora networks, whether or not they recognize them or choose to use them. Part of the class will deal with identifying and thinking about how to tap into these networks for various purposes.

Part of this class will center on developing constructive dynamics within your teams. These exercises help you to spot — and deal with — inter-personal issues before these get out of control.

Team project applications due
6 Global location decisions Successful entrepreneurs are increasingly global in their orientation — looking for technology and markets wherever they may be found and making carefully strategic location decisions. Sometimes the best answer is pull everything together in the United States (where exactly?). Other times you need to think harder about other options. What is the right thing to do in this case?  
7 Entering a market in flux Many G-Lab hosts are eager to enter the U.S., figuring that size and market maturity will be to their advantage. But what if it's in an industry that for the U.S. is unstable, or even in chaos — say, health insurance? How can you best counsel an entrepreneur who is heading in this direction?  
8 Global sales strategies for ambitious entrepreneurs This class will cover the sales and marketing challenges faced by start-up companies in emerging markets. We will use the case from a Sales and Marketing perspective; it is not necessary to read the financials in the case. The discussion will be about global sales strategies for a start-up.  
9 Inside the entrepreneurial ecosystem Entrepreneurs may have obstacles, but they also have guides, partners, friends, and structures to help them succeed. This session will focus on the mechanisms and networks firms use to circumvent environmental weaknesses, particularly the "venture catalyst" model of Endeavor.  
10 Working in a G-Lab project Using a G-Lab case from 2004-05, we'll look at G-Lab projects from the inside, focusing on issues of process, client management, and team dynamics. We'll also review the match acceptance process and how you should begin working with your host company.  
11 Faculty meetings with teams Team meetings with faculty mentors.  
12 When bad teams happen to good people A cautionary tale from a past G-Lab project. Draft project work plan and Open Mike slide due
13 Introduction to library research; Open Mike    
14 Open Mike; Medical information   Company sign-off on work plan due
15 Travel logistics; Faculty meetings with teams    
16 Faculty meetings with teams Team meetings with faculty mentors.  
17 Global environment for your projects This is an update of the discussion from Ses #4. What is the latest on the global economy? What should we expect to drive dynamics over the next year? Student suggested content is very welcome — this is a great way to earn class participation credit.  
18 Local environment for your projects In this session we'll focus on the countries where your projects are located and discuss what we know about their macroeconomic dynamics — both from global factors and from local conditions. Student suggested content is very welcome — again, this is a great way to earn class participation credit.  
19 Internationalization For a variety of reasons, including size or maturity of their home market, entrepreneurial firms in emerging markets must go abroad for growth opportunities. While economically sensible, such incursions entail significant challenges, quite distinct from those faced by traditional multinational corporations. How should start-ups internationalize? What are the risks and opportunities? Draft research report and peer review 1 due
20 Faculty meetings with teams Team meetings with faculty mentors.  
21 Faculty meetings with teams (cont.) Team meetings with faculty mentors.  
22 Managing your G-lab internship What happens when you get to your company and the plan needs to change? A 2009-10 G-Lab case will give us a chance to prepare for this situation. Final research report due
23 Conclusion We'll briefly recap what we've learned, and look at the larger impact — and importance — of entrepreneurship in emerging markets.  
  G-Lab Internship Your internship will take place during at least three weeks of IAP 2011. All four team members must be together, on-site, throughout the internship. You will make a formal presentation to your company at both the beginning and the end of your onsite internship and provide them with supporting written analysis and data as appropriate.  
24 Debrief and reflection session All G-Lab students will participate in a session to reflect on your experience. Details will be announced in advance.  
25 Poster session Every team must prepare a poster and staff a presentation position during this event. You get to showcase what you did and why, for the entire MIT community. The poster session will be widely advertised and you should expect considerable interest, scrutiny, and questions. Poster due
  Submission of final deliverables   Final internship report, after action review and peer review 2 due