Master in Lean Startup
Evidence-based entrepreneurship – the Lean Startup method
For two decades, we have taught entrepreneurs how to draw up business plans that are useful for anticipating problems, which at the time was what startup investors required. Now we know that these long-term plans aimed at predicting a series of questions do not survive their first contact with customers. It took us a while before we realised that these business plans suffered from a fatal flaw: they assumed that startups were simply smaller versions of large companies. Before achieving success, startups jump from one failure to the next very quickly as they adjust to reality by testing new iterations and improving their initial ideas through the process of continuously learning from their customers.
Existing companies execute a model, but the aim of startups is to find a business model that is repeatable and scalable. This happened before the Lean Startup began gaining strength.
The Master’s Degree in Lean Startup is rooted in evidence-based entrepreneurship. It is inspired by content from Stanford University, Berkeley University and Columbia University. So far it has helped over 240 entrepreneurs to test our 3,654 hypotheses by conducting 6,458 interviews and pivoting 570 times. This Master’s Degree does not guarantee that new entrepreneurs will find success—it guarantees that, if they follow this process, they are likely to fail less often.
Who is this programme aimed at?
- Potential business owners
- Innovation executives
- Recent graduates who wish to learn how to become entrepreneurs
The main prerequisite for joining the course is a passion for discovering how a project can turn into a company.
The Master’s Degree is structured in a modular format and provides a comprehensive approach to the concepts and activities associated with the creation of startups. It provides an experience-based learning opportunity that shows how companies that change the world are created. This training is updated and oriented towards problem solving, while also providing the knowledge and skillset that are required to face the digital challenges associated with entrepreneurship.
What should you NOT expect from this Master’s Degree?
- This Master’s Degree WILL NOT teach you to draw up a business plan.
- This programme IS NOT an academic exercise.
- In this Master’s Degree, assessments ARE NOT FORMAL.
- The final outcome of the Master’s Degree IS NOT a set of PowerPoint slides to use in a presentation to an investor.
Instead, we will ensure that…
- Teams get their hands dirty by talking to their potential customers, competitors and partners, so they can discover the chaos and uncertainty involved in running a startup.
- The challenge is to get out on the streets and discover whether someone who is not a member of the team would want to use the product.
- The Master’s Degree in Lean Startup provides access to a real-world and practical experience of learning what it is like to start a high-tech company.
The programme is designed to achieve the following goals:
- Formulating experiments to validate each of the greatest risks associated with the hypotheses that constitute a business model.
- Interviewing multiple groups of potential customers to gain an understanding of their pain points, routines and purchase decision-making processes.
- Testing the target customer audience’s enthusiasm for a solution constructed with a low-fidelity minimum viable product.
- Securing the first customer for a product or service that is designed with an income model that allows the viability of the project to be guaranteed.
- Identifying the most appropriate distribution channel for the product after an iterative process of user-acquisition tests conducted in the various digital marketing channels.
- Establishing a legal figure that affords the project scalability through the inclusion of employee, financial and strategic partners.
The capacities and skills developed by the participants of the Master’s Degree will be as follows:
- The ability to make final and proactive decisions using agile evidence-based methodologies.
- Leadership with effective and enthusiastic communication that will facilitate the unity of the sales and product development teams.
- Resilience and focus on reaching measurable goals that will allow the vision of the project to be realised.
To achieve the goals listed above, we will make use of the three major resources of OBS:
- The faculty: Professionals from the sector with extensive professional experience at startups, and excellent teaching skills and academic experience of mentoring in virtual environments and business incubators.
- The Blackboard technological platform: One of the strongest and most powerful on the market, with tools that facilitate learning and communication between participants and lecturers. Blackboard allows us to deliver a great knowledge-sharing experience through multiple digital supports.
- And lastly, the OBS Business School methodology which ensures quality teaching and the fulfilment of the objectives that have been set.
Syllabus of the Master’s Degree in Lean Startup
The Master’s Degree in Lean Startup from OBS Business School is structured in modules and provides a comprehensive approach to the concepts and activities associated with the creation of startups. This training is updated and oriented towards problem solving, while also providing students with the knowledge and skillset required to face the digital challenges of entrepreneurship.
The structure, duration and content of the Master’s Degree in Lean Startup allows us to facilitate the fulfilment of the established objectives. Its structure is module-based, comprehensive, sequential and designed around innovation and its application.
- The programme is divided into 8 modules and ends with the Master’s Degree Final Project.
- In addition to this main structure, other activities are planned, like web conferences: meetings with entrepreneurs from various sectors to hear about their first-hand experiences of project leadership.
- Lastly, OBS shows its commitment to the projects that emerge from this programme by offering a grant in the form of a €10,000 investment in the best startups.
1. Business Models
In this module we will look at the principal business models and how to confront a change-management project, how to manage the strong resistance to change and how to implement a culture of change to create organisations that are flexible and adaptable to their environment and also to new business models.
2. Design Thinking
We will focus on the main sources of innovation, the main formal structures that facilitate innovation processes and how best to drive innovation within organisations.
3. Ideation and Market Opportunities
When starting an entrepreneurship project, it is essential to begin by defining the roles, personality and expectations of the team, as well as their level of commitment and the values that will successfully drive the initiative towards the fulfilment of its purpose. During the ideation process, several brainstorming techniques are used; these ideas need to be prioritised according to the way they fit with the motivations of the team and the analysis of any related problems. When considering market opportunities, we will use processes for sub-segmentation, assessment of the magnitude of the opportunity and analysis of the appeal of the attributes of the market niches. We will introduce the use of Lean Canvas as a tool for validating hypotheses over the course of the Master’s Degree. This block will be covered with 4 modules and 4 innovation tools:
- Entrepreneurship concepts: Team canvas
- Startup myths: Ideas generator
- Business model hypotheses: Definition of the problem
- Market research: Customer segmentation
4. Discovering the Value Proposition
In order to validate the initial hypotheses about an identified urgent problem, we will learn how to find and interview 30 potential customers from the chosen client segment. Then we will process the qualitative information that arises from these conversations in order to turn it into quantitative data that will allow us to focus on a specific problem that has been stated in the interviews. Once the people experiencing the problem have been defined, we will analyse in detail their day-to-day routines, their purchasing criteria and the decision-making unit around them. Lastly, we will define a corporate identity for our project and conduct an experiment to validate the problem from a quantitative perspective by communicating several value proposals on their own landing pages. This block is made up of the following modules and deliverables:
- Interviewing customers: Interview assessment script
- Choosing customers: Customer archetype
- Work done by the customer: The customer’s lifecycle
- Value proposition: Canvas of how the product fits the market
5. Experimenting with the Minimum Viable Product
This block marks the end of the discovery phase of the lean startup process. We need to quantify the value we are giving to our customers and to actively test the products that our competitors have built and to which our potential customers have access. In order to correctly map said alternatives in our solution, we will identify the search chains for which they are positioned, the funding they obtained and their story as business initiatives. To confirm that the solution we aim to build has a raison d’être before we start, we will conduct an experiment intended as a smoke test or low-fidelity minimum viable product. Lastly, we will analyse the distribution channels as well as the positioning in each of them to prove that a group is showing enthusiasm, this will be done by acquiring our first 100 users. This block is made up of the following modules, each of which has their own specific objective:
- Quantifying the value proposition: Quantified value proposition
- Competitive analyses: Map of competitors
- Minimum viable product: Design criteria
- Distribution channels: Product positioning
6. Pull Strategies
This block looks at pull strategies, its goal is to find irrefutable evidence that someone —aside from ourselves— would be willing to pay for the product. We will start by analysing the 20 potential inbound and outbound marketing channels so we can choose the one that is most suitable for us to launch a short-term customer-acquisition strategy. We will also focus on retention alternatives through notifications, motivation processes for conversion through the automation of marketing or sales, and alternatives to make the product go viral. We will continue to define the appropriate metrics for self-assessment of the progress of the project while we continue to gather data to enable the measurement of metrics through web analytics. Lastly, we will analyse the alternatives regarding the business model and the price of our product or service. The modules and deliverables are as follows:
- Pull methods: Acquisition strategy
- Business metrics: The metrics that matter
- Income models: Income evaluator
- The right price: Price scenarios
7. Validating How the Product Fits the Market
The goal of this block is to confirm that the project is replicable and scalable by completing several sales through the same process and maintaining awareness of the associated costs. To do this, we will start by working on the best way to select, motivate and manage high-performing talent with several forms of compensation. We will define a process for listing and approaching advisors who will be necessary for preserving our unfair advantage. We will continue to work on the project’s partners and defining their roles or long-term compensation so that they continue to bring us customers. We will analyse the costs to gain an understanding of the profitability metrics. Lastly, we will establish the medium- and long-term goals of the company very clearly in the form of measurable challenges. The modules and objectives are as follows:
- Multi-functional teams: Unfair advantage and advisors
- Alliances: Complete product
- Resources: Financial metrics
- Customer validation: Vision and challenges of the project
8. Funding Mechanisms
The goal of this final block is to prepare the project for the process of seeking funding for growth. We will approach the funding process from a comprehensive perspective, by looking at the various alternatives of public and private funding; special emphasis will be placed on the stages that are required to create a seed round. We will assume the perspective of an investor to gain an understanding of what is seen as an investment-worthy project, which methods are used to assess a company, and which techniques we should use to compensate the work of the partners with shares. We will also look at various legal aspects that are relevant to you as an entrepreneur, particularly the jargon related to deals between partners. We will finish the Master’s Degree with a presentation of what we have learned about our customers during this process. The modules and objectives are as follows:
- Invertible metrics: Financial projections
- Valuation: Board of shareholders
- Legal: Partnership agreement
- Pitching: Presentation video
Master’s Degree Final Project (20 ECTS)
For the final project, students can choose from two options:
- A final project in the form of a Master’s Degree thesis that consists of a project performed in a group of 3 or 4 people presented before an academic panel. These final projects will be supervised by lecturers from OBS Business School.
- A final project that consists of a real project presented to a panel formed of academics and investors to whom solo projects are submitted.
>Web conferences: The ideal opportunity to share the experience of developing a startup directly with its stakeholders.
In addition to the thematic modules that occur every 2 weeks as part of the Master’s Degree structure, a series of web conferences are conducted with the participation of leading companies from the technology sector and the digital economy as part of the OBS digital area. The chosen format is that of a conference which is simultaneously broadcast throughout the campus via the internet so a dialogue with the guest speaker can be opened. These web conferences occur on a quarterly basis. Companies that have participated in our series of web conferences include: Privalia, PopPlaces, ByHour, 24symbols, Bankia Payments and many others.
In parallel to the didactic modules, the Master’s Degree also includes two specialisation workshops. These workshops are designed to deepen the understanding of tools and methodologies that deserve special attention due to their complexity and importance. The objective of the workshops is highly practical and designed to facilitate the application of the conceptual models from the thematic modules to a project. The two modules proposed are:
- Creating a company
- Finance and cost control
The OBS Business School Methodology
At OBS Business School we orient our methodology towards the development of competences, knowledge and skills. We promote flexible and immediate communication, encourage meaningful discussion, promote teamwork and facilitate interaction between all participants, be they students, lecturers or guest professionals.
The shared learning experience
One of the key elements of OBS training is the value that is placed on shared learning, where participants are the central focus. Through our virtual campus students are able to access all teaching and technological material, converse with lecturers and interact with people from different sectors to discuss case studies with professionals that differ in their experience and points of view. This way, the diversity of approaches, capabilities and experiences provides a much broader perspective of a specific case.
Practical and active participation
Our methodology is founded on a combination of practical and theoretical learning, and requires students to actively participate with their opinions and points of view. In addition to working on the documentation that is given to them, participants must also analyse and resolve case studies based on real and simulated situations.
Therefore, using the reference documents, case studies and simulations that we provide on a daily basis, a rich learning experience that is closely connected to reality is created. At OBS you are more than just a spectator, you play a leading role.
The experience of studying at OBS
Our connection with our students is based on an expansive network of people made up of professionals, experts, lecturers, business owners and entrepreneurs who define themselves as active, keen to participate and open to questions and answers. These individuals are accustomed to posing questions and suggesting solutions, and are also very involved with the environment and the social issues that relate to their work.
The connections you create by studying with us will keep you alert and wired in to everything that is happening around you. Studying at OBS means staying updated on everything that relates to your area of interest, particularly the practical content that the teaching team will provide you with each day. This is the value that OBS provides.
Our students deepen their knowledge of the latest trends that are related to their area of specialisation, take part in conversations led by active professionals who select their sources, reflect on them with us and ultimately put them into practice.
Requirements and Qualifications for the Master’s Degree in Lean Startup
The evaluation model has the following key elements:
- Contributing to the constant monitoring of the programme.
- Ensuring the learning and use of the concepts and procedures presented.
- Assessing the level of achievement of the programme’s objectives, which should translate into professional skills and competences.
The evaluation is conducted in a continuous manner throughout the duration of the programme. There are a series of activities within each of the modules that students must complete and they will subsequently be evaluated by the lecturer, who will then inform the student of the grade that has been achieved in each of them, along with suggestions for elements that should be improved if this is necessary.
Additional effort made by students through participation in voluntary activities along with continued positive progress throughout each of the subjects will also be considered by the lecturers when they determine a numerical grade for the overall result for a subject.
The overall evaluation of the programme is derived from the average grade for each of its constituent subjects, with the compulsory condition that the average of the grades achieved in the various subjects is positive.
The stages of the admissions process are:
1. Prerequisites for admission
2. Admission application
3. Personal interview
4. Motivation letter
5. Admissions Committee evaluation
Letter from Dídac Lee
Director of the Master’s Degree in Lean Startup and Co-Founder of Galdana Ventures
Thank you very much for trusting OBS to guide you through your endeavours. Guiding passionate entrepreneurs along their new business journeys with lean startup is a great responsibility for us.
You need passionate people to change the world. Passion is what we feel in our guts when we come up with an inspiring idea or project. It is the same sensation that we feel, or should feel, when we see our partners or when our favourite team scores a goal. Passion is palpable, contagious and creates an atmosphere of positive energy that makes passionate people like us feel so strong and confident that we believe we can change the world.
There is also something fundamental and non-negotiable that we need to do: perform as many experiments as possible in the shortest time and at the lowest cost. It might sound simple, but that is not the case. The ability to quickly generate iteration upon iteration, every week, make assessments… this is the art of the startup. A methodology based on trial and error.
Without further ado, I would like to thank you again for taking an interest in getting to know us a little better. The whole team of OBS and the Master’s Degree in Lean Startup are at your disposal to resolve any questions you may have. We would love to see you next academic year.
At OBS Business School, our faculty delivers a learning experience that combines real knowledge with academic rigour. All the lecturers from the Master’s Degree in Lean Startup are active professionals working in leading companies and institutions, both national and international, with extensive experience of startups and the training processes of business incubators.
Both the proven programme-design experience of our directors and the personalised guidance of our lecturers throughout the year are a guarantee that this qualification provides the practical value that today’s companies demand.
Director of the Lean Startup Programme
- Co-founder of Galdana Ventures, Founder of Inspirit, Tradeinn, FHIOS, Zyncro and Alpify
- Member of the board at FCB, Sage and Barcelona Tech Global
- Top mentor according to FI
- Listed by IESE as one of the 20 most influential entrepreneurs and listed as number 2 by Wired
- IESE PDG, Computer Engineering from UPC
- Entrepreneurship Programme at Cambridge and Haas Berkeley
- SEM & Growth Hacking at FindThatLead
- Co-founder and CEO of Common Locals
- President of the AEFEM
- Postgraduate studies in Strategic Marketing at ESIC
- Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from UAB
- Consumer Insights, Creativity & Innovation consultant
- Tutor on the Postgraduate Diploma in Management and International Cultural Cooperation at UB
- Trainer at the CreaInnova Institute
- Postgraduate studies in the strategic planning of business communication
- Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from UB
- Software Product Manager at T-Systems Iberia
- Software engineer at Safelayer and Dasnke Bank in Copenhagen
- Computer systems engineer at Universidad de Oviedo
- Master’s Degree in Object Oriented Design
- Technical University of Denmark, IESE’s Executive Development Programme
- Founder of Next Unicorns
- Chief Digital Officer at Ecommerce Club
- Startup Manager at EGI Booster
- Advisor to the government of Dubai
- Founder and CEO at Quizlyse.
- Analyst programmer at Tecnocom
- MBA from ENEB
- Telecommunications engineer
- Technology and Innovation Partner at Konsac Group, Director of Microsoft Catalonia
- CEO at biid and StepOne
- Director of Sales Operations at Tempos21 and Accenture, Accounts Director at HP
- Director of EMEA Alliances at Sun
- Strategic Management at Stanford
- IESE’s Executive Development Programme
- Industrial Engineer
- Acceleration Programme Coordinator at Inspirt
- BStartup Programme Coordinator at BSabadell
- Head of Marketing at Spamina, MatrixSearch and Zyncro
- Commercial Leader at ADD Distribuciones Informáticas
- Master’s Degree in Marketing from EADA
- Chief Financial Officer at Inspirt
- Financial Director of the Inspirt Group
- Head of Administration at IntercomGi
- Economist and lawyer for BCN Council
- Partner at TASK Consulting
- Master’s Degree in Business Administration from UPC
- Bachelor’s Degree in Law from UAB
- Bachelor’s Degree in ADE from UAB
- Founding Partner at Incubio
- Recently named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by UPC
- Has collaborated on the creation of various startups in Silicon Valley
- Master’s Degree in Software Management from Carnegie Mellon University
- Entrepreneurship Diploma from Cambridge University
- Computer Engineer for UPC
- Managing Partner at Incubio
- Designer of mobile products for many sectors, primarily video games, since 2000
- Design Manager at Digital Legends
- PDG 2015 from IESE Business School
- Master’s Degree in Video Game Creation and Programming from UPF
- Master’s Degree in Software Engineering from UPC
- Industrial design engineer
- Dedication60 ECTS
- InitiationMay 2018
- Term10 months
- Price6.500 €