Innovation to Market A 2021 Summer II (UCSD)


MGT121A: Innovation to Market (A)

As of July 31st, 2021


Undergraduate Course: 2021 Summer II

Instructor: Kanetaka M. Maki, Ph.D. (Visiting Associate Professor)
Office Location: Online
Office Hours: By appointment

Teaching Assistant: Joseph Gandini
Office Hours: By appointment

Class Time: Mondays and Wednesdays 6:30-9:20 pm
Final Exam: Friday, Sep 3rd, 7:00-9:59 pm
Makeup: Aug. 13th, 6:30-9:20pm

Classroom: Zoom

Note: This syllabus may be updated and revised at a later date.


Innovation to Market A is the first course of a two-course sequence that provides the competencies needed to identify and transform both technical and non-technical innovations into viable ventures that capture profitable market opportunities. The course will provide students with an introduction to the strategic and operational issues of developing an innovation into a competitive and sustainable business.

This is a team-based project course in which students apply management principles, technology strategies, market opportunity assessment and validation strategies, financing strategies, in the development of value propositions, business models, and business concepts of a potential new business or organization.

Students will learn how to perceive needs and to propose unique products or services in a business concept that could satisfy those unmet needs. They will also learn about market segmentation and positioning and market research techniques to test their ideas in a real-world context and identify potential customers, suppliers, and partners. From this, they will learn the definition of a business model and how it can represent the key operational design decisions that an organization makes to properly address a market opportunity in a profitable and distinctive manner.

Through industry examples and case discussions, the participants will learn the nuances of the different types of business models and the opportunities and challenges of refining and evolving business models as more information becomes available. They will then demonstrate this learning through written and oral presentations of their research findings and selected business models.

The course will utilize lectures, case studies, a project assignment, student oral presentations, and guest speakers from the industry. This quarter-length course is designed for upper-division undergraduate students.


  1. Develop the knowledge and skills to create your own business.
  2. Acquire knowledge and skillsets in:
    – Idea Generation
    – Opportunity Assessment
    – Risk Identification & Mitigation
    – Market Research / Validation
    – Business model development
    – Business Plan Development (a.k.a. Go to Market Strategy)
    – Business Model Pitch / Presentation


  • Course Packet [CP]: Harvard Business School Publishing (Required)
    • A carefully selected list of readings is provided in the Course Reader.
    • Please purchase it.
  • Textbook [NVC] (Optional)
    • New Venture Creation. 10th Edition, Stephen Spinelli, Jr. and Robert Adams McGraw-Hill, Irwin, New York New York
    • This is a required textbook by the department. However, to reduce the cost of textbooks for students, I  decided to make this an optional reading for this year.
    • However, I strongly suggest reading the recommended chapters, if you plan to enroll in MGT 121B – Innovation to Market (B).
    • This book is also available at the library if you decide not to purchase it.
      • This textbook will also be used for MGT 121B – Innovation to Market (B).
      • To purchase the ebook version of this text, go to and in the search box type: 0-07-802910-4
  • Selected PDFs and Assignment Templates (all on Canvas)
  • Slack Channel
    • We will actively use slack for asynchronous communications outside of the classroom.
  • Miro
    • We will actively use miro for asynchronous communications outside of the classroom.


The course meets 10 times for 2 hours and 50 minutes each time, with one 10 minutes break. Class sessions will begin and end on time. Please be punctual so that you do not miss the initial thrust of the discussions or disturb others. If you need to miss a class, please email to TA in advance. Keep in mind class participation is part of your grade.

Each student is expected to have completed all readings, assignments for each class before the class starts. Homework will be submitted prior to each class through TritonEd. Each student should be prepared and expected to participate in classroom discussions.


You are expected to read all assignments and prepare answers to the preparation questions prior to class. Each individual is expected to turn in their own assignments unless they are team projects. However, I recommend you work in study groups to discuss the questions prior to completing your own write-up. Come to class prepared to discuss your findings.

Please Note: There are fewer readings and assignments toward the end of the course to allow more time for students to complete their team projects. (front-loaded)


Every class session will involve interaction in the form of class discussion. I expect each student to be prepared at all times to comment on any class session. To reinforce this expectation, I will randomly cold-call on students during the ensuing discussion, both those who raise their hands and those who do not.

Many of the sessions of this class will follow the discussion format. This allows you to apply theories, concepts, and analytical devices discussed in class or in the reading materials, or from other relevant current events or news sources. The direction and quality of the discussion are the collective responsibility of the class, not the sole responsibility of the instructor. Class participation will be graded on your readiness, willingness, and the quality of your comments, and their contribution to the discussion.

You are expected to attend every class. You are responsible for the material covered in class whether you attend or not. I realize that despite your best efforts you might miss a class. Please inform TA in advance if you miss a class. If you miss a class you must still submit the homework, in advance of the beginning of class for any planned absences. In the case of emergencies, please contact the TA after class.

Make-up assignments are explained on the syllabus.

All sessions would be conducted synchronously. I expect you to attend all online sessions.


Every student will participate in a group project. The group will be made up of 4-5 students. I will randomly assign every student to a group.

The group assignments will be graded as a group. Each group will be responsible for interim group assignments and a final presentation and a short business plan. The formats for these are on Canvas. If your group cannot resolve a problem amongst yourselves, please meet with me.

Final presentations and short business plans are evaluated based on the Business Idea Evaluation Sheet. I strongly recommend that you review the sheet carefully, as you will be expected to address each criterion outlined in this sheet.


Class Participation / Contribution ( + Rady Behaviroal Lab) 30%
Assignments / Reading Quiz Scores 30%
Final Project (Team) 30%
Final Exam 10%
Total 100%
  • Please check the scores and let TA know if there is any mistake. It is your responsibility to check the scores. If you did not claim by the end of the quarter, we take it as you agreed with your received scores.


Class 01 Introduction & Idea Generation
Class 02 Basics of Design Thinking
Class 03 What is Entrepreneurship? & Business Idea Generation Methods
Class 04 Prototyping and Experiments & Opportunity Recognition
Class 05 Innovation System & Business Model
Class 06 Business Model Analysis & Pitch
Class 07 Platform Business, Market Research, and Experiment
Class 08 Business Plan, and Competitive Analysis
Class 09 Entrepreneurial Ethics and Financial Projection
Class 10 Team Resources, and San Diego Ecosystem
Final Exam Final Presentation & Wrap-up


The integrity of scholarship is essential for an academic community. As members of the Rady School, we pledge ourselves to uphold the highest ethical standards. The University expects that both faculty and students will honor this principle and in so doing protect the validity of University intellectual work. For students, this means that all academic work will be done by the individual to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind.

The complete UCSD Policy on Integrity of Scholarship can be viewed at:

How the Honor Code applies to this course:

  • You can work with anyone on class assignments. I suggest that you work in study groups on homework assignments.
  • Your class preparation and assignments must not benefit from class materials by students who took this course in prior years, or at other schools. Using course notes or PowerPoint slides you received from previous students of this class is a violation of the UCSD Honor Code.


A student who has a disability or special need and requires accommodation in order to have equal access to the classroom must register with the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD). The OSD will determine what accommodations may be made and provide the necessary documentation to present to the faculty member.

The student must present the OSD letter of certification and OSD accommodation recommendation to the appropriate faculty member in order to initiate the request for accommodation in classes, examinations, or other academic program activities. No accommodations can be implemented retroactively.

Please visit the OSD website for further information or contact the Office for Students with Disabilities at (858) 534-4382 or


A knowledge of diversity, equity, and inclusion is required of students in this class.

Definition of Terms:

Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and world-views that arise from differences of culture and circumstance. Such differences include race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and geographic region.

Equity is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all students, faculty, and staff…while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of marginalized groups.

Inclusion is the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued.