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What's cooking? Founding start-ups and unicorns in real time (What's cooking? Founding start-ups and unicorns in real time)

Module WI001278

This Module is offered by Chair of Strategy and Organization (Prof. Welpe).

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

WI001278 is a semester module in English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

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

  • Catalogue of soft-skill courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
360 h 90 h 12 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


The What's Cooking seminar is a highly interdisciplinary project-based learning experience that brings students from diverse backgrounds and TUM and LMU departments (e.g. management, computer science, engineering, architecture, etc.) together with respected startup and tech experts to develop startup ideas and found a startup in one semester.

Students from TUM and LMU will work in interdisciplinary teams and will analyze prevailing pain points of existing products and services and brainstorm ideas for high growth firms. Based on the identified pain points, students will start to build a startup that, in the best case scenario, will result in the creation of a company. Students will be supported by lectures from professors and invited entrepreneurs, serial founders, industry experts and investors as well as interactions with academics, in both methodological and entrepreneurial topics.
Student teams will consist of a balanced combination of students from all disciplines, e.g. computer science, physics, medicine, management, computer science, engineering as well as life science, etc.

All participants will go through workshops on identifying use cases, developing business ideas, prototyping, pitching, coaching by experts from academia and entrepreneurship practice and financial planning as well as peer-coaching. A large part of the seminar is based on actually working on startup building (in team work). Students are responsible for creating a prototype as well as a business model, developing a go-to-market strategy, and creating a VC-ready pitch deck.

At the end of the course, students will pitch their business idea to a selected group of high potential investors.

Learning Outcome

Students will research, read and summarize the most important academic concepts of startup building along the startup value chain. In addition students will also research, read and process thoughts and content from the most renowned and experienced actual entrepreneurs, VCs, movers and shakers in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
They will learn to apply and aggregate fundamental concepts in all fields of digital technologies, emerging technologies across all industries, e.g. life sciences, Fintech, cybersecurity, FoodTech, Hr Tech, AI, Gaming, Blockchain, Robotics, EdTech, Deep Tech, E-Commerce, Energy, Construction, Agriculture, MedTech, IoT, Real Estate, Ventures for Good, and others.

Students will gain dep knowledge of the most important players and actors that shape startup ecosystems worldwide as well as their ways of thinking and conceptualising. They will be able to summarize the key points of startup business ideas and disruption of established players. Students will apply customer centric prototyping by developing a disruptive idea based on pain points. Students will be able to perform technology assessment and prototype development

Students will learn from both academics and practitioners that shape, move and influence theory and practice of venturing and startup creation. We will work with academic journals, guest speakers as well as extracting knowledge from current videos, podcasts, conference presentations of the movers and thinkers of start-up business.


Fluency in English

Interest in actually starting a venture this semester, current entreprenership, startup and venture capital content both from an academic and practice perspective

IMPORTANT: Available places will be allocated according to academic eligibility, relevant experience and skills. To register, please fill out the registration sheet ( until September 30, 2021

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The course consists of keynotes and a student-led project. The keynotes are given by university lecturers and guest lecturers who are leading experts in the fields of entrepreneurship and digitalization.


Power-Point, Videos, Zoom, Miro-Board, Moodle, Guest Speakers, Team Work, Coaching Sessions, Live Pitches, Peer Coaching


Feld, B., & Mendelson, J. (2011). Venture deals. Wiley.
Sedniev, A. (2013) The Business Idea Factory: A World-Class System for Creating Successful Business Ideas. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Bahcall, S. (2019). Loonshots: How to nurture the crazy ideas that win wars, cure diseases, and transform industries. St. Martin's Press.
Innovation, D. H. (2018). Digital innovation playbook: das unverzichtbare Arbeitsbuch für Gründer, Macher und Manager. Murmann Publishers.

Randoloph, M. (2021). Building Netflix, Battling Blockbuster, Negotiating with Amazon/Bezos, and Scraping the Barnacles Off the Hull. Retrieved from:
O'Shaughnessy P. (2021). Chamath Palihapitiya - The Major Problems Facing The World. Retrieved from:

Altman, S. (2020). Idea Generation. Retrieved from:

Thiel, P. & Perrel, D. (2021). Peter Thiel's Tips for Changing the World. Retrieved from:
Palihapitiya C. (2018). Chamath Palihapitiya and CEO Social Capital, on Money as an Instrument of Change . Retrieved from:

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

The exams consist of several presentations based on a) summaries of current content of entrepreneurship and startup development as well as b) the creation of an own business venture (including the presentation of a prototype and a business plan). The project work should show that the students
- have researched and processed current academic and practice literature and other content (e.g., blogs, videos, podcasts, etc.) on startup creation and can visualize it properly
- have worked intensively on the topic of customer-centric business model development
- are able to develop business models using lean start-up methods of a project paper divided into a pitch presentation including the presentation of a prototype and a business plan. The project work should show that the students
- have presentation and communication skills that enable them to present their findings on challenging topics they are working on in a team in a clear and structured manner and to discuss the applicability of their findings in business practice.

The final grade is an average grade of an individual course work (50%; written aggregation of theories) and a team task (50%, pitch presentation, prototype and business plan)

Exam Repetition

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

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Advanced Seminar Marketing, Strategy, Leadership & Management: Success and failure of co-founding teams
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