Eng245 mentor handbook rev 5


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Eng245 mentor handbook rev 5

  1. 1. Stanford University ENGR 245 The Lean Launch Pad (officially: Technology Entrepreneurship and the Lean Startup) Mentor Handbook http://e245.stanford.edu/Professors:Steve Blank sblank@kandsranch.comAnn Miura-Ko ann@floodgate.comJon Feiber jdf@mdv.comTeaching assistants:Thomas Haymore thaymore@stanford.eduFelix Huber fhuber@stanford.eduEngr 245 Mentor Handbook Revision 5 page 1 of 6
  2. 2. Welcome as a team mentor in the E 245 Lean Launchpad course at the StanfordSchool of Engineering.This handbook is designed to help mentors understand their roles in the course, andon course policies and process.Course Goal: Lean StartupsProvide an experiential learning opportunity for engineers to see how entrepreneursreally build companies. In ten weeks, teach a four-person team how to transform atechnology idea into a venture-scale business opportunity. Do it by having them getoutside the classroom and test each element of their business model.StudentsThe class is limited to 40 graduate students selected out of a pool of applicants. Thestudents are typically working on their Masters or PhD’s in engineering or science;however the class is also open to MBA students.E 245 Course OrganizationThe course is organized around Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas andSteve Blank’s Customer Development process. (See the syllabus for details) Test Hypotheses: • Demand Test Agile Creation Hypotheses: Development Test Hypotheses: • Problem Test • Product • Customer Hypotheses: • Market Type • User • Channel • Competitive • Payer • (Customer) • (Problem) Customer Development Test Hypotheses: Team • Channel Test Hypotheses: Test Hypotheses: • Size of Opportunity/Market • Pricing Model / Pricing • Validate Business ModelEngr 245 Mentor Handbook Revision 5 page 2 of 6
  3. 3. Each week’s class is organized around: • a lecture on one of the 9 building blocks of a business model. • Students teams present their “lessons learned” from getting out of the building and iterating or pivoting their business model. • The Eight (3 hour) Class Sessions: Session 1: Jan 4th - Course Introduction, Business Models, Customer Development Session 2: Jan 11th – Value Proposition Session 3: Jan 18th – Customer Segment Session 4: Jan 25th - Channels Session 5: Feb 1st – Demand Creation Session 6: Feb 8th – Revenue Model Session 7: Feb 15th - Partners Session 8: Feb 22nd – Resources and Costs Session 9 & 10: Mar 1st / 8th – Lessons Learned PresentationsAll mentors are welcome to attend any of the classes.ScheduleClasses meet at Psych (Jordan Hall) 041Tuesday, 4:15 -7:05pm. January 4th through March 8thOffice hours are held Tuesdays from 3-4 pm in TBD.Class details can be found on the class website. http://www.stanford.edu/class/xxxxTextbooks• Alexander Osterwalder & Yves Pigneur, Business Model Generation http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/order.php• Steven Blank, Four Steps to the Epiphany http://www.stevenblank.com/books.html• Jessica Livingston, Founders at Work http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1590597141Grading• Weekly Lessons Learned 65% of their grade• Final Lessons Learned Presentation 35% of their gradeWebsite http://e245.stanford.edu/MentorsEach team will have at least two mentors assigned.Engr 245 Mentor Handbook Revision 5 page 3 of 6
  4. 4. The Role of MentorsAs a mentor, you are the advisor for one team (each team has four students.) In tenvery short weeks your team has to 1) come up with a business idea, 2) get outsidethe classroom and test all their business model hypotheses and 3) if a web-basedbusiness get it up and running.Mentors and Opportunity SelectionOur experience has shown the first issue for most teams is finding, selecting andsizing the right opportunity. As in the real world, if they don’t get this part right, therest of their business model is at risk.We’ve found that the best plans came from students who (from best to worst):  Already were working on a technology driven research project  Was a domain expert and was solving a problem for the “next bench”  Had a passion for a specific idea  Had an interest in an idea  Worked on someone else’s idea  Picked the latest fad getting funded in the valleyTherefore one of your greatest contributions can be to help extract ideas fromreluctant engineers. We’ve found that challenging a team with “you mean that witha team of four engineering PhD candidates the best idea your team can come with isanother social networking shopping site?” can be extremely helpful.Make your team think hard about how to commercialize technologies they’ve beenworking on or are familiar with, before they default to a pedestrian idea that everyother startup in the valley is doing. Remind them that their technical work atStanford, while familiar to them, will be unique to an investor audience. Having saidthat, we believe that struggling to find a viable business opportunity is an integralpart of the learning process. Although many of our mentors are eager to share someof their business ideas with their teams, we ask that you hold off to give them achance to come up with something on their own.Remember: The class is not trying to be Y Combinator. We are trying to teach givestudents models, heuristics and experience they can apply when they leave Stanford.The class is about what they learned on the journey.Mentors and Getting Out of the BuildingThe class is about teaching the students that the 9 building blocks of a businessmodel are simply hypothesis until they actually validate them with customers andpartners; and since there are “no facts inside the building, they need to get outside.”This means as part of this class they need to talk to customers, channel partners,and domain experts and gather real-world data – for each part of their plan.Engr 245 Mentor Handbook Revision 5 page 4 of 6
  5. 5. For engineers this can be a daunting and formidable task. To the best of yourability, help them network, teach them how to send email and make phone calls andrun customer surveys. Open your rolodex to whatever level you feel comfortablewith.Mentors and Web-based StartupsIf your team is building a web-based business they need to get the site up andrunning during the semester. The goal is not a finished or polished site but a vehicleso they can test their assumptions about minimum feature set, demand creation,virality, stickyness, etc.Mentor Time CommitmentThe wisdom and advice you give these students are invaluable. We’ve found thatsuccessful mentor/team interactions look like this:- Physically meeting with your assigned team a least every two weeks- Additional communication as needed by phone or email.- You are welcome to attend any of the classes as well as your teams’ final presentation to the Venture Capital panel at the end of the quarter.Mentor/Team SelectionThe teams form after the first class meeting. By the second class they havesubmitted their initial description of their business concept to the teaching team.At the start of the class we will assign you to specific teams, so you can participate inthe teams opportunity selection process. If after seeing a team’s initial idea youthink your expertise is a not a match, feel free to let us know your preference for aspecific team.Mentor CommunicationsWe’ve found that keeping the mentors, teaching team and teaching assistants insync is the best way to ensure both a great outcome for the students and asatisfying experience for you. 1. We will hold a one hour Mentor orientation session on Tuesday January 4th at 3pm, right before the class. Even if you’ve done this before we ask you to attend. We update the process yearly as you give us additional feedback. 2. We ask you to send the entire teaching team an email summarizing the teams progress and dynamics each time you meet with them letting us know if we need to specifically help and intervene. 3. In addition, we will share all these emails with the entire mentor team and see if there are any common problems that need to be addressed class-wide.Thanks once again for your support and participation,Steve, Ann & JonEngr 245 Mentor Handbook Revision 5 page 5 of 6
  6. 6. Mentor List (as of Dec 4th 2010)• Gina Bianchini, Ning gina@bianchini.com• Ethan Bloch, Flowtown ethan@flowtown.com• David Camplejohn, Fliptop doug@fliptop.com• Shawn Carolan, Menlo Ventures shawn@menloventures.com• Eric Carr, Loopt ecarr@mac.com• Rowan Chapman, MDV rchapman@mdv.com• Jason Davies, SOS Technologies jmdavies.md.phd@gmail.com• Jonathan Ebinger, BlueRun Ventures cheryltamcheng@gmail.com• David Feinleib, MDV• Jim Greer, Kongregate jim@kongregate.com• Konstantin Guericke, LinkedIn konstantin@stanfordalumni.org• Will Harvey, IMVU willharvey@gmail.com• Thomas Hessler, Zanox• Heiko Hubertz, BigPoint h.hubertz@bigpoint.net• Charles Hudson charles@charleshudson.net• Maheesh Jain, Cafepress maheesh.jain@gmail.com• George John, Rocket Fuel gjohn@rocketfuelinc.com• Dan Martell, Flowtown dan@flowtown.com• Josh Reeves, unwrap joshua.reeves@gmail.com• Karen Richardson, Silverlake Partners karenrich@mac.com• Josh Schwarzapel joschwa9@gmail.com• Justin Shaffer, Facebook j@fb.com• Jim Smith, MDV• Bryan Stolle, MDV• Steve Weinstein, Movielabs SWeinstein@movielabs.com• George Zachary, Charles River Ventures gzachary@crv.comEngr 245 Mentor Handbook Revision 5 page 6 of 6