Business Model Canvas Workshop

Stacey Franciamore, Managing Editor

The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship held a business model canvas workshop to teach students how to test and develop their startups on March 3 in the Hynes Institute in Spellman Hall.
With a large number of students interested in entrepreneurship as well as the recent launch of the Iona Innovation Challenge, this workshop is one of many opportunities for students to learn how to strengthen their business models and build on their ideas.

Led by Assistant Director of NYDesigns Desiree Frieson, the workshop brought students through the business model canvas, a template that outlines the most important areas to analyze when creating a business model. It includes boxed sections such as customer relationships, value propositions, revenue streams and key partners for students to fill in.

“One of the fortunate things about startups is that they’re startups,” Frieson said. “They’re typically just organizations in search of a business model. What makes a startup different from a company is that a startup is operating on a lot of unknowns.”

Frieson emphasized that 90% of startups fail, highlighting that developing a startup is complex and takes time, effort and strategic thinking.

“Startups fail because they have no foundation,” junior Emma Cruz said. “There’s no background supporting whether or not your ideas are even feasible or if they’re going to work. Most times you don’t know if they’re going to work, and that’s you taking a risk.”

There are various elements a business owner needs to examine and later implement when creating a business model. This includes understanding who their customers are, what solutions they need to solve potential problems and how to generate revenue. Moreover, they need to ensure that they are designing a product or service that is intuitive and easy to use.

“Your goal as founders is to figure out how we create value for ourselves and for our customers by giving them the products and services that they need to actually solve their problem, delivering that and then hopefully generating some revenue,” Frieson said.

Many students attending the workshop shared their startup ideas and received feedback and advice.

“My startup is called WebProfessor,” said freshman Joanna Falise. “It’s an app where students can basically ask questions or ask for further clarification on any sort of subject and see instant, 24/7, professional responses. Instead of using uncredited sources, you can ensure you’re getting credited responses.”

While some students are focusing on applications, others are working on products.

“My idea is a hair product line that helps out curly hair for dandruff and dry scalp,” said freshman Zenobia Turner. “I basically want to have a whole line for that.”

The Hynes Institute will be hosting various workshops leading up to the Innovation Challenge to help students workshop their ideas. If you are interested in learning more or want to start developing your own business model, visit the Hynes Institute in Spellman Hall or