Collingsworth Corporation

Babson Professor Julian Lange, Case Director and Case Writer

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

© Babson College, 2002.

Abstract

Two young aspiring entrepreneurs seize an opportunity presented to them by chance. Working part-time out of a garage, growing pains quickly develop as the business grows but the partners retain their full-time jobs elsewhere. Despite working without a business plan, the company shows some potential if the partners begin to pay attention to the details. Finally, one of the partners, Bob, demands that the other partner, Craig, give up his "day job" and begin working full-time for Collingsworth despite the fact that the company has no benefit plan and Craig's wife is seven months pregnant. Not only does Craig's current job have benefits such as health care and stock options but also the company has major growth potential since it produces computer-networking equipment. Clearly, it's time for Craig to decide how badly he wants to be an entrepreneur. Craig sticks with Collingsworth and the company eventually becomes a billion dollar company with 7,000 employees.

Location of the company: Massachusetts

Years spanned by the case: 1981 through 1984

Industry segment: Cable assemblies, computers

Stage of the company: Startup/early growth

Age of the entrepreneurs: Mid twenties

Key Words: Entrepreneurship, startup, marketing, business plan, partnership

DVD

There is no DVD available for this case.

Teaching Notes

A 21-page case teaching package, written by Julian Lange, is available for this case, which includes a transcript of a discussion with the principals and students. The teaching package also includes strategies for case presentation, key concepts, solutions to the assignment questions in the case, and suggestions for the most effective ways to work this case into a course.