The IP Software Company (“IPSC”) is a Silicon Valley, United States, based company incorporated in California. It was founded by Yingping Wang, a Chinese student who was educated in the Executive MBA program at the University of North Alabama (“UNA”).
Upon graduation from the UNA MBA program, Mr. Wang teamed up with some other students from UNA and designed a software program for calculating the value of intellectual property for businesses and their financiers. Intellectual property is considered the most valuable asset of many global companies. Mr. Wang learned this fact at UNA. He did a lot of research in this graduate program on the subject.
There he learned that valuing intellectual property was still done mostly manually. He thought that the world market must be ready for a better and more efficient way in which to value it.
Mr. Wang called his cousin who was working at a prestigious law firm in California and had him incorporate a company in the state on his behalf. Mr. Wang reasoned that California was where many venture capitalists and software marketing companies were based. If he had his headquarters there, he believed that he would be more attractive to venture capitalists for funding and would be best able to market his product.
Mr. Wang recruited a team of talented computer science and accounting graduates from UNA to work on his idea. He knew that Alabama was a much less expensive place to conduct programming work than California. Therefore, he would set up his programming and software development office in Florence, Alabama. He felt that this would save significant resources and provide him with two offices in the United States that could geographically support customers from one coast to another.
Mr. Wang had his new employees and consultants all sign non-disclosure and work for hire agreements before he shared his ideas with them. He wanted to make sure that all intellectual property created by employees and consultants of his company would be owned by his company. He then worked with them to develop a series of algorithms and formulas to value intellectual property in a manner that certified public accountants would accept as reasonable methodologies for audit purposes worldwide.
Having achieved this, he then drafted a detailed business plan. He also developed a presentation for investors in a power point form. It was intended to be presented in 15 minutes or less. Mr. Wang then arranged to make his presentation to “angel” and “venture capital” groups in California. At such present actions he met a number of venture capitalists that expressed interest in investing. He also presented to the
Florence, Alabama “angel” investor group since he was seeking to grow the development operation in Alabama. Between the two groups in California and Alabama, his company received initial funding of one million dollars to build the software and commence marketing it. Mr. Wang anticipates raising three to five million dollars in the next round of investment once the software is developed and a global marketing plan put in place. He needs to show investors that his business team has planned ahead for contingencies and has a strong strategic view of the global market for the product.
IPSC has just opened a branch office and hired your team to run it. Mr. Wang believes that the business strategy for the company’s future international expansion should come from your office. Mr. Wang arrives next week, and your team has three days to complete all of the work he wanted done and present it to him. Your team has decided to break the work into three different presentations for him over three days.
Fact Pattern and Exercise for Day 1
For the first presentation, Mr. Wang has tasked your team to select potential international markets for IPSC’s software product. Your team needs to develop a list of the critical considerations for selecting appropriate markets for the software product. Having developed a list of such considerations, your team is to select five potential international markets for the software and explain the potential strengths and weaknesses of such markets.
Fact Pattern and Exercise for Day 2
For the second presentation, Mr. Wang has tasked your team to assist the company in selecting a growth strategy through international joint venture or merger and acquisition. Your team needs to develop a list of the critical considerations for selecting a joint venture of merger and acquisition strategy for the company in international markets.
Mr. Wang wants to know the advantages or disadvantages of each strategy. Having developed a list of such considerations, your team is to select a single strategy and a single international market within which to pursue such strategy and identify the reasons why this choice has been made as a strategic move for the company. Your team should explain the potential strengths and weaknesses of such selection.
Fact Pattern and Exercise for Day 3
For the third presentation, Mr. Wang has tasked your team to assist the company in selecting a growth strategy through establishing a foreign office. Your team needs to develop a list of the critical considerations for such establishment. Mr. Wang wants to know the advantages or disadvantages of moving forward with such an approach as opposed to simply using local distributors.
Having developed a list of such considerations, your team is to develop a business plan for establishing such a foreign office in a single country of your team’s selection and prepare a time line of the business goals of that office for the first two years of operation. Your team should explain the potential profit opportunities and risks likely to occur within such time period in the country of your team’s selection.
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