4074 E&I Project 2: Digitalization and Business Model Innovation
Niloofar Abolfathi, Ph.D., Markus Deimel, MSc.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/19/18 to 02/21/18
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Monday 03/05/18 08:00 AM - 09:00 AM D4.0.136
Thursday 03/15/18 09:00 AM - 06:00 PM EA.5.040
Friday 03/16/18 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM D5.1.002
Thursday 03/22/18 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM D5.1.004
Thursday 04/12/18 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM D5.1.004
Thursday 05/03/18 08:00 AM - 09:15 AM Ort nach Ankündigung
Thursday 05/03/18 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM D4.0.133
Friday 05/04/18 08:00 AM - 09:15 AM Ort nach Ankündigung
Monday 05/07/18 08:00 AM - 09:15 AM Ort nach Ankündigung
Tuesday 05/08/18 08:00 AM - 09:15 AM Ort nach Ankündigung
Wednesday 05/09/18 08:00 AM - 09:15 AM Ort nach Ankündigung
Friday 05/18/18 03:30 PM - 05:30 PM D5.1.002
Thursday 05/24/18 04:30 PM - 06:30 PM D5.5.029
Wednesday 05/30/18 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM D5.1.002
Tuesday 06/05/18 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.4.16
Thursday 06/14/18 03:00 PM - 05:00 PM D5.1.004
Wednesday 06/20/18 05:00 PM - 07:30 PM LC.0.100 Festsaal 1

This course focuses on the challenges that established companies face in the digitalization era and how they can overcome such challenges through business model innovation. Digitalization is changing the way companies create and capture value across different industries. In media sector and creative industries, for instance, Netflix and Spotify need to come up with new digital products or new business models that are appealing for customers and are able to compete with giants such as Amazon and Apple. Digital disruption has even affected the pure manufacturing sector with Ford and Toyota competing with not each other but with the larger ecosystem including Google and Facebook. In this regard, business model innovation is considered as highly relevant tool for companies to remain competitive in their market or successfully enter a new market.

This course is designed to prepare students with fundamental elements of business model innovation based on a problem-based approach. Students will have the opportunity to work on real-world problems of partner companies such as Nokia, Mondi, and A1 and solving them through applying state-of-art methods and techniques (e.g., business model Canvas). 

Choose this course, if you would like to learn
- to analyze the current business model of an organization
- to analyze an organization's market and its environment
- to design new business models in a structured manner
- to know about the potential of digitalization to create new business models.

In addition, the course allows you
- to work with established companies
- to gain insights from and contacts with these companies
- to evaluate your creative ideas in an Idea Challenge.



Learning outcomes

The course “E&I Project: Digitalization and Business model innovation” aims to provide students with knowledge and skills regarding the application of their knowledge of entrepreneurship and innovation theories. They deepen and broaden their competencies by working on a real case with a partner company. After successfully completing the course, students will have the following skills and competences:

1. Project management skills
After completing the course, the students will be able to…
-    …structure complex problems independently.
-    …set-up and manage innovation projects (problems that are often ill-defined).
-    …state the results of their group work in a concise business proposal.
-    …manage their team and harness the strengths of every team member in their project.

2. Communication skills
After completing the course, the students will be able to…
- …communicate efficiently with team members, partner companies and stakeholders (making appointments, discussions, representation of the institute, etc.)
- …communicate the results professionally in oral and written reports (e.g. in the business proposal)
-….create and deliver professional presentations.

3. Subject-specific knowledge and its application
Students learn to…
-    …effectively collect and filter market data, of which some they will research with (qualitative & quantitative) methods following scientific standards and analyze them in a meaningful way.
-    …to analyze the target-ecosystem of the innovation projects professionally and identify relevant competitors.
-    … analyze existing business models on the basis of the business model canvas and carve out the fundamental logic.
-    …create innovative business models with the help of creativity techniques and appropriate analytical tools.
-    …to apply divergent thinking to be creative and to search for multiple perspectives as well as apply convergent thinking to arrive at a pre-defined goal.

Teaching/learning method(s)

- 1 ½ day kick-off event with case study work, project selection, partner company meeting and networking

- Group work on real-world projects under the supervision of lecturers and external coaches

- Workshops and regular coaching in accordance with the progress of the teams

- Regular presentations of work-in-progress, mid-term and final presentation with partner company involvement

- Documentation of analyses and results in a final report

- Skills-workshops regarding the contents of the course (project- and team management, presentations, idea generation)


The assessment is based on individual and group work. All assessment elements must be positive.

Components of the individual assessment:

· 10% literature test (in German language; based on “Basisliteratur” and course-specific documents on learn@wu)

· 10% class participation (e.g. coachings, presentations, kick-off, punctuality, stakeholder-management, commitment)

· 10% reflection paper (at the end of the semester)


Components of the group assessment:

· 30% work-in-progress reports

· 20% final report

· 20% final presentation

· +/- peer rating (may change the final grade)


To complete this course with a positive grade, students must attend 80% of scheduled classes (exception: 100% attendance at literature test, kick-off and E&I Touchdown – event)

Classes with 100% mandatory attendance include literature test (5.3.2018), kick-off (15.3.2018 & 16.3.2018) and E&I Touchdown (20.06.2018).

Ad.1. literature test

The literature test examines necessary basic and in-depth knowledge that is required to execute the projects.

Failing the literature tests implies the immediate joining of the Analyst Support Program. In the Analyst Support Program students will work on an individual project, instead of the group work. Lecturers of the course are responsible for the design of the program in their course.

We offer one additional exam date for students that miss the literature test due to sickness. Students must present a doctor’s certificate in order to participate in the additional exam. If students miss the literature test due to other circumstances, they will be deregistered from the course.


Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

Students of the SBWL Entrepreneurship und Innovation

Please note that your application to this course is binding. If you register for our course, this is regarded as a clear commitment from your side. It is not possible to deregister from this course or switch courses later on. Such behavior is unfair towards your colleagues (who could not register in their preferred courses as you blocked it).


Only if all parallel courses are fully filled ("Aufstocken"), we will offer additional places in our course.

Availability of lecturer(s)

Office hours: by appointment via e-mail only to;


ATTENTION – The abovementioned dates can change!

These dates are agreed either individually with lecturers and partner companies or take place off-campus. This is not uncommon in innovation projects. Detailed information regarding dates will be provided during the kick-off.

The literature (basis for the literature test) is available to download on learn@wu. (

Weitere Informationen

Attention: the obligatory literature test will be held on 5.3.2018 between 8 and 9 am. Course participation is only possible by passing the literature test – if you cannot attend the test, we kindly ask you to not register for this course. Detailed information regarding contents and location of the test will be provided after the registration phase for this course.


The literature test in this course overlaps with other courses within Course 4&5 of the specialization Entrepreneurship & Innovation. A parallel attendance of these courses is not possible.

Last edited: 2018-01-17