New Course Hacking for Energy Kicks off Jan 15th

I am thrilled to see Columbia University, NYU, and the City University of New York teaching Hacking for Energy. Following the lead of the nationwide Hacking for Defense program, H4E is built on the notion that, in order to fully understand the problems facing their field, students should get out of the building and test their hypotheses by talking to all the stakeholders – customers, regulators, etc. With that information, they can refine their understanding of the problems and rapidly build iterative solutions. I look forward to see the exciting solutions that come out of this course and their potential impact on the energy industry.
– Steve Blank

Hacking for Energy is a new semester-long course designed to engage graduate-level students towards learning about and helping to solve real-world technological and business problems facing the energy industry, while also exposing them to the “Lean LaunchPad” approach to entrepreneurship.

Based on Steve Blank’s Hacking for Defense class (recently taught at Stanford), Hacking for Energy features problem statements supplied by Industry Hosts for energy issues that need immediate solutions. Student teams will propose a solution to a problem statement and spend 13 weeks determining if it is viable using the Lean LaunchPad methodology for customer discovery.

Hacking for Energy is taught at Columbia University but is also open to students at NYU and CUNY. The course is sponsored by PowerBridgeNY.

The course is designed to help students learn how to launch a startup while simultaneously learning about the energy industry as a whole. Class will be into divided into three activities:

  • Homework includes conducting 10 customer interviews a week, watching the How to Build a Startup lectures on Udacity.
  • Presentations by students about their project progress
  • Lectures from industry domain experts on energy topics

Teams will be assigned a mentor to assist them in getting customer interviews, interpreting the results, and preparing the weekly presentations. They will also have access to a liaison from their industry host.

All team members must participate in all class activities, including the out-of-the-building customer discovery. Each week will be a new adventure as you design experiments and test hypotheses about each part of your business model. You will see how agile development can help you rapidly iterate your idea to build something potential stakeholders customers will use (and buy).

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