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Venture Design Crash Course at Women’s Startup Lab

April 15, 2015 - April 16, 2015


This was a Venture Design ‘crash course’ for the Women’s Startup Lab. The Women’s Startup Lab provides programming and incubator space for female founders.

Session 1: Solving the Right Problem



1. Draft a working set of personas (1 – 3 hours)

Personas Tutorial

Personas Template

2. Draft a working set of problem scenario-alternative-value proposition trios. (.5 – 2 hours)

(see above for tutorial and template)

3. Finish a working product hypothesis. (.25 hours)

Product Hypothesis Template

4. Finish a working interview guide to validate your persona and problem hypotheses. (<1hour for 1st take)

Interview Guide Template

5. Complete at least 5 customer interviews. (~1 hour/subject, not including subject recruitment)

Template for Taking Notes (Reminder: More detail is good here. A good interview transcript may look very different to you 1 month, 3 months, 6 months in the future as your perspective evolves. I like to just touch type while I’m interviewing. The transcript is a mess but then I clean it up after the fact.)

6. Draft a working set of assumptions around your value hypothesis 

Lean Startup Tutorial

Assumptions Template

7. Design experiments to test your value hypothesis

Experiment Template

8. Execute your experiments!

See above. This is where a lot of the action happens! Be scrappy, be creative. Make sure you have a clearly delineated value proposition(s) and challenge yourself to think of something you can do in 24 hours.

Session 2: Solving the Right Problem



1. Draft a working set of epics and child stories (.5-2 hours)

User Stories Tutorial

2. For at least one of the above, draft a prototype in Balsamiq

Software Prototyping Tutorial

3. Design a usability test plan with the above (see for a template)

Customer Discovery Handbook (see section on Usability Hypothesis)

4. Carry out 3 usability tests

About the Women’s Startup Lab

The mission of Women’s startup Lab is to empower female founders to be strong leaders, to create powerful startups and to influence and shape the world though their companies, using collaboration, community and innovation.


April 15, 2015
April 16, 2015
Event Category:


Women’s Startup Lab
1020 Marsh Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025 United States
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