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WPI I-Corps Site Schedule and Assignments

Instructors – Todd Keiller, Beth Kahn (MIT)

Advisory Panel- Curtis Abel, Joe Bush, Ken Rapp, Frank Hoy
Administrative - Lynda Kelly, Sarah Mahan
Texts:   The Startup Owner’s Manual- Blank and Dorf​
Talking to Humans – Constable and Rimalovski - free
Video:  https://venturewell.org/i-corps/team-materials/

 

Class 1 – Kick-off: Customer Segments

February 10  |  5:00-7:15 pm   | Via Zoom

Pre-class Preparation:

  1. Required: Watch the following videos:

Intro to Customer Discovery http://bit.ly/3vmsicorps

  1. Optional Reading:  Chapter 3 of the Startup Owner’s Manual; An Introduction to Customer Discovery
  2. Please prepare the following 2-slide presentation for the workshop. Each team will have 60 seconds to present:

Slide 1: Team name, your institution, product picture, product description (one sentence), pictures/names of your team members. Include the block for number of interviews as you will need those later for future assignments. For the KickOff, the number of interviews should be 0 or blank. You can download a full-size copy of the image at:  https://bit.ly/2M6r56p

Slide 2: A two-column slide consisting of:

a) List of who you think will buy - working from the answers you submitted to the 7 Questions, and after watching the videos in the first two assignments, please think a little more about who your customers might be. Try to think of two or three different applications or industries where your technology could be used and then who are the users and other people involved in any decision process. Put on the slide under the WHO column on left.

b) List of why you think they will buy - for each of the users and other people involved, think a little more about why they would be highly motivated to use and/or purchase your technology. Put on the slide under the WHY column on right. 

In-class Detailed Agenda:

  • Welcome – 10 min (Todd)
  •  Intro – 10 min (Beth)
  • Team Presentations – 35 min (Beth + another NE I-Corps Instructor to be named))
    • Each Team gets 60 seconds to present their 2 slides, 2 min of Instructor Q&A
  • Lecture & exercises: Customer Segments and Interviewing Techniques – 30 min (Beth +)
  • Team fills out Customer Segment Framework and Profile (with Mentors)
  • Team makes list of 25 customers to yield 10 interviews

Post-class assignment:

  • Conduct at least 10 interviews testing the customer assumptions and meet with your Mentors to review progress.

Class 2 - Value Propositions and Interviewing Techniques

March 10 | 5:00-7:15 pm   |  Via Zoom

Pre-class Preparation:

  1. Required: Watch the following videos: 
  2. Customer Discovery Best Practices  http://bit.ly/4vmsicorps
  3. Optional reading – Chapter 4 of the Startup Owner’s Manual; Customer Discovery Phase One
  4. Prepare PPT Presentation
    • Slide 1 – same as last week with any modifications to the 1 sentence description, update # of customer interviewed.
    • Slide 2 & 3
    • a) What did you learn about your Customer Segments from the interviews?  How did your Customer Profile change and why?
    • Slide 4 – prepare your first BMC with focus on Customer Segments and Value Propositions
      • Review the video outlining the concepts of the Business Model Canvas using the link in Class 1 videos. Also download and print a blank copy of the BMC form found at: http://bit.ly/vmsbmc1
    • Slide 5 - Next 10 Interviews
      • What are the key things you want to learn in the next set of interviews? 
      • List of the next 10 people you plan to interview

In-class Agenda:

  • Presentation of results (2 minutes + 3 Q&A)) 50 min (Beth + NE I-Corps instructor)
  • Lecture and exercises on VP & Interviewing 40 min (NE I-Corps)
  • Revise CD plan and finalize list for next 10 customers 30 min (with Mentors)

Post-class Assignment:

Conduct at least 10 more customer interviews testing assumptions and meet with your Mentors to review progress

Class 3 – Customer Relationships – Get-Keep-Grow

March 31 | 5:00-7:15 pm   |  Via Zoom

Pre-class Preparation: 

  • Watch the following videos; Customer Relationships  http://bit.ly/8vmsicorps
  • Optional reading: Chapter 5+6 of the Startup Owner’s Manual; Customer Discovery Phase Two and Three
  1. Prepare PPT presentation
    • Slide 1 – same as last week with any modifications to the 1 sentence description, update # of customer interviewed.
    • Slide 2 & 3
    • a) What did you learn from the interviews?  How did Value Propositions change and why?
    • Slide 4 – Update your BMC with focus on Customer Segments and Value Propositions
    • Slide 5 – Next 10 Interviews
      • What are the key things you want to learn in the next set of interviews? 
      • List of the next 10 people you plan to interview

In-class Agenda:

  • Presentation of results (2 minutes + 3 Q&A)) 50 min (Beth + NE I-Corps instructor)
  • Lecture on Customer Relationships 40 min (Beth)
  • Revise CD plan and finalize list for next 10 customers 30 min (with Mentors)

Post-class Assignment:

  • Conduct 10 more customer interviews and meet with your Mentors to review progress.

Final Class – Presentations of Findings

April 21 | 5:00-7:15 pm   | Via Zoom

Pre-class

  1. Suggested Reading: Chapter 7 of The Startup Owner’s Manual; Customer Discovery Phase Four
  1. Prepare final presentation
    • Slide 1 – team slide – include total number of interviews
    • Slide 2- Picture or brief description of your product or process (if not on Slide 1)
    • Slide 3 & 4– What are the three critical insights you learned from your interviews (consider learnings about your industry, the CD process and yourself)
    • Slide 5- Original Value Prop and Customer Segment with highlights of your current view
    • Slide 6 – Next steps and what resources do you need going forward

In class Agenda

  • Program Recap 10 min (Todd)
  • Team presentations (5 minutes + 3 minutes Q&A) 80 min (Todd)
  • WPI innovation and commercialization ecosystem – what’s out there for you 30 min (Todd)