Startup Engineering

Complementary elective course in “Business & Management”

andreas baetz, pixabay, cc0


  • 2 ECTS

Target Audience

  • Master students with “Business & Management” courses in their curriculum
  • Students with a strong interest and motivation in acquiring the skills required to build new technology startups.



Startups are temporary, team-based organizations, which can form independently, but also within established companies. They pursue one central objective: taking a business idea to market by finding and designing a repeatable and scalable business model. This entrepreneurial process involves gathering and combining resources that you do not (yet) possess and dealing with high uncertainty about what combinations of resources actually generate value. This course module is designed to introduce students to a systematic Startup Engineering approach to master the process of taking a business idea to market in light of resource contraints and uncertainty.

Startup Engineering takes an iterative approach, in that it favors variety and alternatives over one detailed, linear five-year business plan to reach steady state operations. From a problem solving and systems thinking perspective, Startup Engineers create different possible versions of a new venture and alternative hypotheses about value creation for customers and value capture vis-à-vis competitors. To test critical hypotheses early on, Startup Engineers engage in an evidence-based, experimental trial-and-error learning process that measures real progress.

The workflow in this course module is comprised of three elements:
  1. (Flipped) classroom: learning about and discussing concepts and tools currently prevailing in theory and practice of modern technology entrepreneurship.
  2. Problem-based learning: deepen an understanding of the concepts and tools by seeing them applied and applying them to real company cases.
  3. Experiential learning: applying the concepts and tools in teams to an own new startup project.

Students are invited to apply to this course module already with a startup idea and/ or team, but this is not a requirement. We will form teams and ideas in the beginning of the course.


Upon completion of this course module, students will be able to:

  • Apply a modern innovation toolkit relevant in both the startup & corporate world
  • Analyze business opportunities in terms of its constituent elements
  • Design new business models by gathering and combining relevant ideas, facts and information
  • Evaluate business opportunities and derive judgment about next steps & decisions

This course module can prepare students for the following career paths:

  • Startup founder
  • Early employee in a startup
  • New business development in established corporations
  • Venture capital investing

Grading/ Evaluation

  • Startup Engineering: Project (team deliverable): Development and pitch of an own startup project


Time & Location

  • Monday, Dec 12th, 09.00 - 17.00, Building Startup Port, Harburger Schloßstrasse 6-12, Room Hertz Hörsaal
  • Tuesday, Dec 13th, 09.00 - 17.00, Building Startup Port, Harburger Schloßstrasse 6-12, Room Hertz Hörsaal
  • Friday, Dec 16th, 09.00 - 17.00, Building Startup Port, Harburger Schloßstrasse 6-12, Room Hertz Hörsaal
As long as the current situation stands, physical meetings will be replaced by online and video conference sessions to which registered participants will receive access in due time.

Course Notes & Materials

Access to course notes & materials here.

Preliminary Schedule

1Dec 12thIntroduction
2Dec 12thCustomer Segmentation
3Dec 12thTechnology & Product Development
4Dec 12thCompetition & Market Analysis
5Dec 13thPlatform Business Models
6Dec 13thRevenue Models & Pricing
7Dec 13thLean Startup & Experimentation
8Dec 13thMarketing for Startup Growth
9Dec 16thSales for Startup Growth
10Dec 16thOrganizing for Startup Growth
11Dec 16thFinancial Analysis
12Dec 16thFinal Startup Pitches
13Dec 23thSubmission of Final Pitch Deck
Prof. Dr. Christoph Ihl
Professor & Head of Institute

My research interests include cultural entrepreneurship, social networks and natural language processing.

Dr. Hannes W. Lampe
Research Associate & Post-Doc

My research interests lie at the intersection of Technologie, Innovation and Entrepreneurhip (TIE) and Public and Nonprofit Management (PNP).

Oliver Mork
Research Assistant & Doctoral Student

My research interests lie at the intersection of Econometrics & Machine Learning.