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Unit of study_

SIEN2001: Validating Ideas and Building Ventures

Semester 1, 2024 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

To be a successful innovator or entrepreneur, it is necessary to have knowledge of several fundamental business and organizing processes, along with related skills. In this unit, students learn how to turn creative ideas into viable business opportunities that seed new start-ups or drive innovation within existing enterprises. Students participate in a realistic simulation to create and validate ideas and develop them into sustainable business models addressing real-world commercial and social problems. Experiential learning that draws on a range of contemporary innovation concepts and practices is emphasised, providing students with opportunities to incubate, validate and pitch their ideas for concrete business and social ventures. To facilitate this entrepreneurial process, students work creatively and collaboratively, bringing together skills acquired across other disciplines of study.

Unit details and rules

Unit code SIEN2001
Academic unit Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Credit points 6
SIEN1000 and SIEN1001
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Krithika Randhawa,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Project Portfolio (Part 2)
Infographic slide deck
20% Formal exam period
Due date: 03 Jun 2024 at 23:59

Closing date: 15 Jun 2024
10-slide infographic deck
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Reflection
In-class presentation (10 min: 5 min presentation + 5-min Q&A/discussion)
15% Multiple weeks
Due date: 08 Mar 2024 at 10:00

Closing date: 03 Jun 2024
5-min in-class presentation + 5-min Q&A
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Participation Participation and Professionalism
Participation and professionalism
10% Ongoing
Closing date: 03 Jun 2024
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Project Portfolio (Part 1)
20% Week 07
Due date: 08 Apr 2024 at 23:59

Closing date: 15 Jun 2024
5-min video
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Presentation group assignment Pitch Presentation (Part 1)
Interim pitch
10% Week 08
Due date: 18 Apr 2024 at 23:59

Closing date: 03 Jun 2024
10 minutes (5min oral pitch + 5min Q&A)
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Presentation group assignment Pitch Presentation (Part 2)
Final pitch + pitch deck
25% Week 12
Due date: 16 May 2024 at 23:59

Closing date: 03 Jun 2024
15 minutes (10min oral pitch + 5min Q&A)
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

Pitch Presentation: In this assignment, you will work as a team of innovation consultants for a real-world startup to propose an entrepreneurial strategy, including two distinct ways to innovate the startup in the short term (the next two years) and the medium term (two to ten years out). To do this, you will apply the concepts and frameworks discussed in the unit, and conduct in-depth research and analysis of your startup, to develop recommendations that are desirable, feasible and viable. Your team is required to pitch this strategy to the startup founder and potential investor. The objective is to convince them of how and why your team's entrepreneurial ideas are the most likely to help the startup scale successfully.

This assessment comprises two parts. In Part 1, which carries a weightage of 10%, teams will present a 5-minute interim pitch to their client (followed by 5-min Q&A) during the Week 8 tutorial, focusing on the front-end of the entrepreneurial process i.e., ‘problem-customer fit’ and ‘problem-solution fit’. Teams will get formative feedback after this interim pitch from the client, tutor, and peers to help develop their final pitch.

In the final pitch, which forms Part 2 of this assessment and is worth 20%, teams will present their fully developed entrepreneurial strategy, addressing all phases of the entrepreneurial process i.e., ‘problem-customer fit’, ‘problem-solution fit’ and ‘product-market fit’. The 10-minute oral pitch presented during the Week 12 tutorial, will be followed by a 5-minute Q&A session. The live oral pitch will be supported by an annotated pitch deck containing extensive comments (in the notes section) to support the key points in the slides, and is to be submitted through Canvas by the specified due date.

The remaining 5% of marks is dedicated to the individual component, which includes each student’s contribution to the team’s outcome and the quality of feedback they provide to their teammates. Peer evaluation will be considered when assessing this individual component.

Participation and Professionalism: Lectures and tutorials in the unit are designed to be collaborative and participatory. The grade for participation and professionalism includes class attendance, punctuality, in-class contributions, and feedback to peers. In addition to basic attendance at both lectures and tutorials, students are expected to come to class prepared having reviewed the weekly online modules and completed the online primer discussions. They are required to contribute actively to class discussion, team activities and their group project work, and also provide constructive feedback to their peers on their individual project and reflections in-class and through the online discussion boards.

Project Portfolio: This assessment asks you to act as an innovation consultant to an existing real-world business of your choice (or as a founder of your own startup, if relevant). Applying the concepts and frameworks introduced in the unit, you will develop two innovative business models for your chosen organisation centred on: (1) open innovation (e.g., crowdsourcing, digital platforms, and ecosystems), (2) social innovation (e.g., circular economy, sustainable business models, social enterprises) or (3) a combination thereof. You will present concrete ways to implement the recommended business models, supported by a strategic analysis to arrive at these recommendations.

This assignment comprises two parts. Part 1 carries a weightage of 20%, and is to be submitted in the form of a 5-minute video via Canvas by the specified due date. This task will include in-depth insights and supporting evidence from the first phase of the entrepreneurial process i.e., ‘problem-customer fit’ only. Additionally, students will reply to at least two peer videos with constructive feedback. This is an essential component of the ‘Participation and Professionalism’ assessment of this unit.

Part 2 of the individual portfolio carries a weightage of 20%, and will take the form of a slide deck based on infographic content to be submitted via Canvas by the specified due date. This infographic slide deck will present the two recommendations of innovative business models backed by insights from all phases of the entrepreneurial process i.e., ‘problem-customer fit’, ‘problem-solution fit’ and ‘product-market fit’.

Reflection: This assessment is a reflective review worth 15%. You are required to critically reflect on your learnings from the concepts and theories introduced in the weekly lectures and primer discussions, and benchmark these against insights from: (1) your personal experience as an innovation consultant/entrepreneur in your projects, and (2) interactions with your group project client and other real-world innovators and entrepreneurs during the unit of study. The reflection will take the form of a 5-minute in-class presentation (followed by 5-min peer discussion & Q&A) during tutorials between Weeks 4-11 (tutorial weeks will be pre-allocated to each student). Students should present in-depth reflective insights and a critical assessment of the learnings from weekly lectures and primers, how they can be implemented in your (group or individual) project and your own (current of future) professional context. There is an intersubjective element in the format in that each student is also a discussant for one other peer who, in turn, will discuss this student's presentation and thus lead a meaningful Q&A/discussion on each other's reflection.

Additional details and resources for all assignments will be made available in Canvas and discussed in class.

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

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:

This unit follows the University policy for late submissions. Please refer to the policy online. Failure to submit peer evaluation for the group assessment would result in 0 mark for that individual.

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.

Support for students

The Support for Students Policy 2023 reflects the University’s commitment to supporting students in their academic journey and making the University safe for students. It is important that you read and understand this policy so that you are familiar with the range of support services available to you and understand how to engage with them.

The University uses email as its primary source of communication with students who need support under the Support for Students Policy 2023. Make sure you check your University email regularly and respond to any communications received from the University.

Learning resources and detailed information about weekly assessment and learning activities can be accessed via Canvas. It is essential that you visit your unit of study Canvas site to ensure you are up to date with all of your tasks.

If you are having difficulties completing your studies, or are feeling unsure about your progress, we are here to help. You can access the support services offered by the University at any time:

Support and Services (including health and wellbeing services, financial support and learning support)
Course planning and administration
Meet with an Academic Adviser

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction & Kick-off - Lecture: Entrepreneurial Creativity and Innovation: What, Why and How? Tutorial: Scope your Entrepreneurial Opportunity Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 02 Problem-Customer Fit - Lecture: Innovation Strategy in Turbulent Environments Tutorial: Opportunity Discovery and Key Megatrends Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO3 LO5
Week 03 Problem-Customer Fit - Lecture: Innovation and Customer Co-creation Tutorial: Identifying Unmet Customer Needs; Client introduction and briefing Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Problem-Customer Fit - Lecture: Open Innovation and Crowdsourcing Tutorial: Problem Definition and Reframing Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Problem-Solution Fit - Lecture: Digital Technologies, Platforms and Ecosystems Tutorial: Creative Ideation and Problem-solving; Informal client check-in Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Problem-Solution Fit - Lecture: Sustainability, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Tutorial: Prototype and Test your Value Proposition (No in-person tutorial - Good Friday public holiday; Self-organised project work) Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 07 Problem-Solution Fit - Lecture: Business Model Innovation Tutorial: Develop and Validate your Business Model Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO5
Week 08 Problem-Solution Fit - Lecture: From Minimum Viable Product to Minimum Marketable Product Tutorial: Interim Client Pitch and Check-in Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Product-Market Fit - Lecture: User Validation, Entrepreneurial Pitching & Storytelling Tutorial: Develop your Go-To-Market Strategy Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Product-Market Fit - Lecture: Startup Success Stories Tutorial: Validate your Value Proposition and Business Model Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Product-Market Fit - Lecture: Corporate Innovation Stories Tutorial: Craft your Final Pitch Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 12 Innovation Beyond Uni - Lecture: When Innovation meets Entrepreneurship in the real world Tutorial: Pitch your Entrepreneurial Idea Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Innovation Beyond Uni - Lecture: Professional pathways in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Tutorial: Final Assessment Consultation & Wrap-up 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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