Today’s Entrepreneurship Summit at Northwestern University organized by the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation featured several outstanding business plan/model presentation and panel discussions. Dry Goods won first place with a professional and well performed pitch and appears well positioned for its planned August launch. The runners-up did not fall short of insightful business models and thoughtful product concepts.

Looking back the last decade, Northwestern has come a long way in developing its entrepreneurial activities across campus under guidance of Prof. Mike Marasco. The Farley Center did an excellent job instilling an entrepreneurial mindset at Northwestern and developing a core framework of entrepreneurial classes for students. Together with the Technology Innovation Center incubator in downtown Evanston, there is a solid support layer for entrepreneurs in and around campus.

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The Lean Startup

December 19, 2009

The Lean Startup vision introduces a methodology for building a technology product. In short, a Lean Startup is a low-burn technology venture which combines the Customer Development methodology and an Agile Software Development methodology.

Startups don’t fail because the technology doesn’t work. They fail because nobody wants what they are trying to build.

Eric Ries

Eric Ries and his blog ‘Lessons Learned’ offer insights on how to build a Lean Startup. A recent presentation from Eric Ries’ on Lean Startups in the Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner explains his approach to building a technology product. In his pragmatic view on how to integrate Customer Development with Agile Software Development, he advocates an approach with two teams. The cross-functional problem team continuously validates the problem hypothesis and updates the product concept, while the solution team uses an Agile Software Development methodology to build the product from the product concept.

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