DIGITAL OPEN DAYS // JUNE 29 and 30, 2022
Discover more
EARLY BIRD 10% for enrollment in Specializing Masters and Higher Education Courses starting in autumn 2022 and in 2023
Discover more
  • Business Design

Design & New Entrepreneurship

Materializza le tue idee



The advent of new ways of production, distribution and creation for products and services has unhinged certain models of innovation in the field of design and entrepreneurship. The course will examine not only the changes in the market structure and emerging forms of production-distribution, but also the consequences that they generate in the disciplinary approaches to the project. The course, therefore, will try to outline the emerging landscapes through different insights and the analysis of excellent case study: from the design-driven innovation principles to the advanced digital manufacturing items, from new business models to the new scenaries of the service design and user experience. The aim is to stimulate an original critical view about the new design challenges, that could help the development of new designer-business or enhance enterprise experiences already started up by the participants. Through an hands-on experimentation phase that will take place within Polifactory – the new makerspace of Politecnico di Milano – the course aims to build a core of expertise that can support the development of new business start-ups related to manufacturing and digital platforms.

The course Design and New Entrepreneurship includes a final presentation pitch of your project in collaboration with PoliHub.
The project that will be considered the most outstanding by the business incubator of the Politecnico di Milano, will get an accelerated path in PoliHub lasting 3 months (September-November 2016) with the following facility.
Utilization of exclusive use areas, access to common areas and facilities at PoliHub.
Use of all the services provided by the district (communication services, events and networking, administrative services, support in the search for funding for innovation, etc.).
Possibility to access a seed funding from investors part of PoliHub network.
Support in the development of the business project through the Mentorship program made available within the acceleration program. The Mentor Club of PoliHub includes top managers, entrepreneurs, business angels, able to provide high-level support to business development bringing strong domain expertise in the sector of the project and a proven business experience. Mentors will therefore provide a valuable contribution in every aspect of a startup (product, technology, marketing, sales, human resources, finance, patents, acquisitions) supporting them in the definition of an effective development strategy.

The course will try to outline the emerging landscapes through insights and the analysis of excellent case study: from the design-driven innovation principles to the advanced digital manufacturing items, from new business models to the new scenaries of the service design and user experience.



Stefano Maffei Scientific Director
Cabirio Cautela Scientific Director



The course provides two days of weekly attendance: in particular, lessons will take place on Thursday, from 14.00 to 20.00, and on Friday, from 9.30 to 16.30.

One day a week of optional practical training, for 5 weeks at Polifactory, can be added to lectures.
At the end of the course Polifactory will provide its space for an extra experimental phase, lasting 2 days per week for 2 weeks.
The course provides also a day of presentation and discussion of the results upon the end of the training course.

Training objectives

The course represents an experimental approach to new models of production, distribution and creation of business ideas that know how to mix design innovation, business design, making and new manufacturing. The course includes the hands-on prototyping of a product-service, carried out within Polifactory – the makerspace of the Politecnico di Milano – integrated by advanced business models that use digital technologies (from digital fabrication to apps) and think about new models of production and distribution. The aim is to develop ‘augmented’ designers, individuals who think and act as micro-enterprises, that is, they represent an innovative paradigm in which entrepreneurship is closely connected to new manufacturing and digital platforms.

Didactic Modules

Educational modules: Module 1 – WARM UP
Brainstorming, coaching, concept generation

This module proposes an activity path that goes from the presentation of the initial idea to the definition of the business concept connected to it. Participants can propose a design idea they have in mind or a completely new one. Starting from each single idea, the entrepreneurial concept will be developed and finally validated, which will contain all the different elements related to the product-service, the production processes and systems and the market positioning strategy. A team of experts will carry out a coaching activity to support the participants in this phase.

Design innovation, making, new craft

This module provides participants with the basic knowledge to understand the evolution of design and the design profession in relation to the change in production models. A series of targeted lessons held by scholars and experts on the subject will provide a framework on new production models (from making to technologies for digital manufacturing), on new forms of micro-production and craftsmanship connected to the themes of manufacturing 4.0, on new models of distribution attributable to the sharing economy. This module is completed by meetings with designers and entrepreneurs who talk about their activities of distributed micro-production and advanced craftsmanship.

Business modeling, case studies

This module explores the theme of developing innovative business models for entrepreneurial activities that combine design and new production models. A series of lectures held by scholars and business and management experts will provide all the fundamental knowledge to design an effective business model capable of moving a company in emerging production sectors and in nascent and magmatic markets.

Digital manufacturing, interaction design, IOT, open innovation

This module addresses the issue of technological innovation linked to new production models. The objective of this module is threefold: to understand the potential for use and integration of digital technologies within the new systems of products-services, to understand how digital technologies can be used in the processes of widespread manufacturing and distribution of goods, to understand how integrated technologies (embedded systems and Internet of Things) and technologies for digital manufacturing enter into relationship with design to create interactive products-services.

Brand identity, service design, UX

This module focuses on the interaction between users, products and production models within an ecosystem of services. In particular, participants will be provided with the knowledge and tools of service innovation to build a customer journey, to develop branding strategies and to understand the sophisticated dynamics of communication and product enhancement related to the professional use of social media.

Business planning, case studies

The final module, upon completion of the course, provides a mix of knowledge and tools to build an effective business plan and communicate it to suitable interlocutors with the aim of obtaining financing for the entrepreneurial start-up, entering acceleration programs or offering oneself on platforms for crowdfunding. A targeted exercise will be used to learn how to concretize the set of these knowledge and skills.

Employment Opportunities

Participants will acquire the conceptual and pragmatic tools for professional profiles with strong skills in advanced entrepreneurship and project control. The trained profile, in particular, is an advanced entrepreneur capable of “giving shape” to his business project – based on modern manufacturing technologies and / or Internet of Things (IoT) technologies or acting as an expert consultant for definition of business and enterprise models for start-ups, design agencies and business incubators.



The course is aimed at the following candidates: graduates and / or professionals in the design, architecture and engineering sectors who wish to deepen an entrepreneurial approach to design to develop new professional skills and / or improve their knowledge of theme of the designer-firm; graduates and / or professionals in technical and economic disciplines (e.g. management, economics) who want to deepen the themes of self-production and making to develop professional skills and / or improve their knowledge on the subject of services and / or activate new entrepreneurial developments ; consultants or small artisans or private sector entrepreneurs who have an interest in improving their design skills and outlining new business development strategies.


The registration fee is € 2,100 + VAT.

Reductions are offered for multiple entry for those who present a common project. In this case the fee will be € 1,650 + VAT
Special Prize for Next Design Innovation subscribers.

For information write to
Reductions are not cumulative.


Current edition


Stefano Maffei Scientific Director
Cabirio Cautela Scientific Director