Seminar: Scaling Entrepreneurial Ventures

General Information

Title Scaling Entrepreneurial Ventures
Number MGT001404S
Type Seminar
Offered in Winter semester & summer semester
Lecturer Anne Tryba; Friedrich Tacke


Course Description


Scaling an entrepreneurial venture can be a very complex and demanding challenge. Often this requires a fundamental redesign of many firm areas, high team effort, and very strong leadership. In addition, dynamic markets and grand challenges create additional pressures on young ventures attempting to grow.
This module provides a holistic view of the scaling process of an entrepreneurial venture from a leader’s perspective. It introduces you to theories, concepts, and frameworks for scaling entrepreneurial ventures and venture growth. Based on engaging with crucial literature and concepts in entrepreneurship, strategy, and general management, discussing related news articles, case studies, industry insights, and best practices, and applying them in short class activities, you will learn why, how, and when entrepreneurial ventures scale and grow, which challenges and barriers they might face and how to overcome these. In addition, you will use this knowledge to analyze the conduct and performance of existing scaling/entrepreneurial ventures. Finally, you will directly apply this knowledge to assess the scaling potential and related implications of a real-life early-stage tech startup and develop and present concrete recommendations for effective scaling strategies and actions. Thus, the module will prepare you to effectively lead, accompany, or monitor an entrepreneurial venture through its scaling and growth phase.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Firm growth and scaling concepts, frameworks, and strategies from theory and practice
  • Adopting a growth mindset
  • Scaling and sustainability
  • Implications of venture scaling: key opportunities and critical challenges focusing on leadership and strategy, people and culture, operations and structure, and financials
  • Venture-specific and contextual factors for scaling
  • Managerial scaling strategies, decisions, and actions
  • Scaling success measures, risks, and risk mitigation strategies
  • Venture exit options and strategies
  • Predictors of venture failure and steps for dealing with failure and managing a turnaround.



Upon successful completion of this module, you will be able to:
Knowledge objectives:

  1. Explain and apply key concepts, frameworks, and theories related to scaling entrepreneurial ventures and venture growth in practice
  2. Describe, compare, and appraise the conduct and performance of existing scaling/scaled entrepreneurial ventures
  3. Uncover and assess the implications of venture scaling
  4. Determine and evaluate scaling strategies considering venture-specific and contextual factors
  5. Prioritize and initiate actions and decisions for implementing suitable scaling strategies
  6. Identify predictors of failure and propose mitigative steps

Competencies objectives:

  1. Improve analytical, structured problem-solving, synthesis, and prioritization competencies
  2. Enhance team collaboration and leadership competencies
  3. Strengthen communication, presentation, and argumentation skills
  4. Build up critical thinking and strategizing competencies


Teaching and Learning Method

The module consists of an introductory session in which the fundamentals of scaling entrepreneurial ventures and venture growth will be shared and discussed. In addition, groups will be assembled, and each group will select a real-life early-stage tech startup for which a scaling plan will be jointly developed throughout the course.
In subsequent sessions, module contents will be co-developed by the course participants and the instructor(s). To enable building up a solid knowledge fundament, we integrate action-learning elements such as presentations and discussions of course material, case studies, and news articles; flipped classrooms, role plays, and games; and interactions with industry guest speakers. Continuous group work on the scaling plan will ensure that the newly acquired knowledge will be directly applied.
Hence, a large share of learning will occur through your individual and your group’s preparation for the in-class sessions and working on your startup cases. Respective instructions and materials to prepare will be given throughout the course. Through peer review exercises, presentations, discussions of intermediate findings, and feedback provided by the instructor(s), you will be able to share and get an assessment of your progress continuously. The module will end with a group presentation followed by a moderated Q&A and joint reflection exercise.



Fluency in English