Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI
Hasso-Plattner-Institut25 Jahre HPI

Startups – From idea to business (Wintersemester 2021/2022)

Dozent: Dr. Frank Pawlitschek (School of Entrepreneurship) , Maximilian Mense (School of Entrepreneurship)

Allgemeine Information

  • Semesterwochenstunden: 2
  • ECTS: 3
  • Benotet: Ja
  • Einschreibefrist: 01.10.2021 - 22.10.2021
  • Lehrform: Seminar
  • Belegungsart: Wahlpflichtmodul
  • Lehrsprache: Englisch
  • Maximale Teilnehmerzahl: 25

Studiengänge, Modulgruppen & Module

IT-Systems Engineering MA
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-RW Recht und Wirtschaft
  • Professional Skills
    • HPI-PSK-ML Management und Leitung
Data Engineering MA
Digital Health MA
Cybersecurity MA


Information regarding the current Corona crisis: Currently, a face-to-face format is planned for the course. If face-to-face events are not possible at the beginning of the semester, the course may be switched to a hybrid format. (As of 9/30/2021)

Our course "Startups - From Ideas to Business" provides practical proven tools to guide students through essential topics of setting up a company and transforming an idea into a product or service that creates value for others. The course is a block seminar that consists of three sessions.

1st Session: Developing the opportunity

The course begins with an introductory block on Nov 05–06, 2021 consisting of lectures and exercises. Foundational concepts of entrepreneurship, opportunity discovery and teambuilding will be covered.

2nd Session: Launching your startup

The core piece of this seminar is a 3-day Startup Bootcamp, from Nov 12–14,2021. Interdisciplinary teams work on real-world business challenges in the area of cybersecurity provided by our bootcamp partner SAP. The bootcamp is offered together with the ESMT Berlin. During the bootcamp participants will learn about creating a value-proposition, developing a business model canvas, designing first prototype solutions and preparing a pitch.

You find more information about the Startup Bootcamp here: HPI x ESMT Startup Bootcamp 2021

3rd Session: Growing and financing your venture

The third block takes place on Dec 17, 2021 and is dedicated to exploring strategies for growing and funding a business. Topics around demand generation & sales processes, digital marketing and aspects of financing and venture capital will be presented and applied to the ideas you developed during the bootcamp.  

The course aims to inspire and motivate students to start their own business and to support them in developing the necessary knowledge and skills.


Core building blocks and questions addressed in this course:

  1. Developing the opportunity
      a   Which steps does it take to develop a business?
      b   Which skills do I need as an entrepreneur and in a team?
      c   What are opportunity recognition strategies and startup creativity methods?
      d   How can I strategically position my idea within a competitive environment?
  2. Launching your startup
      a   How can I transform an idea into a product or service that creates value for others?
      b   How does the Lean Startup Approach help me in creating my startup?
      c   Which methods do exist to create a first prototype for my business?
      d   What do I have to take into consideration when preparing a pitch deck?
  3. Growing and financing your venture
      a  What are successful go-to-market strategies and revenue models for my business model?
      b  How do I set up a sales process and develop a digital marketing strategy?
      c  How do I finance my startup, and do I really need venture capital?



Please submit a short application with the information described below by 22.10.21. The course has a limit of 25 participants. Places are assigned to the most fitting students. Please let us know the following additional information:

  • Name, Email Address, Study Major
  • Tell us why you want to participate (2-3 sentences)
  • In case you already have a business idea that you want to develop during the lecture, please give us a two-sentence explanation of the idea

Please send this information to Maximilian.Mense[at]hpi.de


Interest in startups and entrepreneurship. Willingness to work in a team during the Startup Bootcamp on a real business challenge from the field of cybersecurity.

The lecture will be held in English. Therefore, this lecture requires participants to be able to discuss subject related matters in English.


  • Eric Ries: The Lean Startup
  • Ash Maurya: Running Lean
  • Brad Feld: Venture Deals
  • Alexander Osterwalder: Value Proposition Design
  • Alexander Osterwalder: Business Model Generation

Lern- und Lehrformen

  • 2 Seminar Blocks with hands-on team exercises
  • 3-day Startup Bootcamp
  • Voluntary consulting sessions with each team between the block seminars


40% Group Report – Documentation of Business Model Canvas (worked out during the Startup Bootcamp, submitted until Jan 7, 22)

60% Individual final presentation (presentation of business idea and self-reflection, 15 min, on Jan 14, 22)

Prüfungstermin im Sinne der 8-Tagesfrist ist der 17.12. Bei weiteren Fragen zur Abmeldung von der Lehrveranstaltung wenden Sie sich bitte an das Studienreferat.

The exam date within the 8-day deadline is Dec 17, 2021. If you have further questions about withdrawing from the course, please contact the Office of Student Affairs.



  • First Block: Opportunity Development, 05.-06.11.21 (9am – 4:30pm) 
  • Second Block: Startup Bootcamp, 12.-14.11.21 (10am – 6pm) 
  • Third Block: Growth Strategies & Financing, 17.12.21 (9am – 4:30pm) 
  • Deadline Group Documentation: 07.01.22 
  • Individual Presentation: 14.01.22

Lecture Room: G-3.E.15/16
Bootcamp: D-Space, main building

For questions contact: Maximilian.Mense[at]hpi.de