Slot 3

Technology Entrepreneurship
Bart Clarysse, ETH Zürich


This course will give you an insight into how technologies unfold into commercial activity. Blockchain, the internet of things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and so on offer commercial opportunities to found a new venture. However, the potential applications are less clear from a market point of view. Hence, revenues are not the main focus of these ventures. Novel financing mechanisms such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crowdfunding have emerged which provide entrepreneurs with few resources to overcome the lack of revenues. The challenge which the nascent entrepreneurs face is how to develop a narrative which convinces both financers and co-founders to get off the ground and how to capture the value of what is created.

In complement to these insights, we will develop -in teams- practical business cases based upon your own potential business ideas. The focus of these business cases is upon the analysis of the timing of the customer need, the decision as to engage in traditional or novel forms of market research such as design research to test assumptions that are made behind these business ideas versus taking a more experimental route such as the lean startup approach or even engaging in the social mobilization of resources that fit grand societal challenges (e.g. the use of blockchain to install a national crypto-currency). During these workshops, you should develop the skills to develop the story of your idea to convince the audience that needs to provide you with the resources to continue.


Bart Clarysse holds the chair of entrepreneurship at ETH Zürich where he teaches technology entrepreneurship, lean start-up methods and technology commercialization. His research is focused on understanding how nascent industries such as nanotechnology, blockchain, mobile health, IoT unfold over time and which decisions technology entrepreneurs can make to optimize the value capture of their activities or to potentially disrupt existing industry settings. He is also a visiting professor at Imperial College London, where he teaches executive master’s in business administration (MBAs) and executive subjects on corporate entrepreneurship and innovation.

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