Launch Your Startup is a “hands-on” applied course focusing on the creation, evaluation, development and launch readiness of a new business or social venture. For each new venture, key issues are addressed in a fashion highly consistent with other formal venture planning processes including: business model development, customer discovery, product-market validation, in-depth industry and market analysis, product or service innovation, brand development and go-to-market strategies, team selection & management, profit models, financing, and legal considerations. Throughout the class students will refine their venture’s business model based on instructors’, visiting domain experts, peer, customer, and investor feedback.
To enroll in this elective class, students are encouraged to have a “vetted” business or social venture concept prior to joining the class. A previously vetted venture concept includes ideas that have been worked on in earlier MBA or other graduate classes, presented in formal venture competitions, or formulated within formal venture creation program outside of University, as in events or classes specially targeting aspiring entrepreneurs. You are allowed to join the class as part of a venture team (within or external to the class) who has been working on a new business idea prior to the class. It is entirely permissible to change projects (“pivot”) or join another peer team after the class has started. Working individually or preferably in teams (of no more than four), students spend the entire term developing an effective and comprehensive plan for a “real” venture concept, with proof of concept including customer-based market validation and early product/service prototypes. Students complete the class with a comprehensive new venture planning document, investor pitch, a minimal viable product, and validated business model.
Adjunct Professor of Business
William J. ("Bill") O'Farrell has been starting and running tech companies for longer than he'd like to admit. He was most recently co-founder and CEO of Body Labs, a computer vision and AI company focused on providing the human body as a digital platform for a broad range of markets, including online apparel sales, gaming, health and fitness and AR...