Entrepreneurship: From Idea to Early Product Design

Open to students entering grades 9 through 12 or freshman year of college in the fall
III - August 10th – August 14th, 2020
Days & Time:
Monday–Friday, 10:10 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 2:10–4:00 p.m.
Jack McGourty

“I feel I have learned so much about becoming an entrepreneur and how to come up with different ideas/products.” – Emily V. | Jackson, New Jersey

Course Description

This course takes an applied, practical approach to the development, testing, and validation of business models in support of new venture creation. Business model issues are addressed in a fashion consistent with “lean” venture planning methodologies such as problem-solution identification, product-market fit, customer discovery, in-depth industry and market analysis, minimal viable product development, and start up success metrics.

Participants acquire practical knowledge and tools focusing on the development, testing, and validation of business models in support of new venture creation, from idea to early product development. The class uses a sequence of modules, tools, and worksheets to support the development of a new venture business model.

Students come away with answers to the following questions:

  • What are common challenges to venture creation and how can they be mitigated through thoughtful business model development?
  • How to develop a business model to test your assumptions about product offerings and market demand.
  • How to create effective interview protocols and surveys to help validate your assumptions on customer problems (pain points), solutions, and benefits (expected gain).
  • How to assess competitors’ business models in order to build best practices and identify areas for differentiation for competitive advantage.
  • What metrics are critical to measure and validate business model assumptions?

Participants are expected to bring laptops for this class.


Jack McGourty

Jack McGourty Ph.D. is Director of Community and Global Entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School and a faculty member teaching courses in entrepreneurship, venture creation, and product innovation. Prior to joining the Columbia Business School, he was Vice Dean for Columbia’s Engineering School. Over the past 21 years, Jack has been an active member of the University's entrepreneurial community, establishing an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship, teaching core and advanced courses in new venture creation and growth, and launching the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center. He is the driving force behind Venture for All®, a program designed to educate aspiring entrepreneurs in emerging global markets. Jack is the recipient of the Columbia Engineering School’s Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award and Columbia Business School’s Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence. He is also co-author of the upcoming Wiley publication, Patterns of Entrepreneurship Management, 6th Edition, to be published in 2020

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Specific course detail such as hours and instructors are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Not all instructors listed for a course teach all sections of that course.