Topic outline


    TU-E4051 - Startup Leadership (5 credits)

    Responsible Teacher:
    Natalia Vuori

    Course assistant:
    Cathy Gylling


    Learning Outcomes: This course is targeted at students who want to learn how to lead people in startups, scaleups, and venture units at large corporations. By the end of this course, students will be able to

      -Distinguish various leadership skills and styles
      -Role of values and culture in leadership
      -Know how to hire and assign roles 
      -Be able to recognize conflicts and solve them
      -Lead changes
      -Lead yourself (self-leadership)
    The deadline to register for the course has past. 

    Please se the list of accepted students to the course lowest on the list of this page.

    We will prioritize students who are majoring in organizational design and leadership, minoring in AVP, and DIEM's students. Also, students who are further in their studies will have priority.

    Dates, topics, and guest speakers


    • 8 individual assignments
    • Group project report
    • Class attendance and activity

    1) 8 individuals assignments (40%):

             This is an individual work. All assignments (except the last one) consist of two parts:

            (a) Reflection on given articles (1 page, Font 12, Line spacing 1.0)

    • Summarize the key points of the articles (0,5 points)
    • Discuss how key points of these articles complement or contradict to each other (0,5 points)
    • Discuss whether and how the points confirm or refute your practical knowledge or intuition (1 point)

            (b) Analysis of individually chosen case (1 p, Font 12, Line Spacing 1.0)

    The students are expected to apply the topic discussed in class and pre-readings to a real-life case startup of their own choice.

    In part b) of assignment 1: Choose a case of startup (hypothetical or real one). Describe the case and reason why you have chosen it
    In part b) of assignments 2-8: Apply the topic discussed in class and pre-readings to case of your choice

    More instructions are to be provided during the first course session (and subsequently made available on MyCourses).

    Late submissions will be penalized by 50% point reduction

    2)  The group project (40%):

    The purpose of the group project is to provide you with an opportunity to use the course material in an analysis of 8 discussed topics in one startup. The group project is done in small groups of 4 members. There are two ways you can do this: (1) choose one startup, interview founder/s, and write a reflective assays; or (2) write about how you have lead (or would lead) your own startup, resolve leadership challenges. The project will be graded based on content (i.e., how well it reflects the 8 topics), and innovativeness.

    You cannot use the same case that you analyze through out the course for pre-assignments. Length 10 pages, font 12, line spacing 1.5 (including references). The project must deal with the problems and challenges of leadership in startups.

    More instructions are available on Resources, For Aalto users only of MyCourses.

    3)   Participation (20%)

    Given that we will have a high profile guest speakers, the students are expected to participate in all sessions. The students are allowed to miss two (2/9) sessions without further repercussions.


    Assignments: 40%
    1st assignment: max 2 points (2 points for part A + pass/fail for part B)
    2-7th  assignments: max 5,7 points (2 points for part A + 3,7 points for part B)
    8th assignment: max 3,7 points (only part B)

    Group project: 40%
    Max 30 points for group project
    Max 10 points from peer evaluation

    Session activity and participation: 20%
    Max 20 points (2,5 points x 8 sessions)
    Max 2,5 points per session (1 point for being present+1.5 points for being active in discussion)