Credits: 6

Schedule: 28.01.2020 - 30.01.2020

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

Professor Teemu Kautonen

Dr Johannes Gartner

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Period III (2019-2020)

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Students will develop an understanding of two big issues that entrepreneurial businesses entering new markets face: (1) market and competitive analysis and (2) strategic positioning and dynamics. Students will learn to apply a number of theoretical ideas to analyse these issues, such as transaction costs and asset specificity, predatory strategies and price discrimination.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Entrepreneurial businesses from start-ups to established corporations enter new markets with innovative products and services. This course covers strategic considerations and analysis tools that are relevant for understanding the market that the firm is about to enter and for developing a strategy that leads to a successful entry and sustainable competitive advantage.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

What the main objectives and contents of this course are

Innovations are crucial for economic development and societal welfare. Entrepreneurship is the
key function in bringing innovations to the market. This course examines how entrepreneurial
businesses from start-ups to established corporations bring new innovative products and services
to the market.

The first objective of the course is developing an understanding of strategic considerations and
analytical tools that are relevant for evaluating the market that the firm is about to enter and for
developing a strategy that leads to a successful entry and sustainable competitive advantage.

The second objective is learning to apply that understanding to analysing real market entry
situations through business case analysis.

What you should know before you start the course

The course has been designed so that students from a variety of backgrounds can attend it and
there are no prior course requirements. Basic knowledge of microeconomics is helpful, but we have
endeavoured to provide clear explanations of all economic concepts used in the course in the online
materials. Alternatively, or additionally, you can read the ‘Economics Primer’ section in the
recommended textbook to brush up on basic microeconomics.

What you should know after completing the course

After completing this course students will have developed an understanding of two big issues that
entrepreneurial businesses entering new markets face: (1) market and competitive analysis and (2)
strategic positioning. They will also have learned to apply the conceptual material related to those
issues to real business cases.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Midterm and final exams (online)

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

In order to complete this course successfully, you will need to collect 50 or more points out of the
total of 100 available. The distribution of the points and the work required are described in more
detail below.

The final marks are based on the total points as follows:
50-59 points 1

60-69 points 2
70-79 points 3
80-89 points 4
90-100 points 5

1. Completing the online learning modules (0 or 10 points)

You will need to complete all seven online learning modules such that you score at least 70%
correct in the questions included in each module. You can repeat each module as many times as
you wish.

The online learning systems opens on Tuesday, 7 January at 8:00 and stays open until Thursday,
23 January 23:55. Within this time frame, you can complete the modules at your own pace.

You will get 10 points if you complete all seven modules on time (by Thursday, 23 January 23:55)
and 0 points if you fail to do so.

2. Midterm exam (0-30 points)

The midterm exam tests what you have learned in the seven online learning modules. The exam
comprises 30 single-choice questions with 5 answer options each. For each correct answer, you get
one point – up to a total of 30 points. You have 60 minutes to complete the exam.

The exam is administered online on MyCourses on Friday, 24 January 17:00-18:00. Time is very
limited so make sure you have logged in well before the exam commences.

Because the exam is online, you can take it wherever you wish, as long as you can access
MyCourses with a reliable internet connection. You can use any supporting materials you wish –
but note that you have on average two minutes per question, so don’t rely on studying while taking
the exam.

Note that the questions and answer options are presented to each student in a random order. Thus,
asking a fellow student sitting next to you what the answer to question 10 is won’t work.

Should you miss or not pass the exam, or you are unhappy with your score, you can retake the
exam on Friday, 31 January 17:00-18:00. If you take the exam twice, the higher score counts to
your final mark.

3. Final exam (0-60 points)

The final exam requires you to apply the concepts you have learned in the online learning modules
to four cases: Flybaboo, Newlight Technologies, Slavic Treasures and Plumis.

There will be two questions requiring answers of up to 1000 words each. The exam will be open
books, open notes and it is highly advisable to prepare well in advance. The slide set we have
prepared for you should be a handy memory aid of the theoretical material covered in the course.

In addition to the conceptual material, you will need to know the four cases thoroughly in order to
do well in the exam. It is highly advisable to analyse the cases in advance – working alone or with
peers – and make notes as you go. Attending the contact teaching sessions – where the cases are
analysed together with the whole class – gives you an enormous advantage for exam preparation.

The exam will be organised online in MyCourses on Tuesday, 4 February 9:00-21:00. You
can start the exam at any time in the above time frame. Once you click the start button, time will
start running and you will have three hours to write your answers. We recommend using a word
processor or another offline text editing software to write your answers and copy them to
MyCourses once you are done.

Should you miss or not pass the exam, or you are unhappy with the score, you can resit it on
Friday, 14 February 9:00-21:00. If you take the exam twice, the higher score counts to your final

Marking criteria. You will receive high marks if your exam answers analyse rather than describe
the case. The most important marking criterion is your ability to apply theoretical material from
the course to analysing the case and arriving at well-justified conclusions. Your overall analysis and
the way you arrive at your conclusion or strategy recommendation to the case company is more
important than what you actually recommend.

Example: An exam question might ask you to recommend the case company to either make their
own product or outsource production to another firm. Whether you recommend making or
outsourcing is not as important as how you justify the recommendation.

For examples of how case analysis using the theoretical material in this course can be crafted, there
are two examples of excellent case analysis reports in MyCourses (uploaded with the students’
permission). The answers required in the exam are of course much shorter than the
aforementioned case reports, but the reports give you a good idea of how to analyse, rather than
just describe a case, with good application of theory.

4. Active participation in case analysis sessions (0-10 points)

By participating actively in class discussions in the two case analysis sessions, you can earn up to 10
additional points. These are given based on the lecturers’ observations in the classroom. The
additional points help you boost your final mark if, for example, your performance in the exams is
not perfect. However, you can get full 100 points without attending the case analysis sessions –
therefore the active participation points are an additional extra over and above the maximum 100

Example: You get a total of 77 points from the two exams. This would give you a final mark of 3.
However, you have been active in class discussions and the lecturers have given you 7 points for
active participation. These points are added to your exam score of 77, increasing your final score to
84. Thus, instead of 3, your final mark for the course becomes 4.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Contact hours 8 h (optional; the course can also be completed fully online)
Individual study 152 h

Study Material (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Theoretical material in the online learning environment in MyCourses
Cases (available in MyCourses)

Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

All materials needed for the course are available in MyCourses. You will need to study:

  1. 1)  The online learning materials. The materials have been divided into seven thematic modules, each of which comprises one to three learning objectives. We have also prepared a set of slides that offer a summary of the principal theoretical content that you can study in addition to the interactive learning modules in MyCourses.

  2. 2)  Four business cases: Flybaboo, Newlight Technologies, Slavic Treasures and Plumis.

Additionally, you can use the following textbook to enhance your learning:

Besanko, David, Dranove, David, Shanley, Mark, & Schaefer, Mark (2013). Economics of Strategy. 6th Edition International Student Version. Wiley. Chapters: 2, 3, 5, 6, 8 and 9 (and the Economics Primer at the beginning of the book if you need to brush up on basic microeconomics).

There are several copies of the book available in the library.

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

0 (fail) to 5 (excellent)

Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Registration via WebOodi ends 7 days before the period starts.

Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

The course can be completed either as a combination of contact teaching and online materials or as online-only. Participation in contact teaching is recommended but not mandatory.
Max 100 students can be accepted to the course. Priority is given to (1) students in MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, (2) students taking a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management and (3) other Aalto University students.

Additional information for the course (applies in this implementation): 

How you can extend your knowledge in this area after the course

The Department of Management Studies at the Aalto School of Business offers a variety of courses in entrepreneurship and strategic management that you can extend your knowledge of this area with. You can also develop your knowledge by taking courses from the Aalto Ventures Program (

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

Date &



7 Jan –
23 Jan


Online learning material

  • Costs and cost advantages

  • Competitors and competition

  • Competitive advantage

  • Market entry

  • Make or buy

  • Industry analysis

  • Pricing

24 Jan


28 Jan


30 Jan


31 Jan


4 Feb


14 Feb







Midterm exam

Case exercises: Flybaboo and Newlight Technologies
Case exercises: Slavic Treasures and Plumis

Resit of the midterm exam

Final exam

Resit of the final exam


Registration and further information