nl en

Business Model Generation




Admissions requirements



‘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.

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.


Once available, timetables will be published in 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 team members. The team will need to keep on working on these topics. This implies a high level of interaction and collaboration in the team, which needs some coordination and leadership.
    The teams will be formed in our very first class. Teams will consist of 3 to 5 students.

Each class will start with pitches from two of the teams, contain short lectures on the next stage of start-up development and has some group exercises. After each class the teams will receive an assignment to prepare for the next class.


The final grade for the full course will be calculated using the following assessment weights:

  • 10% Group presentation, Value Proposition (week 3 and week 7)

  • 15% Group report, Value Proposition (week 3 and week 7)

  • 10% Group presentation, (Social) business model (week 5 and week 7)

  • 15% Group report, (Social) business model (week 5 and week 7)

  • 40% Individual report, Analysis and reflection (one week after last class)

  • 10% Participation in class and in online discussions (ongoing).

Separate from the presentations mentioned above, the teams will pitch their enterprise several times during the course. These pitches will not be graded, but you will receive valuable feedback allowing you to improve your business model and your pitching skills.

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.


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

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

  • 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. Reading the real books is optional for the course, so this list is just to show you some of the ‘classics’.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Ron Lameij