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Entrepreneurship for Digital Engineering Researchers: Creating a Vision

The HPI School of Entrepreneurship presents: 

Entrepreneurship for Digital Engineering Researchers: Creating a Vision
A Four Part Workshop by Dr. Jonathan Antonio Edelman, Visiting Professor Hasso Plattner Institut

Would you like to create a vision for transforming your research project into a start-up or other business?
Join us for hands-on development workshop to develop a vision of how to transform your project into a new enterprise!

What is this Workshop Series about?

This four part workshop focuses on developing the vision, strategies and skills necessary to transform digital engineering research projects into start-ups, businesses, and enterprises. Participants will learn and practice methods for creating new offerings based on technology driven projects.

This workshop will help you take your research project to the next level. Experience Design Thinking customized for Digital Engineers who want to bring their insights and projects to market. Successful participants will be eligible for further instruction by the E-School team and apply for funding through the HPI Seed Fund.

  • Four sessions, two hours for each session
  • Personal project coaching by appointment

Each Session will have two elements: 

  • Discussion of frameworks
  • Hands on application of frameworks

Learning Goals for Course:

  1. To develop a more complete and deeper vision of what your project can become
  2. To create a vision of how your research projects and insights can create value and become a start up or business
  3. To develop a stronger sense of yourself as a maker of change and entrepreneur
  4. To become familiar with the concepts, processes and tools of Digital Transformation
  5. To have hands on experience with the concepts, processes and tools of Digital Transformation


  • Attendance and Timeliness: Full attendance is required, participants must arrive on time and ready to work
  • Participation: In class participation in the form of critiques and providing your work as an example for development. 
  • Time: 2 hours for each session
  • Homework and assignments: each week you will be given a 4 hours task to move your vision forward
  • Weekly personal project coaching by appointment

Session 1 - Digital Transformation (14 June 17:00-19:00)

What is Digital Transformation? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: case studies where things went right and wrong

  • Digital Engineering Design Frameworks
  • Human Factors for Digital Transformation
  • How digital engineering and human factors complement and magnify each other to create value
  • Defining your Big Idea
  • Solving problems and identifying opportunities as a foundation for meaning and value creation
  • Creating impact with new business offerings from research insights 
  • Human-centred product-service architecture: the structure of making change

Homework: What is your Why?

  • The Vision Strategy Worksheet 1
  • What Problems and Opportunities are you addressing?
  • User engagement prototype 1: communicating your vision

Personal Project Coaching by appointment

Session 2 – Insight to Impact (25 June 17:00-19:00)

Working with Digital Technology: Developing your vision and strategy for change

  • Creating a personal vision for your enterprise
  • 3 Levels of Impact for New Digital Interventions: product-service, customer-partner relations, infrastructure and organizational design
  • Designing User Engagement, Prototyping and Testing
  • Understand the role of empathy and user testing in design

Homework: The Vision Strategy Worksheet 2

  • 3 Levels of Impact for New Digital Interventions
  • User engagement prototype 2: communicating impact

Session 3 - Digital Engineering Synthesis (05 July 17:00-19:00)   

Defining opportunities for your enterprise: How human factors are key to creating great offerings

  • Mapping pain and pleasure points: creating value through empathy
  • From providing information to giving access to knowledge to creating individual meaning
  • How product meaning is central to creating user engagement
  • Strategies for Product-Service Development
  • Applied Design Thinking Learning Cycles and Score-Carding

Homework: The Vision Strategy Worksheet version 3

  • Mapping pain and pleasure points
  • User engagement prototype 3: reducing pain, amplifying pleasure

Session 4 - Value Creation and Communicating Your Vision (10 July 17:00-19:00)

Making Business Sense: Cost, Risk, Profit 

  • Understand and communicate how your offering creates value
  • Learn how to identify problems and articulate opportunities
  • Create your personal innovation roadmap one step at a time
  • Getting the Word Out: Messaging, Imaging, and Engaging
  • Media Kits: How they are important, essential materials, venues for communication and engagement

Application Process

Write an email with the following information (1-3 sentences each):

  1. Describe your project and technology
  2. Explain possible applications of your project and technology in businesses or for customers (if you can think of any at the moment)
  3. Provide key references and citations related to your research project 
  4. Indicate which HPI Chair your project relates to
  5. Recommendation from your supervisor (optional)
  6. Provide a short biography for each team member

Send your application to eschool(at)hpi.de

Application Deadline: 27 May

Course Leaders

Dr Jonathan Antonio Edelman
Dr Edelman is a Visiting Professor at the Hasso Plattner Insitut as well as Visiting Professor at Politecnico di Milano in Product Service System Design. Previously has served as the Director of Interdisciplinary Design at Stanford University’s Product Realization Lab, Consulting Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford, and as Head of Programme for Global Innovation Design at the Royal College of Art, London.

The HPI School of Entrepreneurship
Besides providing a first-class university education, the HPI seeks to encourage its students and scientists in the implementation of their own business ideas as entrepreneurs. Since 2015 all HPI entrepreneurship activities have been bundled into the HPI School of Entrepreneurship, which is currently under development. The services range from targeted consulting and coaching to the provision of infrastructures and financial resources and organization of events.