Innovation Sprint


About this course

Supported by the reading package students will work on five intensive days in Campus only in interdisciplinary teams on a challenge from a partner and learn why and how to develop customer and user centric business ideas through applying an entrepreneurial mindset and innovative methods - always considering the triple bottom line. Taking on an embedded view on the interrelatedness of economic, social and environmental systems, students will develop an ecosystem map to get an overview of relevant stakeholders and potential customers as well as important relationships and value streams. Input on Empathy Research will prepare them to collect qualitative insights from potential customers and users through interviews, immersion and contextual observations. After conducting their Empathy Research they will step by step learn how to synthesize their insights and define opportunities for sustainable innovation. With a concrete how-might-we-question they will start into ideation. Through different creativity methods they will develop and prioritize ideas and build a simple prototype. This prototype is being tested again through qualitative tests with potential customers and users. When they come back after testing they do a first iteration based on the feedback they got and derive assumptions on a potential business model. After input on pitching they will prepare slides or other material and pitch in front of the group, partner and external guests. After the pitch event they will be led through a reflection of the learnings they gained during the week. The reading package will support the transfer of these learnings.

Learning outcomes

After participating in this module students will be able to understand and apply life-centered design principles in the early stages of an entrepreneurial process: from identifying an entrepreneurial opportunity and understanding its environmental and social impact to validating assumptions by applying qualitative research methods and interpreting data as well as using prototyping as a tool for communication and learning. They will be able to apply creativity methods, take over collective responsibility and know how to effectively communicate their business opportunities. Taking decisions under uncertainty, ambiguity and risk in newly formed teams will foster their collaboration and communication skills and prepare them for future team work in appreciating and accommodating team members' individual personalities and boundaries. At the same time the reading package enables students to gain a broader understanding of the methods learned in the course providing them with the ability to apply them beyond the context of innovation.


Each semester students will be provided with a mandatory reading package.

Course requirements

Interest in entrepreneurship and sustainability, ability to work in a team


This module relies on a combination of readings, input sessions, workshops, teamwork and individual feedback and support. While input sessions will stimulate students’ engagement with relevant tools and topics, workshops and team discussions will support the implementation of the knowledge in their projects and facilitate students’ learning of the soft and intricate aspects of adopting an entrepreneurial mindset and skills. Working on a design challenge that a partner (e.g. TUM Venture Labs) provides stimulates peer competition and allows students to directly apply what they learn in a real life setting. The reading package will strengthen students' understanding of the methods and allow them to make sense of their practical experience.

Link to more information

  • Credits
    ECTS 6
  • Contact hours per week
  • Instructors
    Oliver Alexy, Felix Hagleitner, Juliane Schuster
  • Mode of instruction
  • Course coordinator
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of TUM (Germany).
There are currently no offerings available for students of L'X (France)