Entrepreneurship: From Idea to Early Product Design

Fall - September 24–December 4, 2022
Modality, Day & Time:
Online - Saturday, 1:00–3:00 p.m.
Jack McGourty

Course Description

This intensive ten-session course takes an applied, practical approach to the development, testing, and validation of customer or community-driven product solutions. By learning and applying contemporary design thinking concepts and tools, students generate innovative solutions to an important customer or community problems. During the program, students identify and define a major problem to be solved, work with real customers to better understand the problem from their perspective, generate multiple solutions, then choose a solution to test with real customers. Students acquire practical knowledge and tools focusing on the development, testing, and validation of new products that solve real customer problems and needs, from idea to early product development

Students can expect to learn how to:

  • Identify and articulate customer problems in an accurate way, reflecting how individuals truly experience the problem and its challenges.
  • Create effective customer surveys to help validate your assumptions on customer problems (pain points), solutions, and benefits (expected outcomes).
  • Assess current solutions provided in the marketplace in order to build on best practices as well as identify gap areas.
  • Develop a minimal viable product in order to gain additional feedback on specific solution features.
  • Measure and validate customer needs fulfillment or social impact assumptions.
  • Develop a solution (business or social enterprise) model to test your assumptions about customer interests, acceptance, and use.

Registration Guidance & Call Number(s)

To view detailed information on a particular offering, click on the call number to be directed to the Directory of Classes catalogue.

ENID0104 | Call Number: 17889

Further guidance on the registration process can be found here.


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, Jack was Vice Dean for Columbia’s Engineering School. For over 20 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 & growth, and launching the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center. Jack is the driving force behind Venture for All®, a program designed to educate aspiring entrepreneurs in emerging global markets. He 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 Wiley publication, Patterns of Entrepreneurship Management, 6th Edition, published in 2020.

Back to the Course Guide

Specific course details such as topics, activities, 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.