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Tech Challenge

Module WI001180

This Module is offered by Chair of Entrepreneurship (Prof. Patzelt).

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

WI001180 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered irregularly.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of soft-skill courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
180 h 60 h 6 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


- Kick-off: Introduction to challenges, resources, objectives. “Challenge fair” at the end. Students are sensitized, inspired and stimulated to develop feasible, viable and holistic solutions to address current industrial topics as smart city, mobility, digital healthcare, Industry 4.0 and smart grid by utilizing cutting-edge technologies as cloud, IoT, AI, AR/VR.
- Challenge workshops: 1 day is reserved for each corporate to hold an interactive workshop with the batch of students interested to know more about the respective challenge (known needs, available technologies, boundary conditions, etc.).
- Interdisciplinary teams and ideas registration as pertaining to a specific challenge (choice made by teams): Team, Vision, Project Plan
- Ideation workshop: Design thinking, empathic exploration, needfinding, concept generation, evaluation, and selection
- Work-in-progress: Prototyping, testing, generating feedback, iterating, creating new insights and elaborating use cases. On demand office hours and consulting sessions with experts for ideation, technology development, product design, and team development.
- Customer Value Proposition, Market and Positioning with respect to competition, Unique Selling Proposition, Business Model, Value Chain, Market Entry
- Business Plan, pitch training
- Pre-Demo Day Meetup: User Acceptance Testing with respective challenge owners. Teams present, respective corporate provides feedback.
- Feedback integration to finalize project results
- Demo Day: Teams showcase their final concepts by means of their prototypes, videos, posters, and short business plans

Learning Outcome

Upon successful completion of this module, students are able to:

- identify latest technology trends related to topics such as smart city, mobility, digital healthcare, Industry 4.0 and smart grid
- understand opportunities and challenges in applying cutting-edge technology (e.g., cloud, IoT, AI, AR/VR) to address a specific industrial challenge
- conduct project-based interdisciplinary teamwork
- carry out an individualized learning process by utilizing referenced online resources as well as on demand expert coaching regarding team development, technology development and product design
- evaluate own ideas, prototypes and project findings with experts, users, and customers, and work closely with their feedback
- recognize and utilize contemporary web platforms for digital project creation and sharing
- operate in a high-tech prototyping workshop equipped with latest technology and devices
- create functional prototypes to demonstrate own proposed solution to a specific industrial challenge
- devise a showcase of own project results to a broad audience of peers, academics and practitioners
- create short business plans to effectively communicate business value of own project results

Thus, students get familiarized with the many facets of entrepreneurship. In doing that, they are enabled to see, realize, and experience the multiplicity in the everyday life of an entrepreneur, entrepreneurial personalities, as well as entrepreneurial skills and motivations.


Knowledge: Willingness to participate; affinity with tech and entrepreneurship trends preferred
Abilities: Identifying opportunities; proactiveness; communication; teamwork; commitment
Skills: openness; analytical thinking; design thinking; self-motivation; networking

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

SE 4 Tech Challenge Böhler, D. singular or moved dates

Learning and Teaching Methods

Innovatively addressing complex themes as smart city and Industry 4.0 often requires the use of cutting-edge technologies within an entrepreneurial process. Based on this premise and to get the students understand and apply such a process, the module deploys hands-on project-based learning and interdisciplinary teamwork.

Each semester several industrial challenges are spotlighted as proposed by the participating corporates, who provide access to their proprietary technologies, resources, experts and coaches specific to their respective challenge. An industrial challenge is formulated to be broad, with the potential of breeding many specific projects in return. Students are encouraged to propose which challenge to address in which way (i.e., project idea) and within which team.

Through interactive team exercises and a semester-long project, the students experience peer-learning while gaining practice in assessing and optimizing usage of their team resources. They are also provided with team coaching sessions, individual mentoring, tutorials as necessary (challenge-dependent), and hands-on courses to operate machines and devices (3D printer, laser cutter, waterjet cutter, sensors etc.) at the high-tech prototyping workshop (team- and challenge-dependent).


- Online access to slides, hand-outs, materials through dedicated e-Learning account
- Online discussion forum connecting students and involved experts
- Accounts on contemporary web platforms for digital project creation and sharing (e.g., hackster, kaggle, datacamp)


A maintained list of references to relevant online course materials (e.g., UnternehmerTUM MOOC videos, Coursera, Udacity, edX, Udemy) to support an individualized learning process suited to students’ various levels of expertise

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The examination consists of:

- 75%: presentation of project results by means of an A1-sized poster (incl. tech solution & use cases), a 2-minute teaser video, and a functional prototype with detailed project documentation on online platform
- 25%: elaborating a short business plan (5 pages)

Based on the presentation of project results through a poster and teaser video, the following requirements are checked: if students can capture and communicate the essence of their developed concept in a catchy and compact manner. Through examiners questions, it is checked to what extent students are able to distribute tasks in a team according to competences and experiences. Based on the functional prototype with detailed documentation, it is checked if students can design, test, implement and document their proposed technical solution addressing an industrial challenge based on criteria like desirability by challenge-provider and potential users, distinction from technical alternatives and detailed documentation for understandability and reproducibility.

Based on the short business plan, the following requirements are checked: if students can design, test and implement a business idea based on aspects like Customer Value Proposition, Market and Positioning, Business Model, Value Chain and Market Entry.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

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