TJTS5790 Lean Startups (10 cr)

Study level:
Advanced studies
Grading scale:
Responsible organisation:
Faculty of Information Technology
Curriculum periods:
2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020



Software start-ups frequently develop innovative products and grow rapidly under extremely uncertain conditions. Software startups are special since they have little or no operating history, lack any meaningful resources, operate under intense time pressure, and tackle dynamic and fast-growing markets. The academic goal of the course is to prepare students to work and succeed in such a dynamic environment and learn in practical terms how to set up and run a software startup. Contents of the course includes following themes related to software startups: Business models of a startup; Lean canvas; Validation, pivoting, minimum viable product; Customer development; Design thinking and user experience design for statups; Fuzzy front-end engineering principles; Software Engineering in startups; Sales and marketing in a startup; Market penetration strategies; Internationalization models and practices; Funding and cash flow management; Pivoting; Venture life-cycle and growth models; Practical steps in establishing a startup (registering and organizing a venture); Entrepreneur exit (IPO, trade sale etc.).

Completion methods

Lectures, including also visiting lectures. Real-world group exercise, where the group creates an idea, validates the problem, develops a minimum viable product, pivots one or few times in an attempt of searching for a scalable business model. The course ends in a public pitching event.

Assessment details

Passing the course requires active participation, working on the exercises, delivering the results and presenting them. The course performance is evaluated by practical startup-project work using the following evaluation criteria: 1) startup readiness, 2) execution and business plausibility and 3) innovativeness.

Learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student can systematically develop his/her business idea and the minimal viable product using startup metrics to guide the validation process. The startup project will be executed in an international startup-network ecosystem. The student learns to work as part of a startup team and will be able to attract venture capital funding or other risk capital for the endeavor

Description of prerequisites

This course assumes that you have already completed your bachelor’s studies and you are currently doing your master’s or doctoral studies.


  • Blank, S. (2013). Why the lean start-up changes everything. Harvard Business Review, 91(5), 63-72.; Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., & Tucci, C. L. (2005). Clarifying business models: Origins, present, and future of the concept. Communications of the association for Information Systems, 16(1), 1-25.; Ries, E. (2011). The lean startup: How today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses. Random House LLC.

Completion methods

Method 1

Select all marked parts
Parts of the completion methods
Unpublished assessment item