Wednesday, April 16th 2014

LeanModel™ Start-up Competition

Open to Students from California Universities

The LeanModel™ Competition, sponsored by the Entrepreneurial Management Center at San Diego State University, is an inaugural competition designed to assist and reward student based start-ups from California and Baja California's top four year universities. This competition will draw students from the local community within the state and provide them an opportunity to pitch their start-up to potential investors and compete for awards. A distinguished panel of entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, C-Level executives will judge their pitch and critical elements of the start-ups LeanModel™.

This two-day competition will be held on March 14-15, 2013 on the San Diego State University campus. There will be several opportunities to earn more than $25,000 in awards.

    LeanModel™ Core Values:


  • Minimize cost to maximize learning
  • Assumptions: Identification & Testing
  • Service/Product Prototype: Development & Feedback
  • Business Model Iteration
  • Voice of the Customer

Often times, the creation of a business plan during the initial stages of start-up development can serve as an obstacle rather than a spring board toward growing your business. In the true world of the entrepreneurial start-up, it is not the business plan that leads to success. An oft-quoted term from venture capitalists is that, "As soon as the business plan is written, it is obsolete."

We believe that early on, the start-up must move quickly to prototype and test their product or service and that customer interaction is critical. Too often, teams focus on writing a business plan and never actually interact with their target customers. This new competition, while influenced by Lean Start-up (Eric Ries) and Business Model Generation (Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur), asks students to focus on the following elements of the LeanModel:

    LeanModel™ Competition:


  • Value proposition from customers point of view
  • Exact customer definition by target segment
  • Product/service definition and composition
  • Identification of business process
    • Inside the company
    • Outside the company (i.e. key partners, etc.)
  • Competitive marketplace landscape
  • "Revenue fast" principle to fund operations of a lean startup
  • Management mentality: evolve, pivot, evolve, pivot, evolve

This competition is open to enrolled students at four-year California (including Baja) universities, freshman to PhD and a team cannot exceed five members. More exact competition rules and deadlines will be forthcoming in the next 30 days.

Contact Bernhard Schroeder if you have any questions at bschroeder@emc.sdsu.edu .

By supporting programs that offer feedback, insight, and mentoring to aspiring business leaders, I can give ‑fledgling ventures the best possible chance of success. Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Alberto-Culver
Sponsor the EMC

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The Lavin Entrepreneurship Center at San Diego State University serves SDSU students, entrepreneurs and business leaders through entrepreneurial curriculum, workshops, internships, resources and events. For information browse the Programs section of our website, subscribe to the Lavin Center Calendar and sign up for the Center's Entrepreneurial Fuel Newsletter. Entrepreneur resources such as the Lavin Center resume guide, marketing and business planning tools and more can be found in the Resources section of our site.

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