Founding of an Enterprise

Module 2

Business Entities I

Dr. Carsten Jungmann

The lecture on Business Entities I will introduce students to the legal and practical concepts of companies/corporations and partnerships. Students will be able to distinguish between the different business entities (especially partnerships, stock corporations and companies with limited liability) available for the start-up and running of a business. Accordingly, the focus is on the specific advantages of each business entity in relation to the needs of a particular business. In addition, we will highlight the risks for shareholders/partners as well as for creditors dealing with the company.

We will analyze the concept of limited liability in corporations and compare it to liability rules in partnerships. As partnerships (and hybrid forms of partnerships and companies/corporations) play an important role in practice for mid-sized businesses, the course has a clear emphasis on these entities. With regard to stock corporations, special attention will be put on the central problems and current topics of corporate governance and corporate finance.

While the clear focus of the course is on German law, the perspective of Continental company law will also be discussed, especially by drawing comparisons to the main differences with Anglo-American partnership and company law.

In additional tutorials (participation optional), taught in small groups, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the (balance-sheet based) system of legal capital that works as a means of creditor protection in German and European corporate law. For this purpose, the interaction of accounting principles, corporate financing, pay-out policy and creditor protection will be analyzed. 


Prof. Dr. Peter Witt

The course investigates the process of starting a new company from the perspective of an entrepreneur. It provides participants with a theoretical background on entrepreneurship, gives practical advice and knowledge on how to start a company, and discusses the preparation of business plans. We especially focus on three steps of the entrepreneurial journey: opportunity recognition, resource acquisition, and implementation. In addition, the course also looks at the challenges in later stages of the entrepreneurial process, e.g. managing fast growth and realizing a profitable exit.

The course topics are:

  1. Entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial process
  2. Opportunity recognition and strategy formulation
  3.  Resource requirements and building a network
  4. Creating a business plan
  5.  Personnel management in start-ups
  6.  Entrepreneurial finance
  7.  Entrepreneurial marketing
  8. Growth management
  9. The harvest

Financing Start-Ups

Prof. Dr. Carolin Bock

The course deals with sources of financing which are relevant in different development stages of startups. Students get an overview of different sources of funding available for young companies and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. Further, the course provides a broad overview of the venture capital industry. The business model of venture capital firms and the relationship between an equity investor and an entrepreneurial firm are analyzed in more detail referring to contractual terms used. The refinancing and investment process of venture capital investors are discussed intensively as well as exit possibilities for investors and founders including the need to use adequate valuation techniques for startups.

End of Module 2 Case Study

Dr. Carsten Jungmann, Jernej Bergoc

In a case study of a start-up company in the shared mobility industry, students will be asked to apply their knowledge gained in the courses of Module 2 in order to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the start-up under review, as well as to give concrete recommendations on its future development.