Course Profile

Goals of the Course

This is designed primarily as a “Lean Startup” course that will require students to engage in extensive customer discovery efforts as well as other research tasks aimed at developing a feasible new venture proposal.  

Who is it designed for?

This course is available to all UCF undergraduate students, but there will be an application process that will favor students who already have a venture idea and who have other team members engaged.

Learning Objectives

- Learn and enact principles of customer discovery necessary to articulate venture opportunities

- Learn and enact design thinking principles necessary to develop solutions reflecting a high degree of empathy for user needs

- Learn and enact principles from marketing, supply chain management, strategic positioning, and new venture finance in developing a comprehensive venture proposal (articulated on a “business model canvas)

- Learn and enact the experimentation principles reflected in Lean Startup and design thinking methodologies to collect primary and secondary research to support the viability of their venture design decisions

- Learn and enact positive values related to learning from failure, and engage their creativity and advice from others to “pivot” when feedback on design ideas is negative.

Maker skills it develops

One aspect of the course will be to engage in preliminary product or service design efforts. This will be very preliminary and will likely involve graphic design (i.e., pictures/videos) and crude models using arts and crafts supplies. Students will be required to share their initial musings with potential users and buyers to gain insight into the “jobs” these solutions might do to create value for others. Students will be expected to incorporate feedback into their designs and iterate between gaining empathy and improving value until students judge that they have achieved a compelling degree of product-market fit.


Sophomore standing

Skills, Tools and Technologies Used

Arts and craft supplies (e.g., paper, clay, foam, etc.), design software (e.g., Adobe Creative Cloud), Legos, app development tools/templates, sewing equipment and supplies, 3D scanner & 3D printer (low resolution), etc.

Key Examples and Prior Work

This is a new course so we don’t have any prior examples to share at this time.

Key Resources

There will be DIY instructions and videos offered to guide students through common “design scenarios” such as apparel design, app development, evolving a model from clay-scan-print, graphic design, etc. on a web platform. The site is currently under construction, but the resources will be located at 

Example Assignment

This is a new course so we don’t have any prior examples to share at this time.

Lessons Learned

This is a new course so we don’t have any prior “lessons learned” to share at this time.