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NCIIA 2014 - Adapting Lean Startup in NUvention Web

Michael Marasco I gave this presentation at NCIIA 2014 in San Jose on March 22, 2014. We talked about our experience evolving the curriculum using iCorp tools: UDACITY course, Startup Owners Manual, and LeanLaunchpad. We give 6 lessons for educators that we took away from using the iCorp material

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NCIIA 2014 - Adapting Lean Startup in NUvention Web

  1. 1. Flipping the Classroom and Getting out of the Building: The experience of incorporating Udacity, Launchpadcentral, and The Startup Owner‟s Manual in a multi-disciplinary entrepreneurship course at Northwestern University Michael Marasco & Todd Warren
  2. 2. Agenda • NUvention Courses and NUvention Web: History and Curricular Objectives • Syllabus and approach: Before and After Adoption of I-Corps Curricula • Lessons Learned from NUvention Web 2013 • Changes for 2014, and mid-course lessons (Hot off the presses!)
  3. 3. What is NUvention? • Interdisciplinary/Experiential • What students are asking for • Alums with deep experience chair classes • The next step beyond case based learning • More strucutred incubator/accelerator experience • Start-ups are not a goal but nice follow-on validation • True partnership of students, faculty, alums, government, and industry
  4. 4. NUvention Web • Focused on Web or Mobile Applications • Business and Design and Software Engineering • Undergraduate and Graduate • Two Quarters • Chaired by Alum; Mentored and Evaluated by Advisory Board • 2014 is our 5th year
  5. 5. Our 2012 Epiphany… 2012 Syllabus • Four Steps to the Epiphany, RunningLean, Contextual Design, Lectures • Instructor-driven team formation based on general areas • Team meetings with mentors • Lots of homework • Mid and end course formal pitches to Advisory 2013 Syllabus • Startup Weekend kick-off and specific idea team formation 60 days prior to class • Weekly Critiques/limited lecture in specialized areas • Blank Udacity course • Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas • Heavier software development focus
  6. 6. Lesson 1: Think beyond the canvas • Get students focused on the value proposition and market • Better Tool: Character, Context, Problem, Payoff (C2P2) • Canvas/Customer Development alone will not guarantee a large enough market to target: Actually pushes students to smaller TAM’s • Better Tool: Market Brief (more like Four Steps Worksheets) focus on market size, segment definition, turning the C2P2 into a positioning statement. • Cannot ignore competition • Better Tool: GoogleDoc with competitive matrix of team versus top 10 competitors
  7. 7. Lesson 2: Critique isn‟t the only way to run class • 12 Teams, all critique==complete class boredom by week 3 • Student peer critique in LPC lacked real value • Instructor team felt like it was hard to have longer more interactive feedback with teams. • Solution: • Split Critique (2 rooms, 6 teams each, 2 critiquers/room+TA) • Combined “lessons learned” (mini lecture using class examples, tie back to Udacity) • 60-90 minutes team timewith faculty engagement • Don’t Critique every week
  8. 8. Lesson 3: A great MOOC is not a panacea • Even good students focus on the project and business, not on the readings or lectures. • MOOC is no better than a text (especially because Udacity has no way to track/LPC new functionality addresses) • A general course is abstract. Most students need specifics that meet them halfway to learn • Mini lectures mentioned before, all about examples with the team’s projects • Blank’s UCSF Life Sciences class highlights this evolution as well
  9. 9. Lesson 4: Make “Getting out of the Building” Effective • Give them some tools to help make interviews effective. • Customer Maps • Contextual Design Idea of “context” • Types of interviews (open ended, watching the customer, practice presentation) • Green field vs. paper vs. actual prototype interviews • Large numbers of interviews = Learning • Very important to review what they are doing
  10. 10. Lesson 5: Form teams that stick • 2013 team formation evolved to student driven based on their input • Complete Mayhem: • All students looking for team members to pursue their personal idea • Early Customer Development challenges idea and non idea owner looks to bolt if idea owner unwilling to pivot to what CD is pointing to • B School discovery students unwilling to pivot • Intense faculty intervention required since joint idea ownership did not occur • Talking pivot is much easier than pivoting • Set expectations around finding well rounded team. Idea is secondary/tertiary • Lost faculty meeting time with teams to critiques which amplified issues since faculty not sitting with teams
  11. 11. Lesson 6: Drive to Problem Solution/Market Fit • Create milestones for both • Push SW development early so can have MVP • Concierge MVP • Real MVP • True hypothesis testing can then start • Use real life companies to drive teams to fit • Everpix vs. WhatsApp • Advisory Board mentors can really help here • “Red” cards and “Yellow” cards for folks who get stuck or in love with their idea too much
  12. 12. 2014 Curriculum Changes • Defer Canvas Introduction until Mid first Quarter • Put customer, problem/solution front and center • Give interview quantity it’s own column in the syllabus • Force teams to have a working MVP in first 5 weeks • Less Critique, More Team time • Use more focused team assessment • Team formation based on roles, less on ideas—insure balance! • Team time in class versus breakouts
  13. 13. Lessons so far in 2014 • We are adding more critique in 2nd quarter • Will use the “split class” technique to better use class time • Still need to work on hypothesis building • Augment udacity with best practices in class usage of launchpadcentral • Need to introduce startup Product Management • Considering making it a formal role (we did so in early years) • It’s important to be a tough coach/practice tough love • “When good students fall in love with bad ideas” • Engage customer segments beyond other students
  14. 14. NUvention Web „14 •Value Prop •Target Customer •Problem Scenario Payoff Problem ID •Interviews •Persona •Target Market/Context Customer Development •Prod Mgt •UI •Initial Canvas •Initial Prod MVP •Product Mgt •Product Market Fit •Product Refinement Initial Pitch Scenario Slice MVP
  15. 15. NUvention Web ‟14 - Spring •Flesh out Canvas •Re-Engage Customers •Dev Iterations Persist or Pivot? •Get, Keep, Grow •Engage Early Customers •Advanced Agile Acquire & Build •Launch •Customer Purchase/Trial •Cohort Analysis First Customer Ship •Business Model Proof •Refined Product •Customer Feedback Final Pitch Product and Customer Development Build MeasureLearn Build MeasureLearn Build MeasureLearn
  16. 16. Stuff We Love from the Curriculum • Focus on getting out of the building • Get, Keep, Grow • One page marketing tactics • Online critique in Launcpadcentral • Market Sizing—though should be expanded and enhanced • LPC/BMC levels playing field for non business students • GitHub as technical and business repository

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Michael Marasco I gave this presentation at NCIIA 2014 in San Jose on March 22, 2014. We talked about our experience evolving the curriculum using iCorp tools: UDACITY course, Startup Owners Manual, and LeanLaunchpad. We give 6 lessons for educators that we took away from using the iCorp material


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