0971 E&I Project 4: Leadership and Start-up Management
Richard Olbrecht, MSc (WU)
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/18/20 to 09/21/20
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 10/01/20 08:00 AM - 09:00 AM TC.3.03
Tuesday 11/03/20 03:00 PM - 08:00 PM D3.0.233
Tuesday 11/17/20 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 11/24/20 03:00 PM - 04:30 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 12/03/20 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 12/15/20 03:00 PM - 08:00 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 12/22/20 03:00 PM - 08:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 12/23/20 11:00 AM - 01:00 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 01/12/21 03:00 PM - 08:00 PM Online-Einheit
Tuesday 01/19/21 10:00 AM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 01/21/21 10:00 AM - 02:30 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 01/21/21 05:30 PM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 01/22/21 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Procedure for the course when limited activity on campus

Plan A: If the COVID-19 situation improves and subsequently, governmental as well as WU regulations allow it, Leadership and Start-up Management will be held in presence mode in the lecture rooms found in the evvz (physically on campus).

Plan B: If the COVID-19 situation requires safety measures to remain in place in the fall term, Leadership and Start-up Management will be held via hybrid mode ( In this case, the kick-off, and the workshops will be held on campus for as many students as WU and governmental hygiene standards permit. At the same time, these lessons will be streamed for all students who cannot be present. The coaching sessions will be held online. 

The final decision between Plan A and B is based on WU policy, which will be communicated in mid-september. Students will immediately be informed via the course syllabi. 

Note: The decision about the literature test (to be held offline on Campus or online via LEARN@WU) will be communicated in due time. Instructions will be send out individually by the course instructors before the event.


How do I manage a startup effectively? What are the most important aspects of project management? What kind of leadership style should I use?
Every founder faces these questions during early stages of a startup venture and has to reconsider them frequently while his/her enterprise steadily grows.

In this course, students will be able to tackle these questions with a problem based learning approach by taking the role of a startup coach and manage a project team of 4 students working on the development of a startup idea.

The ability to coach others is an often over-looked core competency for leaders. This course will give students an opportunity to learn the fundamental skills of coaching, so they can become coaching leaders. This course is designed to be very experiential. While conceptual frameworks will be introduced through readings, lectures, demonstrations and discussions, the only real way to learn coaching skills is to practice coaching. After gaining profound knowledge regarding business planning, business model design, project management and leadership styles, the students will lead and coach a respective project team. Students will support their teams by offering guidance and advice in developing a startup idea and give individual feedback on pre-defined milestones (e.g. problem-solution fit, customer discovery, growth hacking, etc.).

This seminar aims at students who are interested in learning profound skills in how to manage a start-up through its respective development phases (‘Startup Rollercoaster’) by leading a project team hands-on.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course, students will have the ability to:

  • search for, recognise and evaluate innovative business ideas,
  • develop business ideas using appropriate methods and tools,
  • identify customers and their needs,
  • analyse and evaluate the environment around a business idea,
  • develop sustainable business models,
  • apply creativity techniques.

Furthermore the students will acquire relevant complementary skills:

Project management:

  • successfully managing innovative (therefore less structured) projects
  • reaching decisions under uncertainty
  • managing several different stakeholders at once
  • summarising the most important project results in a business proposal


  • lead a project team effectively
  • use well-established leadership styles and analyze or prepare for challenging situations
  • identify and adapt to leadership styles and attitudes of individuals
  • efficiency through recognising and utilising individual strengths of team members
  • dealing with various work methods, opinions and perspectives


  • lively discussions and interactive workshops
  • structuring complex data (project results), presenting them in writing and orally to various target groups
Attendance requirements

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).

Teaching/learning method(s)

- 1 day kick-off event with theoretical input and expert talks

- Interactive workshops with industry experts on various topics (e.g. executive vocal coaching, pitch training)

- Team work on (fictitious) start-up projects under the supervision of lecturers and external coaches

- Regular coachings and co-working sessions in accordance with the progress of the teams

- Final pitch session in front of jury

- Documentation of analyses and results in a final report


The final grade will depend on:

  • 10 % Literature test
  • 15 % Mid-term reflection
  • 15% Final reflection
  • 20 % Essay or case study
  • 40% In-class participation

In order to pass the class, all of these performance indicators have to be positive!


Note: The aim of the compulsory literature test (01.10.2020 betweeen 8.00 am and 9.00 am) is to examine the necessary basic as well as specific knowledge in order to successfully work on your project. If the literature test is not successfully passed, the Analyst Support Program (ASP) will be automatically applied. Within the Analyst Support Program, an individual performance has to be carried out, instead of working in a group. In case of non-participation (only due to illness), a medical certificate must be presented. An alternative date will be offered for this purpose. You will receive detailed information about the content and location of the test after registration to the course.

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

Students enrolled in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Specialization Program.

Please note that course registration is binding. The moment your registration is received, it is regarded as a clear commitment on your part. Students cannot transfer to another course (once the add/drop period is over) with no exceptions, as it would be unfair to other students (who might not have gotten into the course of their choice because of the spot you registered for). The number of students accepted to the course will only be expanded if there is no space in any other course 4/5.

Recommended previous knowledge and skills

Recommendation: Students should already have completed one project course of the specialization entrepreneurship & innovation.

Availability of lecturer(s)

Richard Olbrecht, MSc:

Thomas Pannermayr, MSc:

Last edited: 2020-11-04