What is Lean Launchpad?

Welcome to the Stanford ENGR 245 Lean Launchpad! This course provides a real world, hands-on learning experience on what it’s like to actually start a company. This class is not about how to write a business plan. It’s not an exercise on how smart you are in a classroom or how well you use the research library to size markets. And the end result is not a PowerPoint slide deck for a VC presentation or a Y Combinator Demo Day. And it is most definitely not an incubator where you come to build the “hot-idea” that you have in mind. Instead, we are a class like no other than will teach you how to rigorously evaluate a business idea, apply the Lean Startup Methodology and maximize your chances of establishing product market fit. 

This class combines theory with a ton of hands-on practice. Our goal, within the constraints of a classroom and a limited amount of time, is to give you a framework to test the business model of a startup while creating all of the pressures and demands of the real world in an early stage startup. The class is designed to give you the experience of how to work as a team and turn an idea into a company.

You will be getting your hands dirty talking to real customers, partners and competitors as you encounter the chaos and uncertainty of real startup life. You’ll practice evidence-based entrepreneurship, learning to use your business model to brainstorm and stress test your assumptions and determine if anyone other than you would want to buy your product. Finally, based on the customer and market feedback you gathered, you will use agile development methodologies to rapidly iterate your product or concept and  build/design something customers would actually buy and use. Each week will be a new adventure in and outside the classroom as you test each part of your business idea and then share your hard earned knowledge with the rest of the class.

  • We teach Lean Startup Theory with hands-on practice
  • You will learn how to leverage Speed, Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship, Customer Development, “Good-Enough” Decision Making, Prototyping and much more
  • You will do so by talking to 10-15 customers per week and presenting your results every week to your classmates, mentors and professors
  • You will have a dedicated team of world class faculty, mentors, TAs and classmates from across Stanford by your side to help you maximize your learning experience


Application Link

Information Sessions

  • Info Session for Medical & Engineering School Founders : 9/28, 4:30-5:30pm PT, online
  • Info Session for Black & LatinX Founders : 10/5, 4:30-5:30pm PT, online
  • Info Session for Female Founders : 10/19, 4:15-5:15pm PT, in-person @ GSB (room TBD)
  • Team Formation Mixer : 11/03, 6-8pm PT, in-person @ GSB (C102)

Team Formation

We are using the startup Mesh to simplify team formation this year vs. the spreadsheet. It only takes 4 minutes to fill in your details and go find teammates!

Application Schedule

  • Application Deadline :  Sunday, 11/14 11:59 PM
  • Interview Dates :  11/17 – 11/19


  • For questions regarding the Winter course, please reach out to: anandl@stanford.edu, graysons@stanford.edu, ahojel@stanford.edu, or rayouf@stanford.edu
  • For general questions: llp_2021_faculty_and_ta@lists.stanford.edu