Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years (1.8.2018-31.7.2020), which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


Startup Experience teaches students how to run an early stage, scalable startup to create social and economic value while solving a sustainability-related problem.
The course provides an entrepreneurial mindset and capabilities.
Within the course students will work on venture ideas within Sustainable Development Goals.
Learning outcomes are based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. After the course, the students will be able:
• To identify sustainable and scalable business opportunities
• To pitch business ideas and ventures
• To apply knowledge about marketing, user research, idea validation, experimentation and prototyping, and financial literacy for one’s endeavor
• To work in and lead diverse teams
• To work effectively with different tools for team working and communicating remote-ly
• To take ownership and responsibility for one’s own work
• To develop self-awareness and self-management skills, including time management and personal wellbeing
• To think outside the box and be more innovative
• To cope with challenge and know how to fail & pivot after having practiced resilience in a safe environment
• To think critically and through ethical and sustainable lenses

The pedagogy is experiential, hands-on learning which exposes students (as far as possible) to real-world challenges and overcoming them using the entrepreneurial process. The course includes mostly workshops and hands-on team assignments based on venture ideas.

Credits: 9

Schedule: 10.09.2019 - 17.12.2019

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Lidia Borisova, Heidi Mikkonen

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Håkan Mitts

Contact information for the course (valid 12.08.2019-21.12.2112):

Håkan Mitts,

Lidia Borisova,

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Experience what it’s like to found and run a startup, without actually having to set up a company. During this course you will learn the essentials of entrepreneurship: user-centered product and service design, business ethics and sustainability, opportunity recognition, business modeling, teamwork, pitching, startup finance and marketing. That is, everything you need to navigate the fast-paced and unpredictable commercial environment, or even become a founder.

    While the focus of the course is on setting up a new business as a startup, the skills you will learn are equally valuable in the context of existing companies. The course will suit a person who is adaptive, collaborative and creatively driven. Who is interested in going beyond conventional thinking practices to create effective teams and commercial value.

    During the course, students work in small start-up teams that together go from initial problem definition all the way to the final investor pitch. Teamwork is one of the main learning skills of the course and simultaneously one of the biggest challenges for students. Throughout the course students will have team dynamic clinics and reflections to support the teamwork. At AVP, students don’t just work in groups but build actual teams.

    The course takes a firm stand in preventing burnouts which is why students will also learn about time management and focus on personal wellbeing. By the end of the course, students will not only have created a new venture but also gone through the project in a sustainable way. Through different exercises, students will be able to turn wellbeing-boost lessons into lifelong skills.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The objectives of the course and of the teams is to use good lean and agile practices to research a user need or desire, define a business (product or service, business model, pricing etc) to fulfill the need and manage the team towards successful implementation of the business.

    In the course you will learn three different skill sets:

    1. Defining and validating a business based on deep customer and user insights and business testing.
    2. Developing themselves as team members, learning about their own strengths and how to apply those strengths in multidisciplinary teams.
    3. Gaining insight into the management of day-to-day operations in a small company including marketing, finance and operations. 

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course is graded based on both team and personal performance.
    Team performance is measured based on for example:
    • The customer value creation process (assessed in bi-weekly pitches)
    • Key company deliverables (including marketing campaign, shareholders agreement, etc.)
    Personal performance is evaluated based on for example:
    • COO performance (each student will act as the company COO for a specific assignment, the student's performance in the assignment is based on the outcome of the assignment as well as a personal reflection on the management process and learning)
    • Final individual oral exam
    The student’s total grade is combined of the team grade and personal grade.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    In the course, the students work as teams. The evaluation for the course is based on overall team performance.

    The team will be graded on their pitches (4) and sprint assignments (4). Each assignment will be graded with evaluation not ok, ok and good. These correspond to -1, 0 and +1. Each team starts of with a grade on 3 and the team grade is adjust either up or down based on the assignment/pitch evaluation.

    In addition, the team can get a +1 grade point for a really impressive final presentation.

    In addition to the team grade, each student will receive a personal grade of -1, 0 or +1 grade points compared to the team grade. The student grade is based on teacher's evaluation of the students work as either CEO or COO of the team. 

    The student can also get a grade of Fail, irrespective of team grade. 

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    For 9 ECTS the workload is 243 hours of student work.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The expected workload of this 9 ECTS course is ca 240h, which translates to weekly workload of ca 20h during the two teaching periods of fall 2019 including the 5 hours of mandatory class time each week. There will be team deadlines on most weeks, so we recommend that you do not take another large project course while participating in this one.


Study Material
Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Replaces the courses 25E44000, T-128.5400 and T-106.5750 and TU-E4020 - High Growth Entrepreneurship with varying content.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    No prerequisites, but TU-C2090 Starting Up online course or TU-C2080 Entrepreneurship Essentials is highly recommended.

Registration for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Registration via WedOodi. The number of participants will be limited.
    Registrations will be prioritized in the following order:
    1. Students for whom the course is mandatory (Master’s Programme in ICT Innovation, Master's Programme in Advanced Materials for Innovation and Sustainability)
    2. Students that have chosen the AVP Startup Minor
    3. Other students so that the student base is as multidisciplinary as possible
    For more info, please refer to MyCourses and AVP website

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Additional information is shared vie the course discussion forum:

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    1 No Poverty

    2 Zero Hunger

    3 Good Health and Well-being

    5 Gender Equality

    6 Clean Water and Sanitation

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    10 Reduced Inequality

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action

    14 Life Below Water

    15 Life on Land

    16 Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

    17 Partnerships for the Goals


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course runs for the two periods. Each week there are two contact sessions, one workshop and pitching session on Tuesdays 9-12 and and a lecture session on Thursdays 14-16. The Tuesday session is focused on value creation, ie discovering and defining the product or service that the teams is working towards. The Thursday session is focused on operation topics such as teamwork, leadership, finance, marketing and operations.

    The detailed schedule will be updated here:


Registration and further information