MOpA©: A Multiple Opportunity Screening Heuristic for Entrepreneurs

Thomas J. Lynch IV, McRae C. Banks, Jerome J. Schaufeld

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademic

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Much of the opportunity assessment literature focuses on evaluating a single opportunity rather than multiple opportunities. However, discussions with entrepreneurs, as well as personal experience, suggests that many entrepreneurs have multiple opportunities that they are screening in parallel. As such, the challenge is to assess each opportunity for its viability individually and against other opportunities under review. A second challenge is retaining objectivity in the opportunity assessment process. More than one entrepreneur, including one of the authors, spoke of how particular opportunities resonated with them, even before any research had been conducted. If entrepreneurs have a means to evaluate multiple opportunities objectively, they will have a much more realistic view of which opportunities have the highest potential for success. The authors explored how opportunities are analyzed, then modeled the process for multiple opportunities and developed a heuristic to assist entrepreneurs with the effort. The Multiple Opportunity Analysis Process (MOpA©) was pre-tested with students in undergraduate and postgraduate entrepreneurship courses, and with entrepreneurs. After making appropriate changes, a single case study was conducted in which one entrepreneur’s multiple opportunities were assessed. The heuristic proved to be viable at narrowing the opportunities quickly to a much smaller set, as well as identifying the best alternative. To the authors’ knowledge, this heuristic is the only one of its type, and, with further testing, may hold significant value for the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference and Doctoral Workshop 2010
EditorsGloria Rossini
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9789036530316
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event18th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2010 - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 27 May 201028 May 2010
Conference number: 18


Conference18th Annual High Technology Small Firms Conference, HTSF 2010
Abbreviated titleHTSF


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