Mondragon University (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2014 Proceedings
Publication year: 2014
Pages: 6844-6852
ISBN: 978-84-616-8412-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 8th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 10-12 March, 2014
Location: Valencia, Spain
The present paper shows the development and the results achieved through the project University-Industry Lean Startup, a pilot experience developed by the Engineering Faculty of Mondragon University which promotes a Problem Based Learning (onwards, PBL), project based on current industry demands. This new learning methodology involves industry within the whole PBL project; from the introduction of the organisation’s problematic, until student´s project proposals. Within this process, diverse enterprises, from Gipuzkoa (Basque Country, Spain), presented their problems or necessities related to build “New Sustainable Businesses – Startup” and kept track of its evolution (together with an academic tutor) until the delivery of the project.

Lean Startup combines different concepts with fast, iterative and agile development techniques (Blank & Dorf, 2012). Lean Startup focuses on constant adjustments and trial and error learning in entrepreneurial behaviour (Brinckmann, .2010; Loch, 2008). The aim of each Startup should be to learn building sustainable Businesses by running experiments to validate and test assumptions.
For the opening of this new University – Industry collaboration approach, it was developed a Workshop joining academic and industrial worlds. The objective of this Workshop was to identify the real problems of the Industry, in order to find a fit solution. This process was performed by the students of the Master in Business Innovation and Project Management from Mondragon University.

From the kick off the project, six potential Minimum Viable Product (onwards, MVP) had been identified and collected in an initial Business Model Canvas (onwards Canvas). This is a tool for describing, analysing, and designing business models (Osterwalder, 2010). Afterwards the initial Canvas was developed by Master students. The PBL project had had consecutive milestones: on one hand, identification and validation of the problem hypothesis and the exploration of market attractiveness; and on the other hand, an in depth development of the Minimum Feature Set (onwards, MFS) hypothesis and the virtual prototype test. Furthermore, at the end, students presented their achievements to business professionals, creating an appropriate environment for the University – Industry collaboration.

Specifically, this paper focuses on development of PBL project followed by one of six achievements presented, which has been selected for its high technical and economic viability and its proximity to Industry. The goal of the PBL project was to try the creation of a new business opportunity in the field of Smart City, particularly in the Smart Environment, through a new smart waste container for home.
Problem Based Learning, Lean Startup, Minimum Viable Product, University-Industry collaboration, Entrepreneurial Education, Business Model Canvas.