4InnoPipe is a joint entrepreneurial program of Reutlingen University, Zagreb Business School, Kyiv Academic University and Helsinki University.
The course aims to help participants acquire the skills to create business solutions with positive societal and environmental impact. It also aims to develop the potential of course participants and to teach them how to apply this potential in whatever they do, as entrepreneurs, active citizens, and employees in the public, private or third sector.
The course is open both to beginners and to participants with previous entrepreneurial experience. For beginners, the main focus is to develop a product concept; for advanced participants, the focus is business modelling.
The course consists of three blocks. The first block is comprised of core courses, which have to be completed by both beginner and advanced participants. Participants concentrate on problem framing and problem deep-dive. Through user research, the participants study a social or environmental challenge to identify the source of the problem. Next, they map the customer and user journey and create a data-driven product or service vision. To help participants build a financially sustainable business, they are given an introductory workshop on business modelling. Towards the end of the course, they get a masterclass on audience-oriented pitching.
The second block consists of several masterclasses. The masterclasses are centred around discovery, research and framing, value creation, business modelling, valuation, and business development.
The third block allows every team to take part in several coaching sessions on business model creation. Coaches are expected to base these sessions on the sustainable business model canvas as presented in the workshop ‘sustainable business models’ in the first block. Here, participants will implement and expand the knowledge gained in the first and second block. The coaches focus on five key aspects of the business model: the value proposition; desirability; feasibility; viability; competition. Coaching amounts to 3-5 hours per project/team depending on workload chosen by course participants. The teams have to arrange mentoring sessions with the lecturer separately.
The course concludes with a pitching event, where participants present their projects and with other teams compete across a range of different categories such as best sustainable business, female role model, best digital business model. This event is the final exam of the course. To gain ECTS points, participation in the first and the second block and in the pitching event is mandatory. The third block is optional.
This course follows the logic of short work cycles in the sense of double-diamond approach (https://bit.ly/Double_Diamond) and the scientific method (http://bit.ly/Scientific_method). It is designed as project- and challenge-based learning. The project the participants work on is the venture idea. The participants do not need to have a business idea before entering this course. However, it may help them to progress, if they do already have one. The challenges include: team formation; working in a distributed cross-national and -functional team; time and workload management; rapid decision making; developing the ability to use data to inform their decisions, actions and reactions. Teaching is based on the principles of competency-based (among others The European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework) and self-directed learning.
If you have any questions, get in touch:
Dr. Lyubomyr Matsekh: Lyubomyr.Matsekh-Ukrayinskyy@Reutlingen-University.DE