DMBA Students and Alumni Produce a San Francisco Design Week Event

DMBA Students and Alumni Produce a San Francisco Design Week Event

San Francisco Design Week kicked off summer in the Bay Area this past week. From the Silicon Valley to San Francisco, everyone in the Bay Area shared their knowledge of, collaborated on, and got psyched about design. MBA in Design Strategy (DMBA) students and alumni organized a workshop about building human-centered business models with a focus on entrepreneurship. DMBA students shared what they learn and practice among nearly 100 events throughout the week.

In the workshop, Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas (BMC) was introduced as an important visual tool for entrepreneurs to use in designing their businesses.


The evening began with a presentation that described how the BMC can be used as a blueprint for businesses of all sizes, and highlighted its importance to resource-strapped entrepreneurs who bear a high degree of risk. Chris Young (DMBA 2015) explained how the BMC helps entrepreneurs identify ways of creating and delivering value to customers while achieving financial viability for their companies.


Rosario Estay (DMBA 2015) walked the group through several popular business models. Using familiar examples, such as Google, Estay illustrated how and why a company might choose to use a multi-sided business model, as one example.


Recent graduates Reena Merchant, Ravi Rao, and Rachel Posman presented their Capstone project-turned-startup, Habdash , as a real life example to help illustrate the process of using the BMC as a visual tool to help design a company’s business model.


Participants broke out into small groups and created their own BMCs for Habdash as an exercise in translating their understanding of a business into the BMC’s nine building blocks.


Through presenting their findings and a group discussion led by Shane Chase (DMBA student), attendees learned that business model innovation happens by finding the best fit between a business’s customer segments and the products that meet their needs and forging unique customer relationships, channels and revenue streams.

The evening was a great success for all participants, presenters, producers, and volunteers.

Event Details

Date:                June 11, 2015

Time:                7-9pm; Doors open at 6pm 

Location:           First Round Capital; 151 10th Street, SF, CA 

Event Organizers + Volunteers

Event producer: Liz Comperchio

Event logistics lead: Megan Tremelling


Chris Young

Shane Chase

Rosario Estay

Reena Merchant

Habdash presenters:

Reena Merchant, Habdash co-founder 

Ravi Rao, Habdash co-founder 

Rachel Posman, Habdash co-founder  

*Sara Vogler, Habdash co-founder

Designers: Isa Harvey, Liz Comperchio, Rosario Estay

Videographer: Shri Patil

Photographer: Lo MacSween

Volunteers: Akriti Vora, Joanna Dillon

*not present for the event