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How to Build a Startup: Final Project

The following documents will help you understand the logistics of the submission project as well as the exact description of each submission. These documents are intended for students with a Udacity Coach who have enrolled in the [full course experience.][4]

If you are previewing the courseware, you are welcome to look at these documents as well (but understand that you will not be able to submit your project).

  1. Student Deliverables (This details assignments and projects you will submit throughout the course to your Udacity Coach)
  2. Project Submission Instructions (This will tell you how to submit your assignments and projects)
  3. Final Project Rubric (This is the rubric a Udacity Coach will use when evaluating your final project)

Learning Outcomes:

There are three main learning outcomes of this project:

  • Apply what you have learned about the Business Model Canvas.
  • Learn the process of talking with customers, listening to customers and changing your business model based on real customer feedback.
  • Understand the bigger picture of running a business. Businesses depend on many external factors outside an entrepreneur’s control and entrepreneurs need to be aware of the many factors that can affect their business, such as human resources, suppliers, partners,government regulations and competitors.

Student Deliverables

To gain full value from this course and from the Udacity Coach, you must create your business plan and rapidly test it by actually talking with potential customers. In addition to learning the course material, you must get out and physically talk with people to gauge the customer’s interest in your ideas. Electronic surveys can be used as a supplement to test out your ideas, but the real value gained from this course is from learning the process of getting out and talking with people. You may schedule phone and video interviews as well. Your Udacity Coach will guide you through the process of going out and understanding your customers.

Therefore, you must submit evidence that you have talked with your customers in addition to submitting your drafts of your business plans on a periodic basis to your Udacity Coach. Each submission will help you in creating your final project - a live presentation of your business plan. Submissions are not graded, but you must submit each assignment in order to pass the course and receive a Udacity certificate.

Note on Optional Reading and Exercises: You do not have to complete the optional reading or homework at the end of every lesson. If you are serious about starting your own startup, Udacity recommends that you go through these extra reading and exercises in order to improve your final presentation.

After Lesson 1.5B: Business Models and Customer Development

You initially create your business model with the Business Model Canvas framework you learned after Lesson 1.5B.

You can submit your draft in a Powerpoint/Keynote/Google Slide format. You should initially make guesses as to what you think your business model should be. Your Udacity coach will review your work and provide you with feedback on your initial plan.

After Lesson 3: Customer Segments

By now, you know the value of customer feedback. You must now go outside and talk with 8-10 people. It is recommended that you do not talk with people in your immediate social circle, such as family and friends - talking with people beyond your immediate social circle will allow you to have more valuable and candid feedback.

Submit a video of yourself talking with potential customers. Video length should be: 3 - 4 minutes. YouTube or Vimeo is recommended to submit the video.

Submit an updated business plan using the Business Model Canvas Framework. You should also submit a skeleton framework of your Final Presentation, outlining how you would present your business plan to an investor.

Provide a written executive summary of your changes and learnings (350 words). -OR- Record a 2-min video documenting your business model changes and learnings.

In total, you will submit the following items:

  1. Video (3-4 minutes) talking with customers
  2. Updated business plan + a skeleton framework of your final presentation
  3. Written executive summary of your changes and your learnings OR 2 minute video documenting your business model changes and your learnings

Your Udacity Coach will email you with feedback.

After Lesson 5: Customer Relationships

At this point, you should have a solid understanding of what product to build. This is the prototype phase and you should sketch up or hack together a tangible product to show to customers: Balsamiq, DivShot, or other prototyping tools can be used to put together a prototype.

You will submit a 3 minute video showcasing your product and showing the product to customers. You will also explain any changes you have made in your business plan or prototype in response to customer feedback.

Your Udacity Coach will email you feedback to help you prepare for your final presentation.

After Lesson 8: Resources, Activities, and Costs

Final Presentation (15 minute presentation, 15 min Q&A and feedback)

This is a live presentation you will conduct with one or two Udacity Coaches through Google Hangout or Skype. You will submit your final presentation to startup-project@udacity.com and your project evaluator will reach out to you to schedule your live presentation.

You will present your business plan and your evaluator will provide feedback in content and presentation style. Your evaluator will discuss next steps should you wish to continue to develop your business plan.

Project Submission Instructions Before submitting your final project, please ensure it meets all the guidelines set by the project rubric.

Each submission, with exception to your final project, should be turned in to your coach. The final project submission should be sent to: startup-project@udacity.com. View complete submission instructions here.