5409 Burn Baby Burn (on Plans and Business Models)
Mag.Mag. Alexander Pinter
Contact details
  • Type
  • Weekly hours
  • Language of instruction
02/07/19 to 03/15/19
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Friday 03/22/19 09:00 AM - 08:30 PM D1.1.074


Some people believe business plans are old school and unnecessary. But you are highly unlikely toland investors without one.

9/10 startups fail,66% drastically change their original plan before finding product-market fit.Actually, it’s the only thing that matters. According to Marc Andreessen,startups are going to fail, if they lack of market. In a great market - a market with lots of real potential customers - the market pulls product out ofstartups. Conversely, in a terrible market, you can have the best product inthe world and an absolutely killer team, and it doesn’t matter.

This lecture is allabout nailing and scaling business models. A startup’s lifecycle as well as itsaddressable market, its respective sales learning curve and options for pricingbrand new products will be discussed.

Learning outcomes

You will finally realize that no business plan survives first contact with customers. Accordingto Steve Blank, most startups are facing a series of unknowns – unknown customer segments, unknown customer needs, unknown product feature set, unknown market size etc. That means that writing a static business plan first adds no value to starting a company, as the plan does not represent the iterative nature of the search for the business model.

Innovation, like creativity, requires discipline andis based on a discrete set of skills; consequently, it can be learned. It isnot a personality or cultural trait. You might also realize that setting up a startupis a career and lifestyle option. Entrepreneurship does not hurt at all.

Attendance requirements

Full attendance is required.

Teaching/learning method(s)

It's a very dynamic, practical, and hands-on type of course where you are given theopportunity to both practice what they've learned throughout the lecture - andeven practice what you haven't yet learned. A great attitude, creativity, and asense of thinking different are required for personal success in this skill seminar.

Best (industry) practicesas well as the lecturer’s own startup lessons will be shared in order to fullyunderstand the importance of reaching the holy grail of product-market fit.

This course utilizesa combination of interactive lectures, in-class discussions as well as casestudies. Working in small groups will be stressed throughout the course, so you will be able to demonstrate effective problemsolving and creative-thinking skills in real start-up contexts.


Course grading will be determined as follows: in-class and groupdiscussions (30%), student cases (60%), personal reflection statement(10%). 

Studentsare responsible for active and engaged participation in-class discussions. Eachstudent will be expected to interact with the guest speakers. The extent towhich each student is are prepared to engage the guests and drive discussionfor the class’s benefit will reflect favourably on his/her review. Classparticipation in general will be evaluated on frequency and quality.

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

There are no prerequisite requirements for thislecture. You can go through some optional readings before class if interested.

Availability of lecturer(s)

Alex Pinter is a WU homegrown and a former strategy consultant, who switched sides and co-founded the startup With this disruptive app, strength andconditioning coaches as well as athletic trainers can easily design individualizedsport-specific conditioning programs for athletes at its best. The product waspre-launched in May 2013 and is currently being used with selective top teamsin the USA, the global rollout is set for 2014.

You can directly reach out to him via email: addition, if requested, he willbe available immediately before or after regular class. The CEMS Office provides administrative support for this lecture.

Jana Salot (WU CEMS Program Manager),

Tel: +43-1-31336-4311





Only CEMS MIM students are eligible to enrol to this seminar. Minimum 10, maximum 20 students. First come, first serve. There will bealso a wait list (if needed). Full participation required for course creditation.


Course Material

All relevant course material will be distributed in class.

Last edited: 2019-02-18