English course: A joint entrepreneurship-program for students of the Film University and the University of Potsdam

Datum / Dauer:
15. April - 08. Juli 2019
14:00 - 18:00
Anmeldung bis :

Filmuni-students, please sign up here. The Seminar takes place at University of Potsdam, House 6, Room S 18.


Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Katharina Hölzle, Prof. Björn Stockleben, Oliver Kullik (+guest lecturers)

Learning objectives and outcomes:

Students will learn concepts and tools to be successful in building new businesses, whether as an entrepreneur or in a business development position in an established company.

After taking this class, students:

  • Know where to look for inspirations for new venture opportunities, how to recognize and evaluate them
  • Have created a value proposition for new venture opportunities using a Design Thinking inspired process
  • Have experienced Design Thinking and Business Model Design
  • Have developed a business model appropriate for pursuit of the new venture opportunity following the principles of the Lean Startup
  • Have evaluated and critically examined business models
  • Have derived and drafted a business plan considering additional aspects like marketing activities, financial aspects, organizational structure for the new business and sustainability

The course structure follows the entrepreneurial process:

  • Theory of entrepreneurship and results of current research
  • Methods for finding business ideas and opportunities
  • Tools and methods for assessing business opportunities and business development with business plans and due diligence
  • Approaches and steps to starting up a business, with focus on methods and key points for setting up the functional structure and processes (i.e. marketing-strategy)


Entrepreneurship is about creating and building something of value from practically nothing. An entrepreneur is someone who creates or seizes an opportunity and relentlessly pursues it without regard to the resources currently controlled. In this regard, the main difference between managers and entrepreneurs is that managers are “resource driven” whereas entrepreneurs are “opportunity driven”. Within the broadest definition, entrepreneurs are found throughout all facets of business. Any firm, if it is to survive and prosper, must have some measure of entrepreneurial drive.

Entrepreneurship as a business activity is flourishing around the world. Entrepreneurs are riding an innovation wave, creating wealth and jobs in the process. Entrepreneurship represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about, teach and conduct business activity.

This course covers what aspiring entrepreneurs need to know to start and grow their businesses. The course goes along the entrepreneurial process from searching for an opportunity to shaping it into a commercially attractive product or service, launching the new venture, and building it into a viable business. Working in teams, students, will identify their own entrepreneurial opportunity, develop ideas using Design Thinking, and “pitch” their value proposition to the group. Building on the value proposition, students will work along the business model canvas to think about internal and external parts of the business model as well as the revenue model. At the end, students have not only an in-depth knowledge of the different aspects of entrepreneurship but have also for themselves experienced the cycle of business idea – presentation - business model – presentation. As a follow-up after the course, students draft a first business plan to further elaborate on their idea, integrating all aspects of Entrepreneurship. Using different instruments like creativity techniques, presentation techniques, business model canvas and business plan, the students develop expert knowledge, methodological, and social skills needed for drafting a successful startup.


We will mainly use the following books as basis in this lecture:

  • Bygrave/Zacharakis (2010): Entrepreneurship, 2nd Ed. Wiley.
  • Timmons/Spinelli (2007): New venture creation. Entrepreneurship for the 21st century. 7th ed. Ed., McGraw‐Hill/Irwin, Boston, Mass.
  • Kawasaki, G. (2004): The Art of Start. Portfolio Hardcover.
  • Osterwalder, A. (2010): Business Model Generation. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Ries, Eric (2011): The Lean Startup. Crown Publishing Group.


Lecture period: 08.04.2019 – 08.07.2019, Time of the lecture: 14:00 – 18:00






Introduction to the lecture;
Personal reflection on entrepreneurial thinking & acting; Creativity Techniques & Opportunity Recognition




IDEA & TEAM: Opportunity pitches;
Introduction of partners; Find your team!



No lecture – become an expert fast – market intelligence etc. (UNDERSTAND)




Team Building;
DESIGN THINKING: Intro to Design Thinking, Customer Journey, Jobs-to-be-Done 



No lecture - Talk to customers (OBSERVE)



VALUE PROPOSITION: Intro to Value Proposition Canvas;



Pitch your Value Proposition Canvas;
BMC: From Value Proposition to Business Model



MARKET: Market- and competitor analysis;

COMMUNICATION: Entrepreneurial Marketing



MONEY: How to find a price; How to find seed money

Guest lecture: Robin Tech, Philip Semmer



No lecture – work on your Business Model



Pitch Business Model Canvas,
incl. first draft of financial model






Work on report; Feedback Session (optional)



Hand in project reports