Engineering Entrepreneurship. Ron Lasser, Ph.D. EN 0062 Class #

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1 Engineering Entrepreneurship Ron Lasser, Ph.D. EN 0062 Class #

2 Biodiesel Incorporated The Case: It is about one group s efforts to identify a business opportunity Look at the Entrepreneurial Attractiveness index (textbook, bottom of page 35). Use this analytical tool to help you answer questions at the end of the case N EA = ( w1 Y + w2i w3w w4r) dt 0 Try to understand the process required to evaluate an opportunity How to do homework: Read the case as a bedtime story and then read the questions at the end of the case; don t answer the questions at this time Think about the case for 24 hours, then review chapter 2 Think about chapter and the case for another 24 hours to let your ideas form in your mind from the case, Chapter 2, and the topics discuss in class Finally, prepare your PowerPoint slide using critical thinking to answer the questions and summarize your thoughts into concise statements Keep it simple, but show me your understanding and learning 2

3 Summary 1 Background Hannah Long Agricultural Economics Matthew Hammond Mechanical Engineering Josh Maxwell Grad School of Management Josh, Hannah, and Matthew meet in Business and Sustainability class Biodiesel is a class project 3

4 Summary 2 The Challenge Energy dependence is a world wide problem Usage is not sustainable, for it is not renewable Current energy industry is committed to current business model due to large assets, investments, and infrastructure Problem: find a form of fuel or technology that can mitigate the current negative affects on the environment of petrol-based fuel while utilizing the existing infrastructure Urgency: heightened by astounding growth in the global population and per-capita consumption of liquid fuels 4

5 Summary 3 The Concept Biodiesel is a vegetable and/or animal based product the biomass Similar in composition to petrol-based diesel Will run in engines made after 1996 Producing a product that can utilize existing infrastructure and social patterns increases likelihood of adoption Has lower emissions than conventional diesel Biodegradable Depends upon organic material rather than fossil fuels 5

6 Summary 4 The Concept (continued) Production depends on: Feedstock in oil or fat form Oils farmers to produce soy, canola, sunflower, and safflower Fats grease and tallow/lard and recycled cooking waste Alcohol as a catalyst 6

7 Summary 5 The Concept (continued) Economics Price would rarely be lower As additive does offer cost competition Raise income for farmers 7

8 Summary 6 The Concept (continued) Biodiesel Enlist and develop a series of producer cooperatives Members grow feedstock, crop residue with high fat content Capital cost shared over membership Oil extracted from biomass Distribute using existing petrol infrastructure 8

9 Summary 7 The Advantage Cooperative owed and controlled by members Successful venture/business model Economy of scale due to co-ops purchasing power Negotiating power Stabilize crop prices Higher volume contracts Unite rural communities/preserve agricultural economy 9

10 Viable Factors Income Independence Work Risk 10

11 Viable Factors Opportunity Cost Income Independence Work Risk Opportunity cost Josh has other career possibilities What will happen if he does not pursue these? An entrepreneur needs to weigh out all the alternatives available to make a decision 11

12 Evaluating the Opportunity Capabilities knowledge, and experience of the team members Novel proprietary, or differentiating enough to create significant value to a customer Who is the customer in this case? Resources attracting the necessary financial, physical, time and people Return formally, what is the return on investment for the stakeholders, especially the investors Commitment how solid is the entrepreneurial team dedicated to making this happen 12

13 Evaluating the Opportunity Capabilities Josh: business background Hannah: agricultural economics background Matthew: mechanical engineering Novel Biodiesel is a premium product because of its scarcity in the marketplace Are customers willing to pay a premium for it? Resources Financing and a steady supply of raw materials and distributors Talented individuals to serve as employees, advisors and partners to support the venture s growth Return on investment Three founders and investors What is a reasonable return and how long to get it? Commitment All share a passion for the business 13

14 Market Drivers Suppliers Customers 14

15 Market Drivers Suppliers Agricultural waste, seed oil, and used cooking grease serve as raw materials This is a capability push a material or technology that can serve in a new application Regulatory need for an environmentally-friendly substitute to diesel fuel This consumer demand represents an opportunity pull Customers Who is there customer? Never made clear 15

16 Flaws in the business strategy Defensible Model 16

17 Flaws in the business strategy Defensible Unfortunately, Intellectual Property, is not defensible No relevant patents Low barrier to entry Model Co-op is difficult to manage as each member is independent business making its own decision and can leave co-op at any time Existing co-ops can compete at any time Maybe rather than new, find an interested, existing co-op 17

18 Financing Where to get the money? 18

19 Financing Angels Corporate venture capitalists Socially responsible institutions Socially responsible angels Federal grants 19

20 Distribution Agriculture Petroleum 20

21 Distribution Most likely: Retail Commercial Agricultural Government Specialty Marine Mining 21

22 Chances for Success / Next Steps Where to they go, What do they do to enable themselves to go from classroom project to pitcing a new venture? 22

23 Chances for Success / Next Steps Write their business story Begin to build a business model which delineates a competitive advantage 23

24 If I was doing the homework 1 Key Factors for viable business Opportunity Cost (Income, Independence, Work, Risk); Josh needs to make the choice of this over what he is giving up stable job, potential career Evaluate the Opportunity (Capabilities: Good skill set match for all three, but missing chemical engineer; Novel: Biodiesel is a premium product because of its scarcity in the marketplace but, are customers willing to pay a premium for it? Resources: financing and a steady supply of raw materials and distributors; talented individuals to serve as employees, advisors and partners to support the venture s growth; Return on investment: three founders and investors: What is a reasonable return and how long to get it? Commitment: they have the passion 2 Market Drivers Capability push / opportunity pull on the supply side with the farmers Demand side: who is the customer? 3 Flaws Lack of IP and low barrier to entry from other co-ops and oil companies 4 Financial Most likely angels who are environmentally friendly as corporate may not have socially consistent approach 5 Distribution channels Retail with oil companies 6&7 Success and next steps Write their business story to show there competitive advantage 24

25 Would I do it? No Why? Because I like defensible IP It gives the Engineering Entrepreneur a competitive advantage right from the get go! 25

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