Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Business Design Practicum

The Business Design Practicum is a 2nd year elective MBA course structured to provide hands-on learning about Business Design principles, frameworks and methods. Over a period of 13 weeks, students learn how to develop deep user understanding, create innovative solutions and design new strategic business models.


In the Business Design Practicum, students will work in multi-disciplinary teams to identify new opportunities to create economic and social value
The class consists of Rotman MBA candidates along with OCAD University Industrial Design students. The mix of students brings a rich variety of educational backgrounds and work experiences to the group, which will further diversify skills and perspectives. Student teams have been pre-assigned to teams to fully leverage this diversity of skills, backgrounds, and perspectives.


The objective of the course is to help students understand the theory and evidence on why design thinking is important to enterprise growth and success, what frameworks and tools can be used to enhance and accelerate the innovation and business design process, and how to apply these principles and tools to the creation of innovative solutions and viable new business models. Students will be exposed to a wide range of success stories and a cross section of ‘business design tools’. Teams will have the opportunity to practice those tools in a continuous process applied to their term project, and reflect on the broader value of those tools.

Course Structure

During the course, teams will engage in a complete end-to-end business design process, including:

  • Uncovering emerging trends & patterns
  • Developing deep user understanding, uncovering new insights, and identifying opportunities to meet unmet/unsatisfied needs
  • Developing new ideas and concepts based on an understanding of those unmet needs
  • Translating concepts into prototypes 
  • Developing and testing prototypes 
  • Developing a value creation system 
  • Developing a strategic business model for the final innovation concept. Throughout the practicum, teams will provide deliverables at the end of each of the ‘3 gears of Business Design’  


At the conclusion of the Business Design Practicum, teams will present their plans to faculty, Sponsors and industry representatives.

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