Lean Canvas – Transform your idea into a business model

Transform your idea into an initial business model with the Lean Canvas!

Why use the Lean Canvas?

The Lean Canvas is a great tool for mapping out your idea and developing it further. By exploring your idea in depth, you will gain new insights and come up with new things to think about. It also covers all aspects of a business model, which makes it much easier to explain and compare your vision. This is particularly helpful when talking to other people who are also interested in setting up a business, or to advisors. So, stop philosophising about your idea and get started with the Lean Canvas!

What is the Lean Canvas?

The Lean Canvas is the brainchild of Ash Maurya, and it is based on the Business Model Canvas. You can use it to review and compare business models early on in the start-up process, and it lays a good foundation for a business plan.

What do you need?

Firstly, you need an idea. It also helps if you already have a rough idea of your target group.

How does it work?

Take about 20 to 30 minutes to fill in the template. Start by carefully exploring and thinking about all the sections of the Lean Canvas. If you’re working in a team, discuss the individual sections with the other team members. Then try to fill in all the sections as briefly yet concretely as possible. When you’re done, download the document and keep working on it. Discuss it with friends, other people who are interested in starting a business or with advisors to come up with new ideas. The Lean Canvas is a living document that keeps evolving and improving as your idea evolves.

Our tip: Print out an A3 version of the Lean Canvas and hang it up on your wall. Then you can fill it in using post-it notes and keep making improvements.

Clarissa Sielemann
Gründungs- und Innovationszentrum der Universität Oldenburg
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