The Lean Startup Model and the Berkeley MBA

By Susan Petty


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.

Check out the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship at Berkeley-Haas


Posted on June 11, 2015
Susan Petty
Susan is Director of Admissions for the Berkeley MBA for Executives Program. She has nearly twenty years of experience in marketing and advertising, having worked in several different industries including technology, travel, healthcare -- and many others from her media planning days at J. Walter Thompson where her clients included Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Nestle, and Ford. She enjoys advising prospective students and guiding them through their personal MBA experience.