14 teams were shortlisted for interviews for the Lean LaunchPad class starting at UC Berkeley on Jan 23 2012. This class is best suited for teams that are willing to run experiments (test their hypotheses) to "search" for a repeatable and scalable business model rather than "executing" a business model they have in mind.
The focus during the 10 minute interview was to smell out the right mix of skills, passion for their interesting idea, prior failures and most likely to run multiple experiments to validate the 9 elements of their business model.
The 9 teams span a wide spectrum, hard science problems like providing better inputs for cancer and diabetes management, to high tech problems of secure public cloud storage for enterprises, to fundamentally changing the dialogue on end of life planning.
The next 10 weeks will be an intense yet rewarding experience as we subject the teams to the time and cash pressures of startups. Teams will blog their progress each week as they spend more time outside the building talking to customers, competitors and partners.
This course provides real world, hands-on learning on what it’s like to actually start a high-tech company. This class is not about how to write a business plan. It’s not an exercise on how smart you are in a classroom, or how well you use the research library. The end result is not a PowerPoint slide deck for a VC presentation. Instead you will be getting your hands dirty talking to customers, partners, competitors, as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of how a startup actually works. You’ll work in teams learning how to turn a great idea into a great company. You’ll learn how to use a business model to brainstorm each part of a company and customer development to get out of the classroom to see whether anyone other than you would want/use your product. Finally, you’ll see how agile development can help you rapidly iterate your product to build something customers will use and buy. Each week will be a new adventure as you test each part of your business model and then share the hard earned knowledge with the rest of the class. Working with your team you will encounter issues on how to build and work with a team and we will help you understand how to build and manage the startup team.
Completed Application Forms are due by 01/13/12 11:59:59 PM. This is a mandatory requirement for getting in this class.
Here is the latest version of the syllabus: EW295T.1 Syllabus. Keep in mind that it is still subject to revision and you check back regularly to see if there have been any changes. Please read the syllabus carefully. Most of the frequently asked questions have been answered in the FAQs section of this website. If you have additional questions, please email the TA.
The team-mentor pairing list will be listed here when finalized.
The amazing mentors (VC's, senior executives and entrepreneurs) mentoring our student teams for MBA295F.1 are: