Blowing Up the Business Plan at Berkeley-Haas


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."

Haas Entrepreneurship and Lean Launchpad Professor Steve Blank

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.

Check Out Berkeley-Haas Entrepreneurship Resources

About The Author

Morgan is the Executive Director of Full-time MBA Admissions at Haas as well as a graduate of the program. She enjoys making personal connections with prospective students and guiding them through the MBA admission process.