MBA Entrepreneurs: Crowdfunding Wipebook

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CASE STUDY. The Wipebook case follows a start-up company over a two-year period. As the reality of the entrepreneurial process set in, following the initial euphoria, a number of challenges arose.

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Description

MBA Entrepreneurs: Crowdfunding Wipebook: Abstract

MBA Entrepreneurs: Crowdfunding Wipebook is a case study by Brian King and Franck Barès.

The Wipebook case follows a start-up company over a two-year period.

The company originated from a product idea proposed by a student as part of an MBA entrepreneurship course: an erasable, reusable notebook. Two other students joined him in what was to become the “Wipebook” project. Twelve months into the project, the team had realized one of the most successful crowd-funding campaigns in Canadian history: $424,314 for over 10,000 pre-orders. The partners then went on to appear on a television show, Dragons’ Den, where they accepted an offer of $300,000 for a 25% stake in the company. As the reality of the entrepreneurial process set in, following the initial euphoria, a number of challenges arose.

Teaching objectives

Introduce students to new entrepreneurship approaches:

  • Value proposition design
  • Lean start-up
  • Crowd-funding sites such as Kickstarter

Help students understand the importance of the start-up team:

  • Selection and composition
  • Resolving legal issues before they become problems
  • Managing relationships (and the importance of geography)

Main themes covered

  • New entrepreneurial approaches: value proposition design; lean start-up; and design thinking
  • The importance of the entrepreneurial team for start-ups
  • This case promotes discussion of several important topics: team composition, structure and leadership, conflict resolution, and the importance of corporate governance, even in the early stages of a venture

Concepts and theories related to the case

  • Value proposition design
  • Lean start-up
  • Crowdfunding

Multi-part case

  • Part A: Year One: Persistence and Success
  • Part B: Year Two: Growth and Obstacles (only included with the Teaching license)
  • Part C: Epilogue (only included with the Teaching license)

Additional information

Also available in French.

Teaching notes are available for teachers only. Contact the HEC Montréal Case Centre for more information.

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