New Venture Design

This course will teach aspiring entrepreneurs how to build design-led start-ups and new ventures.

Students will learn how to launch in-market experiments and test new business ideas through iterative ‘explore, create, build and learn’ cycles. This exploration will happen across the four critical elements of a new venture: brand / value proposition, user experience, business model and organization. Students will walk away with an understanding of how to architect new ventures using a combination of user empathy, market data and intuition.

Learning Objectives

New Venture Design aims to teach students how to design new ventures and start-ups in a systematic and disciplined manner, with human empathy at the forefront. Students will learn how to:

  • focus the design of new ventures by anchoring around human needs and behavioral insights
  • work in sequence through the implications of brand / value proposition, user experience, business model and organization to develop a holistic new venture
  • run in-market experiments to generate confidence in an idea and reduce market risk
  • interpret in-market learning and persist, pivot or kill an idea based on market feedback


Learning Outcomes

New Venture Design will have a heavy bias toward execution (vs. theory). Classes will rely on the application of new tools, worksheets, approaches, etc. to guide the new venture creation process, as opposed to being heavily lecture-based. By completion of the course, students should have achieved some combination of these outcomes:

  • translated an initial spark or inspiration into a holistic new venture idea
  • collected market-based evidence to validate the merit of the new venture idea
  • developed an experimentation plan to continue refining the new venture idea
  • begun to operate aspects of the venture, whether in prototype, alpha or beta form
  • developed communication tools to shop the new venture around to stakeholders and investors
Managing Interdisciplinary Teams Design Connoisseurship Engaging Stakeholders in Innovation Special Topics Faculty Research Design Process and Knowledge Making the User Centered Case
Modeling Complexity Theories of Communication Fundamentals of Visual Communication Advanced Diagramming Metaphor and Analogy in Design Diagram Development Communication Strategies Communication Design Workshop
Extensions of Media and Technology Interactive Space Interaction Design for Embedded Systems Interaction Design for Immersive Systems Prototyping Interactions Persuasive Interaction Design History of Interaction Design Interaction Design Methods Digital Development Workshop Interaction Design Workshop
Planning + Strategy
Designing Futures Adaptive Leadership Strategies for Open Innovation Organizational Models for Innovation Social and Economic Context of Design New Venture Design Innovation Methods Planning Implementation Business Models and Value Webs Business Frameworks and Strategy Design Planning Workshop Introduction to Portfolio Planning
Design Development & Implementation Product Architecture and Platforms Form and Materials New Product Definition Product Design Workshop
Systems and Systems Theory in Design Networked Objects Networked Cities Human System Integration Systems Modeling and Prototyping Platform-based Design Strategy Systems Approach to Design Information Structuring and Management Structured Planning Workshop Service Systems Workshop
User Research
Stimulus in Design Research Behavioral Economics Online Research Methods Principles and Methods of User Research Coding and Analysis Co-Design and Participatory Research Methods Survey Methods Cultural Probes Experience Modeling Interview Methods Research Photography Research Planning & Execution