Value Proposition Design for Startups


In this hands-on course, students will have the opportunity to experience how startups and new ventures find value for their customers.

This course is not about how to write a business plan and the end result is not a PowerPoint slide deck for a VC presentation: it’s a hands-on learning experience on what is the basics of a startup: provide value for its customers with a scalable and repeatable business model. Our aim is to provide an entrepreneurial experience for the students with all of the pressures and demands of the real world.

This course is for students that: are overwhelmed by the difficulties of value creation, frustrated by unproductive meetings and misaligned teams, disappointed by the failure of what looked like a good idea.

In the end the students will have learned: the power of visual tools and teamwork, the patterns of value creation, to leverage the experience and skills of the team, the importance of not wasting time with ideas that won’t work, the value of a business model as a brainstorm tool and the importance of getting out of the classroom to do customer development.


Day 1 – Opportunity discovery: welcome; entrepreneurial resources; idea lab; that is a good question; out-of-the-building activity.

Day 2 – Customer segments: personas; jobs, pains and gains; sketch solutions; out-of-the-building activity.

Day 3 – Value proposition: value proposition canvas; value-customer fit; decide; out-of-the-building activity.

Day 4 – Prototype: small data; mvp; storytelling; lights, action, camera; out-of-the-building activity.

Day 5 – Show and Tell: rehearse; final lessons learned; certificate ceremony.


Value Proposition Design, Business Model Generation, Lean Startup, Design Thinking, Customer Development


Seminars (20h). Independent work (23h). Assessment (2h).


Students will have to make a 2-min video and prepare a 10-minute pitch presentation with their findings and achievements to be assessed by an external panel of judges.


Prof. Luís Caldas de Oliveira

Diogo Henriques

Practical Details

Target students: Master

Credits awarded to incoming students: 1.5 ECTS

Dates: TBA

Contact person: Prof. Luis Caldas de Oliveira (

Application Procedure

Admission fee: 700 euros. Free for a limited number of students.

Application deadline: TBA

Application procedure: TBA

Prerequisites: Engineering, Design and Business students. The participants are required to bring a laptop for the course.

Language level: Minimum English level B2.

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