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Developing Novel Business Models

Course code
Course type
BSc Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2020
Prof. Dr. Dries Faems
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.
This course aims to provide students an in-depth understanding of the theoretical and practical challenges of developing novel business models. During the course, the students will deal with the generation and identification of promising entrepreneurial opportunities as well as the systematic evaluation of business concepts. Furthermore, the course provides content on the lean startup methodology and addresses the required skills to pitch an initial business model. In the course, students are confronted with state-of-the-art academic and practical insights regarding the topic of business model development. They are expected to absorb theoretical knowledge, apply and gain experience with practical tools and critically reflect on hypes and trends with respect to business model development.
Date Time
Tuesday, 07.01.2020 08:00 - 11:15
Tuesday, 14.01.2020 08:00 - 11:15
Thursday, 23.01.2020 08:00 - 11:15
Friday, 31.01.2020 13:45 - 17:00
Tuesday, 04.02.2020 08:00 - 11:15
Tuesday, 11.02.2020 08:00 - 11:15
Applied theories and methods
Creativity methods and tools
Business idea pitching and business pitch videos
Evaluation methods and tools
Business Model Canvas method
Lean startup approach
Throughout the course, we will use several chapters of the book Osterwalder, A. and Y. Pigneur. 2010. Business Model Generation. This book is available WHU Online Library (personal login data required):https://ebookcentral.proquest.com.login.bibproxy.whu.edu/lib/whuo/detail.action?docID=581476 Module 1: Fundamentals of Business Models and Problem MappingIn this first module, we discuss the fundamentals of business models. Subsequently, we engage in an ideation workshop, using the Serious Lego Play methodology. This workshop will help in identifying the core problem and core customer segment(s) for the group assignment.Reading material:- Osterwalder, A. and Y. Pigneur. (2010): Subsection on Ideation (pp 134-145).- Teece, D.J. (2010) Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation. Long Range Planning, 43: 172-194.- Chesbrough, H. (2010) Business Model Innovation: Opportunities and barriers. Long Range Planning, 43: 354-363.- Christensen, C.M., Bartman, T., van Bever, D. (2016) The hard truth about business model innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 58.- Zott, C., Amit, R. and Massa, L. (2011) The Business Model: Recent development and future research. Journal of Management, 37: 1019-1042.Module 2: The Role of Customers and End-UsersIn this module, we delve deeper into the core role of customers and end-users for business model generation. First, we discuss some important trends regarding customer and user involvement based on academic articles. Subsequently, we engage in a customer empathy mapping workshop. The purpose of this workshop is to get a better feeling for the needs and problems of the core customer segment(s) in the group assignment and to start developing a value proposition.Reading material:- Osterwalder, A. and Y. Pigneur. 2010: Subsection on Customer Insight (pp 126-133).- Von Hippel, E. (2005) Democratizing innovation: The evolving phenomenon of user innovation. JfB, 55: 63-78.- Chesbrough, H. (2007) Why companies should have open business models. MITSloan Management Review, 48.- Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., and Van Alstyne, M.W. (2006) Strategies for two-sided markets, October 2006.Module 3: The Business Model CanvasIn this module, we discuss the different aspects of the business canvas model and resulting business model patterns. During this module, students will be challenged to apply the provided insights, developing a first business model for their own group assignment.Reading material:- Osterwalder, A. and Y. Pigneur. 2010: Section on Canvas (pp 10-51) and section on Patterns (pp 52-121)Module 4: Hypotheses Development and Lean StartupIn this module, we look into the lean startup approach and evidence based entrepreneurship. A workshop will be conducted, stimulating students to engage in hypotheses development and smoke testing their business model for the group assignment.Reading Material:- Steve Blank. 2013. Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything. Harvard Business Review, May. - Eisenmann, T. R., Ries, E., & Dillard, S. 2012. Hypothesis-driven entrepreneurship: The lean startup. (Harvard Business School 9-812-095)Module 5: Introduction to Pitching and Feedback SessionIn this session, we provide an overview of best practices in pitching a new business models. Students will actively apply these insights and start developing a pitch for their own business model.Reading Material:- Osterwalder, A. and Y. Pigneur (2010) Subsection on Sorytelling (pp 170-179)Module 6: Pitching and ReflectionIn this module, all groups will conduct an in-class pitch of their business model. At the end of this course, students will also be encouraged to reflect on their learning experiences during this course.
The course consists of six modules. Within these modules, we will conduct both lectures and in-class workshops. For each module, students are expected to read papers and/or book chapters in advance and to prepare particular assignments.
Group assignments and individual assignment
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