As a Berkeley MBA student, Andre Marquis learned how to write a business plan. Some 15 years later, after a series of successful ventures, he was leading the Haas School's Lester Center for Entrepreneurship.
And he realized that MBA entrepreneurship programs hadn't changed with the times. That’s where Lean LaunchPad comes in.
Andre shared his story in a Steve Blank blog post for the Huffington Post, noting that, "As I began my search to increase the relevance of our entrepreneurship curriculum...I found the answer right here at Berkeley, in the Lean LaunchPad class."
Blank's Lean LaunchPad course relayed business themes in a new way. Focusing on practical use and demo, Students learned the art of presenting their opportunities in real world scenarios. Lean LaunchPad focuses on customer development and agile engineering among other concepts.
"I realized this class was teaching students exactly what it felt like to be an entrepreneur," says Andre. "Now, four years after I arrived at Berkeley-Haas, we don't teach business plan writing in any of our entrepreneurship classes or in any of our dozens of programs and competitions. We use Customer Development and the Lean LaunchPad to train and accelerate teams U.C. Berkeley-wide."
Not only that, Berkeley-Haas has taken this teaching method global, sharing it with international students online. Haas is also part of the U.S. effort to accelerate commercialization of the country's best research spinouts from the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Health.
Read the full story on HuffPo, and get the full story on Berkeley entrepreneurship on the Lester Center site.