Technology Entrepreneurship

Startup Engineering: How to build a startup

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  • 6 ECTS module
  • 2 courses Entrepreneurship & Creation of Business Opportunities

Target Audience

  • Master students in IWI, LIM & GTIME
  • Engineering Masters, Erasmus & NTW students please refer to this course
    (duplicated because of capacity contraints)



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 student for the following career paths:

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


  • 40% (team): Development and pitch of an own startup project
  • 35% (team): Case solutions submitted in/after class
  • 15% (individual): Three case memos submitted before class
  • 10% (individual): Class participation


Time & Location

  • Entrepreneurship: Monday, 13.00 - 14.30, Buidling A, Room A 1.20
  • Creation of Business Opportunities: Monday, 15.00 - 17.30, Buidling O, Room 018
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

1April 20thIntroduction
2April 27thCustomer Segmentation
3May 4thBusiness Model Design
4May 11thRevenue Models & Pricing
5May 18thMarket Sizing & Competition Analysis
6May 25thLean Startup & Experimentation
-June 1stPfingsten Holiday
7June 8thIntermediate Pitches
8June 15thMarketing
9June 22thSales
10June 29thScaling Operations
11July 6thFinancial Projections
12July 13thFinal Startup Pitches
13July 20thSubmission of Final Pitch Deck
Prof. Dr. Christoph Ihl
Professor & Head of Institute

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