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New Venture Discovery: From Idea to Minimal Viable Product

Columbia Business School and Columbia University via Canvas Network

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Overview

The New Venture Discovery course provides participants with an applied, practical course focusing on the development, testing, and validation of business models in support of new venture creation. For a new venture concept, business model issues are addressed in a fashion highly consistent with “lean” venture planning methodologies, including problem-solution identification, product-market fit, customer discovery, in-depth industry and market analysis, minimal viable product development, and startup success metrics.

At the highest level, you will come away with clear answers to the following questions.

  • What are common challenges to venture creation and how can they be mitigated through thoughtful business model development?
  • How do you develop a business model to test your assumptions about product offerings and market demand?
  • How do you create effective interview protocols and surveys to help validate your assumptions about customer problems (pain points), solutions, and benefits (expected gain)?
  • How do you assess your competitors’ business models in order to build best practices as well identify areas for differentiation for competitive advantage?
  • How do you develop a minimal viable product to gain additional feedback on core product performance features? Which metrics are critical to measure and validate business model assumptions?

The course uses a proprietary sequence of modules, tools, and worksheets to support the development of your new venture’s business model. You learn how to use a business model to brainstorm and design each part of your venture, from customer experience to early product development. Specific skill development and issues covered include:

  • Opportunity Identification - Articulating the problem to be solved and the potential benefit to the customer
  • Business Model Development - Turning your new venture idea into a business model designed to test and validate assumptions about what it takes to build repeatable and scalable business
  • Customer Discovery - Testing your assumptions about the alignment between your product offering and targeted market through interviews and surveys with early potential customers
  • Value Proposition - Synthesizing the unique benefits of new offerings through comparisons with the competition in the marketplace
  • Early Product Development - Building minimal viable products to test customer acceptance
  • Key Partners - Understanding your industry ecosystem in order to identify best practices and common challenges
  • Profit Models - Identifying revenue sources while minimizing cost factors
  • Startup Metrics - Identifying critical indicators for benchmarking, measuring, and monitoring

Taught by

Jack McGourty, Ph.D

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