(Poets&Quants) — The powers that be sit on high in Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad class at the U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business, lobbing questions, offering expert advice, and occasionally hurling thunderbolts.
Below, at the front of a small auditorium, teams of students take turns presenting updates to their peers and instructors about their startups. Whether these ventures ever launch is, for the purposes of the course, irrelevant. But Lean LaunchPad successes include a company sold earlier this year for more than $200 million.
Tonight, most teams will leave the podium buoyed by the feedback they’ve received, the criticism and suggestions that will push their projects closer to viability. One team, however, will leave ashen-faced and humiliated, their presentation cut short in a takedown that, it turns out, was a carefully calculated kick in the pants.
Blank’s eight-week class at Haas is based on a theory of entrepreneurship…
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