1585 E&I Project 8: Industry & Innovation
Mag. Benjamin Monsorno, Tuong-Vi Sophie Quach, MA
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/14/23 to 09/17/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Wednesday 10/04/23 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM D5.1.002
Thursday 10/05/23 01:00 PM - 06:00 PM D5.1.004
Monday 10/09/23 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM D5.1.002
Tuesday 10/17/23 04:00 PM - 06:30 PM D5.1.003
Tuesday 10/24/23 04:00 PM - 07:00 PM TC.4.28
Tuesday 10/31/23 03:00 PM - 07:00 PM Extern
Tuesday 11/14/23 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM EA.5.040
Tuesday 01/09/24 03:00 PM - 06:00 PM D5.1.003
Monday 01/22/24 12:00 PM - 04:00 PM D5.1.002
Monday 01/22/24 05:30 PM - 08:00 PM LC.0.100 Festsaal 1

Industrial companies are increasingly facing innovation challenges within their ecosystems. Digital technologies, supply chains issues, demographic changes, talent supply, sustainability challenges, and new business models, to name a few, are impacting core organizational processes and capabilities of both established corporations and start-ups more than ever before. These challenges call for new organizational processes and capabilities, forcing companies to review, transform and adapt their existing business models.

Students in this award-winning course (WU Innovative Teaching Award 2023; Best Course Presentation @Entrepreneurship Teaching Conference 2022) learn and train systems thinking through agile project management (Scrum) and hypotheses-driven innovation consulting. Given today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world, real-life innovation problems of industrial companies require a new problem-solving approach. Students in our course learn to consider such complex systems as a whole, rather than just focusing on individual parts. They structure the problem by analyzing and understanding the relationships between different parts of the innovation problem in the industrial context. They further iteratively develop and validate/reject hypotheses regarding the problem throughout the semester. In collaboration with two lecturers (acting as “Scrum Masters”) and international coaches, students develop a holistic understanding of a complex innovation problem, develop effective solutions, and anticipate unintended consequences.

The pedagogy involves systems thinking, Scrum and hypotheses-driven innovation consulting, and real-life innovation challenges. Support for student groups is guaranteed through systematic guidance and bi-weekly “sprint” sessions by the instructors as well as feedback loops from other students and international coaches.

During the course, students will take on the role of agile innovation consultant, working with their team to solve specific, highly relevant business problems. In tight cooperation with our project partners (start-ups, scale-ups as well as established industrial companies), students will

•    develop a holistic understanding of important innovation challenges in the industrial sector
•    learn to identify and analyze root causes of complex problems
•    learn to structure complex problems by following agile project management principles
•    learn to iteratively validate/reject hypotheses considering the business problem and define and develop an analytical approach adequate for solving it,
•    develop and evaluate potential solutions, and anticipate unintended consequences
•    present and defend these solutions in front of the (a) all E&I students at the E&I Touchdown and (b) the project partner

Each team receives continuous assessment and feedback from the lecturers in bi-weekly sprint sessions. International experts and coaches specialized in agile project management as well as hypotheses-driven consulting provide additional support throughout the semester (e.g., Bosch Business Innovation – Stuttgart, Germany; Accenture – Vienna, AT; IPlytics, Patent Database Research – Berlin, Germany).

Learning outcomes

The E&I course Industry & Innovation is an application-oriented project course. The course aims to deepen and extend the students' theoretical skills through practical application to a real case.

After positive completion of E&I Industry & Innovation, students can

  • comprehend the relevance, impact, and potential of disruptive changes for the industrial sector, especially concerning technological innovations and their impact on business models of new and existing companies
  • structure complex problems
  • analyze, describe and evaluate existing business models
  • apply methods to systematically and creatively search for solutions
  • use instruments for the systematic and efficient evaluation of competing solutions
  • successfully manage innovation projects (i.e., unclear and poorly structured)
  • gather fundamental experience in professional teamwork
  • management of external stakeholders (professional interaction with project partners)
  • prepare complex issues (and project results) in a structured and understandable report and present them convincingly
  • work in an agile environment

In addition, participants expand their soft skills (communication, presentation, project, and time management) by working with team members, coaches, and external partners.

Attendance requirements

As the interaction with other students as well as external stakeholders is an integral part of this course, active participation in-person is important.

Students must attend at least 80% of all classes and events to successfully complete the course. However, due to their importance in reaching the course goals, 100% attendance is required for the kick-off, mid-term and final presentations as well as the E&I Touchdown event. For the kickoff (4., 5., 9.10 - 3 - 6.00pm.), absences (up to maximum of 1,5h) due to a scheduled written exam at WU can be excused if the course instructors are notified with a proof of examination before the kickoff.

In general, all absences in the course must be notified to the course instructors via email (if possible in advance) and confirmation (for example a medical certificate, or in case of an exam a note confirming the date of the written examination) must be submitted as soon as possible. Absences can result in additional compensation work to ensure the course's learning outcomes.

Industry & Innovation consists of classes for all students and individual team coaching sessions. There will be a mid-term and a final presentation of the project.

Except for the kick-off, all other dates shown are subject to change! More detailed information is provided at the introductory event and the kick-off. Most dates are either arranged individually with course instructors and project partners, or take place externally. This is not unusual for innovation projects. Exact dates for the presentations, workshops, and coachings will follow at the Kick-off.

Information for E&I students taking a semester abroad that starts in January
At E&I we value the international experience our students get from taking an exchange semester abroad. We also understand that some exchange semesters already start in January, leading to schedule overlaps with our courses. In that case, we will enable you to take the project course. Please inform your course instructors and fellow team members when the semester starts to make the necessary arrangements and counterbalance the absence in the last month by distributing the workload in a fair and reasonable manner among all team members in advance.

Teaching/learning method(s)
  • Self-study
  • Teaching and discussion of theoretical basics on two kick-off days (lecture, working on the project assignments, group discussions, teamwork)
  • Group-based work on real and relevant projects in close cooperation with the project partner under the supervision of the course instructors and practical coaches
  • Feedback and coaching by the course lecturers
  • Workshops and coaching by external partners (e.g., experts working at top consultancies, technology experts from tech companies, etc.)
  • Peer feedback
  • Documentation and presentation of work progress and results



Performance is assessed based on individual as well as group work throughout the semester.

Grading system:

  • 60% Group-based performance
  • 10% Midterm presentation
  • 10% Midterm report
  • 20% Final presentation
  • 20% Final report
  • 40% Individual performance
  • 10% Kick-Off Comprehension Test
  • 25% ongoing participation and project management
  • 5% Reflection task

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

Attendance: In order to successfully pass this course, your absence is limited to 20% of our appointments. Please note that the attendance of the kick-off, the presentations with our project partners and the E&I Touchdown (23.01.2024) is obligatory!

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.


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Last edited: 2023-09-06