The Creative Founder

Short Description

Everyone is creative, no matter what your guidance counselor said. But so many of us have forgotten how to tap into that energy. Now you want to start a company, and you need that creativity and insight more than ever. Design has tools to unlock and shape that creative energy to make the services and products people will pay for. This course will teach you how to apply design thinking to your creating a product the market wants and needs.

In this course, you will use classic design research techniques to talk to potential users and turn those insights into product decisions. We will use the Lean Startup process, with its emphasis on user-centered design in the build-measure-learn cycle; and proven design thinking processes from Business Model Canvas such as empathy maps and visual thinking. We will also explore the latest design thinking approaches—such as gamestorming, rapid sketch prototypes and embodied cognition techniques—that unleash latent creativity and insights. You will design your way to product/market fit. If you are in the early stages of a startup or thinking of starting one, this course will equip you with key techniques to truly innovate and find product/market fit. Designers, engineers, and business people are welcome.


Design is  transforming business, powering new companies like Nest and AirBnB, and revitalizing older ones like Google and Intuit. Design thinking and practices are tapped as a font of innovation by start-ups in particular.  The Lean Startup process  reflects user-centered design in its build-measure-learn cycle, and the Business Model Canvas relies on visual-thinking approaches, empathy maps to the lean canvas. Innovation requires left and right brain thinking, in sync.

In this hands-on workshop, participants will apply design techniques to designing not only a product but also a business. You will understand a market, do need-finding, and validate ideas and prototypes with potential customers.  You’ll learn how to use the business model canvas to design each part of a company and use UX research techniques to get out of the classroom to see if anyone other than you would want and use your product.

What You’ll Learn

In this workshop, you will:

  • Learn critical design exercises that unleash latent creativity
  • Understand what is the right customer development research done the right way.
  • Talk to potential users, then turn those insights into actionable decisions
  • Design a coherent business model that reflects market needs
  • Advance your ability to design with real world business understanding

Workshop Structure

This is a hands-on workshop based on Steve Blank’s “Lean Launchpad” but put through the lens of design thinking and optimized for innovation.  We’ll be working through the business model canvas using design-thinking exercises to co-create then iterate new businesses. Less lecture, more making!

Target Audience

This workshop is aimed at people who are in the early stages of a start-up, thinking of starting one or creating a product, or thinking about joining a start-up or new small business. Designers and engineers are creative beings, business and product people understand markets, but if you want to found a startup, you really have to understand it all. This is a workshop for all disciplines, together.

Schedule Now for Your Project – Limited Availability

Christina Wodtke is booking consulting clients on a rolling basis. She has limited availability for speaking and workshop engagements but would love to hear from you about your event.

Get in Touch

Call, email, or have a cup of coffee with Christina.