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Commercialization and Innovation: Workshop

Course Number:



Arthur Boni,





Course Description

Commercialization & Innovation is offered in two minis to Tepper School of Business MBA students and to qualified graduate students from other CMU schools, as places are available. The first mini (45-807) is entitled Commercialization and Innovation, Strategy, and the second mini (45-907) is entitled Commercialization and Innovation, Workshop. 45-807 is a prerequisite for 45-907.  The course sequence is targeted at entrepreneurs and innovators who are interested in introducing innovations to the marketplace through start-up, emerging and established organizations.  Class participants will learn how to evaluate, develop and describe their industries, market opportunities and customer/user needs, solutions for established market need, and business models appropriate for early investors, potential partners and employees, and corporate executives to acquire successfully the key resources necessary in the initial stages of the life cycle for market entry and growth.

Commercialization and Innovation, Strategy (45-807) focuses on innovation (transformational or disruptive innovations and by sustained innovations) and on the development of open innovation business models and market strategies required to introduce these innovations into the market, grow thru market share capture, and to establish dominant market positions.  Students will gain a perspective of various current theories and models of innovation, how innovations are brought to the market and positioned for successful launch and subsequent growth.  Students study and discuss both successful and unsuccessful attempts to bring innovations to the market via a series of lectures, readings, and case discussions.  The first mini course focuses on the upfront strategic market thinking that must be the basis of a proactive and potent business plan to introduce innovations to the marketplace.  It is the result of intense understanding of the SET factors (social, economic, and technology) and industry dynamics into which the opportunity will be introduced.  It is strategic because of rapid changes in the marketplace and the competitive-set which the opportunity must confront for execution in the emerging marketplace (emergent strategy or agile approach).  Student teams are expected to take on a project determined by the team (with faculty approval) or framed by an outside organization (within or external to CMU).  The goal of the project in Mini 1 is to understand the industry dynamics and competitive set, to identify a market based on use of an “agile needs-driven innovation” methodology (job + job executor + context defines the market), and to segment the market based on identification of “jobs to be done” by the job executors. These are the drivers for identification of a successful Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a market entry point, and development of a differentiating strategy and self-sustained growth strategy.

Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes – The principal objective is to learn and apply the theories as tools that are useful for understanding how to bring new innovations to market through development of business models that incorporate disruptive innovation, sustained innovation, open innovation, and how to leverage platforms in two-sided markets and in networked markets).  Also the principles of Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) and agile needs-driven innovation (NDI) are taught and applied so that product/services that address customer-identified “jobs to be done” are framed such that solutions may be developed subsequently.  NDI is an agile form of ODI under development at the Tepper School, which is appropriate for use by early-stage companies. The course also focuses on understanding the innovation frameworks and how to apply the theories of innovation to predict industry change and how to find the inflection points that will permit disruption of industries in a competitive equilibrium.

Teams will pursue three activities with measurable outcomes: 1) analysis of selected industries/markets to identify strategies for disrupting incumbents (or for sustaining innovation in a mature organization); 2) for a potential project, begin development of a commercialization strategy for an opportunity in that selected industry (opportunity identification/job to be done, commercialization strategy, and business model formulation) – teams may select a project of their choice or select one provided; 3) how to analyze case studies to better understand commercialization strategies for a few selected companies (what works and what does not).  (4/12-AB)

Prerequisite:  Must take Commercialization and Innovation Strategy or get instructor permission.



Lecture: 100min/wk and Recitation: 50min/wk