In order for your business idea to be successful, you need to understand the customer and his problem.

Also look for other solution ideas that can solve the problem more easily and create greater value for the customer.

You can find an idea in several ways:

– Invent something completely new
– Combine existing in a new way
– Improve an existing product/service
– Solve an everyday problem
– Solve a social problem

How are you going to solve what problem? If you can answer the questions from the Business Model Triangle, you’re well on your way to becoming a startup! The magic triangle and the four dimensions of a BM (Gassmann, Frankenberger and Csik 2013)

Lean Canvas

To develop your idea, it's best to use the Lean Canvas. Once you've filled this out, you're well on your way to your first business plan!

The Lean Canvas basically answers two questions:

  • What added value do you bring to your customers?
  • How do you earn money?

Very important here is that you test your hypotheses (problem-solution match) through experiments like interviews and simple prototypes!

Do the sustainability check!

When developing your idea, you should also think about sustainability. To build your startup sustainably, we recommend the following links:

Information on sustainable foundation (website in german)

Guide to the Sustainability Assessment from startups (website in german)

Smart-up also offers interesting modules and training courses, and you will also find recommended literature and material on the topic:

Further training offers

The Ideation module enables students to deal with their own business idea at an early stage. The idea can be further explored in the ISA Business Concept module.

  • ISA module
  • 3 ECTS
  • Duration: 1 week (block week)
  • Time: beginning of September

More information

In the Digital Start-up module, you will deal with creativity techniques and hands-on methods from design thinking and develop your own digital innovation project in interdisciplinary teams. With your no code prototypes, you gather analytics-based feedback from users and use it to improve your idea. At the end of the Digital Start-up Week, you will present your project in a pitch.

  • ISA module
  • 3 ECTS
  • Duration: 1 week (block week)
  • Time: Beginning of February

More information

Design thinking is an innovation approach that consistently focuses on customer needs. In four hours, participants experience how design thinking works and how they can integrate the method into their work.

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • When: March

More information

Book tips on start-up development:

Running Lean, Ash Maurya

Value Proposition Design, Alexander Osterwalder

The Design Thinking Toolbox brainstorming tool will help you come up with even more ideas!

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Do you already have a name for your start-up? Be sure to reserve the right domain early.

If you need further support, it is best to contact Smart-up directly.

"In order for your business idea to be successful, you need to understand the customer and their problem."