Would you like to develop a business to generate income, doing what you to like to do, are good at and care about?
During this hands-on course, you will design and launch your own business using the Simple Venture Design toolkit, which starts from the premise that business is a craft combining both art and science. The approach integrates the best aspects of creative approaches to business with analytic tools.
The course will suit individuals or teams wanting to start an independent lifestyle business, a startup, or a social enterprise. It will be useful regardless of whether your background is creative, technical, or business.
The approach is to use practical exercises to test your ideas, emphasising that building a business consists of designing a set of low cost experiments to reduce the amount of risk and investment required.
What will I learn?
You will learn how to explore and recognise opportunities which match your skills, interests, ambitions, and personal values
You will learn how to engage with your target customers, gain deep insights about them and formulate a concrete product or service design brief which addresses their needs.
You will learn how to design a product or service which stands apart from the competition, and price it appropriately.
You will build a low cost prototype or pilot of your offer, test it in the field to confirm that it meets your customers’ needs, repeating and refining your offer based on the results.
You will design your marketing and sales strategy. This will include practice in developing a sales approach which feels authentic and natural to you.
You will learn how to design an appropriate business model to build and deliver your product or service, and develop an implementation plan. This will include identifying the key partners and resources you need.
We will cover the basics of business finance in a user friendly way. You will learn how to identify the key profit and cost drivers for your business, manage cash flow, and design a bespoke management dashboard.
We will cover the pros and cons of alternative sources of funding including bootstrapping, crowdfunding, angel investors and venture capital. You will design and practice your investment pitch appropriate for your business.
How does the course work?
The course takes place over ten days, interrupted by a week which you are expected to use for field testing and research.
As with any creative craft, you will learn through practice. Through a series of progressive assignments inside and outside the classroom you will take the first steps to designing a sustainable business that harnesses your individual talents and fits your personal values and ambitions as well as those for your business.
You will be encouraged and supported to take the initial steps to launch by developing a prototype and test-marketing it in the field. The classroom sessions will include a combination of lectures, exercises, guest speakers and a workbook.
Paul Sturrock is an Associate Lecturer on the MA Innovation Course at Central Saint Martins and the founder of Slingshot Venture Development. He has designed and delivered entrepreneurship programmes for FFWDLondon Accelerator, City University, Central Saint Martins, Scottish Institute for Enterprise, Hong Kong University, and Wayra.
His clients have included Boots, MIT Media Lab, the SETSquared Partnership, 3C Research, NESTA Investments, School for Startups and Imperial Innovations.