Engineering Ventures, Innovation & Launch


Engineering Ventures, Innovation and Launch is an introductory course for scientists and engineers interested in learning the basics of developing and evaluating new investment and innovation opportunities.

The course will review lean startup concepts and methodologies, with a focus on customer discovery and value propositions. Participants will learn how to develop and validate business models to commercialize new technologies.

Additionally, the 3-day program will cover various financial, technological, and strategic assessment frameworks to evaluate and prioritize commercial opportunities. Evaluation frameworks will be discussed individually and integrated to provide a complete view of potential technology commercialization.

Engineering Ventures, Innovation and Launch is designed for scientific and engineering staff with 3 or more years of professional technical experience. Course participants do not need any advanced business experience or education.

In collaboration with the USC Viterbi Startup Garage and the USC Computing Forum, the course will be offered at the Information Sciences Institute in the center of Silicon Beach and the USC startup community in Los Angeles.

What You Will Learn:
  • Introduction to developing new businesses through the business model canvas
  • Data-driven business development and testing hypotheses about market needs
  • Customer segments
  • Value propositions
  • Customer discover methods
  • Distribution and marketing channels
  • Assessing opportunities: Technology perspective
  • Assessing opportunities: Financial perspective
  • Assessing opportunities: Strategic perspective
  • Integrating opportunity evaluations
  • Storytelling techniques
What you will gain:
  • Analyze an existing business via a business model canvas
  • Discuss a prospective business opportunity via a business model canvas
  • Develop and validate hypotheses related to business model elements
  • Conduct customer discovery interviews to identify and validate hypothesized needs
  • Understand the difference between distribution and marketing channels to allocate resources appropriately
  • Understand financial and strategic assessment methods of prospective opportunities
  • Develop compelling narratives to attract resources and launch new projects
Who should attend:
  • Manager/director-level positions in Technical Marketing and Product Strategy
  • Manager/director, Innovation Group
  • Applications engineers
  • VP, Sales and Marketing for technical organizations
Instructor Bio

Dr. Andrea Belz, Vice Dean for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Andrea Belz is the incoming Vice Dean for Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.  She serves as the Director of the NSF Innovation Corps (“I-Corps”) funded Innovation Node – Los Angeles and has served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence, with faculty appointments in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering; the Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology, and the Business of Innovation; and the USC Marshall School of Business.  She has also served as Visiting Professor of Engineering at the California Institute of Technology.

Her research focuses on modeling technology-based entrepreneurial ecosystems and she has published research in optical systems, nuclear physics, geomicrobiology, and systems engineering with an emphasis on NASA SBIR program. She is the founder and chair of the Technology Transfer and Infusion session at the IEEE Aerospace Conference. Dr. Belz is Managing Director of Kinetic Intelligence, an intellectual property strategy consultancy, and has previously guided strategic planning for world-class innovators including Avery Dennison, BP, California Institute of Technology, CVI Melles Griot, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Occidental Petroleum, Raytheon, SPIE, and UCLA, as well as venture capital firms, university technology startups, and international public-private partnerships supporting technology transfer ecosystems. An active angel investor, she serves on the Board of Directors of Caltech spinoff laser manufacturer Ondax.

She holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Maryland at College Park, with High Honors in physics and University Honors in political economics; a Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology; and an M.B.A. in finance from the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business.

Viktor P. Brandtneris, Principal of Brandtneris Consulting

Viktor has a diverse financial and general management background from experiences in both corporate and entrepreneurial environments. In his early career, he worked in the computer industry in numerous Financial Planning and Modeling roles for companies including IBM and Computervision. His first entrepreneurial endeavor was as co-founder of the Devonshire Trust Company, a boutique money management and mutual fund company in Salem, Massachusetts.

After the sale of Devonshire Trust, Viktor stayed active in the financial markets, small business consulting and entrepreneurial endeavors. As Principal of Brandtneris Consulting, he provides business-modeling services centered on the Lean-Start Up Customer Discovery process for corporate clients. Viktor is a member of the national teaching faculty of the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Commercialization program. He is also part of the teaching teams for the University of Southern California’s Innovation-Los Angeles Node and the University of Michigan, Center for Entrepreneurship’s regional I-Corps program. He has worked with numerous universities, governmental agencies, corporate clients, and early stage companies.

Mr. Brandtneris has an MBA in Finance & Marketing from Boston College and a double major B.A. in Economics & Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Continuing Education Units

CEUs: 2.1

USC Viterbi School of Engineering Certificate of Participation is awarded to all participants upon successful completion of course.

Why Consider a Custom Course for Your Organization?

Custom courses provide the opportunity to create an educational program that meets the specific needs of your organization. The following are a few reasons why our clients have chosen USC Viterbi School of Engineering as their program provider:

  • Interest in connecting with USC experts for real organizational issues
  • Engineering training and executive education opportunities in a condensed period of time
  • Educational opportunities at multiple company sites through on-site training and/or distance offerings to several sites simultaneously
  • Preference for providing Continuing Education Units (CEUs) rather than degree-oriented academic units
  • Overall flexibility in timing, delivery and pricing

If you are interested in learning more, please contact us by email or at 213-740-4488

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