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.


This course has been designed to enhance student's understanding of the process expert entrepreneurs rely on to transform ideas into opportunities often in highly ambiguous and uncertain contexts. After this course, students will: a) develop the acumen to distinguish between ideas and opportunities, b) explore creative possibilities as a basis for making innovation choices, c) be alert to spotting patterns, d) communicate with impact, and e) gain an appreciation for what it entails to be an entrepreneur.

Credits: 3

Schedule: 08.09.2020 - 13.10.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Peter Kelly

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Peter Kelly

Contact information for the course (valid 17.08.2020-21.12.2112):

The course instructor is "at your service" - in adherence with ongoing social distance guidelines, contact should be made remotely. I am happy to meet face-to-face consistent with operating principles in place at Aalto.

Remote contact channels:


mobile: +358 41 503 4508

skype:   theideastudio

My physical habitat:

Tuas Talo, Maarintie 8  Office 2168 next to Aalto Ventures Space on 2nd Floor

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:

    Expert entrepreneurs shape opportunities through the lens of their own means (passions, skills, networks), devise affordable loss experiments to test viability (prototyping), engage co-creators to shape the opportunity with them, and are open to the element of surprise. Discovering opportunities that are stimulating, "doable" and "worth doing" is a design driven process that is honed with practice. We will be iterating between divergence (exploring possibilities) and convergence (making choices) continually through the course. The group challenge is based on a contemporary issue that is both provocative and open to interpretation.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Students should know how to:

    • distinguish between ideas and genuine opportunities
    • generate a wide array of possibilities to address a challenge through creativity
    • narrow possibilities down focusing on those with potential
    • explore a potential opportunity in depth relying on insights from how experienced entrepreneurs operate (effectuation)
    • communicate with impact

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Masterclasses, workshops, cases, group challenge

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course involves both individual tasks (60% of grade) and a group project (40%).

    The group project will be exploring the challenge "Rethink the Concept of New Normal" - focusing on the emerging opportunities a socially distanced COVID19 world opens up.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    3 ECTS equates to 81 hours workload:

    Individual assignments and preparation                   23 hours

    Group project                                                              40 hours

    Remote interaction (lectures, mentoring)                18 hours


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Saras Sarasvathy "What Makes Entrepreneurs Entrepreneurial?" and other resource materials available on the course website.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Outside material will be posted on MyCourses. The R&R case will be distributed electronically once enrolment is fixed.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Replaces the courses TU-91.120/TU-91.2003 New Venture Development, and TU-91.2103 Opportunity Prototyping.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:


SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    17 Partnerships for the Goals


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Week 2  Rethinking Air Travel Creativity Challenge

    Week 3 R&R Effectuation in Action Case

    Week 5 Mission to Space video insights

    Week 6 Ideation diary / Group Presentation

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