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Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Course Overview

We'll let you in on a secret: Innovation happens everywhere. More often than not, it is about ordinary people solving real problems. This course will teach you to look at the world through the lens of problem discovery and problem solving. You will explore problems that you see in your life and in the world and evaluate their potential for entrepreneurial innovation. You will iterate toward solutions that are just right. As you do that, you will become a user innovator. Examples of user innovation and its entrepreneurial potential are infinite. A surfer created the GoPro to take selfies while surfing. A student came up with Dropbox after losing the flash drive. Two entrepreneurs created a tool for themselves to track software bugs, giving rise to Atlassian. This course will guide you through a step-by-step process for ideating a user innovation and shaping its entrepreneurial possibilities. Importantly, through immersive case studies, this course will introduce you to effective strategies of entrepreneurial bootstrapping, so that you can succeed even when you do not have many resources.

Key Takeaways

Understand fundamental user innovation concepts such as lead user, sticky information, peer-to-peer diffusion, diffusion via the market, and low-cost innovation niche;
Apply the concept of lead user to identifying numerous opportunities for entrepreneurial innovation;
Learn the concept of solution/need co-forming and apply it to conceiving a viable and feasible solution to the problem that you seek to solve;
Learn the tools and strategies of entrepreneurial bootstrapping, and apply them to designing the strategy for diffusing your user innovation;
Explore the trends and forces driving the democratization of innovation and apply the insights to uplifting the potential of your entrepreneurial contribution to society.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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Massachusetts Institute of Technology — a coeducational, privately endowed research university founded in 1861 — is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Learn more about MIT. Through MITx, the Institute furthers its commitment to improving education worldwide. MITx Courses MITx courses embody the inventiveness, openness, rigor and quality that are hallmarks of MIT, and many use materials developed for MIT residential courses in the Institute's five schools and 33 academic disciplines.

Course Outline

Part 1
Ready, Set, Go! Go through Evolution Explore Your Problem Set
Dive In
  • Preflection: Defining Innovation 
  • What’s the difference between inventions and innovations? 
  • What is disruptive innovation?
Explore & Reflect
  • Reflection: An Example of Your User Innovation 
  • Exploration: Find and Share Three User Innovation Examples
  • Course Learning Journey 
  • Course Faculty 
  • Innovators Profiled in You Can Innovate
  • What is User Innovation? 
  • What are some examples of user innovations? 
  • How can you become a user innovator? 
  • The Da Vinci Code: what can we learn from historical user innovators? 
  • Why ideas alone have no value
Learning Module 1 – Solve Your Problem Go through Evolution Refine Your Problem Set
Dive In
  • Preflection: Are You a User or Producer Innovator? 
  • Module 1 Videos – Solve Your Problem 
  • Case study: Skateboarding 
  • Featured innovator: Emily Lagasse, Founder, Fedwell 
  • Case Study: AirBnB
Explore & Reflect
  • Reflection: Why Some Problems And Not Others?
  • Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of Democratization of Innovation
  • How prevalent is User Innovation? 
  • Why do people innovate and why don't companies always do it for them? 
  • How to have a great idea 
  • Cultivating an innovation mindset 
  • What is human-centric design and why is it crucial to modern innovation?
Part 2
Learning Module 2 – Frame Your Problem Go through Evolution Look In
Dive In
  • Preflection: Hard Problems 
  • Module 2 Videos – Focus on a Problem You Can Solve
Explore & Reflect
  • Exploration: Talk to an Innovator
  • Chapters 4 and 5 of Democratization of Innovation
  • Decomposition: break up hard problems into manageable smaller challenges 
  • How to discover hidden needs and their implicit opportunities
Concept Review 1 Go through Evolutions Look Outward & Re-conceptualize Your Solution
Explore and Reflect
  • Reflection: Updating Your Innovation Definition
  • Concepts Review 1
Learning Module 3 – Peer-to-Peer Diffusion Go through Evolution Diffusing Your Innovation Peer-to-Peer
Dive In
  • Preflection: Does Free Mean Free?
  • Module 3 Videos – Diffuse Your Innovation Peer-to-Peer 
  • Case study: Khan Academy 
  • Case Study: Canva
Explore & Reflect
  • Exploration: Share Three Peer-to-Peer Diffusion Examples
  • Chapters 6 and 7 of Democratization of Innovation
  • Why are some innovations given away for free? 
  • What are the challenges and rewards of giving away your innovation? 
  • How do you make your innovation worth adopting for others? 
  • Is your innovation right for Peer-To-Peer diffusion?
Part 3
Learning Module 4 – Diffusion via the Market Go through Evolution Diffusing Your Innovation Via the Market
Dive In
  • Preflection: Why Can't Everything Be Free? 
  • Module 4 Videos – Diffuse Your Innovation via the Market 
  • Case study: Steadicam 
  • Case Study: Ring
  • Exploration: Share Three Examples of Via the Market Diffusion
  • Chapter 8 of Democratization of Innovation
  • Why do some User Innovations become commercial? 
  • What makes people happy to pay for your innovation? 
  • How do User Innovators survive among big producers? 
  • Is your innovation right for Market Diffusion? 
  • Sell it before you build it 
  • David vs Goliath: how to beat giants
Learning Module 5 – Turning your idea into reality
Dive In
  • Difference between a sketch, prototype and MVP 
  • The rise of no-code 
  • Case Study: ShapesXR
Explore and Reflect
  • Exploration: joint collaborative prototyping exercise and experience
  • Smart innovation: building a better mousetrap 
  • Rapid prototyping tools & techniques 
  • VR/AR, a new age of prototyping
Part 4
Learning Module 6 – Democratization of Innovation Go through Evolutions Make a Choice & Get the Trends On Your Side
Dive In
  • Preflection: The Future of User Innovation 
  • Module 5 Videos – Democratization of Innovation 
  • Case study: Mods 
  • Featured innovator: Slava Menn, Co-founder, Fortified Bicycle 
  • Case Study: Micro-Acquire
Explore and Reflect
  • Exploration: Share Three Examples of User Innovation Communitiese
  • Chapter 9 of Democratization of Innovation
  • What is making innovation today more accessible for everyone? 
  • What is the future of User Innovation? 
  • Micro-innovation is the future 
  • Innovation as a habit: how to strengthen your innovation muscle
Learning Module 7 – Bootstrapping Your Venture Go through a special Evolution on bootstrapping
  • Live virtual learning session on venture bootstrapping 
  • Case study: Atlassian 
  • Featured innovators: Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, Atlassian 
  • Case-study: Clearbanc
Explore & Reflect
  • Attend a case study seminar on bootstrapping.
  • Case Study: Atlassian (To be share in advance of the live seminar)
  • What are the next steps after you have identified and understood the problem and developed a prototype solution? 
  • Are there pathways for you to grow your venture even if you don't have the resources? 
  • What are the short-term and long-term advantages of bootstrapping your venture? 
  • Beyond VC: clever, low-barrier funding options
Concept Review 2 Go through Evolution Your Future Plans
Explore and Reflect
  • Reflection: Your New Definition of Innovation
  • Concepts Review 2

Who Should Attend?

This highly practical and interactive course has been specifically designed for
The course should be timely and specifically beneficial for:
Aspiring entrepreneurs searching for startup ideas;
Inveterate inventors looking to expand the impact of their innovations on society;
Committed entrepreneurs seeking effective strategies for advancing their entrepreneurial missions, especially under constraints of resource scarcity.

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What language will the course be taught in and what level of English do I need to take part in an LEORON training program?
Most of our public courses are delivered in English language. You need to be proficient in English to be able to fully participate in the workshop and network with other delegates. For in-house courses we have the capability to train in Arabic, Dutch, German and Portuguese.
Are LEORON Public courses certified by an official body/organization?
LEORON Institute partners with 20+ international bodies and associations.We also award continuing professional development credits (CPE/PDUs) for:1. NASBA (National Association of State Boards of Accountancy) 2. Project Management Institute PDUs 3. CISI credits 4. GARP credits 5. HRCI recertification credits 6. SHRM recertification credits
What is the deadline for registering to a public course?
The deadline to register for a public course is 14 days before the course starts. Kindly note that occasionally we do accept late registrations as well, but this needs to be confirmed with the project manager of the training program or with our registration desk that can be reached at +91 4 95 5711 or [email protected].
What does the course fee cover?
The course fee covers a premium training experience in a 5-star hotel, learning materials, lunches & refreshments, and for some courses, the certification fee and membership with the accrediting bodies.
Does LEORON give discounts?
Yes, we can provide discounts for group bookings. If you would like to discuss a discount on a corporate level, we will be happy to talk to you.