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Business Model Generation


Admission requirements

Required course(s):



‘Life's too short to build something nobody wants’ Ash Maurya

This course teaches you how to turn ideas, visions, broad and sweeping goals into a company. Using recent insights in entrepreneurial and innovation driven organisations, the course will guide you in developing an enterprise ‘the start-up way’.
Why ‘developing an enterprise’? We are in favour of learning by doing, so we want to make the business model generation very practical: you will generate a business model for an enterprise that you might actually want to establish in real life. Not mandatory within this course, but it has been known to happen.

Why ‘the start-up way’? The definitions of what a start-up is (there are many) often contain texts like ‘planning to grow fast’, ‘innovative products/services’, ‘disrupt a market’. You need not develop a start-up within this course, you need to develop an enterprise with either social objectives or commercial objectives or both. But we do want to use the start-up way of working as it allows for iteration, experimentation and fast learning.

Topics covered:

  1. Introduction to entrepreneurship and start-ups
  2. Identifying market opportunities
  3. Value Proposition design
  4. Business models and revenue models
  5. Pitching
  6. Validation
  7. Financials
  8. Funding
  9. Going to market

Course Objectives

After this course you will be able to:

  • apply contemporary theories in entrepreneurship and innovation

  • appraise and use tools that are used for the process of innovation

  • analyse opportunities in different markets by studying trend reports

  • identify important stakeholders and study their (vested) interests

  • study a target audience and identify a need or problem

  • develop and improve a value proposition

  • create a business model

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

  • pitch your ideas with confidence

  • 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 tasks like:

  • Analysing a problem and problem area

  • Creating a value proposition

  • Creating a business model

  • Validating your assumptions about all the above topics.

These tasks are continuous, require parallel processing, require allocating different tasks to different group members. The group will need to keep on working on these topics. This implies a high level of interaction and collaboration in the group, which needs some 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)

  • Individual assignments

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

  • Finals, where each group pitches and receives feedback about the pitch and the submitted enterprise model. Details about the finals will be communicated at a later stage.

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, dealing with creating an enterprise model and pitches

  • Creating and delivering pitches together with the group

  • Carrying out the individual assignments

  • Providing feedback on pitches of other groups

  • Reflecting on lessons learned and submitting the lessons learned

  • Participating in the finals where groups will receive feedback

  • For each individual student, submitting an essay on entrepreneurial fitness.

Assessment Method

Students are graded on the following aspects:

  • Quality of feedback provided by each individual student to other groups (10 %)

  • Quality of case study and case study presentation carried out by each individual student (10 %). Each student will get an assignment to do a case study on one of the key concepts from the course and present the results in one of our interactive sessions

  • Quality of pitches created by the own group (20 %)

  • Quality of the enterprise model created with the own group (30 %)

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

  • Individual essay (20 %), where the student is asked to provide a framework for entrepreneurial fitness firmly founded in theory and is asked to assess his or her own entrepreneurial fitness using this framework.

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

  • Christensen, Clayton (1997) The Innovator’s dilemma. HBR Press

  • Ries, Eric (2011) The Lean Startup. Crown Books

  • Osterwalder, Alex (2010), Business Model Generation. John Wiley Publishers

  • Osterwalder, Alex (2014), Value Proposition Design. John Wiley Publishers

  • Osterwalder, Alex (2020), The Invincible company. John Wiley Publishers

  • Fitzpatrick, Rob (2014), The Mom Test

  • Keeley, Larry (2013) Ten Types of Innovation. 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 the real books is optional for the course, so this list is just to show you some of the ‘classics’.


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,