A LITTLE MORE
ABOUT ME

I’ve been an entrepreneur (5x) and intrapreneur (1x). Currently, I split my time between teaching, advising, and working on the Venture Design materials.

Teaching:
I’m helping managers become digital innovators at UVA Darden where I teach four classes in our MBA program:
Software Design
Digital Product Management
Software Development
Digital Capstone
and two courses in our MSBA program, our new masters focused on the intersection of data science and business.

Digital me has also taught over 250,000 classes on Coursera. The Agile Development specialization, Digital Product Management Course, and Coding for Designers, Managers, and Entrepreneurs (specialization) are the most popular.

Advising:
I split my time between advising corporations and working with startups. This team of superstars (and all around nice folks) was acquired by Cisco last year: Singularity Networks!

The Venture Design Materials:
The Venture Design framework, available free online, offers a systematic approach to applying today’s best practices in design thinking, lean, agile, and UX toward the creation of new products and ventures.

Most of what I’ve learned I learned the hard way. This site’s about making things easier.

I hope you find the materials here useful and please get in touch to tell me what happens with your project.

alex_cowan
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GET IN TOUCH
For general inquiries, please fill out the form below or drop me a line at contact@alexandercowan.com

    venture design

    presskitPRESS

    For press inquiries,
    please drop me a line at outbound@
    alexandercowan.com

    get my bookTINKER

    Want to get start working purposefully on a new venture or product? Here’s a template for getting started.

    learnLEARN

    Take the Coursera course and modernize your practice of agile.

    book meBOOK

    Hire me to speak at your next event. Check out the available talks and workshops in my calendar or email to book me.

    venture design

    MY LIFE STORY IN A
    TIMELINE

    • 1975

      MODEST BEGINNINGS

      Born a small child in rural Massachusetts

    • 1980

      ENTERING THE SYSTEM

      Held back in kindergarten, starting a patchy history with school

    • 1987

      First Job!

      First Job as cucumber picker; new interest in white collar employment

    • 1993

      First non-farm employment

      Gas station attendant in Tsuragashima, Japan

    • 1994

      1994

      Hello California!

      Hello California!

    • 1995

      1995

      College dropout, take I: first startup

      Dropped out of college to start “Compass Computers”, now “GovPlace”

    • 1996

      1996

      Back to college!

      Back to college at Stanford

    • 1997

      First time on enterprise software

      Intern junior grade at Trilogy

    • 1998

      In China at Nestle

      Great experience at Nestle, one of the world’s most durable companies. Interning in Beijing.

    • 1999

      College dropout, take II: second startup

      I dropped out of Stanford just in time for the dot.com boom. Employee #1 at Scout Electronics. Built wildly impractical things with a great team.

    • 2001

      Wireless?

      Ran sales engineering and pre-sales financial modeling at SOMA Networks.

    • 2005

      Back to software

      Back to software at comm’s app leader, BroadSoft (BSFT), where I ran professional services.

    • 2007

      More enterprise software

      Started Leonid Systems to pursue new ideas for the comm’s IT space.

    • 2012

      A book

      Wiley publishes “Starting a Tech Business“; more work online and in the classroom.

    • 2013

      Another startup project

      Started Brand Lattice to pursue new ideas for the brand strategy & design space.

    • 2015

      University of Virginia | Darden

      BroadSoft (NASDAQ: BSFT) buys Leonid, I start as faculty at UVA teaching Software Design, Sofware Development, and Applied Innovation

    • 2016

      Coursera | Agile Development

      Created the Agile Development specialization on Coursera with an awesome team at Darden.

    Education

    Intrapreneurship

    Writing, etc.

    Entrepreneurship

    Just plain working

    speaking calendar