We’re excited to share that this semester we are working closely with Florida State University and Indiana University on an interesting mashup of business planning with the Business Model Canvas (BMC).
For those of you who don’t use it – the Business Model Canvas is a great visual business modeling tool that we’re big fans of. We’re strong believers that business modeling can be part of a great classroom approach to addressing the viability of ideas (there is an interesting spin off of the Business Model Canvas called the Lean Canvas that’s neat too).
However, business models should be the first step – not the only step – in entrepreneurial classrooms. The BMC and Lean Canvas cover the bases of the high-level picture of your business well (the Lean Canvas split between product elements on the left and market elements on the right is especially interesting), but try taking a business model alone to an investor to get funded!
That’s why we’re experimenting with FSU and IU this fall! Our idea is that there are links from the business model to the business plan – and that classrooms with the goal to take students through the full planning/startup experience can benefit from formalizing the diligence/detail-findings of the plan itself. Students can link business model findings to the appropriate parts of the plan itself.
This way – the outcome of the class can be flexible: a canvas alone (but one realized through more formally detailed “planning” activities), a canvas and a light plan, or a canvas and more detailed plan. The structure of this plan is completely flexible – and LaunchPlan’s powerful financial planning tools are still there to help students create P&Ls and Cash Flow projections.
We’re super excited about what we think is the perfect connection between the canvas and business planning. It’s the benefits of “old school” business planning in much less than 50 pages alongside the brevity and focus of the canvas supported by evidence and diligence.