Course overview

What you’ll learn

  • Understand the lean startup method and why the business model canvas is used.
  • Iterate on your business model canvas and make adjustments based on feedback.
  • Conduct ongoing tests to validate how to keep your business sustainable.
  • Identify areas of your model that require pivoting.
  • Learn to pitch and tell the story of your business model.

What you’ll get

  • Total of 40 hours: 8 hours/week of self-paced learning
  • Hands-on exercises each week to build your business
  • Selection of tests to validate your business model
  • Certificate of Completion


Course modules

The Business Model Validation course consists of five modules. We recommend completing one module per week, but you can always go at your own pace.

Module 1 
Understand the lean startup method and the importance of mapping out your business model.

Module 2
Delve into the Business Model Canvas and its different components.

Module 3
Start testing different areas of your business model.

Module 4
Gather customer data, and start to pivot and re-test areas.

Module 5
Tell the story of your business model and learn how to pitch.

You’ll make real progress in five weeks. 
Our course is practical. We focus on tactics that (if done right) will accelerate the growth of your company.

We move fast.
This isn’t your average course on business models. Each module is designed to dig into the gaps of your business. We’ll help you work toward a sustainable and tested business model.

Let’s advance the world together. 
Since 2005, MaRS has accelerated the growth of thousands of young companies whose technologies and solutions meaningfully improve lives every day. Are you ready to join them?

We love questions. Get in touch.


This course is entirely online, it consists of five modules and you can go at your own pace. Each week, you’ll complete a set of lessons and exercises that guide you toward achieving the objectives for that week.

Enrolling in the course includes access to the material for as long as you need it!

That depends! This course is most suited for companies that are building out their business model for a new startup or a new product line. You’ll learn the lean startup method and why the business model canvas is used. We’ll show you how to use feedback to iterate on your business model canvas and to conduct ongoing tests so you can validate how to keep your business sustainable. You’ll also learn how to identify areas of your business model where you may need to pivot.

Register via the Start Now button above. Make sure to include an email address that you check regularly. Email will be our primary mode of communication with you throughout the course. After you have registered, you will be prompted to create an account on our online learning platform.

Yes! This course is available to anyone, anywhere—the core concepts are useful for all entrepreneurs. That said, the course was designed in particular with technology entrepreneurs in mind, and therefore some of the material may not be applicable to your business idea. 

Yes. Each learner who successfully completes 100% of the online materials will receive a non-accredited Certificate of Completion issued by MaRS Discovery District.


Meet your instructors

David Bowden, Senior Cleantech Advisor & Venture Facilitator,
MaRS Discovery District

David divides his time between MaRS, where he is an entrepreneurship educator and senior business advisor for cleantech ventures, and the Osborne Group, where he is a principal specializing in strategic growth management. David has held various executive roles, including as president of Sprint Canada, SVP at Direct Energy and founding president of Empori.com. He is a governor of the University of Toronto and a director of the Bata Museum. In 2013, David completed the NFP program at the Institute for Corporate Directors (ICD). Catch up with David on LinkedIn.

Chris Giantsopoulos, COO & Founder, PayUp Jack & Venture Facilitator, MaRS Discovery District

Passionate and energetic, Chris works as a venture facilitator at MaRS and has taught thousands of entrepreneurs across Ontario and the east coast, in universities, colleges and regional innovation centres. Earlier in his career, Chris was a leader at the BMO Institute for Learning, heading up several international training teams. Chris later co-founded and was CEO of QuickEnrollment Inc., a successful fintech online registration company targeted at amateur sports across Canada. He is currently in the process of launching his next fintech venture, PayUp Jack. Catch up with Chris on LinkedIn.


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Sign up to validate your business model.

This course will be available starting December 14, 2020.

Register now