Steve Blank Hacking 4 Recovery

We are running a 5-day online course series at Stanford where teams will learn how to develop new business models for an economy that gets back to work and on the road to recovery.

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The post-pandemic world will be a very different place. The Covid-19 virus has disrupted traditional methods of doing business, traveling, educating, entertaining, caring, etc. How do these institutions reconfigure and reinvent themselves? What new businesses and services will emerge? Hacking 4 Recovery provides students with the tools to understand the new standard and create innovative solutions for recovery.

Getting out of crisis – Opportunity
Do you have a startup idea or new technology that you would like to learn how to market in the post-pandemic economy? Or maybe you want to join a team to create a new business or reinvent an existing business and learn the simplified start-up techniques that will be essential to our recovery.

Stanford Lean LaunchPad
Hacking 4 Recovery is a 5-day version of the Lean LaunchPad / Hacking For Defense / National Science Foundation I-Corps program that has trained tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators. This course offers students a unique online opportunity to build the future with instructors from Stanford University who have inspired a generation of entrepreneurs.

The first 5-day course will be on "Finding New Business Models" for businesses to adapt and pivot to find new customers, new markets, new products and new services to gain in recovery. Additional 5-day courses will explore health, travel and hospitality, dining, entertainment and education.

Course description
This course provides hands-on real-world learning about what it's like to start a business or find a new business model for an existing business. This course does not deal with writing a business plan. This is not an exercise on how smart you are in a classroom or on how you use research to size the markets.

This course combines theory with a ton of practice. Our goal, within the constraints of a virtual classroom and a limited time, is to give you a framework to test a business model.

You will be practically "getting your hands dirty" by talking to customers, partners and competitors as you experience chaos and uncertainty over the actual operation of a startup (or a restart) ).

You will practice evidence-based entrepreneurship by learning to use a business model to think about each part of a business and formulate their hypothesis. Then you will use customer development to virtually exit the classroom and speak to 10 to 15 customers / partners each day to validate if your assumptions are correct and to see if anyone else would like / use your product or service. Finally, based on customer and market feedback that you have collected, you will use agile development to build minimum viable products (incremental and iterative prototypes) to show potential customers every day to see if customers would actually buy and use. Every day will be a new adventure outside the classroom as you test each part of your business model, then share the hard-earned knowledge with the rest of the class.

This class is in a team. (We will help individuals without a team to find a place on one.) Work and studies will be done as a team. You will be admitted as a team. Teams must submit a registration proposal before the start of the course. Projects must be approved before class.

Teams will self-organize and establish individual roles individually.

Hacking 4 Instructors and recovery team

Course dates
Five Hacking 4 Recovery 5 day online courses will be offered this summer:

  • First session: Monday June 29e to Friday July 3 at 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Pacific
  • Second session: Monday July 13e to Friday July 17 at 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Pacific
  • Third session: Monday August 3rd to Friday August 7 at 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Pacific
  • Fourth session: to be determined
  • Fifth session: to be determined

Learn more – Information sessions
We will offer a series of information sessions describing the class, expectations and the application process.

May 21 4:00 p.m. PDT Information session
May 28 12:00 PM PDT Information session

Register on the website at

Who can participate?
Hacking 4 Recovery is open to Stanford undergraduate and graduate students, as well as all Stanford faculty, staff and alumni. Students visiting Stanford for the summer are also invited to apply for this free course (if they are enrolled in at least one summer session course (3 units minimum).

The class is in a team. Priority is given to teams from 3 to 5. We will organize team training mixers and help you find additional members or teams to join.

June 4 4:00 p.m. PDT Team Training Mixer and Q&A
June 11 12:00 PM PDT Team training mixer and Q&A
June 18 4:00 p.m. PDT Team Training Mixer and Q&A
June 25 4:00 p.m. PDT Team Training Mixer and Q&A

Register on the website at

Summer boot accelerators
Students taking the Hacking 4 Recovery course will have the opportunity to apply for accelerators and incubators from affiliated startups, including Pear VC, Stanford Venture Studio, H4XLabs and others.

For more information
For more information or to apply online, please visit our Hacking 4 Recovery website at or email us at [email protected]

Join this course and help restart our economy.

Filed under: Covid-19 / Recovery |