How can you transform your rough ideas into a working prototype for feedback? How can you translate interesting ideas from the field into scalable innovations?

The Iterative Prototyping Workshop utilizes a hands on, immersive approach to build tangible prototypes of your ideas. You’ll work with experienced architects, designers and other innovation artisans to iteratively build prototypes to learn not what is right about your prototype, but what is wrong with it. This will help you overcome objections and accelerate adoption.

Spring 2016 Workshop Dates:

February 23 – 25
Apply by January 22

March 22 – 24
Apply by February 22

April 19 – 21
Apply by March 19

May 17 – 19
Apply by April 17

Contact us for alternative dates

Tuition: $6,500 USD
Contact us for Group Rates.

Program tuition includes course materials, skilled artisan prototyping and prototype feedback (see Key Activities), breakfast and lunch each day. Lodging and travel not included.


Workshop Key Activities

Field research: What is the data telling us?

Understanding what customers want, need, and will pay for will ground your thinking and ensure you have a human-centric understanding of what is motivating, compelling and inspiring. You and your team will:

  • Review what you know, don’t know but can find out, and can’t know
  • Synthesize and analyze your findings to discover what you want your prototype to test
  • Convert these test propositions into a Design Brief to inspire your initial prototype

Prototyping: What can you build or create?

Using your Design Brief, your team will partner with illustrators, graphic designers, IT architects, UX architects and other innovation artisans. As a group, you’ll go to the Maker’s Lab at Duke University to rapidly prototype to your potential solutions. You will be able to create the “look and feel” of your solution so you can take it to customers for feedback and learning.

Feedback: What’s wrong with your prototype?

Next, you’ll gather some feedback on your prototype. The goal of the feedback is not to find out what’s right with it, but rather what’s wrong with it. At this point, you aren’t trying to see if you can “sell” your innovation. Instead, you’re trying to find out how much you can learn because this learning will substantially improve your innovation and, therefore, reduce your concept risk.

Sample Day:


Full breakfast at Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship workspace

Morning Session I

Research Review

Morning Session II

Synthesis and Analysis


Lunch and Learn with a University Professor specializing in your field.

Afternoon Session I

Rough Design

Afternoon Session II

Rapid Prototyping


Cocktail Reception and networking with Workshop participants


Mini Case Study

Iterative prototyping helps optimize your innovation:

An agricultural equipment manufacturer conducted a detailed segmentation of the U.S. market and believed it could centralize sales and service operations in the field. Before investing in a centralized system, the manufacturer built prototypes to model how sales and service inbound calls would be handled.

The initial prototypes mapped out information flows from distributors, service centers, finance companies, and even the vehicles themselves. This wealth of data provided information about vehicles going out of warranty, needing maintenance, and how customers could refinance their equipment at lower rates.

However, when customers offered feedback, the manufacturer discovered a few major flaws. While large agricultural firms loved the data integration, small independent farmers found no value in it. Further probing revealed that large agricultural firms valued the data because they wanted to optimize performance of their equipment, whereas the small independent farmers cared only about extending the life of their equipment.

Armed with this knowledge, the manufacturer still consolidated the data flows, but used centralized call center agents for large agricultural firms and assigned local field agents to provide personalized assistance for small independent farmers. The centralized call center cost savings more than offset the incremental expense of hiring field agents.

Compare Our Workshops

Workshop Customer Co-Creation Immersion Iterative Prototyping Workshop IN-90 Workshop
This workshop is best suited for… Kicking off new projects Developing solutions to well understood problems Rapidly accelerating innovations to the marketplace
You will… Interview and observe customers to understand their pains and generate solutions with compelling value propositions Iteratively prototype solutions and collect feedback up and down your value chain to optimize your innovation Participate in the other workshops and build financial and marketing models to guide the launch of your solution
Workshops will be… Two and a half days Two and a half days Three one-week workshops over 90 days.
You will learn…
  • IN-90 Framework
  • Design Thinking Principles
  • 10 Interview Techniques
  • Behaviors of 3-5 Customers
  • Key Customer Insights
  • 10 Prototyping Techniques
  • IN-90 Framework
  • Design Thinking Principles
  • 10 Prototyping Techniques
  • How To Build 3 Prototypes
  • Feedback of 3-5 Customers
  • Compelling Value Proposition
Everything in other workshops, plus:

  • Financial Breakeven
  • Profitability Per Unit/Customer
  • Return On Investment
  • Marketing To Innovators
  • Building Sales Momentum
  • Sales and Marketing Metrics
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