In this course, students can master the process of adapting technology to the needs of the market and developing an actionable strategy. Students will learn the integrative skills necessary to do a startup even if they are not prepared to commit to the Incubator. The course will also allow students who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs after graduation but are not yet committed to an idea to identify attractive opportunities and explore the possibility of undertaking a startup. Students are given the opportunity to experience firsthand the process of finding and validating a market need, to search for optimal/implementable technology solutions, to assess the possible funding strategies and to develop an implementation plan. Students from Darden and potentially those from other UVA schools will come together to identify market needs, find technologies (in the broad sense of the term and not just IT) appropriate to address those needs, and develop a business plan. The course will develop in four phases: identify market need, identify technologies that can be applied to address those needs, prioritize which combination of needs and technologies are most implementable and quickest to market, and develop a business plan with emphasis on identifying next steps and the critical path to commercialization.


Academic course objectives:


·         Allow students to learn the integrative skills required in combining market need and technology to develop innovative solutions

·         Develop major skills: due-diligence of markets and technology, technology assessment, intellectual property assessment, licensing negotiation, technology valuation, and venture-funding strategy

·         Integrate diverse skills acquired at Darden into a real-world setting by exposing students to the multidisciplinary needs of a startup scenario


Elements of the course grade:


Class participation                               50%

Final presentation                                25%

Business plan development                 25%