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MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit (Spring 2019)

MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit (Spring 2019)

Please note: the information here is still from the Spring Semester 2019. You can get an overview of the course format but there will come some changes for the upcoming semester shortly. Please check back for an update!


Making Things Happen 


Course Outline

The title image of this Course Syllabus says it all... This course is about making things happen!

You do not think inside the box and love working on challenging projects? Next to studying, you are eager to apply your knowledge in the real world and learn from startup teams on the project? You like new ideas and love their execution? You want to dive deeper into the anatomy of business models and get the unit economics right? Then you should opt for Entrepreneurial Spirit. The course is a new format to foster startup growth, entrepreneurial culture and to advance the startup ecosystem at and around the University of Mannheim. With their expertise, the students support the startups in improving their products, services and business models and help them to be more competitive. We will work with real companies in this course and you will actively contribute to their well-being. Thus, high dedication, willingness to take over responsibilities and professionalism are a prerequisite. There are two tracks in MAN 633: One for students who have no startup project yet and one for students (individual or founding team) who work on their own advanced startup project.

MAN 633 helps advance startups in our network by sending students teams as a task force (Track 1) but also helps students with an advanced startup idea to reach their next milestones and gain support in a course format (Track 2). For both tracks, the course starts with an initial Kick-off day (1 day). The Kick-off Session is the same for both tracks and provides hands-on tools to assess, structure and solve startup challenges. Following this Kick-off, the students form interdisciplinary teams of 3-5 and solve challenges in real ventures. Experienced MCEI coaches will work closely with the student consulting teams to make sure that they are on track to maximize their learning experience while simultaneously permitting the teams to have as much fun as possible. The exam (30 min.) is based on "Ash Maurya (2016). Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth" and will follow about 3 weeks after the Kick-Off Session.

Track 1 (for students with no own startup)

Offers students who have no own startup but want to experience the startup world an excellent opportunity to work at eye-level with an experienced real-world startup team. The concept: Solving challenges of young companies with student approaches and on-site by student teams. Assisted by an experienced MCEI coach, the students carry out joint projects with the startup after a needs analysis. The startups are recruited via our extensive MCEI network.

Selection of participating startups with Track 1 project opportunities:


Track 2 (for students who already work on their advanced startup project)

Further advance your own startup in class. Your performance appraisal will be according to milestones set at the beginning of class and you will receive continuous counseling by MCEI coaches. MAN 633 offers you the opportunity to recruit a student team from class to work on your startup’s challenges during the course just like in our “client companies” in Track 1. Please approach the instructors upon course registration to sort out whether your startup project is eligible for Track 2. This offer is for advanced startup projects only – you can start greenfield (i.e., at idea stage) in MAN 631 (Fall 2019).

The direct integration of the students into the startups within the framework of the course enables a joint action-oriented learning experience on both sides. In addition, we strengthen the startup community, promote startup companies as well as potential startups, integrate startups directly into the university's offerings and support the transfer of knowledge and technology between the university and the economy.

What you can expect from us is dedicated and continuous feedback to advance your projects, intros to MCEI partners who can help you grow and a fun and rewarding atmosphere in class and on our joint entrepreneurial journey. Do not miss out on our Startup Lounges and Founder Talks throughout the semester to maximize your Startup experience. 


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course students

  • have learned tools to analyze and develop business models and how to tweak them towards growth
  • are able to solve real-life challenges in new ventures in a project format
  • have learned first-hand what it is like to work in a startup by gaining real startup experience
  • have acquired managerial skills and gained familiarity with problem solving in practice
  • have a solid foundation for, e.g., a seminar or master thesis at our chair - especially theses "Inside the Venture"
  • have improved their team work, presentation and consulting skills
  • In total: Real life challenges, learnings for life. 


Registration and Final Course Decision

Please register via the Student Portal prior to Kickoff. We highly appreciate diversity of all kind - including disciplines! Please send us an e-mail upfront to make sure that your potential MAN 633 Track 2 project qualifies - otherwise MAN 631 (Fall 2019) might be a better class for you to join. Track 1 project candidates do not need to contact us via e-mail. Kickoff participation (full day) is absolutely mandatory. No exceptions granted. Not participating at the Kickoff leads to immediate de-registration. 

There is no way to participate in MAN 633 when you do not attend the Kickoff Meeting! As a Track 1 team, letting your Track 1 team down along the way (i.e., dropping out) will lead to failing this class. Course choices are final after Session 1. Track 2 Students who do not want to take the class for credit should announce this prior to the initial theory exam. You can also participate to receive an MCEI certificate instead of a grade as a Track 2 student or team. 

We are looking forward to seeing you in class!


Place and Time


  • Kick-Off Event on March 2 (10am to 6pm), Room 001, L9 1-2
  • Exam based on "Ash Maurya (2016). Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth" (April 10, Room 001, L9 1-2, 7:30pm-8:00pm)
  • Track 1:
    • Meetings and presentations (mid-term & final) are usually held in our MCEI DesignLAB with the startup team and us in the audience (individual dates, tba)
  • Track 2:
    • Mid-Term Presentation: mid-April, 2019 (date & time tba)
    • Final Presentation: end-May, 2019 (date & time tba)
    • 2 Status Updates: end-March and mid-May, 2019 (date & time tba)
  • You can find a detailed schedule here, as soon as it is available.



Track 1

  • Exam (20%) (individual)
  • Mid-term client presentation (20%) (team)
  • Final client presentation (20%) (team)
  • Final report (40%) (team) 

Track 2

  • Exam (20%) (individual)
  • Mid-term own startup presentation (20%) (team)
  • Final own startup presentation (20%) (team)
  • Final business plan/report and continuous assessment (40%) (team) [2 performance appraisals along the way of 5% each + 30% final documentation]


Persons in Charge

Lecturers: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Startup Consultant: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Professor: Prof. Dr Michael Woywode


Course Load and Language


Language: English


Readings and Resources

Required Readings:

  • Ash Maurya (2016). Scaling Lean: Mastering the Key Metrics for Startup Growth

Course Materials All course material (where applicable) will be provided via the MCEI Group 'MAN 633 Entrepreneurial Spirit (Spring 2019)'. We will not use ILIAS at any point in this class. Please do not be irritated by the ILIAS option not being available


Additional Information

Please note: We will be taking pictures in some of the sessions of the course for documentation and future marketing measures in the context of future courses and our MCEI formats. You will be asked to sign a relief form during the first session. If you do not want to sign the relief form, we kindly ask you to stay out of the camara focus. We will annouce, when we are taking pictures. 


Schedule (Spring 2019)

February 19 (optional) | Café L3 | 7:30pm - 10:30pm

Get-together in the context of our Startup Lounge with the MCEI Seed Award Finals 2019 in Café L3.


March 2 | L9 1-2, 001 | 10am - 6pm

Startups for the Track 1 Inside the Venture projects will pitch potential projects. What is more, the day is an intensive workshop in which Track 2 students will pitch their projects and we will cover all the course content in lecture-style. Note: Attendance required to participate in MAN 633 - no exceptions being made.


March 28 | L9 1-2, Room 210 | 3:00pm - 8:00pm

Only Track 2: Status update. 


April 4 | Café L3 | 7pm

Mid-term presentation: Individual project Track 2 presentations. For Track 1 projects: We will find an individual date with your client startup and team.


April 10 | L9 1-2, 001 | 7:30pm - 8pm

Short Exam.


April 29 | MAFINEX | 2pm - 6pm

Pitch workshop.  


May 20 | L9 1-2, Room 210 | 3:00pm - 8:00pm

Only Track 2: Status update. 


Mai 28 | TBD and Café L3 | 3:30pm - 10:00pm 

Final Pitches - Final Presentations are due, Final Ceremony (all teams presenting + Top 3 Startup Lounge Special).


June 15, 11:59pm

Business plan/ written documentation/ written documentation are due. Please submit the report via e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!





E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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