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Entrepreneurial Production


Admission requirements

Required course:

  • Business Model Generation, or permission of the instructor.


In this 200-level course student groups will build, test, evaluate and improve a product or a service and ultimately market and sell the product or service.

In the course Business Model Generation you design an enterprise, in Entrepreneurial Production you have the opportunity to find out if a design works.

For educational purposes you are NOT allowed to use the business idea from the course Business Model Generation and also NOT allowed to be part of the same group. Also a practical reason for this, most of the time the business ideas from Business Model Generation are a bit too hard to test in 7 or 8 weeks. The business idea for Entrepreneurial Production needs to be designed to allow the group to carry out all required activities within this time period.

Required activities encompass swiftly creating a business idea, listing all assumptions and hypotheses around why this is such a wonderful idea, carrying out hypothesis testing, redesigning the value proposition where necessary and ultimately creating revenue with the value proposition. We will use the Design Thinking method to go through these activities.

You will need to design a prototype of the Value Proposition and use feedback from (potential) customers to improve the Value Proposition again and again.

Project execution is challenging due to uncertainties over people, processes and resources and setbacks will provide many learning opportunities. Students will emerge with experience in working together and developing robust business strategies for getting an enterprise actually working.

Due to the Covid-crisis many companies have increased the use of online channels for marketing and selling. In fact, a prominent innovation guru (Steve Blank) has said: ‘never again will there be a first time live sales contact’. He might be right. For that reason lectures around online demand generation are also integrated into the course.

Course Objectives

After this course you will be able to:

  • apply contemporary theories in getting an enterprise off the ground

  • apply contemporary theories in launching a product or service

  • use tools and approaches for hypothesis testing

  • develop, prototype, test and improve a value proposition

  • pitch the value of your offering to potential customers

  • develop a go-to-market strategy and describe the challenges in going to market

  • carry out (online) marketing activities and (online) selling activities

  • deal with setbacks and apply a growth mindset to failure

  • reflect on the experience of being part of an interdisciplinary team.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2021-2022 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

During the course you will be working as a founders’ team of a start-up enterprise on the tasks mentioned in the description.
These tasks are continuous, require parallel processing, require allocating different tasks to different group members. This implies a high level of interaction and collaboration in the group, which needs coordination and leadership.
The groups will be formed in our very first class. Groups will consist of 3 to 5 students.

The course itself consists of:

  • Prerecorded lectures

  • Group assignments: the results of the group assignments are incorporated by the group in an enterprise model and in pitches (short and focussed presentations for potential customers)

  • Individual assignments, like carrying out peer reviews, submitting lessons learned and delivering a final essay about the rigours of going to market, discussing do’s and don’ts

  • Interactive sessions. The interactive sessions are used to discuss pitches and progress. Each group will submit pitches and progress reports during the course according to a schedule that will be published at the start of the course

  • Finals, where each group presents the achievements and reflects on the group performance during the course.

The course load is as follows:

  • Studying pre-recorded lectures that deal with the topics mentioned in the course description

  • Carrying out the group assignments together with the group, e.g. creating and delivering pitches and presentations together with the group

  • Carrying out the individual assignments, providing feedback on pitches and presentations of other groups and reflecting on lessons learned and submitting the lessons learned

  • Participating in the finals where groups will present their achievements

  • For each individual student, submitting an essay.

Assessment Method

Students are graded on the following aspects:

  • Quality of peer reviews done by each individual student for other groups (two times 5 %, together 10 %)

  • Quality of case study and case study presentation carried out by each individual student (15 %)

  • Quality of pitches created by the own group (two times 10 %, together 20 %)

  • Quality of hypothesis testing progress reports and hypothesis testing progress presentations created with the own group (two times 5 % and once for the finals 10%, together 20 %)

  • Submitted Lessons Learned by each individual student (10 %)

  • Individual essay (25 %), where the student is asked to explain the rigors of going to market, discussing do’s and don’ts, referring to both theory and to experiences during the course.

Please note:

  • In accordance with article 4.8 of the Course and Examination Regulations (OER), within 30 days after the publication of grades, the instructor will provide students the opportunity to inspect their exams/coursework

  • There is a no re-sit policy at Leiden University College.

Reading list

  • Ellis, Sean (2017), Hacking growth. Crown publishers

  • Osterwalder, Alex (2020), Testing business ideas. John Wiley Publishers

This is just part of the literature that will be used during the course. This list contains the ‘real’ books. The other parts of the reading/viewing list consist of videos to watch and articles to read on the Internet. Links to these articles and videos will be provided through Brightspace.

Reading ‘Hacking growth’ is optional for the course, reading ‘Testing business ideas’ is very useful. Anyone planning to start and enterprise should buy (and read) the book, for the others, I have some copies available that you can borrow.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Ron Lameij,