Lamenting the lack of real customer data in traditional startup models, Lecturer Steve Blank teaches an eight-week class at Berkeley-Haas called The Lean Launchpad.
Using the lean startup method, Blank guides students through the process of gathering real customer data to head off business plans being developed solely on the basis of untested hypotheses.
"Startup investors don’t even look at business plans," Blank told Poets & Quants. "They’re not expecting a five-year forecast, they want to know if the product will sell, and how a company creates value for investors and customers."
Blank told Poets & Quants that about a quarter to a third of teams in his class actually launch a startup, with a number of successful products having been developed in the Lean Launchpad course. One was Krave, a natural beef jerky venture launched in the course by Berkeley EMBA alum Jon Sebastiani and purchased by Hershey for more than $200 million earlier this year.
You can read more about Steve Blank's Berkeley MBA entrepreneurship course in Fortune Magazine and learn all about entrepreneurship at Berkeley-Haas by visiting the website of the Lester Center.