As part of EPICentre’s mandate, this multidisciplinary undergraduate course is comprised of students from diverse disciplines (this year: Business, Law and Engineering faculties) and aims to provide students with practical business experiences they can draw from after graduation. A faculty member from each discipline involved in this course will act as an advisor for all students and will create a unique marking scheme for students in their discipline. The nimble course is a collaboration between the Odette School of Business (Dr. Francine Schlosser), the Engineering Faculty (Dr. Jill Urbanic) and the Law Faculty (Prof. Myra Tawfik). The team was awarded the University of Windsor Undergraduate Research Award for their innovative multi-disciplinary course experiment.
Each year, students will utilize the Lean Startup method through the production of a minimum viable product, the development of a feasible business model, and the use of relevant legal support for the product (Intellectual Property). The projects that students will collectively work on are those that are aimed to solve industry problems.
This year, students will develop a prototype, business model and legal strategy for a shoe with an adjustable heel. Currently, a Canadian entrepreneur has brought to market a high-end shoe (the “Existing Product”), which she is selling in her own branded stores at a relatively high price point. After visiting the store and speaking with women in the target market, we noted that: the stores had low traffic, customer experience was very poor, and potential customers had little to no knowledge about the product. After looking into current patents, there were some similar abandoned patents and a foundational patent that has expired. From a product development perspective, the Existing Product is visually appealing as well as functional. Any similar product that is introduced into the market would need to be able to compete in terms of aesthetics, have heels that lock firmly into place, and be comprised of materials that are more cost effective.
Throughout the course, students will be preparing multiple blogs reflecting on their course experiences. Visit the Nimble blog at https://epicnimble.wordpress.com.
If you are interested in participating in a future course or have any questions, please contact Dr. Francine Schlosser, Executive Director EPICentre, at firstname.lastname@example.org