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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

FOR 296 - Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship

Summer 2009

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Course Description:

This 3-credit course will introduce you to the challenges and goals of creating a start-up venture in environmental science or technology.  You will develop the ability to recognize trends in the marketplace and where commercial opportunities can be created.  Additional topic areas include the life cycle of a company, analysis of potential of sustainable ventures, critical success factors, and key start-up issues unique to science and technology firms.

As a "Green Entrepreneur" student you'll meet and present "live" in front of a panel of community leaders. The program also includes multimedia clips, videos, discussions, research, and creative team work.


Professor Gary Lim, along with other distinguished guest speakers


Monday, July 27 - Friday, July 31, 2009

Class Schedule:

8:00 am - 4:30 pm each day
Special Guest Speakers - Wednesday, 4:30 - 7:00 pm (dinner provided)

Tentative Course Agenda:





  • Introductions
  • Overview of entrepreneurship
  • Overview: 10 Phases of a Start-Up
  • Phase 1: Idea Generation
  • Phase 2: Validation and Due Diligence
  • 1:00-2:30pm: Tour of ESF, Mr. Mike Kelleher, SUNY-ESF
  • Discussion: potential areas for green entrepreneurship
  • Assignment for overnight reading


  • Phase 3: Strategy and Planning (start of section)
  • 10:00-11:30am: Dr. Timothy Volk, Research Associate, ESF Woody Biomass Program
  • Discussion: potential areas for green entrepreneurship (continued)
  • Phase 4: Company Formation
  • Silicon Valley-style “networking”
  • Team formation, project selection
  • Lab time: early research on market demand
  • Assignment for overnight reading


  • Phase 3: Strategy and Planning (continued)
  • 10:00-11:00am: Dr. Karl Klein, OCC; Implementing a Residential Solar Energy System
  • Elevator pitches and communications
  • Phase 5: Seed Capital
  • Phase 6: Proof of Concept
  • Intellectual property (IP) issues
  • Lab: research and analysis on project
  • Assignment for overnight reading
  • Dinner session (ends at 7:00pm): team assignment


  • Phase 7: Venture Capital
  • Presentation skills
  • Phase 8: Product Launch
  • Lab: complete research; draft Powerpoint presentations (the plan for validating the opportunity)
  • Assignment for overnight reading


  • Phase 9: Follow-on Funding
  • Phase 10: Exit Strategies
  • Lab: finish Powerpoint presentations and rehearse
  • 1:15-2:30pm: present project overviews to panel of invited guests; feedback and discussion
  • Course summary
  • Instructions for final paper (must be postmarked by Wednesday, August 5)
  • Course evaluations