The Lean LaunchPad at Stanford—The Final Presentations

5/10/11Follow @sgblank

The Stanford Lean LaunchPad class was an experiment in a new model of teaching startup entrepreneurship. This last post – part nine – highlights the final team presentations. Parts one through eight, the class lectures, are here, Guide for our mentors is here. Syllabus is here.

This is the End
Class lectures were over last week, but most teams kept up the mad rush to talk to even more customers and further refine their products. Now they were standing in front of us to give their final presentations. They had all worked hard. Teams spent an average of 50 to 100 hours a week on their companies, interviewed 50+ customers and surveyed hundreds (in some cases thousands) more.

While the slide presentations of each team are interesting to look at, that’s actually the sideshow. What really matters are the business model canvas diagrams in the body and appendix of each presentation. These diagrams are the visual representation of the how and the what a team learned in the class – how they tested their hypotheses by getting out of the building using the Customer Development process and what they learned about each part of their business model.

By comparing the changes the teams made week-to-week-week in their business model canvas diagrams, you’ll see the dynamics of entrepreneurship, as they iterate and Pivot over time. We believe these are the first visual representations of learning over time.

Team Agora

If you can’t see the Agora slides above, click here.

Team Autonomow

If you can’t see the Autonomow slides above, click here.
(p.s. they’re going to make a company out of this class project, and they’re hiring engineers.)

Team Blink Traffic

If you can’t see the Blink traffic slides above, click here.

Team D.C. Veritas

If you can’t see the D.C. Veritas slides above, click here.

Team Mammoptics


If you can’t see the Mammoptics slides above, click here.

Team OurCrave

If you can’t see the OurCrave slides above, click here.

Team PersonalLibraries

If you can’t see the PersonalLibraries slides above, click here.

Team PowerBlocks

If you can’t see the PowerBlocks slides above, click here.

Team Voci.us

If you can’t see the Voci.us slides above, click here.

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Why Did We Teach This Class?
Many entrepreneurship courses focus on teaching students “how to write a business plan.” Others emphasize how to build a product. We believe the former is simply wrong and the later insufficient.

Business plans are fine for large companies where there is an existing market, existing product and existing customers, but in a startup all of these elements are unknown and the process of discovering them is filled with rapidly changing assumptions. Experienced entrepreneurs realize that no business plan survives first contact with customers. So our goal was to teach something actually useful in the lives of founders.

Building a product is a critical part of a startup, but just implementing build, measure, learn without a framework to understand customers, channel, pricing, etc. is just another … Next Page »

Steve Blank is the co-author of The Startup Owner's Manual and author of the Four Steps to the Epiphany, which details his Customer Development process for minimizing risk and optimizing chances for startup success. A retired serial entrepreneur, Steve teaches at Stanford University Engineering School and at U.C. Berkeley's Haas Business School. He blogs at www.steveblank.com. Follow @sgblank

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