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Entrepreneurship for All

by Julia Kelley Lynda M. Applegate

Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) is a Lowell, Massachusetts-based nonprofit that hosts business accelerators for entrepreneurs in underserved communities. By mid-2017, EforAll has five office locations in Massachusetts, and its leadership and the Board of Directors must decide whether EforAll is ready to open its first out-of-state office. Students are asked to consider a variety of factors - including funding, hiring, population demographics, and distance from Massachusetts - to determine whether EforAll has the capacity to expand, and if so, which new city it should expand to first.

Yemeksepeti: Growing and Expanding the Business Model through Data

by William R. Kerr Gamze Yucaoglu Eren Kuzucu

In October 2016, Nevzat Aydin, co-founder and CEO of Yemeksepeti, the Turkish online food-ordering company, was looking over the company's quarterly results and projections for the upcoming year with his management team. It had been almost a year and a half since Aydin had agreed to sell the company's shares to Delivery Hero, the Berlin-based global leader in online and mobile food ordering, for $589 million. In 2016, the company had had grown to include more than 13,000 member restaurants servicing six million users and achieved a 41% year-on-year growth. Yemeksepeti operated with an EBITDA margin of over 50%. Although the company had introduced other revenue streams over the years, commissions remained as the main source of income. Aydin believed that, while there was plenty of room to grow by taking market share from phone orders, much could be done by revenue diversification; the company simply had too much valuable data to be ignored. What should the company do to take advantage of its data analysis capabilities and the new technologies on the market? What kind of outside-the-box solutions could create additional revenue streams and vertical growth capabilities? What about the cohort analysis and data generated from order histories? He motivated his the management team to come up with new ideas to put the vast amount of transaction data to use. The case describes potential avenues for a company to monetize its data, illustrates the pros and cons of each option. The case will help students think about how to prioritize growth over diversification, and forward think with regards to new technologies and customer trends.

Hygeia Group: Delivering Quality Care in Nigeria

by Robert F. Higgins Ifedayo O. Kuye

Fola Laoye is the Group Managing Director of Hygeia Group, a Nigerian healthcare insurer and provider, and she is deciding on the optimal strategy to grow the provider arm of her business. Hygeia Group was founded in the 1980s by her physician parents, and although operating a healthcare company in Nigeria offered challenges particularly in human resources and infrastructure, by 2011, it had expanded to include three hospital and clinic sites and a large insurance company. The company has just received a large equity investment from an international private equity company, and it has decided to focus on expanding tertiary care capabilities in its hospitals. A consulting team has identified cardiology, oncology and advanced surgery (orthopedic and minimally invasive) as areas with strategic potential. However, Ms. Laoye must decide which of these options offers the greatest growth opportunities. In addition, as her company grows, she must decide the how best to structure the payor and provider aspects of her business in a way that maximizes synergies for both.

thredUP: Think Secondhand First

by Thomas R. Eisenmann Jeff Huizinga Allison M. Ciechanover

In the fall of 2016, the management team at thredUP, the largest U.S. online retailer of secondhand clothing, is deciding whether to expand into international markets. Over the past 12 months the 7-year old startup, which had raised over $130 million in venture capital, had seen revenue grow 100% and gross margin double. Would moving abroad expand thredUP's total addressable market and help position the company for an IPO? Or would it prove a distraction, derailing momentum in the core U.S. business?

Tesla in 2015

by Lynda M. Applegate Arnold B. Peinado


SEAS and HBS in Allston

by Thomas R. Eisenmann Kerry Herman

The case describes opportunities for and barriers to collaboration between the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and Harvard Business School as SEAS prepares to move two-thirds of its faculty and classes to a new campus in Allston, 1.5 miles from its current Cambridge location. Companion cases ("SEAS in 2016," 817-063, and "HBS in 2016," 817-062) provide background on the two schools.


by Robert F. Higgins Lisa Rickles


Square, Inc. IPO

by Robert White Ramana Nanda Lauren G. Pickle

In November 2015, Square, Inc. launched its initial public offering (IPO). The IPO had an offering price of $9 per share, lower than the $11 to $13 estimate that had been outlined in the preliminary prospectus and 42% below the $15.50 share price in its most recent financing less than a year before. The lower than anticipated pricing of Square's IPO, and the implied valuation, had left investors and market observers wondering if this was an indication of a valuation bubble, or a shift in the market. The case provides an overview of the IPO process, and examines U.S. IPO trends from the 1980s to mid-2010s. It explores the rationales behind an increasing number of $billion + private valuations, known as 'unicorns', and explores who the winners and losers are when such firms go public at lower valuations.

CLHS: Scaling a New Venture

by Gabriele Piccoli Joaquin Rodriguez Lynda M. Applegate


ZenRecruit: Sales Coaching and Performance Reviews

by Mark Roberge

Case (A)

by Frank V. Cespedes

This case focuses on growth requirements for a company moving from its base in SMB customers (Small and Mid-Sized businesses) to Enterprise customers (companies with more than 500 employees). It examines the differences in buying processes, product requirements, after-sale services, and the implications for organizing and deploying sales resources at

Oversight Systems

by Frank V. Cespedes Amram Migdal

The case, set in May 2016, discusses sales strategy and managing sales and service at Oversight Systems, an Atlanta, Georgia-based software firm that developed analytics for organizations to monitor their data for errors, fraud, and operational inefficiencies. Included is an overview of Oversight's founding and the evolution of its offering from customized software analytics to pre-packaged software-as-a-service (SaaS) bundles, called Insights on Demand (IOD). Oversight adapted its sales and service approach to better suit IOD by standardizing its prices, packaging, and product delivery, as well as its approach to sales, including the sales team's composition, compensation, and incentive structure. Over time, Oversight had engaged in a variety of channel partnerships, and some were more successful than others. The case examines the decision of whether to engage in a channel partnership with a major credit card company.

Dinr: My First Start-Up (A)

by Shikhar Ghosh Kristina Maslauskaite

In May 2012, a young employee at Google's London office, Markus Berger, was thinking whether he should quit his job and go after his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Berger's idea was to create Dinr, a company that would offer an upscale food ingredient delivery service in London. A customer would choose a recipe on Dinr's website and would receive all premeasured ingredients the same evening at their doorstep. Contrary to many existing similar companies, Dinr would not require a weekly subscription, but would provide one-off orders like other traditional food delivery services. Berger had already carried out an alpha-test of the service and completed an in-depth survey of potential customers to explore the market. Most of the feedback was positive, which confirmed Berger's intuition about this market opportunity. Berger had found a more experienced co-founder with technical expertise who was willing to join Dinr part time and gathered 40,000 of initial capital. Yet, making the decision to leave his corporate job and become an entrepreneur was not easy: was Dinr a good business opportunity? Would it be attractive to outside investors? What were the risks involved?

Tenet Healthcare and Conifer Health Solutions

by Robert F. Higgins Jeet Guram

This case explores the relationship between Tenet Healthcare, the third largest for-profit hospital chain, and its subsidiary Conifer Health Solutions, a health services company. Conifer's IT programs help health care providers with revenue cycle management and population health management; the case provides an overview of both sectors. Conifer has been growing rapidly, leading some to question what the best relationship is for Tenet and Conifer going forward. The current parent-subsidiary arrangement presents synergies as well as potential conflicts.

Neurotrack and the Alzheimer's Puzzle

by Carin-Isabel Knoop Liz Kind Richard G. Hamermesh

Elli Kaplan founded Neurotrack in 2012 with a breakthrough non-invasive cognitive diagnostics test that will detect Alzheimer's Disease in its earliest pre-symptomatic stages. While the company has gained great traction in the three years since it was started, with no therapeutic product available in the foreseeable future Kaplan is considering whether it is time to change the company's business model.

UPower Technologies Inc.

by Liz Kind William A. Sahlman Joseph B. Lassiter

"The UPower founders, Jake DeWitte and Caroline Cochran, were recent graduates from MIT's Nuclear Science and Engineering Department. They chose to attend Palo Alto-based Y Combinator's accelerator program to focus on building a ""mini"" nuclear reactor that would produce up to ten MW of power and could fit in two 40-foot intermodal shipping containers. The UPower reactor was designed to serve the need for ""off-grid"" electric power. These off-grid customers were in remote locations such as mining operations, military bases, Arctic townships or even island nations. While DeWitte and Cochran were ecstatic about the progress they had made and the enthusiastic open-mindedness of Bay Area investors to backing groundbreaking and even potentially contentious ""big ideas,"" they wondered if their investors would have the patience to finance UPower over the long term."


by Richard G. Hamermesh Michael Norris

In 2015, Chris Godfrey, founder and CEO of Bloodbuy has to consider the best path to growth for his young company that is attempting to disrupt the blood donation industry.

Winnan Metal: Fulfilling the Dream

by William R. Kerr Jim Sharpe James Weber

Neil Kashyap and Neil Lombardo (HBS '08) acquired Winnan Metal, Inc., a metal fabrication shop, after raising a search fund and an 11 month search to fulfill their dreams of becoming business owners. Two weeks after they took control of the company, Winnan's largest customer (60% of company revenues) threatened to take its business elsewhere. One year later, they had regained the respect of their customers and won the trust of their employees to promote a new culture of empowerment and respect. They wondered how to prioritize options to grow the business as they did not want to spread themselves too thin.

Solar Geoengineering

by Stephanie Puzio Joseph B. Lassiter

On December 8th 2013, as Dr. David Keith was leaving the set of the Colbert Show, he couldn't help but replay the interview over and over in his mind. Did he actually get his point of view on solar geoengineering across or had he just added to the stereotype that he was more of a 'mad scientist' than a scholar? Science knew, beyond doubt, that volcanoes cooled the planet by forcing sulfates high into the stratosphere. This cooling effect had been recorded in history over and over again. The question that Keith and many other climate scientists wanted to answer was: could humanity learn how to design, deploy, and manage similar cooling effects to manage the threats from climate change?


by G. Felda Hardymon Toby Stuart Noah Fisher Tom Nicholas

In early April 2012, Michelle Dipp, MD, Ph.D, CEO and co-founder of OvaScience, had just received a buyout offer from PG Ventures, a private equity firm interested in acquiring the innovative fertility treatments company. The company's first promising fertility treatment, AUGMENT (Autologous Germ-line Mitochondrial Energy Transfer), had the potential to improve egg quality, increase the success of IVF cycles, and decrease the incidence of multiple births (i.e., twins, triplets). OvaScience had been in operation since 2011, and AUGMENT had not yet reached the market. Dipp and her partners had high hopes for the success of AUGMENT and the impact the underlying technology could have on millions of infertility cases around the world. How fast might Dipp and her team grow OvaScience? Would they have the resources? Dipp considered the best way to build out OvaScience's business model and whether AUGMENT's potential outweighed the PG Ventures offer.

Husk Power

by Joseph B. Lassiter Sid Misra

In late 2013, Husk Power Systems found itself falling further and further behind plan. The founding CEO had decided to resign. His co-founder is faced with the decision of quitting his corporate job in the US to head to India and help form a new management team. Husk is an Indian startup founded in 2007 with the goal of global rural electrification. The company has decided to pivot from operating biomass gasification plants towards developing solar microgrids in India and East Africa.

Making Progress at IDEO

by Katrina Flanagan Teresa M. Amabile

This case focuses on different types of client relationships at IDEO, the value of these relationships for IDEO and clients, and the implications for IDEO designers' everyday experience of work. As new types of client work have shifted away from the more classic design projects, there may be accompanying shifts in designers' engagement and motivation. The case illustrates the importance of progress and meaning to IDEO designers, and it poses the questions: Which types of client work keep designers most motivated and engaged at work, and what are the implications for the client relationships IDEO should pursue?

Google Glass

by Liz Kind Lauren Barley Thomas R. Eisenmann

In early 2014, business development executives at Google were formulating a distribution strategy for Glass, a wearable computer that projected information on a display viewable with an upward glance. Options, which were not mutually exclusive, included 1) continuing to sell Glass directly through online channels; 2) creating an open platform to allow any eyewear manufacturer to create frames compatible with Glass; and 3) negotiating a partnership with a leading eyewear manufacturer to jointly develop and market Glass.

Lit Motors

by Alex Godden Thomas R. Eisenmann

In mid-2012 Lit Motors had created both engineering and design prototypes and conducted initial customer tests on less than $750,000 of investment. Lit Motors' founder, Daniel Kim had started the company to design and manufacture an efficient electric 2-wheeled vehicle. The company had refined the designs for the key technologies required and had a working prototype, an understanding of the manufacturing processes to be used and a list of the components required. They also had a design prototype that they had used to conduct customer tests and establish reactions to pricing levels. At this point, management was aiming to raise $15M to get closer to manufacturing prototypes, but had they sufficiently proved out both the manufacturing feasibility and the market demand? How could they address the next hurdles in terms of partnership building, supply chain management and go-to-market strategy?

Kyruus: Big Data's Search for the Killer App

by Mehul Bhatt Penrose O'Donnell Robert F. Higgins

Kyruus is used in a course at HBS on Entrepreneurship in Healthcare IT and Services (EHITS). It describes a young company that has built a very large database on physicians. The company has had some early successful pilots with prominent customers, but it is now faced with choices on which markets to pursue. These markets each offer opportunity, but the company must make some decisions. As is often the case in early stage companies, these choices will affect a number of things, including organizational needs and capital requirements.

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