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Why corporate entrepreneurs are extraordinary – the Rebel Alliance

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 26, 2015

I’ve spent this year working with corporations and government agencies that are adopting and adapting Lean Methodologies. The biggest surprise for me was getting schooled on how extremely difficult it is to be an innovator inside a company of executors. —– What Have We Lost? I’ve been working with Richard, a mid-level executive in a … Continue reading »

Life Science Startups Rising in the UK

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | February 19, 2015

Stephen Chambers spent 22 years in some of the most innovative companies in life science as the director of gene expression and then as a co-founder of his own company. Today he runs SynbiCITE, the UK’s synthetic biology consortium of 56 industrial partners and 19 Academic institutions located at Imperial College in London. Stephen and … Continue reading »

It’s About Women Running Startups

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 22, 2015

Just before the holidays I had coffee with Anne, an ex MBA student running a fairly large product group at a search engine company, now out trying to raise money for her own startup. She had an interesting insight: existing content/media companies were having the same problem as hardware companies that rarely made the leap … Continue reading »

Impact! NYU Scales the Lean LaunchPad

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 20, 2014

NYU has adopted the Lean LaunchPad® class as a standard entrepreneurship course across twelve different schools/colleges within the University. Over 1,000 students a year are learning lean startup concepts. Impact! —– In August 2011 I received an email from someone at NYU I never heard of. Frank Rimalovski, the Executive Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute, had just read about … Continue reading »

Why Corporate Skunk Works Need to Die

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 12, 2014

In the 20th century, corporate skunk works® were used to develop disruptive innovation separate from the rest of the company. They were the hallmark of innovative corporations. By the middle of the 21st century the only companies with skunk works will be the ones that have failed to master continuous innovation. Skunk works will be the signposts of … Continue reading »

Born Global or Die Local – Building a Regional Startup Playbook

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | November 3, 2014

Entrepreneurship is everywhere, but everywhere isn’t a level playing field. What’s the playbook for your region or country to make it so? ———- Scalable startups are on a trajectory for a billion dollar market cap. They grow into companies that define an industry and create jobs.  Not all start ups want to go in that … Continue reading »

The Business Model Canvas Gets Even Better – Value Proposition Design

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 24, 2014

Product/Market fit now has its own book. Alexander Osterwalder wrote it. Buy it. — The Lean Startup process builds new ventures more efficiently. It has three parts: a business model canvas to frame hypotheses, customer development to get out of the building to test those hypotheses and agile engineering to build minimum viable products. This week … Continue reading »

Watching My Students Grow

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | October 6, 2014

“You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” Galileo Galilei One of the great things about teaching is that while some students pass by like mist in the night others remain connected forever. I get to watch them grow into their careers and cheer them on. — Its … Continue reading »

How to Find the Right Co-Founders

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 16, 2014

How do you figure out what’s the right mix of skills for the co-founders of your startup? Surprisingly if you’ve filled out the business model canvas you already know who you need. ——- I was having breakfast with Radhika, an ex-grad student of mine who wanted to share her Customer Discovery progress for her consumer hardware startup. She started … Continue reading »

Why Translational Medicine Will Never be the Same

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 15, 2014

There have been 2 or 3 courses in my entire education that have changed the way I think.  This is one of those. Hobart Harris Professor and Chief, Division of General Surgery at UCSF For the past three years the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps has been teaching our nations best scientists how to build a Lean Startup. … Continue reading »

How To Think Like an Entrepreneur: The Inventure Cycle

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 9, 2014

The Lean Startup is a process for turning ideas into commercial ventures. Its premise is that startups begin with a series of untested hypotheses. They succeed by getting out of the building, testing those hypotheses and learning by iterating and refining minimal viable products in front of potential customers. That’s all well and good if you already have an … Continue reading »

Why Founders Should Know How to Code

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | September 3, 2014

“By knowing things that exist, you can know that which does not exist.” — Book of Five Rings A startup is not just about the idea, it’s about testing and then implementing the idea. A founding team without these skills is likely dead on arrival. —- I was driving home from the BIO conference in San Diego last month and … Continue reading »

How Investors Make Better Decisions: The Investment Readiness Level

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | July 1, 2014

Investors sitting through Incubator or Accelerator demo days have three metrics to judge fledgling startups – 1) great looking product demos, 2) compelling PowerPoint slides, and 3) a world-class team.  Other than “I’ll know it when I see it”, there’s no formal way for an investor to assess project maturity or quantify risks. Other than … Continue reading »

I-Corps @ NIH – Pivoting the Curriculum

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | June 26, 2014

We’ve pivoted our Lean LaunchPad / I-Corps curriculum. We’re changing the order in which we teach the business model canvas and customer development to better-fit therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices. — Over the last three years the Lean LaunchPad class has started to replace the last century’s “how to write a business plan” classes as the foundation for entrepreneurial … Continue reading »

Get the Heck Out of the Building in Founders School Part 2

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | March 18, 2014

With a ~$2 billion endowment the Kauffman Foundation is the largest non-profit focused on entrepreneurship in the world. Giving away $80 million to every year (~$25 million to entrepreneurial causes) makes Kauffman the dominant player in the entrepreneurship space. Kauffman launched Founders School – a new education series to help entrepreneurs develop their businesses during the startup stage by highlighting how startups … Continue reading »

Time for Founders School

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | January 29, 2014

Having a film crew in your living room for two days is something you want to put on your bucket list. With a ~$2 billion endowment the Kauffman Foundation is the largest non-profit focused on entrepreneurship in the world. Giving away $80 million to every year (~$25 million to entrepreneurial causes) makes Kauffman the dominant player in the entrepreneurship space. … Continue reading »

How Kevin O’Connor and FindTheBest Got Lean

Steve Blank, lecturer, Haas School of Business | August 5, 2013

When we started E.piphany there was an equally scrappy startup called DoubleClick (later acquired by Google for $3.1 billon). Other the years Kevin O’Connor, former CEO and founder of DoubleClick and I got to know each other.  It’s been fun watching a 20th Century entrepreneur learn new tricks as he builds his next startup, FindTheBest using Lean Methodology.  Here’s Kevin’s story to date. … Continue reading »