free and open tools for
startups and strategy
What is Value Lab?
Value Lab is a research-based tool for startups, incubators, innovation ventures and strategy. It offers a scientific, experiment-oriented, practical approach to value creation.
The tool is designed to be used in the classroom, in startup training or coaching, strategy consulting and other such settings. Value Lab provides the scaffolding for startups and companies to develop their own, unique strategy.
On this web page we will post additional tools, slides, tutorials, frequently asked questions, and other materials.
You can find the Value Lab paper here. Stay tuned for more.
Who is using it?
The Value Lab tool is being used in a number of programs including:
University of Oxford Diploma in Strategy & Innovation - see here
University of Utah's Master in Business Creation program - see here
Bocconi University, Department of Management and Technology
Cambridge University (Engineering)
If you decide to use Value Lab in any of your classroom or other interactions, please let us know. We'd love to hear about your experiences with the tool.
What about lean startup?
Download open access paper -
Teppo Felin, Alfonso Gambardella, Scott Stern & Todd Zenger. 2020. Lean startup and the business model: Experimentation revisited. Long Range Planning.
There are many startup, strategy and venture-related tools and frameworks out there - such as lean startup and the business model canvas.
So why not use them?
They have their place. But we think approaches like lean startup are too incremental. The focus on minimum viable products leads companies to do the wrong type of experimentation. It also offers little guidance on what to pivot to.
Startups need to instead figure out what their unique beliefs are - and develop their own hypothesis and theory of value. And only then experiment.
(click on images to read paper)
Camuffo, A., Cordova, A., Gambardella, A., & Spina, C. 2020. A scientific approach to entrepreneurial decision making: Evidence from a randomized control trial. Management
Felin, T., & Zenger, T. R. 2017. The theory-based view: Economic actors as theorists.
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Cohen, S., Fehder, D. C., Hochberg, Y. V., & Murray, F. 2019. The design of startup accelerators. Research Policy.
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Felin, T., & Zenger, T. R. 2016. Strategy, problems, and a theory for the firm. Organization Science.
Felin, T., & Zenger, T. R. 2014. Closed or open innovation? Problem solving and the governance choice.
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Foss, N. J., & Klein, P. G. 2012.
Organizing entrepreneurial judgment: A new approach to the firm. Cambridge University Press.
Gavetti, G., & Menon, A. 2016. Evolution cum agency: Toward a model of strategic foresight. Strategy Science.
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Thiel, P. 2014. Zero to one.
Other recommended tools and materials
More to come - for educators,
startups, incubators and VCs.