On Campus
1 x 3-hour workshop weekly
1 x 7.5-hour independent study weekly

Distance On-line
1 x 3-hour on-line workshop weekly
1 x 7.5-hour independent study weekly
Enrolment not permitted
INNO9009 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Course context
Core topic
Topic description
The most effective innovators and entrepreneurs are those who can adapt their ideas to fit reality. This topic focuses on learning and applying a variety of hands-on tools for testing out the desirability, feasibility and viability of any idea. Through readings, videos and a series of in-the-field exercises, students will test, refine, test again, and refine again a particular innovation. Along the way, students will learn a variety of skills and tools to understand and test users’ needs and perceptions, customers and funders’ willingness to pay and competitive dynamics and learn how to use these insights to validate a new innovation project or venture.
Educational aims
This topic aims to inspire and enable students to get out into the field and test new ideas at once rigorously and rapidly. On one level, this is a methods topic, exposing students to a variety of applied research skills and tools for understanding users’ needs and perceptions, customers and funders’ willingness to pay, competitive dynamics and the broader context. On another level, this is a creativity and critical thinking topic that pushes students to re-frame, re-think and re-design ideas iteratively, as their understanding of the customers and users’ needs evolves in response to evidence about user, competitor and funder perceptions and behaviours.
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic students should be able to:
  • Describe and apply a set of useful in-field research tools to better understand the need and demand for new innovations.
  • Understand and explain relevant underlying theories - such as the idea of product or service “job,” benefits vs. features, needs analysis, market segmentation, perceptual mapping, etc.
  • Derive insights from the application of these tools and use the insights to reformulate proposed innovations, using design-thinking techniques.
  • Practice telling an insightful, evidence-based story for a specific audience.
  • Plan and manage a rapid question-research-adjust approach to validating demand, feasibility and viability of an innovation.