HPI Product Builder

15 weeks, 40 master's students, one amazing experience! In our Product Builder program, students work in agile, interdisciplinary teams and experience market- and user-centric digital product development.  20 HPI master's students and 20 master's students from different disciplines and universities within the Berlin-Brandenburg area come together in teams and design a technical prototype as well as an associated business model to solve their own challenges generated in the ideation process during the first week. Digital Health students may now elect to work on healthcare challenges as part of the Product Builder Digital Health and select the course as a compulsory elective module.




Course Information

  • Time investment: 4 semester hours per week, 180 hours in total
  • ECTS: 6
  • Module selection of the “Product Builder” at HPI (preliminary):
    • DE: HPI-PSK-EI
  • Module selection of the "Product Builder - Digital Health" at HPI (preliminary):
    • DH: HPI - DICR (-C, -T, -S)
  • Graded: Yes
  • Teaching form: Project seminar: Every week, we will meet on Wednesday from 1:30 pm to 4:45 pm in room L-1.06 with workshops, coaching sessions and guest speakers
  • Type of course: Elective module
  • Teaching language: English
  • Maximum number of participants: 20 HPI students, 20 external students


Product development refers to the activities involved in solving a technical task that leads to a marketable product. This means developing a digital solution, designing a suitable business model, and creating an appealing design. 

In our “Product Builder” project seminar, tailored for master's students, you'll engage in agile, multidisciplinary project teams. This collaborative effort includes students from HPI (Hasso Plattner Institute) and peers from diverse academic backgrounds across the Berlin-Brandenburg region, immersing you in a user- and market-focused approach to digital product development. Throughout the seminar, we'll equip you with practical agile product development and entrepreneurship skills, teaching you to craft and validate a business concept.

During this 15-week seminar, a group, consisting of three to five members, will refine an initially generated idea into a tangible product prototype, develop a business model, and prepare a pitch deck.

The seminar kicks off with an orientation lecture on April 10, 1:30 pm at HPI in room L-1.06, giving participants a chance to connect. The initial session will spur idea generation, with presentations of these ideas in the following week, enabling everyone to choose the idea that resonates most with them. Teams will then be formed in the seminar's second week, based on these selections.

Midway through, we'll host "Challenger Day" on May 22, 2024, at HPI. Here, teams will present their progress through pitches to a jury for constructive feedback.

The seminar concludes with "Demo Day" on July 11, 2024, where each team showcases their evolved idea and prototype through another presentation to a panel of judges and an audience, marking the culmination of their hard work and innovation.

Product Builder Digital Health

The Digital Health Product Builder as a branch of the HPI Product Builder gives teams the opportunity to work on medical and health challenges with industry-specific topics. Guest lectures and workshops convey basics on the regulatory and legal aspects relevant for the healthcare domain. Thus, understanding market dynamics helps Digital Health teams to thrive as tech founders shaping a healthier tomorrow. 

Key Learnings

  • Building & collaborating in agile, interdisciplinary teams
  • Problem discovery & opportunity recognition
  • Ideation process & product prototyping 
  • Fundamentals of working in a product/founder team 
  • Agile product development 
  • Customer interviews & prototype validation 
  • Business model development & market analysis 
  • Pitch deck preparation & pitching a startup idea 
  • Regulatory and legal aspects, particularly for healthcare founders


  • A 15-week course of extensive ideation, engineering, innovation, and user interaction. 
  • Work on your own ideas. 
  • Combination of theory and practical work by learning and implementing. 
  • Self-reliant interdisciplinary teamwork partnering with students from various universities in the Berlin-Potsdam area. 
  • Intensive tutoring within a creative space in dedicated project rooms. 
  • Budget for prototyping and travelling. 

Key Dates

  • 10.04.2024 Kick-off event 1:30 pm in L-1.06
  • 22.05.2024 Challenger Day 
  • 11.07.2024 Demo Day

Learning and Teaching Methods

  • Weekly “Product Builder Wednesday” with input sessions, workshops on certain entrepreneurial or prototyping topics and coaching sessions  

  • Weekly lecture videos as preparation for the workshops 

  • Agile product development, lean startup, design thinking 

  • Hand-on exercises and workshops 

“Product Builder Wednesday” Schedule



1:30 pm 


1:45 pm 

Workshop session 

3:00 pm 


3:15 pm 

Workshop and coaching sessions 

4:30 pm 

Check-out: Work results of the day 


Lecture Schedule

The project seminar takes place every week according to the following schedule:

Preliminary schedule. All lecture topics are subject to change.


The assessment takes place via a presentation and associated project documentation and is carried out in two steps: 

  1. Challenger Day (22.05.2024) presentation, pitch deck (presentation deck and reading deck), first prototype and project documentation (based on deliverables throughout the course) account for 25% of your final grade
    IMPORTANT: Challenger Day presentations account as your first examination performance, the 8-day rule thus refers to 15.05.2024 

  2. Demo Day (11.07.2024) presentation, pitch deck (presentation deck and reading deck), final prototype/MVP and project documentation (based on deliverables throughout the course) account for 75% of your final grade.  

All grades are recorded as individual grades. Please contact the study department if you do not want to participate in the performance recording (8-day rule). 


You don’t need to formally apply to the Product Builder. Just come to the kick-off on April 10. You will meet the other participants and generate ideas and challenges to work on.  

Note for external students

Since the Product Builder is a course within the curriculum of the Hasso Plattner Institute, we cannot guarantee whether and to what extent the ECTS points earned in this course will be recognized at another university. We therefore ask you to clarify with your respective study department whether recognition is possible. Of course, we will be happy to issue a certificate of achievement.

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Do I need to have my own business idea to participate in the Product Builder?

How do I come up with an idea?

I study Digital Health, which course do I select?

What is the expected outcome?

Do I need to have my team members in advance?

Do I have to be in Potsdam during the seminar?

Are the weekly lectures on Wednesdays during the program mandatory?


Your Coaches

David Hahn

Head of Program

Mona Faisst

Program Manager

Julius Diesing

Program Manager

Linea Schmidt

Program Manager DH

Dr. Philipp Stoffers

Program Manager DH

Franz Breu

Program Manager