With Lean LaunchPad (MBA 295 - Spring - 3 Units), we toss "teaching the business plan" aside and teach students a completely new, hands-on approach to starting companies – one which combines customer development, agile development, business models and pivots.
We teach entrepreneurship by combining theory with intensive hands-on practice.
The Lean LaunchPad is built around the business model / customer development / agile development solution stack. Students start by mapping their initial assumptions (their business model). Each week they test these hypotheses with customers and partners outside the classroom (using customer development), then use iterative and incremental development (agile development) to build Minimal Viable Products (MVPs).
The goal is to get students out of the building to test each of the 9 parts of their business model, understand which of their assumptions were wrong, and figure out what they need to do to find product/market fit and then a validated business model.
Our objective is to get students using the tools that help startups test their hypotheses and adjust when they learn that their original assumptions are wrong. We want students to experience faulty assumptions not as a crisis, but as a learning event called a pivot - an opportunity to change the model. More than just for use in startups, these problem-solving skills are increasingly crucial in today’s increasingly complex world.
Each week every team presents to the teaching team – “Here’s what we thought, here’s what we did, here’s what we learned, here’s what we’re going to do next week.”
"Our goal, within the constraints of a classroom and a limited amount of time, is to give you a framework to test the business model of a startup while creating all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage startup."
"The class is designed to give you the experience of how to work as a team and turn an idea into a company."
"This course reshaped my approach to starting a business and taught me to "do" my way through problems, instead of "think" through them."