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Business Model & Customer Discovery

The Business Model and Customer Discovery course is a taste of the Lean LaunchPad method, developed by serial entrepreneur Steve Blank and adopted by the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-CorpsTM) program.

We use Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur’s Business Model Canvas as a framework to think about starting a new venture or commercializing a technology from a business and customer perspective, as well as how to properly conduct customer discovery interviews - the first step in any commercialization process. While the out-of-classroom assignments will focus on the two main concepts in NSF I-CorpsTM - value propositions and customer segments - we will cover all aspects of the business model canvas (i.e. Customer Segments; Value Propositions; Revenue Model; Distribution Channels; Customer Relationships; and Key Partners, Resources, Activities, and Costs). Since its formation in 2011, the National I-CorpsTM program has enabled over 1000 university based-startups to increase their ability to secure seed funding by 5x or, equally important, avoid building something not enough people care about.

The course provides participants with a set of skills and entrepreneurial knowledge that can be applied to any career path, including whether you plan to start a new venture or play a key role in a company’s innovation process. Students will have the option of using the course to plan their own startups or work on a potential startup based on Purdue IP.