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In this course we apply the Google-Sprint Format to class and to a blocked week of company visits in Berlin.
Course code
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
HS 2019
Prof. Dr. Christoph Hienerth
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.

In this course we apply the Google-Sprint Format to class and to a blocked period of company visits in Berlin.

We build teams and business models within the run of the course.

Following the five day sprint logic, we train the following skills:

1) analyze problems and challenges (day 1)

2) get an overview of the industry and competitors and start developing the value proposition as well as the customer segment (day 2)

3) build the business model and the prototype (day 3)

4) collect customer feedback (day 4)

5) report and pitch about all components (day 5)

The result is a real business idea and model that has undergone its first test via customer feedback using a real physical or electronic prototype.

Relating to MiE objective 1.1. Students will master the collection and analysis of diverse sets of information relevant for their entrepreneurial endeavors:

Students will have expert knowledge in the exploration phase of developing a business model, involving the aspects of: industry trends, competitive landscape, important customer segments and related pain points as well as identification of customer jobs.

Relating to MiE objective 1.2. Students will be capable of developing promising novel business ideas and business models:

Students will have expert knowledge of current tools and methods in identifying and developing business ideas and models.

Relating to MiE objective 1.3. Students will master the process of evidence-based entrepreneurship (i.e.: defining business hypotheses and empirically validating/rejecting them):

Students can master the process of developing business hypotheses, choosing test settings and validating/rejecting them.

Relating to MiE objective 1.4. Students will be experts in scaling new business (i.e. mastering the operative setup of new business):

Students will have an expert knowledge of important business model metrics related to specific types of business models as well as growth/scaling stages.

Relating to MiE objective 1.5. Students will be experienced in building and maintaining strong teams and partnerships:

Students will have expertise in building a strong startup team and in setting up contacts to the entrepreneurial ecosystem of their respective country of operation.

Date Time
Wednesday, 04.09.2019 11:30 - 15:15
Monday, 16.09.2019 11:30 - 15:15
Wednesday, 02.10.2019 11:30 - 15:15
Tuesday, 08.10.2019 11:30 - 15:15
Monday, 14.10.2019 08:00 - 23:59
Tuesday, 15.10.2019 08:00 - 23:59
Wednesday, 16.10.2019 08:00 - 23:59
Mandatory literature:Baehr, Evan and Evan Loomis. 2015. Get Backed. Harvard Business Review Press.Optional literature: Knapp J., Zeratsky J., and Kowitz B. 2016. Sprint. How to solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days, Transworld Publishers, London.Croll A, and Yoskovitz B. 2013. Lean Analytics. Part 2, Chapters 5-20, O’Reilly.Bettencourt, Lance A. and Anthony W. Ulwick 2008. The Customer-Centered Innovation Map. Harvard Business Review, May.Osterwalder, Alexander and Yves Pigneur. 2010. Business Model Generation. Wiley & Sons, New Jersey,USA. Part 1, Canvas (pages 14-56).Free pdf at:http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/downloads/businessmodelgeneration_preview.pdfSteve Blank. 2013. Why the Lean Start-Up Changes Everything. Harvard Business Review, May.Blank, Steve and Bob Dorf. 2012. The Startup Owner’s Manual. K&S Ranch Publishing Division. Pescaredo, CA.
Lectures (two half day introduction workshops, one half day pitch preparation workshop, half day presentation finals)

Class discussions (discussion of current tools and applications of tools)

Visit at partner companies in Berlin (3 days, 6-8 partner companies)

Group case work (working on a sprint to develop business ideas)

The examination consists of a group exam and an individual exam:

Group examination (50%):

Presentation of business idea at the chair (individual group presentation, not in plenum).

Grading criteria:

  • Relevance and impact of the business idea
  • Concreteness and potential implementation of the business idea
  • Quality of the content (all important parts considered?)
  • Analytic quality (use of hypotheses, metrics, measures, real data, etc.)
  • Quality/use of prototype
  • Use of current tools and methods

Individual exam (50%):

Pitch deck, including major hypotheses in the notes section:

The major goal of the course is to make you fit for a real and convincing presentation of your own business idea. Thus, as a final check of your progress, you will have to hand in a pitch deck with the following relevant characteristics:

Pitch deck, 10 slides, including notes section with major hypotheses

The pitch deck is the backbone for any pitch. It will help you to achieve a better outcome/pitch by:

  • Having a convincing story and storyline that attracts attention.
  • Having all your arguments ready, targeted at a specific audience.
  • Including the main business model hypotheses that investors/partners expect.
  • Planning, structuring and analyzing upfront what you need to communicate.
  • Making you more confident about your message in any pitch situation.


A: Choose the business idea that your team was working on.

B: Choose your own business idea.

For both alternatives: also choose a specific audience/investor for whom the storyline/pitch deck is developed.


  • Slides max.: 10/11 slides.
  • Notes section covering the main hypotheses and argumentation.
  • Reference section (for data/information) at the end (appendix).


The document should follow a classical pitch deck.

The structure of the document will be influenced by two perspectives:

1) The content perspective

Here you will have to convince with a good storyline and a good chain of argumentation.

2) The argumentation/hypothesis/data perspective

For each step of the storyline you will have to argue for the underlying hypothesis and the related data/evidence.

Overall goal:

The overall goal is to learn and apply a very structured tool and approach to deliver a great pitch that presents and successfully lands a business idea.

Evaluation criteria:

  • How structured, analytic and convincing is your document, the overall story, the storyline and each individual step?
  • How well do you phrase the hypotheses for each part/slide of the pitch?
  • How well do you use data/references/information.

Hand in:

Electronic hand-in of PowerPoint document/pdf.

5,9% (5/85 ECTS-credits)

Basic understanding of entrepreneurial tools such as business model canvas, lean startup and metrics related to scaling a business.
150 study hours
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