COGS 122 Startup Studio / Fall 2021
Teaching Assistant (TA): Akshay Nagarajan, email@example.com
Instructional Assistant (IA): Cole Biehle, firstname.lastname@example.org
Class time: Tuesday & Thursday from 3:30-4:50 pm (required)
Studio time: Wednesday from 4-4:50pm (via zoom / optional)
Location: HSS 1346
Attention entrepreneurs, designers, scientists and engineers! In this course, students will learn tools and processes for innovating novel business concepts to solve problems involving the interaction between humans and technology. Students will work with an interdisciplinary team to understand unmet user needs and to create a value proposition that balances technical feasibility, financial viability, and desirability. Ultimately, student teams will prototype a novel product or service, write a business plan, and produce a video suitable for launching a crowdfunding campaign. To inform the innovation process, students will learn new techniques for leveraging social media and crowdsourcing to discover users' needs and to obtain feedback on preliminary concepts. Selected readings will cover ubiquitous computing, service design, business modeling, creativity methods, crowdsourcing, and crowdfunding.
Students will learn how to adopt an attitude of trial and error. How to be a lean startup. How to alternate between exploration and focus. How to reframe problems and explore/refine design solutions. Students will learn to conduct productive design critiques and interviews with potential stakeholders.
Leverage the internet for research, ideation, and feedback. Students will learn how to use Web-based resources — including online collections, Web analytics, crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and social media — to inform and drive an innovation process. How to collect feedback online. How to conduct an A-B test.
Articulate value in the mobile service marketplace. Students will learn about the emerging market for location-based, just-in-time, context aware, and highly social applications. They will learn how to assess and communicate a value proposition, how to conduct a competitive analysis, how to brand a startup concept, and how to pitch an idea through writing, presentations, and video.
Mobile information services, app design, product design
Value propositions, business models
Needfinding, interviewing, analyzing social media
Divergent thinking, brainstorming, generating alternatives
Synthesis techniques and problem framing
Storytelling, storyboarding, and video production
Prototyping/blueprinting for service design
Crowdsourcing, web analytics, A-B testing
Startup Studio originated as a course called Mobile Service Innovation developed by Prof. Steven Dow, Prof. Jim Morris, and Prof. John Zimmerman at Carnegie Mellon University. Prof. Dow taught this course for several years CMU on the semester system and has now adopted it for UC's quarter system.