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Experimenting with the Lean Launchpad at UC Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California typically does not come to mind as an entrepreneurship hub, yet in many ways it is. There are dozens of thriving startups in Santa Barbara, many conceived by UC Santa Barbara faculty and staff. Some of the techniques popularized in Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad (LLP) approach to entrepreneurship education were popularized in Santa Barbara years ago. UCSB’s Technology Management Program, founded fifteen years ago in part with an NCIIA grant, is the on-campus hub for entrepreneurship education. This past year, we ran an LLP experiment. We taught LLP to a select group of students, then allowed the teams to enter our New Venture Competition. Four LLP teams competed alongside sixteen teams that received a more traditional educational experience. The LLP teams performed very well in the competition, and two reached the finals.

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