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2016/2017  KAN-CCMVV2607U  Go-to-market marketing for startups and innovative products/services

English Title
Go-to-market marketing for startups and innovative products/services

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Nicolaj Højer Nielsen - MPP
Main academic disciplines
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Strategy
Last updated on 15-12-2016
Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • The student should be able to critically reflect on the theories, concepts, tools and cases covered in the course.
  • Document and argue for frameworks, theories, models, methodologies and tools in go-to-marketing marketing for innovative products/services
  • The student should be able to identify key points, and critically reflect on these, in the go-to-market process for a new product/service
  • The student should be able to apply concepts, tools and cases covered in the course on a real business-case
Go-to-market Marketing for Startups and Innovative Products/Services:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Project
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

In the project report, the students critically reflect on the go-to-market marketing and strategy for a new product/service, and put those reflections into a theoretical context by applying some of the concepts teached in class.

Course content and structure

Most startups end in failure.  Almost every failed startup has a product. What failed startups don't have is traction - real customer growth.


This course is about how to get this "traction" - how to get the first very important customers for your new product or new service.


By systematically applying innovative concepts and frameworks for your company's go-to-market strategy,  the students will learn how to improve their chances of getting real customer growth.


Hands-on teaching by serial entrepreneurs:

Main teachers are Nicolaj H Nielsen (CodeSealer, Penneo, Recon Instruments, MotilityCount, CapDesk, Sepior)


The course will be hands-on and teached by serial entrepreneurs who have done all the mistakes themselves, and after that finally have learned how to get your new startup of the ground.


A lot of interesting guest-speakers (business angels, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs) will also ensure that the learnings achieved in the course will be applicable if you later want to start your own company.


Marketing techniques and go-to-market strategies  for innovative products and services:

Students will learn how systematically to apply marketing and Lean Startup methods when launching innovative products and services. This includes, but not limited to, discussions on you can optimize the use of:

- Viral Marketing 
- Public Relations (PR) 
- Unconventional PR 
- Search Engine Marketing (SEM) 
- Social and Display Ads 
- Offline Ads 
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 
- Content Marketing 
- Email Marketing 

- Business Development (BD) 
- Affiliate Programs 
- Trade Shows 
- Offline Events 
- Speaking Engagements 
- Community Building


Lean Startup perspective:

Focus will also be on how to utilize the above mention marketing concepts in a Lean Startup perspective. Students will lean to apply concepts such as, but limited to:

.- Validating Learning

 - Build-Measure-Learn

 - Minimum Viable Products (MVP)

 - Customer Development

Teaching methods
The course will combine lectures, in-class discussions, and project work. The course includes a project where you will apply the frameworks learned on a real-life case.
Student workload
Preparation for classes (reading literature and cases) 60 hours
Participation in classes 40 hours
Exam (write project on a real business-case) 106 hours
Expected literature

Examples of scientific articles:


Sarasvathy, Saras D. "Causation and effectuation: Toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency." Academy of management Review 26.2 (2001): 243-263.


Read, Stuart, et al. "Marketing under uncertainty: The logic of an effectual approach." Journal of Marketing 73.3 (2009): 1-18.


Markides, Constantinos. "Disruptive innovation: In need of better theory*." Journal of product innovation management 23.1 (2006): 19-25.


Leskovec, Jure, Lada A. Adamic, and Bernardo A. Huberman. "The dynamics of viral marketing." ACM Transactions on the Web (TWEB) 1.1 (2007): 5.



Examples of text books used in course:


Traction: A Startup Guide to Getting Customers, by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares 


The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Ries  


Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster, and cheaper than yours (and what to do about it), by Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone, Yuri van Geest 



The formal litterature will be combined with written- and real-life cases from several Danish and international start-up companies.  We will have high-profile guest-speakers (venture capitalists, serial entrepreneurs, business angels) to present such cases. 

Last updated on 15-12-2016