TypePractical course
Duration4 SWS
TermWintersemester 2023/24
Language of instructionEnglish


After the successful participation in the module, the students are able to: - examine the relevance of a problem and develop a solution collaboratively in an interdisciplinary team. - to discover the innovation potentials of new products / ideas, to evaluate the novelty and social relevance. - To convert one's own ideas into a Minimum Viable Product and thus use potentials for one's own business start-up. - To know methods of product development (from thinking to doing), to apply them independently and to evaluate the results (prototyping, design thinking, lean startup, agile, systems engineering). - to reproduce the principles of user-centred design, to apply them independently and to evaluate them. - Understand the context of use and analyse customer needs (where do I serve a need and what technology/method do I use). - To quickly develop important hypotheses involving relevant stakeholders (customer, user, ...) through proper Planning with "purposeful prototyping". - Change perspectives across disciplines and apply project management in interdisciplinary teamwork. - To work independently, to make and justify decisions and to learn from one's own mistakes. - To possibly lay the foundation for one's own business start-up by identifying a start-up idea or team.


During the interdisciplinary team project, students work methodically, purposefully and agilely on a development project to develop innovative new products with the intention of successfully launching them on the market. Current needs and problems from social, technological and economic systems are identified, analysed and validated in the interdisciplinary team. In doing so, they cooperatively solve challenges that arise from constraints from the different disciplines. They generate suitable market hypotheses and product ideas at an early stage and interact with initial potential customers/users. They iteratively create prototypes and evaluate their hypotheses with them in experiments. For more information, visit


Basic requirement is the willingness to engage with new learning methods, approaches, disciplines and ways of working. Across roles, experience in project management, product development (design thinking, TRIZ, systems engineering, etc), interdisciplinary teamwork, communication skills, creativity, and problem solving skills are beneficial. There is a strong emphasis on hands-on experience. Additionally, there are role-specific requirements which can be found in the module description or on the homepage:

Teaching and learning methods

"THINK. MAKE. START." is a two-week, practice-oriented, interdisciplinary and competitive teaching format in which students from all faculties can participate (credits are given individually related to the study program). It is organised by the different chairs of TUM, TUM ForTe, and UnternehmerTUM. They get access to the high-tech workshop Makerspace and budget to transform their own ideas into real prototypes (mechatronic products). Learning outcomes are achieved through the following teaching and learning methods: - Milestones to be achieved, team roles to be held and predetermined course structure provide the roadmap for the project. - Coaching and teaching expertise in prototyping, business validation, agile development, design thinking, systems engineering, lean startup and user-centred design. - Teaching the basics of interdisciplinary collaboration through a role concept (Business Developer, Tech Developer, Problem Expert). - All participants work in interdisciplinary teams (10 teams of 5 students each) and are encouraged to become active themselves and learn through practical experience (hands-on learning). - Each team pursues a real business idea chosen for the seminar. Special attention is given to really understanding the customer and verifying the solution approach, through questioning, observation, prototyping or expert discussion. - Using prototyping to bridge the gap between thinking and doing. - Reflecting on one's own results and approach supports project decisions. - The teams present their projects to a jury on DemoDay and present the prototypically implemented product ideas to guests from industry, the start-up scene and research.


continuous (oral, practical) final examination (written report and presentation)

Recommended literature

Esch Franz-Rudolf (2012) Strategie und Technik der Markenführung, 7. Auflage, Vahlen Faltin, Günter (2008): Kopf schlägt Kapital, Hanser Halgrimsson (2012): Prototyping and Model Making for Product Design (2012) Kalweit Andreas, Paul Christof, Peters Sascha, Wallbaum Reiner (2012) Handbuch für Technisches Produktdesign, Material und Fertigung, Entscheidungsgrundlage für Designer und Ingenieure, 2. Auflage, Springer Kelly, Tom (2016): The Art of Innovation Lindemann, U (2007): Methodische Entwicklung technischer Produkte - Methoden flexibel und situationsgerecht anwenden. 2. Auflage Münchener Business Plan Wettbewerb: Handbuch Businessplan-Erstellung, München Malek, Miroslaw / Ibach, Peter K. (2004): Entrepreneurship, Dpunkt Verlag Moore, Geoffrey A. (2002): Crossing the Chasm, Harpercollins Osterwalder, Alexander / Pigneur, Yves (2010): Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Ries, Eric (2011): The Lean Startup Savoia, Antonio (2019): The right It Timmons, Jeffry A. / Spinelli, Stephen (2009): New Venture Creation, 7thedition, McGraw, Hill Professional UnternehmerTUM (2011): Handbuch Schlüsselkompetenzen, 7. Auflage