1138 E&I Project 7: Garage: Build your own Start-up
Tuong-Vi Sophie Quach, MA, Alexander Staub, M.Sc.
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.4.27
Thursday 10/15/20 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM Online-Einheit
Friday 10/16/20 09:00 AM - 03:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 10/28/20 04:00 PM - 06:30 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 11/04/20 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 11/11/20 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 11/18/20 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 11/25/20 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 12/02/20 04:00 PM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 12/09/20 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 12/16/20 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 01/13/21 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 01/20/21 04:00 PM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 01/21/21 05:30 PM - 07:00 PM Online-Einheit
Procedure for the course when limited activity on campus

Developments in the COVID-19 situation require safety measures to remain in place in the fall term. Hence, the Garage course will be held via hybrid mode ( In this case, the kick-off will be held on campus in accordance with governmental hygiene standards. The remaining sessions will be held online via teams. 


 The schedule is subject to change both until and after the kick-off due to the inclusion of a lot of external workshop organizers who may have to postpone or cancell at short notice! Please make sure to follow the information provided to you via e-mail and refer to the teamup calendar (Only in Summer Semester) throughout the semester as short term changes might not be reflected on learn.                  

In the E&I Garage course, students learn to use tools and methods helpful for identifying, evaluating and realizing technology-oriented, explorative business ideas. Students are welcome to bring in their own business ideas and develop them in interdisciplinary teams as part of a structured process. Course instructors and external coaches mentor teams at every step as they transform an initially rough idea into a persuasive business concept. Student start-up teams present their business ideas and profit-oriented business models to potential investors and other experts at the end of the semester.

The Garage course received WU Vienna’s 2011 "Teaching Excellency Award" and stands out for its highly interdisciplinary setting. The course is open to students from three Vienna universities (WU, BOKU and TU). Students from diverse fields come together in interdisciplinary teams, similar to real start-up scenarios, bringing a range of perspectives, skills and know-how together to shape the business idea and its implementation. 

In addition to the content provided in class, students have premium access to DataCamp, giving them an opportunity during the course to improve their data science skills and better their understanding of the technical aspects involved collecting and exploiting user/financial/environmental data for developing an idea.

Students are not required to engage with the content on DataCamp to successfully complete the course. It is, however, an excellent opportunity to develop highly valuable technical skills as well as gain a better understanding of the discipline of data science, the opportunities it unlocks, and working with data beyond Excel.

Students can explore the following areas on the platform at their own pace:

· Data manipulation

· Data visualization

· Data collection

· Introductions to R and Python

· Introductions to machine learning

Learning outcomes

Based on real-world practice and experience, students learn the necessary elements for developing and realizing a business idea.

In the past successful alumni have gone on to create companies like:

- Hokify

- Mimo (Google self-improvement app of the year 2018)

- Alpengummi

- Lympik

After successfully completing the E&I Garage Build Your Own Start-Up course, students will be able to:


· Search for, recognize and evaluate innovative business opportunities.

· Develop business ideas using the appropriate methods and tools.

· Identify customers and their needs,

· Analyze and evaluate the environment around a business idea.

· Develop sustainable business models.

· Apply creative techniques.

Project management skills:

· Manage innovation (therefore less structured) projects.

· Make decisions in the face of uncertainty.

· Manage several stakeholders at once.

· Summarize the most important project results in a business proposal.

Team work skills:

· Work in an inter-disciplinary team.

· Recognize and use team members’ individual strengths for maximum efficiency.

· Effectively deal with varied working methods, opinions and perspectives.

Communication skills:

· Conduct lively discussions and interactive workshops.

· Structure complex data (project results) and present them to various target groups in writing and orally.

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 (21.1.2021) – event)

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course is built around several workshops, which are structured to be interactive and combine several teaching methods to impart various topics and skills. Among them are working in teams, open discussions, individual team coachings and coachings by external mentors.

The basic principles of idea generation, searching for business possibilities and the methods to be employed during the semester will all be presented and discussed during the kick-off session.
You will be assigned to a start-up team based on the results of a questionnaire that will be sent out before the course starts. During the kickoff you will have time to work through the concepts discussed via an idea that you will have generated in the kickoff. Thereafter, you can decide on whether to:

  • continue with the idea from the kickoff
  • settle on an idea that one of you team members brings to the table
  • develop a new idea after the kickoff as a team

This idea will be presented briefly during the session following the kickoff. The remaining course will revolve around the formation and validation of a business model through group work and field interviews with customers and experts.

The students will be supported in the development of their business ideas by the course instructors and external mentors in both online and offline coaching sessions as well as expert talks. Regular presentations of results are scheduled. The results of the start-up-planning process will be summarised in an investor pitch deck as well as accompanying documentation.

The teaching method of this course is supposed to emulate the realities of forming a startup as closely as possible, which means you will be receiving feedback as if you were actually starting a company. This means no sugar coating. While the workload is high, the rewards consist of highly transferrable skills along multiple personal and professional dimensions, not to mention the chance to work on an actual, viable business!

Given the individual challenges and opportunities that come with a highly diverse set of ideas for businesses (think implications for an online recruitment platform vs the design and manufacturing of solar powered umbrellas - actual examples from previous courses!) or having to pivot, your path will start diverging from your colleagues very quickly. This means certain expectations we have towards deliverables will be easier or harder to fulfil. Keep in mind that this course has been in development for nearly 10 years however and every piece of work you are asked to deliver has been carefully considered, reworked and is based on cutting edge methods that are tried and proven.


The final grade in the course will depend on:

- 20% Individual work (literature test in English / literature according to Learn@WU; Reflection paper)

- 10% engagement in the project (attendance, contribution to classes, coachings and workshop, quality of working deliverables)

- 65% group work (working deliverables, midterm pitches, final pitches, final deliverable)

- 5% Touchdown (adherance to deadlines, implementation of feedback and quality of pitch)


Additionally, there will be mid-term and end of term peer ratings of the team members which may result in individual up- or downgradings.

Literature test: The aim of the compulsory literature test (1.10.2020 betweeen 8.00am and 9.00am) 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 in the further semester course, instead of the group work. 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.

Attendance: In order to successfully pass this course, your absence is limited to 20% of our appointments. Please note that the attendance of the literature test, the kick-off and the E&I Touchdown (21.1.2021) is obligatory (exceptions in case of illness). In case of an overlapping exam, clarify with the lecturer if parts of the kickoff can be missed.

1 Author: Diverse

Mandatory reading for all project courses

Publisher: Learn@WU
Remarks: Available in the download section on Learn@WU
Year: 2020
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Content relevant for diploma examination: No
Recommendation: Essential reading for all students
2 Author: Steve Blank

Why the Lean Start-up Changes Everything

Publisher: Harvard Business Review
Year: 2013
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Recommendation: Essential reading for all students
3 Author: Steve Blank

Why the Lean Start-up changes everything (video)

Publisher: Harvard Business Review
Year: 2018
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Recommendation: Essential reading for all students
4 Author: David J. Bland & Alex Osterwalder

Testing Business Ideas (the 88 downloadable pages)

Publisher: Wiley
Edition: 1
Remarks: Klick link to get to the pages that can be downloaded for free
Year: 2019
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Recommendation: Essential reading for all students
Type: Book
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.

Availability of lecturer(s);


This course is taught in English.

Weitere Informationen

Attention: the obligatory literature test will be held on 1.10.2020 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: 2020-09-22