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The “Design Thinking and Lean Development” lecture at the University of Mannheim is a nice example on how to offer students a lasting experience. Teaching theory and skills was combined with practicing Design Thinking group work and building a prototype on HANA Cloud Platform. A simulated pitch event made students feel like selling their idea in front of a potential investor.

Business Information Systems and Business Administration students of the University of Mannheim learned how to develop real-world business applications on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform as part of a three months lecture and software project called “Design Thinking and Lean Development” (DTLD).

The lecture by SAP Development Project Expert and Associate Lecturer at the University of Mannheim, Tobias Hildenbrand, was accompanied by three workshops in SAP’s AppHaus Heidelberg, which gave the students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a creative environment. The students were given the challenge to create an idea and a business concept about supporting healthy local food.

In the Design Thinking and Business Model Development Innovation workshops, the students used previously learned techniques to bring forward their own ideas.

In only two months, the students created prototype applications on SAP HANA Cloud Platform that they finally demonstrated in a pitch workshop. A jury of SAP professionals gave feedback on the presentation, the business ideas and the prototypes. This gave the students a feeling of selling their business idea to potential investors. The jury was very impressed by the quality of the different business ideas and prototypes.

Tobias also received very positive feedback from the students, for instance: “Kudos to you for the fantastic concept, the opportunity to work hands-on and to realize a project in such a short time.” The concept of this lecture is not only interesting for the University of Mannheim, but for universities worldwide. For this reason, SAP University Alliances collaborates with Tobias to make the concept of this lecture available for other SAP partner universities as well.