The Idea Village IDEAinstitute is a 7-week online course, led by Felipe Massa, Ph.D., that introduces innovative startups and potential startup founders to the tools they need to take their startup from a big idea to a repeatable and scalable business.

Our Fall 2019 registration is currently closed, but click the button below if you’d like us to keep you posted for our Spring session!



Week 1: The Bright Idea

What makes for a great startup idea? Many founders fail because they either rush through the ideation process, choosing to go after fads or create companies that don’t generate value for customers. In this session, we will discuss how successful entrepreneurs identify promising opportunities and formulate ideas that tackle real and pressing problems.

Week 2: Finding your Customer

Successful startups are built to ‘wow’ a well-defined set of customers. Trying to be all things to all people or targeting the wrong customer segment can spell an early end for a great idea. Our focus in this session will on creating a customer persona that will guide how you make decisions as you grow your startup.

Week 3: Problem Validation

Viable businesses solve problems or tackle jobs customer need to get done. In this session, you will learn a tried and true method for how to make sure that the customer pain points your startup addresses are both real and pressing.

Week 4: Designing your Solution

It’s time to step into the shoes your target customer and design an experience that they will remember and share with everyone they know. In this session, we will use Design Thinking tools to model how your customers will interact with your product or service.

Week 5: Drafting a Compelling Business Model

Modern startups are asked to adapt quickly to changing environments and offer customers attractive value propositions that will keep them coming back. We will turn our attention to mapping out the nine building blocks that will constitute your business.

Week 6: Solution Validation

Armed with an awesome customer experience and a full-fledged business model it is time to test your solution with potential customers. Let’s get out of the building and begin gathering evidence to make your startup investable!

Week 7: Pitching your Startup

In this session, we will put all the work you have completed together into a compelling presentation designed to attract investor attention to your startup. You will then have the option to pitch for a cash prize at our culminating networking and ‘mini-Demo Day’ event on Wednesday, October 16th.





Felipe Massa is an Associate Professor of Management and Kloor Professor of Entrepreneurship and Small Business at the Loyola New Orleans College of Business. He received his Master’s of Science and Ph.D. in Organization Studies from Boston College after garnering several years of experience in the banking, software and translation industries, including as a founder of his own successful tech startup. Dr. Massa regularly contributes his time and expertise to the university and the local community. He is a founding faculty member and active contributor to the Loyola Center for Entrepreneurship and Community Development – an entity tasked with making Loyola a regional leader in entrepreneurship education through the support of stakeholder engagement in entrepreneurial activities, as well as through the creation of innovative programs that enrich the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. He has been nominated to the Silicon Bayou 100, a list of the 100 most influential and active people in technology and entrepreneurship in Louisiana several years in a row (2013-2017). In recognition of his years of service advancing entrepreneurship in the community, he was awarded the University Senate’s Community Engagement Award (2016).

Interested in learning from Felipe on how to launch your lean startup?