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Important Notice for Registration

The course requires students to pass an earlier IT Founder’s Lab 1 - Launchpad course with a grade of 1.3 or better. Capacity is limited. If there are more applicants than slots available, students will be selected by lots, keeping groups from IT Founder’s Lab 1 - Launchpad intact if possible.

The course will be a full-day block course between 02.09.–27.09.

Please note that this lecture in SS24 is open only for Master Cybersecurity students!


Students learn to implement a demonstrator of a business idea, demonstrating its feasibility and usefulness for customers. They refine their business idea such that it can lead to the development of a full-fledged implementation and eventual founding of a company. They pitch their demonstrator and business idea to experts and thus train their presentation skills. Students will learn systematic planning of technical and financial aspects, sustainable development of sophisticated concepts, and responsible work and organization in a team.

Students implement and refine a prototype demonstrating their business idea. They attend a series of lectures (by the lecturers and guests) to demonstrate their business idea with the aim of subsequently / concurrently founding a company based on it. Lecture topics include:

  • building and refining minimal viable products (requirements, rapid prototyping)
  • agile software development for start-ups,
  • refining an initial business idea,
  • writing a convincing business plan
  • advanced experience reports from founders.

The business idea and demonstrators should implement current research topics in a marketable way; they are developed and refined by the students during the project with the help of lecturers and technology transfer experts.

Submissions and Grading

During the course, students must submit three results for grading:

Part 1 – Prototype. (60% of final grade)

A prototype demonstrating the business idea. The focus is on demonstrating the feasibility of critical parts of their idea, typically via a vertical prototype. The deliverable includes the source code, the version history, build instructions, and a status report on the work done with a focus on technical implementation.

Part 2 – Refined business plan. (20% of final grade)

A refined business plan. This document must

  • extend the questions listed for the “Launchpad” course, referring to the current prototype. Differences must be highlighted and provided with a rationale (e.g., expert feedback from the jury).
  • address the additional questions about the idea, team, market and competition, business model, marketing, and a status report.
Part 3 – Sales pitch. (20% of final grade)

Presentation of the business idea and prototype (from a customer’s perspective) to a jury. The jury comprises lecturers, other examiners, and, if applicable, guests from technology transfer and industry. The presentation should convince potential investors to commit to the business idea. Annotated slides and the refined business plan must be available to the jury before the sales pitch.

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