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George Mason University School of Public Policy
Mason Enterprise Center
Executive Entrepreneur Program
PEPP 0100: Step Up ProgramTM Phase I


A dynamic, fast-paced, comprehensive, integrated course for senior executives of early stage high growth companies


The Executive Education Challenge
Program Goals
Course Description
Who Should Attend
Course Overview
Course Elements
Instructors and Mentors
Phase I Class Schedule
Phase I Textbooks and References
Certificate and Credits
Program Sponsors
Phase II
How To Apply

THE EXECUTIVE EDUCATION CHALLENGE

Today's rapidly changing global business environment creates demanding challenges for senior company executives. Challenges are even greater for leaders of smaller, entrepreneurial companies that are seeking to both grow and provide strong returns for their stakeholders. To succeed, leaders of smaller entrepreneurial companies require management skills which are not the same as basic "start your own business skills," nor are they the same as those needed to manage a large scale, Fortune 1000 company. Successfully managing and growing an early stage high growth firm demands specialized management skills, and these can be learned.

 
Application

For information about course offerings, please contact the Office of Continuing Professional Education at 703-993-2109.

Schedule

This program is currently offered only as a contract course.

Fee

Please call for fee information.

CEUs

Please call for CEU information.

Contact Info.
For program information, contact Paul Silverman at psilverm@gmu.edu.
  • Address:
      George Mason University
    Mason Enterprise Center
      4031 University Drive, Suite 200
      Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Telephone: 703-277-7700


  • For registration information, please contact our main office.
  • Address:
      George Mason University
    Office of Continuing Professional Education
      4400 University Drive, MS 2G2
      Fairfax, VA 22030
  • Telephone: 703-993-2109
  • Fax: 703-993-2121
  • Mason is committed to pursuing dynamic, new executive education programs using innovative teaching approaches to address the needs of senior business executives. Consistent with this objective, The Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) is pleased to announce the launch of the new Mason MEC Step Up ProgramTM now offered in the MEC at the Mason School of Public Policy starting in February 2008. The new program offers new executive management education services directly targeting senior executives of early stage "Tier 2" companies.

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    PROGRAM GOALS

    This dynamic, highly interactive, integrated executive educational program offers insights on 'real world' best practices. The program provides executives of early stage, high potential growth companies with new entrepreneurial management skills to address the challenges of growing an early stage business and creating value for all stakeholders.

    COURSE DESCRIPTION

    The Mason MEC Step Up ProgramTM is a dynamic, "learn by doing," fast-paced, comprehensive, integrated course designed to assist senior executives of early stage high growth companies in addressing critical company issues, developing winning strategies and developing new senior entrepreneurial management skills.

    The program is organized into three phases as shown below. Upon successful completion of each phase of the Mason MEC Step Up ProgramTM, participants receive a Certificate of Completion and CEU credits. For more in-depth information on the overall program, refer to the Mason MEC Step Up ProgramTM Web site (http://masonenterprisecenter.org/StepUp-Main.html).

    The GMU MEC Step Up Program

    The innovative new program is designed to address the needs of senior executives leading early stage, high growth companies. The new program is also designed to complement and further expand the portfolio of services provided by Mason serving emerging business enterprises in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region.

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    WHO SHOULD ATTEND

    The Mason MEC Step Up ProgramTM has been specifically developed to address the needs of senior executives of "Tier 2" companies which typically meet the following criteria:

    • Annual Projected Revenues: $2 to $3 million
    • No. of Employees: more than 10
    • Minimum three years in business
    • Located in Washington, D.C., metro area
    • Typically positioned for high growth

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    COURSE OVERVIEW

    The Phase I Executive Entrepreneur ProgramTM ("EEP") is a three month program with 3 sessions per month which includes classroom sessions typically every other Monday and one meeting per month with an assigned Step Up Program Executive Mentor. A maximum of 30 participants will be accepted into the EEP. The classroom sessions include lectures, case studies, guest speakers, on-line EEP Management Forums and round table discussions with successful entrepreneurs, venture capital, consultants, and financing firms.

    The Phase I Executive Entrepreneur ProgramTM curriculum emphasizes developing new entrepreneurial management skills and analyzing case studies that address the challenges of managing and growing early stage companies. The program covers the following eight core concepts in the nine classroom session program:

    1. Entrepreneurial Management and Leadership
    2. Entrepreneurial Management and Planning Skills
    3. The Business Planning Process
    4. Entrepreneurial Marketing and Sales
    5. Alternative Growth Strategy Analysis
    6. Financial Management and Analysis
    7. Intellectual Property and Legal
    8. International Business

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    COURSE ELEMENTS

    The integrated, "hands on" program integrates the following six course elements to provide participants with a dynamic, highly interactive learning experience.

    • Class Lectures
    • Class Cohorts ('Teams')
    • EEP Case Studies
    • EEP Executive Mentor Program
    • Guest Speakers and Executive Roundtable Sessions
    • EEP Management Forums

    Highlights of each of these course elements are as follows:

    Class Lectures

    Participants will be required to complete reading assignments prior to attending each class session. Class lectures will include a review of the subject materials and other supporting materials provided by the Instructor. To the extent possible, class presentation materials will be posted on the EEP class web site prior to each session.

    Class Cohorts ("Teams")

    In the initial class session, the class will be organized into six Cohorts or 'teams'. Each cohort will be assigned to present the assigned EEP Case Study on the respective due date. All Cohorts will also submit a hard copy of the Case Study Analysis on the respective due date. In Class Session seven, the Cohorts will be reorganized providing increased opportunity for all participants to work together in analyzing and presenting case studies.

    EEP Case Studies

    Key components of the EEP Phase I program are the EEP Case Study analyses and class discussions. Case study analysis is a highly effective teaching tool to identify critical entrepreneurial business issues and management "best practices." The assigned EEP case studies are all included in the Mason MEC Management Studies Case Pack - Volume I provided to all class participants during the first session of the program. During most sessions, two Cohorts will be scheduled to present the assigned case. All Cohorts will be required to submit a hard copy of the assigned case study on the due date. We will employ a highly structured 'executive oriented' case study analysis structure which has been effective based on experience with other programs.

    Cohort case study presentations will be limited to 20 minutes with a 10 minute Q&A session. All submitted case study analyses will be limited to a maximum of four typewritten pages.

    EEP Executive Mentor Program

    Each participant in the Executive Entrepreneur ProgramTM will be assigned a Step Up Program Executive Mentor who will meet with each participant monthly throughout the six month program. Executive Mentors will be assigned to each participants based on needs identified during the participant application process, as well as the respective specialized management skills offered by the EEP Executive Mentors

    During the monthly Executive Mentor Program sessions, participants will review company issues, management concerns, identify and develop Key Performance Indicators ("KPI's") and work with the executive participant develop monthly KPI progress reporting and action plans.

    For the EEP Phase I program, six EEP Executive Mentors will support the program with each EEP Mentor assigned to support five EEP participants.

    On a monthly basis, the Step Up Program Director, EEP Instructor, and other selected Step Up Program committee staff will briefly meet with all EEP Mentors in the EEP Instructor/Mentor Review Session to review overall progress and issues, review feedback and recommendations to all participants, identify common areas and issues and secure new EEP Mentor resources as needed. The monthly EEP Instructor/Mentor Review Sessions provides a valuable forum to track program progress and identify possible areas of improvement.

    In the final class meeting (session nine), a roundtable discussion is scheduled with all EEP Executive Mentors participating. The roundtable discussion will provide all participants with insights developed by the EEP Mentors during the program based on working on a one-to-one basis with class participants.

    Guest Speakers and Executive Roundtable Sessions

    Guest speakers will be invited to participate in most sessions. The guest speakers and executive roundtable participants will include legal, financial, venture capital and entrepreneurs among other highly experienced industry professionals who we expect will make a substantive contribution to the overall program

    EEP Management Forums

    A unique element of the Executive Entrepreneur ProgramTM are the nine EEP Management Forums that are scheduled during the nine week course. The EEP Management Forums are conducted on-line via the EEP class web site. Typically class participants are provided a reading assignment and a discussion question is posted by the instructor. Each Management Forum accepts postings for a two week period. At the end of the two week period, the respective Management Forum is closed and the new Management Forum is started. Each class participant is expected to submit at least one comment and a minimum of two reply comments to other postings in each Management Forum.

    The EEP Management Forums use best practices developed within the distance learning environment and provide a highly efficient and complimentary teaching tool to further reinforce key entrepreneurial management concepts. The ability to share these insights among all participants throughout the program is another key benefit of the EEP Management Forum.

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    INSTRUCTORS AND MENTORS

    Based on experience with other executive education programs, a 'team teaching' structure is utilized within the program. Two instructors will be assigned to the program and will coordinate class lectures, case studies and the Management Forum activities to optimize the learning experience for all participants.

    The Step Up Program Executive Mentors include senior level experienced entrepreneurs, business consultants and investment professionals with significant experience working with early stage companies. Using an in-depth screening process developed for all Step Up Program applicants, we will ensure an optimum match between Advisors and participants.

    The Mason MEC Step Up ProgramTM Director, Paul B. Silverman, has played a key role in developing and launching the new program within Mason and may also serve as guest lecturer in selected sessions as well as interact with participants within selected online Management Forums.

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    PHASE I CLASS SCHEDULE

    Classes are scheduled on Monday or Tuesday evenings and typically are scheduled bi-weekly. The Phase I and II programs are structured to be completed within about nine weeks.

    Class schedule highlights for the Phase I sessions are as follows:

    Session 1: Challenges of Managing High Growth Enterprises
    Review Course Overview and Objectives
    Organize Cohorts ("Teams"); Assign/Introduce Mentors
    Lecture: Developing the Entrepreneurial Management 'Mindset': Challenges of Managing High Growth Enterprises
    Review Management Forum I: Entrepreneurial Growth Management 'Best Practices'


    Session 2: Identifying and Managing New Opportunities
    Lecture: Identifying and Managing New Opportunities
    Case Study Presentations: Cohorts A and B
    Review Management Forum II: Evaluating New Business Opportunities : Challenges and Winning Strategies
    Guest Speaker: TBA

    Session 3: Developing New Entrepreneurial Management Skills
    Lecture: Entrepreneurial Planning and Management Skills
    Case Study Presentations: Cohorts C and D
    Review Management Forum III: Successful Strategies for Addressing Business Planning Challenges
    Guest Speaker: TBA

    Session 4: Developing Entrepreneurial Marketing Plans and Strategies
    Lecture: Developing Entrepreneurial Marketing Plans and Strategies
    Case Study Presentations: Cohorts E and F
    Review Management Forum IV: The 'Anatomy' of a Successful Early Stage Company Marketing Strategy
    Guest Speaker: TBA

    Session 5: Identifying and Managing Alternative Growth Strategies
    Lecture: Identifying and Managing Growth Strategies
    Case Study Presentations: Cohorts A and B
    Review Management Forum V: Strategies for Managing New Venture Growth and Expansion Stages: Osborne vs. Compaq, Alliances, Acquisitions, Franchising, Licensing, Others
    Guest Speaker: TBA

    Session 6: Developing and Managing Global Growth Strategies
    Lecture: Going Global: International Business Challenges and Opportunities for Early Stage High Growth Firms
    Case Study Presentations: Cohorts C and D
    Review Management Forum VI : The Global Management Challenge : Successes, Failures and Lessons Learned
    Re-organize Class Cohorts
    Guest Speaker: TBA

    Session 7: Financial Management Challenges and Best Practices for Early Stage High Growth Firms
    Lecture: Financial Management: The Financial Plan and Securing Capital for Growth
    Case Study Presentations: Cohorts E and F
    Review Management Forum VII: Successful Strategies for Addressing Business Planning Challenges
    Executive Roundtable (4 Speakers) : Financial Management and Securing Capital: Guidelines for Early Stage High Growth Companies

    Session 8: Legal and Intellectual Property: Challenges and Opportunities for Early Stage High Growth Firms
    Lecture: Intellectual Property and Legal Issues
    Case Study Presentations: Cohorts A and B
    Review Management Forum IX: Understanding the Legal Challenges in Early Stage High Growth Companies
    Executive Roundtable (4 Speakers): Meeting the Challenges of High Growth Companies: What We Have Learned

    Session 9: Course Summary and Wrap-Up
    Lecture: Course Summary and Wrap-Up: Managing High Growth Entrepreneurial Companies - Summary of "Best Practices: What We Have Learned
    EEP Mentor Roundtable (6 Mentors): Managing High Growth Companies: EEP Mentor Perspectives and Recommendations
    Course Evaluations
    Program Wrap-Up

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    PHASE I TEXTBOOKS AND REFERENCES

    All textbooks will be provided for each class participant prior to start of the program.
    The program materials provided to each participant are as follows:

    Primary Textbook:
    Entrepreneurship by Robert D. Hisrich, Michael P. Peters and Dean A. Shepherd. Seventh Edition, McGraw Hill/Irwin, 2008

    References and Readings:

    Selected Lecture Notes

    Growing Pains: Transitioning from an Entrepreneurship to a Professionally Managed Firm by Eric G. Flamholtz and Yvonne Randle. Jossey-Bass, March 2000.

    The Portable MBA in Finance and Accounting, John Leslie Livingstone. Third Edition Wiley, 2002. GMU MEC Executive Entrepreneurship Program - Management Case Studies, Volume 1, Fall 2007

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    PHASE I CERTIFICATE AND CREDITS

    All class participants are expected to attend all class sessions, participate in classroom discussions, complete the assigned case studies and provide comments within the on-line Management Forums. To gain maximum benefit from the program, participants should actively participate and complete all the assigned work.

    Upon successful completion of the Phase I Executive Entrepreneur ProgramTM, class participants will receive a George Mason University Certificate of Completion.

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    PHASE II EXECUTIVE ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMTM

    Upon completion of the Phase I Executive Entrepreneur ProgramTM, up to 15 participants will be accepted into the Phase II program.

    The Phase II Executive Entrepreneur ProgramTM curriculum builds upon the Phase I program to assist participants in further developing new advanced entrepreneurial management skills. Through class lectures, case studies and executive roundtable sessions, the Phase II program emphasizes advanced entrepreneurial executive management skills in areas including financing, business strategy, intellectual property management and marketing. The Phase II program includes nine classroom sessions and is typically completed in three months.

    Similar to the Phase I program, each participant in the Phase II program will also be assigned a Step Up Program Executive Mentor. Executive Mentor meetings will be held two times a month compared to monthly for the Phase I program thus providing Phase II participants with more in-depth business management and advisory services during the Phase II program. Executive Mentors will be assigned to each participant based on needs identified during the Phase I program as well as the respective specialized management skills offered by the EEP Executive Mentors.

    Information about Phase II will be provided to program applicants.

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    PROGRAM SPONSORS

    We have received interest from a number of potential sponsors who are interested in supporting the new program and making a contribution to support early stage high growth companies in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. Discussions are in progress and we expect to announce new program sponsors in coming months.

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    HOW TO APPLY

    Please contact the Mason MEC Step Up ProgramTM Director, Paul B. Silverman at psilverm@gmu.edu.

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