Netherlands, Utrecht (NL)

Business Innovation. ‘There’s the Idea, the Business Model and then there’s the Customer’

when 13 July 2015 - 24 July 2015
duration 2 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 875

We live in an ever faster world and business uncertainty is growing. To survive business needs to be conducted as unusual. Innovation needs to go beyond the incremental innovation that has been perfected over the past 50 years of marketing. Businesses need methods that enable them to explore and consider unusual business opportunities. The very young field of entrepreneurial innovation is starting to put together the answers that will help business thrive in the 21st century, with management techniques fit for an environment of extreme uncertainty.

A second trend is the increasing automation of jobs, not only manual labour but now also knowledge jobs are in danger of automation. Large companies are employing fewer people as a result while still generating increased profits. But these companies experience the same environmental uncertainty and the skills they need in new hires are the innovation skills to re-invent the business.

This course will provide you insight into those skills and also give you the skills that are required to start your own innovative new business.

No background in business is required. What is required is an interest in solving customer problems and an openness to doing, not just knowing. As Walt Disney is quoted as saying, "The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing". Whatever the background you have in the arts, business, psychology, humanities, engineering, or your level; you have valuable skills to contribute to a entrepreneurial team as long as you have a good attitude and drive to succeed.

This course is for you if;
- you are interested in new creative approaches to innovation management;
- you are a curious entrepreneur;
- you've heard of lean start-up and want to more;

The course uses a combination of experiential learning (testing assumptions in front of real customers), a flipped classroom in which you bring your outside-the-building back into the classroom for feedback on your learning process, includes design thinking and lean startup principles to create a fast, agile, customer focused innovation process and experience.

Lecturers are experienced entrepreneurs and start-up coaches. Visits to diverse incubators, accelerators and corporate enterprise programs throughout the Netherlands provide extra spice in the program.

This course is the first part of an intensive entrepreneurial experience course on Evidence based Entrepreneurship and could either be followed as a separate 2 weeks’ course or as part of a Special Track of 5 weeks (see course "Lean LaunchPad" - B20).

This first Part 1 dives deep into developing business ideas, systematically uncovering business opportunities, designing a business model around a business idea/ opportunity and going on a customer safari to get an in-depth understanding and empathy for your customer and insight into problems that the customer experiences.
Part 2 continues where part 1 ends and begins with designing and validating the value proposition for the customer who is now understood in detail. Once the solution to the customer problem is validated through the building and testing of a series of minimal viable products we proceed to validate other aspects of the business model such as the revenue stream and pricing, how you will reach and support customers and the partners your business will require. We'll end by doing an in-depth analysis of the cost structure that underpins this business and conclude by assessing if the opportunity is indeed worth pursuing with the resultant business model, or if more thought and work needs to go into making a sustainable and profitable business out of the opportunity by developing the business model further.

Participants following Part 1 will learn how to gain deep empathy for a customer segment and understanding of uncovering customer problems. Participants following both parts will understand how to design, test and deliver the customer's desired solution.

Course leader

J. Offereins

Target group

Students from all levels (Bachelor and Master); a business programme background is not required, however a strong interest in and willingness to stress test and challenge that brilliant idea is. This course offers a non-traditional learning environment, so participants must be open to discovery and have an experimental attitude.

Course aim

Students will have researched and discovered an innovative business idea, and will have tested the feasibility. In doing so they will have refined their business vision and business model, and have developed entrepreneurial ’muscles’. In short, they will be ready to go.

Credits info

4 EC
Certificate of Attendance

Fee info

EUR 875: Course + course materials + housing
EUR 535: Course + course materials


Utrecht Summer School does not offer scholarships for this course.

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