Imperial College Business School Executive Education

Imperial College Business School

Tech Startup Toolkit: AI Strategy for Entrepreneurs

Innovate the future of products and services

11 May 2022
Registration closes 17 May

Accelerate your career with:
– In-demand skills
– Collaborative online learning
– Certificate of Participation from Imperial College Business School Executive Education


6 weeks




7-10 hours per week, self-paced online learning

Imperial College Business School

Tech Startup Toolkit: AI Strategy for Entrepreneurs

Innovate the future of products and services


11 May 2022

Registration closes 17 May



Payment options

Accelerate your career with:
– In-demand skills
– Collaborative online learning
– A Certificate of Participation from Imperial College Business School Executive Education


Length: 6 weeks

Language: English

Effort: 7-10 hours per week, self-paced online learning

Why Study AI Startups?

With AI expected to contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030, now is the time for entrepreneurs and innovators to turn their AI dreams into billion-dollar realities. But capitalising on this wealth of opportunities requires a deep understanding of the obstacles unique to AI ventures.

In this programme from Imperial College Business School, a leader in UK entrepreneurship and innovation, you will learn the actionable skills and strategic frameworks to leverage AI technologies for products and services. Whether you’re a startup founder or a corporate innovator, you’ll want to learn the nuances of innovating with AI so that you can use it to launch your venture, company or career into the future.

“This programme gives you what you need to master AI innovation by providing guided assistance to launch a new AI company or an AI innovation project inside an established company.”

David Shrier
Programme Director
Professor of Practice, AI & Innovation, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London

Is This Programme Right for You?

  • A CEO, startup founder or a head of a corporate new venture group looking to learn rapid ideation and understand AI-related metrics
  • A financial services or consumer lending business unit leader that can benefit from tactical yet strategic foundational knowledge of AI and the process of innovation
  • Working in healthcare, digital health or the medical field and seeking guidance on how to bring a new venture forward
  • An e-commerce, trade association or marketing professional that requires subject matter expertise in building, implementing and evaluating business plans for AI ventures
  • An investor or analyst seeking AI business analytics tools, perspectives on venture implications and a deeper understanding of investment feasibility
  • A government advisor or regulator working in risk management, venture promotion, competition enhancement, consumer protection and ways to leverage data to protect against unintended consequences of AI

Programme Content

Module 0: Orientation

An overview of the programme, the next-generation AI-platforms used to deliver it and an introduction to your international cohort members.

Module 1: AI Technologies and Applications

Introduction to AI, opportunities around AI at a market/society scale, and sub-areas in AI - expert systems, machine learning, deep learning:


  • Understand different AI technologies and their applications; expert systems, machine and deep learning applications
  • Describe how one can go from general AI and large scale market concepts to a narrower scope
  • Analyse market size and identify market opportunities by applying appropriate methodologies
  • Become familiar with applications of open source AI and solutions with market trajectories
  • Gain an introduction to the experiential learning capstone project

Module 2: Think and Design Like an AI Entrepreneur

Explore Data for AI, processes and frameworks to design tactical operating processes for different stages of an AI startup in a rapid and effective way:


  • Learn the process of innovation and apply creative ideation techniques
  • Utilise rapid ideation by applying a conceptual framework
  • Describe tactical operating processes and apply the ones appropriate for the stage of the AI startup
  • Identify bias in data

Module 3: Design Strategies to Drive Innovation and Growth

Understand market sizing fundamentals and market/competitive analysis, strategic planning frameworks, resourcing for a venture, and presentation techniques:


  • Quantify the demand for your solution, identify the size of the market and the target audience
  • Design a strategic plan by applying a practical framework and utilising tools to enable a new AI startup or an existing venture
  • Analyse the components of resources and create a road map for resourcing the proposed solution
  • Utilise techniques to pitch the proposed solution internally or externally to get the idea off the ground (‘Hurry Up and Pitch’™ Clinic)

Module 4: Risks and Mitigation

Understand and gain assistance with reshaping your business idea to offset the risks surrounding AI, and the changing environment in which it is being deployed. Key module components will include:


  • Algorithmic bias; how AI models can get distorted, how to recognise it is happening, the risks it creates for your business, and what to do to correct it
  • AI and the future of work; what are the labour and business implications of your AI venture
  • New AI regulations (e.g. the EU); the interventions that policymakers are contemplating to bring new limits around the use of AI, and how to design your business to navigate the changing landscape
  • Digital privacy and data; its implications for AI now and in the future

Module 5: Launching the AI Venture

Finalise the development of an idea, and prepare the venture for the market:


  • Explore first customer activity in ‘Deep Tech’ startups, pathways to accelerate market access, customer/market interviews and evaluation techniques
  • Understand “The Hazards of Stealth Mode,” including when to ignore them
  • Refine product and market fit
  • Review early financing sources including grants, revenue and seed funding
  • Strategise how to attract talent to the zero-stage startup

Module 6: Experiential Learning Capstone Project and Next Steps

Present your idea, and plan for the future:


  • Gain experience with producing and delivering lightning pitches
  • Understand how VCs evaluate startups
  • Learn how corporate boards look at long term investments like deep tech
  • Consider how to scale a venture from the perspective of people, process, product and growth
  • Develop a long-term funding strategy and milestone financing plan

What You Will Gain

    • Proof of knowledge through a Certificate of Participation issued by Imperial College Executive Education


    • A powerful professional network from building connections with a global cohort of leaders, influencers and programme participants


    • Coveted industry knowledge from market-driven curriculum designed and delivered to the standard of an elite academic institution


    • Acquisition and retention of new skills supported by an AI-driven learning platform, individual- and team-based programming, and individual success coaching

Your Programme Directors

David Shrier
Programme Director
Professor of Practice, AI & Innovation, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London

David is a globally recognised thought leader in technology and educational innovation. The portfolio of digital classes he created for MIT and University of Oxford has engaged more than 15,000 innovators in over 150 countries, and revolutionised the model for university short-course offerings. He is an Associate Fellow with Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, and a Professor of Practice (AI & Innovation) with Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London. He previously was the first and only New Ventures Officer with MIT, where he also served as a Lecturer. David has published five books in the past five years focused on technology disruption, the three most recent of which with MIT Press or Little Brown. His latest book, Augmenting Your Career: How to Win at Work in the Age of AI, was published by Little Brown in April 2021.

Christopher Tucci
Programme Director
Professor of Digital Strategy & Innovation, Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London

Christopher L. Tucci is Professor of Digital Strategy & Innovation at Imperial College Business School. He was Professor of Management of Technology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where he held the Chair in Corporate Strategy & Innovation. He was Dean of the College of Management from 2013-2018. In 2018, he was Visiting Thought Leader at CEIBS in Shanghai, China. He received the degrees of Ph.D. in Management from the Sloan School of Management, MIT; SM (Technology & Policy) from MIT; and BS (Mathematical Sciences), AB (Music), and MS (Computer Science) from Stanford University. He was an industrial computer scientist involved in developing Internet protocols and applying artificial intelligence tools.

Professor Tucci teaches courses in Design Thinking, Digital Strategy, and Innovation Management. His primary area of interest is in how firms make transitions to new business models, technologies, and organisational forms. He also studies crowdsourcing, Internetworking, and digital innovations. He has published articles in, among others, Academy of Management Review (AMR), Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Research Policy, Communications of the ACM, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Academy of Management Annals, and Journal of Product Innovation Management. His article with Allan Afuah, “Crowdsourcing as a solution to distant search,” won the Best Paper of 2012 for AMR. He has served in leadership positions in the Academy of Management (AOM) and the Strategic Management Society.

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How You Will Learn:

  • Digital videos or audio content, augmented by material created exclusively for the course
  • Quizzes and exercises designed specifically to help you understand and retain new information
  • Dialogue with expert instructors and your peers via discussion forums and small group sessions
  • Simulations and other carefully crafted interactions to provide an engaging learning experience
  • Real-life examples that place information in context to help you understand how the concepts delivered in the programme material can be applied to your work environment

  • AI coaching to improve your and your team’s collaboration

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The Imperial Learning Experience

We create people-centric learning experiences. From conception through to delivery, we are guided by the principle that learning is a creative, personal and above all, human process. Our high quality, crafted learning environments are highly interactive, community-orientated and actively tutored. Our programmes offer an engaging experience designed to facilitate natural learning behaviours.

No compromises. Our online programmes offer the absolute equivalent of our campus-based programmes. They adopt the same rigorous academic standards, are delivered via our world-leading faculty and offer a comparable high-touch approach to the classroom experience.

The Esme Learning Way

Collaborative AI-enhanced learning

We teach executives as they work - in cross-functional teams. Learners participate in interactive simulations and team projects which reinforce applied learning and enhance collaboration and complex problem solving skills. If you are looking for an individually-paced course, this course is not for you.


improvement on completion rates compared to other online programmes

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