The e-Lab (Entrepreneurship Laboratory) facilitates the exchange of innovative ideas and concepts between students and high-tech startups.
The e-Lab seminar is the third and last core course in the Technology Management Curriculum. The course was initiated by CDTM students inspired by an MIT format and has been developed further ever since. E-Lab puts students in the situation of a jury and coaches to Entrepreneurs: they have to critically assess entrepreneurial concepts, conduct analyses and come up with well-informed quantifiable recommendations for entrepreneurial decisions.
Besides the project work (1 day / week) the course comprises weekly lectures and discussion sessions as well as regular coachings. The weekly sessions cover a variety of issues in young companies, such as marketing with scarce resources, financing a new venture, legal issues etc.
Students (usually in teams of three to four) work together with the top management of high-tech start-ups or innovative intrapreneurship departments of larger companies (Business Development, Strategic Development) and gain hands-on experience in starting and managing a new venture. The project carried out by the student teams are of strategic importance and deal, for example, with pricing strategies, competitor analysis, financing, market entry, internationalization, etc.
Upon completion of the course, students will have acquired meaningful competences with regard to managing an external partner, structuring abstract problems, critical and precise assessment of entrepreneurial concepts and professional communication. Competencies from previous courses are reapplied and deepened (team work, feedback culture, presentations, project management).
- Interdisciplinary teams of highly qualified students define and process projects of strategic importance for high-tech startups in collaboration with top management.
- Lectures and coaching by experienced entrepreneurs and scientists on recruiting, marketing, sales, finance, etc.
- Building social skills - presentation, team leadership, negotiation, networking
- Students gain both theoretical insights as well as hands-on experience in starting and managing a new company.
The e-Lab is based on a seminar concept that has been developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and successfully been practiced for 20 years.
The seminar takes about three months throughout the semester (Summer: April to July; Winter: October to February) and is structured into four components. The largest part is the project work of consulting a start-up company. In addition to that there are weekly class-sessions and coachings throughout the semester. Moreover there are various facilitation courses that come along with the e-Lab course.
- learn about finance, marketing, legal aspects for entrepreneurs, project management and more
- find out about entrepreneurs and their stories
- present their own results to the class and find out what’s going on in other projects
- meet up with their responsible Coach (Center Assistant) once a week
- discuss current issues and present their ideas to solve them
- get feedback and advice regarding their project and course presentations and deliverables
- consult a start-up
- work independently and act professional
- concentrate on creating value for their client and deliver superb results
- acquire and deepen competencies with regard to professional communication, interpersonal skills and their analytical toolset
- get insights into theoretical concepts and have the chance to apply them in exercises but also in their projects