Course Outline

EMB784 Planning and Pitching your start-up

Course Coordinator:Margarietha Scheepers ( School:School of Business and Creative Industries

2022Session 1

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


You will progress your start-up by developing an action-focused business plan for the launch, growth and
exit of an innovative start-up. You will draw from your knowledge gained throughout the EMBA and more
specifically the entrepreneurship courses to research, refine and design a compelling business model and
action-focused business plan to persuade your target audience of the merit of your start-up. Your final
pitch will showcase your start-up and seek to convince a business panel of your purpose, whether this is to
raise funds, attract strategic partners, or simply as a roadmap for the top management team. Topics include
new venture entry and exit strategies, market development, financing, and the effective presentation of
the start-up’s business model and plan.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Delivered in an intensive mode over two weekends: 9 hours each weekend, a month apart. 9hrs Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) 2 times

Course Topics

New venture entry and exit strategies

Testing the business concept, marketing plan and organisational plan

New venture financial projections

Business planning

New venture pitch

What level is this course?

700 Level (Specialised)

Demonstrating a specialised body of knowledge and set of skills for professional practice or further learning. Advanced application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts.

What is the unit value of this course?

6 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
1 Develop a market entry strategy for your new venture. Creative and critical thinker
PC1.1, PC3.1
2 Integrate marketing and operational assumptions from your proposed venture and develop pro-forma financial statements for the business plan of the new venture Knowledgeable
PC1.1, PC3.1
3 Write a business plan with the purpose of convincing your target audience to raise funds, attract strategic partners, or acquire key customers. Creative and critical thinker
PC1.1, PC3.1
4 Pitch (present) your start-up to a panel persuading them to achieve the purpose of your plan Empowered

* Competencies by Professional Body

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
PC1.1 Written Communication
PC1.2 Oral Communication
PC3.1 Problem Solving

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Enrolled in Program BU791





Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Early formative feedback will be presented during class workshops and during the Saturday 19 February pitch and business plan review workshop.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Plan Individual 60%
20 pages plus appendices
Refer to Format Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Oral Individual 40%
7 minutes,
followed by 3
minutes Q&A
Refer to Format In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Business Plan (written)
To write a persuasive business plan to achieve your startup goals.
Product: Plan
Individual assessment
The persuasive, written business plan should detail the market entry strategy and reflect
marketing and operational assumptions the pro-forma financial statements.
This task is used for measuring assurance of learning towards Association to Advance
Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. The following Program Learning
Objective will be assessed:
Program Learning Objective 1.1 - Demonstrate effective written communication skills in a
business context.
Further details are provided in the assessment area of the learning management system (LMS).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Construct a compelling and persuasive executive summary.
Create and develop a compelling value proposition for a clearly defined target
market, based on a credible market and industry analysis.
Formulate a competitive advantage and outline how value will be created through
the marketing plan, production and operations plan, and human resource plan
Draw up the pro-forma financial statements with key assumptions to demonstrate
the viability
Evaluate and mitigate the startup risk through a risk analysis
Demonstrate effective written communication skills reflected in the design,
appearance and quality of the business plan
All - Assessment Task 2:Presentation of the Business Pitch
To deliver a convincing new venture pitch (presentation of the business plan) to a panel of industry and academics.
Product: Oral
Submit:  PDF of pitch slide deck

Pitch presentation and Q&A to win the hearts and minds of your audience (the panel and
your classmates) delivered 3 March 2021.
This task is used for measuring assurance of learning towards Association to Advance
Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accreditation. The following Program Learning
Objective will be assessed:
Program Learning Objective 1.2 - Demonstrate effective oral communication skills in a
business context.
Further details are provided in the assessment area of the Learning Management System (LMS).
No. Learning Outcome assessed
the ability to succinctly and convincingly outline the start-up concept
demonstrate the problem or opportunity you are pursuing, its size and your ability
to deliver a beneficial, value-creating solution
outline how you will gain a competitive advantage
persuasive business model and credible financial projections
demonstrate effective persuasive oral communication skills through the quality and
credibility of your presentation

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

There are no required/recommended resources for this course.

Specific requirements

You should bring a laptop to work on your business plan during all the workshop sessions.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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