The week ending November 23 is Global Entrepreneurship Week, a growing international movement highlighting the opportunities and benefits of entrepreneurship. It’s also a time for community organizations assisting entrepreneurs to get visibility for the work they do and redouble their efforts to connect with aspiring entrepreneurs.
In this context, it’s an excellent time to examine the startling acceptance of the Lean LaunchPad methodology. From the first class a few years ago, it quickly became apparent the LLP was a new model to teach entrepreneurs how to evaluate venture opportunities. We stopped thinking of startups as early-stage businesses and saw them as temporary forms within which teams could discover if a viable value proposition and business model existed for their idea. If not, the LLP provides a framework to allow the startup idea to fail multiple times within the span of a few weeks, greatly shortening the time and expense to discover that a new venture has no chance of success. This process to discover the factors underlying the success or failure of a venture idea in such a short timeframe was revolutionary in its simplicity and its impact on entrepreneurship.
Like any good revolution, the Lean methodology spread quickly. The National Science Foundation (NSF) uses the LLP as the foundation for its I-Corps program to promote the commercialization of university research technologies. The LLP was also recently endorsed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for its life science technology commercialization programs. Based on the short, substantial history of success of the LLP in uncovering commercial opportunities, we expect other Federal agencies to endorse the use of the Lean LaunchPad for their research commercialization programs.
Outside of the newer Federal programs, the LLP methodology has diffused into various programs at the K-12 level nationwide. The Lean method of hypothesis testing has proven to be easy to implement and a highly valuable addition to the curriculum. In the spirit of Global Entrepreneurship Week, you may like to know that Lean LaunchPad is going global, too. My Educators’ class at Stanford in April included entrepreneurship educators from:
- And – LAUSD: the Los Angeles Unified School District!
Join us in the global Lean revolution. Submit your venture idea to UCF’s I-Corps program. Applications for Summer ’15 start in January.
We can’t wait to hear your idea!