About the Course
Startup Garage, offered by the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is an intensive hands-on and project-based course in which students apply the concepts of design thinking, engineering, finance, business and organizational skills to design and test new business concepts that address real world needs . Our aspiration is to help teams identify an unmet customer need, design new products or services that meet that need, and develop business models to support the creation and launch of startup products or services. Even those teams that do not successfully launch a venture or decide not to move forward will learn critical techniques about starting and launching a venture. Over the two quarters, teams will interact extensively with the teaching team and a handful of seasoned advisors they chose.
By the end of the course you and your team will have developed, prototyped and tested a novel product or service, a business model, and a company creation plan. This is a demanding course that will push you beyond your comfort zone. If you are serious about working in a team on a startup idea, this class is for you.
S356 - Startup Garage: Design / Fall Quarter 2013
Collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams will identify and work with users, domain experts, and industry participants to identify and deeply understand customer needs and design products/services and a business model to address those needs. Each team will conceive, design, build, and field-test critical aspects of both the product or service and the business model. S356 integrates methods from human-centered design, lean startup, and business model planning. The course focuses on developing entrepreneurial skills (using short lectures and in-class exercises) and applying those skills to specific problems faced by those users identified by the teams. Teams will “get out of the building” and interact directly with users and advisors to develop a deep understanding of the challenges they face and to field test their proposed services, products, and business models.
S366 - Startup Garage: Testing and Launch / Winter Quarter 2014
Teams that conclude at the end of the fall quarter with promising products/services and business models continue with S366, the winter quarter course. Teams perform iterations on their product/service prototypes and business model and execute experiments to test key hypotheses. In that quarter, teams will engage in a robust venture creation process that involves development and validation of a series of hypotheses about a new product or service, its value proposition, and how the business will acquire customers, make money, scale, and raise funds to achieve the key milestones to profitability.
The course focuses on further developing entrepreneurial skills through short lectures, extensive in-class exercises focused on each team’s specific projects, and “get out of the building” assignments. By the end of the two quarters, teams will have the opportunity to:
- “Get out of the building and interact with users, advisors, investors and partners to develop a deep understanding of the challenges they face, to field test their proposed services, products, and business models, and to gather data.
- Interpret the data and make important startup decisions in the context of their own project: pivot, persevere, or perish
- Develop creative go-to-market strategies and test their effectiveness
- Develop and deliver in front of real investors an investor pitch, elevator pitch and executive summary
- Negotiate term sheets with venture investors
- Develop a hiring plan for their first year of operation and consider equity and other compensation plan
Info sessions: Mark your calendar!
Info session 1: Thur, May 9, noon-1pm @ The CoLab at the GSB (aka McClelland 101)
Info session 2: Wed, May 15, 12:30-1:30pm @ The Clark Center, Seminar Room S361
Info session 3: Thur, May 16, noon-1pm @ The CoLab at the GSB (aka McClelland 101)
Applications due 9am, Wednesday, May 29th
Three Team Formation Options
1. You can apply as a team.
If you are admitted as a team, you will work on the need you have proposed as a team. Teams must comprise at least 2 people and you will need to recruit 2 more students from those participating in class.
2. You can apply as an individual
If you would like to work on a need you have identified, you will need to persuade other students to join you.
3. You can work on needs identified by others
If you have a vague idea of a need but you are open to working on other needs, you will have the option to work on the needs identified by other students or on needs proposed by our industry partners.
Working with your team
Teams will be meeting in class twice per week and will follow a structured and systematic iterative process with clearly defined weekly deliverables. Teams will make a presentation to a panel of investors and entrepreneurs at the end of the quarter.