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MAN 631 Creativity and Entrepreneurship in Practice (Fall 2018)

MAN 631 Creativity and Entrepreneurship in Practice (Fall 2018)

Course Outline

Creativity and Entrepreneurship in Practice introduces students to the more practical elements of innovation and entrepreneurship. In this class, you will design your own product or service and ideally have an early stage startup by the end of the term. Whereas MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit starts with already advanced projects, MAN 631 starts at the very grassroots of building a business.

During the course, you will reach out to potential customers and by the end of the semester, all student teams will have turned their idea into a pitch deck that will be presented in a real startup pitch setting with a jury including experts from the private equity, legal, consulting and academic world. Thus, all the projects that will be developed in this class are taken seriously and will be developed into real ventures by the end of class – no showcases, simple write-ups whatsoever. You can expect tremendous opportunities for your personal and entrepreneurial development in this class – including growing your network into the German startup scene and beyond. Please note that developing your business idea is a team effort, lots of fun and quite a thrill but also requires lots of dedication, commitment, and long nights of work with your team outside of the classroom. For the winning teams of the final pitches, there are interesting options to obtain real seed financing.

Are you ready for a challenge and do you want to change the world? Are you ready for the real startup journey? Then MAN 631 is your perfect choice. Join us!

By the way: The course will start on Tuesday, September 4, 2018. Please beware that once the team building has been conducted, you cannot leave this class without failing it – just like in a real startup setting when you let your team down (see information on Registration below). In addition to the rooms mentioned in our course schedule below, you can book our DesignLAB throughout the course. The DesignLAB offers you lots of space to be creative, Design Thinking materials, a 3D printer, and much more :-). 

What you can expect from us is dedicated and continuous feedback to advance your projects, intros to MCEI partners who can help you grow, and a fun and rewarding atmosphere to create something new in class. Do not miss out on our Startup Lounges and Founder Talks throughout the semester to maximize your Startup experience.

Side note on choosing MAN 631 vs. alternatives (i.e., when not to chooose MAN 631):

 

Learning Outcomes

This course focuses on five main steps:

  • encouraging students to investigate and experience creative processes to generate and assess entrepreneurial ideas (including team building)
  • preparing students to turn innovative ideas into business models
  • testing innovative ideas and business models in the real world
  • enabling students to develop their own startup including a business plan (15 pages + appendix) + pitch presentation
  • having an early stage business by the end of this course that will be evaluated by an expert jury

By the end of this module, students will have...

  • explored and developed their own entrepreneurial creativity.
  • their own startup team.
  • an advanced startup idea that tackles a real customer need.
  • gained skills in building, testing and improving business models.
  • a pitch deck and brief business plan on their startup idea for following up on the project.
  • presented and defended the concept of their project in front of an expert jury.
  • gained financing opportunities to pursue their venture (depending on performance).
  • gained lots of feedback on their personal and professional development in real life settings.
  • developed skills and abilities that can be applied to improve their effectiveness in the rest of their studies and in their lives – including team building skills. 

 

Registration & Final Course Decision

Please register via the Student Portal prior to Kick-off (Session 1). Students with various backgrounds are essential to this class! Everybody is welcome to sign up and apply! In case there is a conflict with your faculty/area of study, please let us know (you have to make this request to your area of study if not listed in the module catalog) and we will try to sort things out and get you on board!

Note: Kick-off participation (Session 1) is absolutely mandatory for team building. No exceptions granted. Not participating at the Kick-off leads to immediate de-registration from class. Letting your team down along the way (i.e., dropping out) will lead to failing this class, as the first grading component is assessed in Session 2. Course choices are thus final after Session 1 to make this challenge work. As of Session 2: If you decide miss out on a session, it is your team responsibility. As long as your team is okay with it, we are okay with it. You do not require individual approval.  

We are looking forward to having you in class!

 

Place & Time 

See detailed schedule below. We have two venues for this class: 

  • L9 1-2, Lecture Hall 001
  • MAFINEX (Room C4), Julius-Hatry-Straße 1

 

Assessment

Note: This class demands continuous individual and team effort. Results and learnings are highly rewarding but - just like in a real startup - full dedication and commitment to work long hours form an integral part of the experience. If you cannot or do not want to go all in on the experience, we offer electives that resemble more traditional courses with lectures, workshops and team presentations (MAN 630, 632, 635 and 636). So lots of offerings to find what suits you best. Past evaluations show that we cannot stress enough that in MAN 631 uncertainty, lack of structure and serious doubts on what will be the result of all your work is absolutely part of the experience, highly embraced and eventually leads to great results.  

Grading components:

  • Pitch Presentations (35%) (team)  [Mid-Term Pitch 10%, Final Pitch 25%]
  • Business Plan and continuous assessment (35%) (team)  [5 Perfomance appraisals along the way of 5% each + 10% Final Documentation]
  • Exam (20%) (individual)
  • Peer Evaluation (10%) (individual) - this means you will grade each other on how things went on the team

 

Persons in Charge

Lecturers: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Supervising Professor: Prof. Dr Michael Woywode

 

Course Load and Language

ECTS: 6

Language: English

 

Readings & Resources

Readings & Resources:

  • Exam-relevant: Blank, S., & Dorf, B. (2012). The startup owner's manual: The step-by-step guide for building a great company. Pescadero, Calif.: K & S Ranch Publ.  (about 25 copies in the university library)
  • Maurya, A. (2016). Scaling lean: Mastering the key metrics for startup growth. London: Portfolio Penguin. (about 20 copies in the university library)
  • Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2013). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. New York: Wiley & Sons (digital copy available via the university library)
  • Ries, E. (2011). The lean startup: How constant innovation creates radically successful businesses. London: Portfolio Penguin.

Additional Resources:

Course Materials: All course material (where applicable) will be provided via the MCEI Group 'MAN 631 Creativity and Entrepreneurship in Practice (Fall 2018)'. We will not use ILIAS at any point in this class. Please do not be irritated by the ILIAS option not being available

Please note: The majority of the work required to develop your own venture (=for this course) has to be performed as a team and between sessions. You have usually two weeks to re-iterate and evolve your startup and business model further. Each session you are requried to give a short update about your progress and your milestones. We will provide you with indput and feedback to advance your idea and assess your progress.  

 

Additional Information

Please note: We will be taking pictures in some of the sessions of the course for documentation and future marketing measures in the context of future courses and our MCEI formats. You will be asked to sign a relief form during the first session. If you do not want to sign the relief form, we kindly ask you to stay out of the camara focus. We will annouce, when we are taking pictures. 

 

Preliminary Schedule (Fall 2018)


Session 1 (in class): Start your entrepreneurial journey (Kick-off - must attend to participate in MAN 631)

September 4 | L9 1-2, Lecture Hall 001 | 9am - 1pm

Topics:

  • Introduction
  • Team building

Required readings (before class):

  • Blank, S., & Dorf, B. (2012). The startup owner's manual: The step-by-step guide for building a great company. Pescadero, Calif.: K & S Ranch Publ. (Chapters 1 and 2)

 


Team work preparation for Session 2 

Task: 

  • Within your teams, create a long list of startup ideas
    • What are eminent problems you can identify?
    • Who has these problems (B2C, B2B)? 
    • What are possible solutions?
    • Why can you provide these solutions to the identified problems best?
  • Narrow your long list down to a short list of the 3 most promising problems and their possible solutions. 

Deliverables in Session 2: 

  • Long list of startup ideas (about 50 will do)
  • How did you pivot your ideas? Why?
  • Present short list of the 3 most promising problems and their solutions (i.e., startup ideas) 
  • Document progress in the WhatAVenture-Tool (Create and start with your team project)

Assessment of your progress in Session 2: 5% of overall grade

Required readings:

  • Blank, S., & Dorf, B. (2012). The startup owner's manual: The step-by-step guide for building a great company. Pescadero, Calif.: K & S Ranch Publ. (Chapters 3 to 7)

 


Session 2 (in class): Customer Exploration & Prototyping

September 18 | MAFINEX (Room C4), Julius-Hatry-Straße 1, Mannheim | 9am - 1pm

Topics:

  • Assessment of your preparation of deliverables I (see above, 5% of overall grade), each team: 5 min presentation + 3min Q&A/ feedback
  • Customer Discovery 
  • Rapid Prototyping

 


Teamwork preparation for Session 3

Task: 

  • Build a prototype for each of your three short list startup ideas.
    • Your prototype can be a physical prototype (e.g., lazer cut, 3D print), a mock-up, a landing page or even a well-developed customer interaction story for a service 
    • Rapid prototyping - do not spend too much effort on the details
  • Experiencing doubts about your idea is highly appreciated - you are pivoting from what does not work to what can work. 
  • Do not be scared to re-iterate and restart the process if you come across better opportunities than you short list.

Deliverables in Session 3: 

  • Present your 3 prototypes 
  • Demonstrate progress in the WhatAVenture-Tool

Required readings: 

  • Blank, S., & Dorf, B. (2012). The startup owner's manual: The step-by-step guide for building a great company. Pescadero, Calif.: K & S Ranch Publ. (Chapters 8 to 12)

 


Session 3 (in class): Customer Validation

October 2 | L9 1-2, Lecture Hall 001 | 9am - 1pm

Topics:

  • Assessment of your preparation of deliverables II (see above, 5% of overall grade), each team: 5 min presentation + 3min Q&A/ feedback
  • Customer Validation
  • Problem-Solution Fit

 


Teamwork preparation for Session 4

Task: 

  • Validate your short list ideas with your potential customers.
    • This will require you to go out with your ideas and talk to people.
    • Learn how to improve your prototypes and what your customers really need and appreciate about your solutions
    • Document your learnings
  • Find your top prototype and further expand it to your MVP
  • Think about potential business model implications 
  • Serious business - take into account best practices and examples, talk to entrepreneurs a lot (e.g., in the Startup Lounges)

Deliverables Session 4: 

  • Documented customer validation cases (> 50) 
  • Your MVP 
  • Progress in the WhatAVenture-Tool
  • Business Model Implications
  • Preparation for (individual) exam based on the course book Blank, S., & Dorf, B. (2012). The startup owner's manual: The step-by-step guide for building a great company. Pescadero, Calif.: K & S Ranch Publ.

Please note: Experiencing doubts about your idea is highly appreciated - you are pivoting from what does not work to what can work.

Suggested readings:

  • Maurya, A. (2016). Scaling lean: Mastering the key metrics for startup growth. London: Portfolio Penguin. - Your choice of what helps you improve (not exam relevant).
  • Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2013). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. New York: Wiley & Sons. - Your choice of what helps you improve (not exam relevant).

 


Session 4 (in class): Business Model I

October 16 | L9 1-2, Lecture Hall 001 | 9am - 1pm

Topics:

  • Exam (30min, 20% of your grade)
  • Assessment of your preparation of deliverables III (see above, 5% of overall grade), each team: 5 min presentation + 3min Q&A/ feedback
  • Business Models
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Market Research & Competitor Analysis

 


Teamwork preparation for Session 5

Task: 

  • Have your WhatAVenture documentation (almost) ready by now - pivot/ re-iterate if necessary (this means: do not panic if you have to change stuff, learn to love it)

Deliverables next session: 

  • Documentation in the WhatAVenture-Tool up to Financial Plan

Please note: If you experience doubts about your ideas, you can always go back and try another idea or pivot!

 

Suggested readings:

  • Maurya, A. (2016). Scaling lean: Mastering the key metrics for startup growth. London: Portfolio Penguin. - Your choice of what helps you improve (not exam relevant).
  • Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2013). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. New York: Wiley & Sons. - Your choice of what helps you improve (not exam relevant).

 


Session 5 (in class): Business Model II

October 30MAFINEX ( Room C4), Julius-Hatry-Straße 1, Mannheim | 9am - 1pm

Topics:

  • Mid-term pitch (10% of your grade), each team: 10min presentation + 3min Q&A
  • Entrepreneurial Marketing
  • Financial Planning 

 


Teamwork preparation for Session 6

Task: 

  • Prepare a first version of your pitch presentation & pitch deck for your startup
  • Serious business - take into account best practices and examples, talk to entrepreneurs a lot (e.g., in the Startup Lounges)
  • Improve your product/solution fit and business model 
  • Have your WhatAVenture documentation (almost) ready by now - pivot/ re-iterate if necessary 

Deliverables next session: 

  • First version of your pitch presentation & pitch deck
  • Full documentation in the WhatAVenture-Tool
  • Demonstrate progress 

Suggested readings:

  • Pitching Hacks Bible  - Your choice of what helps you improve.
  • Maurya, A. (2016). Scaling lean: Mastering the key metrics for startup growth. London: Portfolio Penguin. - Your choice of what helps you improve.
  • Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2013). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. New York: Wiley & Sons. - Your choice of what helps you improve.

 


Session 6 (in class): Pitch Preparation

November 13MAFINEX ( Room C4), Julius-Hatry-Straße 1, Mannheim | 9am - 1pm

Topics:

  • Assessment of your preparation of deliverables IV (see above, 5% of overall grade), each team: 5 min presentation + 3min Q&A/ feedback
  • Pitching
  • Feedback opportunity with coaches

 


Teamwork preparation for Session 7

 Task: 

  • Finalize your pitch deck
  • Improve your pitch - Practice!
  • Improve your product/solution fit and business model 

Deliverables next session: 

  • (Almost) final pitch deck
  • Improvements in pitch presentation 
  • Demonstrate overall progress

 


Session 7 (in class): Pitch Finalization

November 27 | MAFINEX ( Room C4), Julius-Hatry-Straße 1, Mannheim | 9am - 1pm

Topics:

  • Assessment of your preparation of deliverables V (see above, 5% of overall grade), each team: 10min presentation + 3min Q&A
  • Feedback opportunity with coaches

 


Teamwork preparation for Session 8:

Task: 

  • Improve your pitch deck
  • Improve your pitch - Practice!
  • Improve your product/solution fit and business model 
  • Demonstrate progress

 


Session 8: The Final Pitch

November 30 | L9 1-2, Lecture Hall 001 | 5pm - 8pm

You are going to pitch your idea in front of an expert jury (25% of your grade). 

  • Final pitch, each team: 10min presentation + 3min Q&A

 


Award Ceremony & Celebration

November 30 | Café L3 | from 8pm

Final award ceremony of the winning team and celebrating your team achievements.

 


Final Deliverable

Hand in your project documentation in form of a brief (15 pages + appendix) business plan (10% of your grade).

 


 

Contact

E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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