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 the 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

Format & Grading
Classes will be conducted as a general workshop where we’ll mimic the environment and culture of a business incubator. The class style will be casual, and each session may be broken up into presentations, discussions and working sessions based on the weekly goals. The aim is to have guest speakers and participants give presentations, lead discussions and give critique at vital points in the course’s progression. The class participants will be asked to inform one another with grounded consideration of the skills, activities, challenges, common tools and business examples associated with each other’s project.

Individual grading will be based on the following criteria:

  • Attendance
  • Completion of all assignments
  • Constructive contributions to class activities
  • Quality + design of presentations + assignments
  • Resourcefulness + demonstrated progress

Enrollment Restrictions
No prerequisites. This course is open to all Institute of Design students.