Babson Professor Stephen Spinelli, Case Director

Edward Barrows and Sandie Stringfellow, Case Writers

Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship

© Babson College, 2000

Please place orders for this published case through Babson College.


The founder of Cover-It, a business that sells advertising space on free book covers for high schools, is faced with the fundamental question of whether to sell his company when his main competitor threatens to either squash him or buy him, just as the company projects a major improvement in sales and profits. The case provides a captivating discussion on the lifestyle, personality, and business techniques of a young entrepreneur who perseveres in his quest to create his own successful business. The company faces more downs than ups during its early days. This case contains multiple examples of creative resource marshaling, some of which raise interesting ethical questions. The owner experiences continuous rejections from major corporations he is trying to sell to, poor health, and near poverty, before the tide turns and the biggest business decision of his young life is on the table.

Location of the company: Boston

Years spanned by the case: 1993 to 1998

Industry segment: Marketing

Stage of the company: Start-up to early growth

Age of the entrepreneur: 24

Key Words: Harvest, buy-out, advertising, marketing, partners, resource marshaling, entrepreneurship


There is no DVD available for this case.

Teaching Notes

A five page case teaching package, written by Steve Spinelli, is available for this case. The teaching package 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. ​