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Unit outline_

SIEN2001: Validating Ideas and Building Ventures

Semester 2, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

In order to be a successful innovator or entrepreneur, it is necessary to have knowledge of several fundamental business and organizing processes. The most effective way to master the critical skills and concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship is by developing a pitch and a business/social venture plan which simulates, as much as possible, the real world processes of launching a business or social venture. In this unit, students learn how to investigate customer/user needs as well as stakeholder concerns to generate an innovative idea for a start-up or social innovation initiative. Students also participate in a realistic simulation of the creation of a start-up/social innovation initiative, selected from the best student-submitted ideas, and develop these ideas into a responsible, sustainable business model. All students join a team that remains together for the duration of the unit, creating and pitching sections of a business plan as well as drafting the final version. This unit brings together skills acquired across other disciplines of study and requires active participation.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Carlos Vazquez Hernandez,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment group assignment Business Plan
You will summarise the work done by your Team over 13 weeks on new venture.
15% Formal exam period 3000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Take home assessment (essay)
To discuss the broad implications for an emerging trend for one industry.
25% Week 04
Due date: 28 Aug 2022 at 23:59
1200 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO5
In-semester test (Record+) Type B in-semester exam Mid-Semester Exam
consisting of a mixture of multiple choices and open-ended questions.
25% Week 08
Due date: 23 Sep 2022 at 13:00
1 hour
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Assignment Individual report
The objective of this assessment is to create the Persona.
20% Week 10
Due date: 16 Oct 2022 at 23:59
1000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO5
Presentation group assignment Group presentation
This is your new venture pitch.
15% Week 13 Each group will have 5 mins.
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type B in-semester exam = Type B in-semester exam ?

Assessment summary

Take home assignment (essay): Students are asked to pick an emerging sustainability trend (consumer and/or technology), and discuss its broad implications for one industry of your choice. Then, make a prediction about how not addressing that trend might change the industry of your choice 5 years from now, and argue why this is the case. In doing so, address at least 3 concerns resulting from your prediction/the emerging sustainability trend.

Individual report (report): The objective of this assessment is to create the Persona (based on a real person) that might inspire your product and business development in the next phases of the process.

Mid-semester exam: The semester exam consists of multiple choice questions and one long essay question which are designed to test students understanding of key concepts and their applications. 

Presentation (video-pitch): The group will need to submit a video pitch. This will serve as the presentation for your business plan.

Business plan: Overall, in the business plan you will summarise the work done by your Team during the course of the semester. You should include the persona's needs, how your proposed solution is going to address the needs, competitors and how your solution is going to be different from their solution, the validation of your solution and importantly, a test you are suggesting to perform next in order to further validate your solution.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an exceptional standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


75 - 84

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a very high standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


65 - 74

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at a good standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school.


50 - 64

Awarded when you demonstrate the learning outcomes for the unit at an acceptable standard, as defined by grade descriptors or exemplars outlined by your faculty or school. 


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

assessment submitted after the due time and date (or extended due time and date) will incur a late penalty of 5% of the total marks per 24 hour period, or part thereof, late (note that this is applied to the mark gained after the submitted work is marked).

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction and groups Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1
Week 02 Entrepreneurial cognition, behaviours, and innovation management Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO4
Week 03 Understanding user experiences Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3
Week 04 Ideation Approaches Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4
Week 05 Develop your ideas Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2
Week 06 Fitting your ideas Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 07 A market for your ideas Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Build your prototype Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Validate your prototype Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Pilot your prototype Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Launching your new venture Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 The pitch Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Identify trends and opportunities in the social, technological and market/business landscapes, including understanding users and formulating new venture ideas that have not been explored before
  • LO2. Construct a market analysis and assess feasibility of a new venture, and design a new business model
  • LO3. Discuss what an empathic understanding of users and stakeholder is and apply it to their problem in order to identify new value propositions that satisfy user and stakeholder needs and wants in an ethical and responsible manner
  • LO4. Discuss and apply cognitive strategies that define the mindset of innovators and entrepreneurs
  • LO5. Demonstrate proactivity in talking with potential users and stakeholders to understand their needs and then testing your proposed solution

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Adding ULOs and Assessments as endorsed by the UoS Subcommittee.


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