Course overview

By the end of the course, you’ll have: 

  • Identified your target customer and built a day-in-the-life scenario
  • Created a problem–interview script to start talking to customers
  • Conducted 20+ interviews with actual customers to understand who you’re targeting
  • Developed a system to organize and analyze interview data so you gain insights

What you’ll get

  • 20+ video lessons from Canada’s top entrepreneurs & subject matter experts
  • Total of 70 hours: 10 weekly hours of self-paced learning
  • Weekly hands-on exercises and templates
  • Certificate of Completion

Course modules


Week 1 
Understand your customer’s problem & learn how to frame your value.

Week 2 
Delve into the Customer Development process & learn how to test & validate your assumptions.

Week 3
Create & refine your customer interview script.

Week 4 
Analyze your customer data & extract relevant insights.

Week 5
Conduct customer interviews & understand who your customer is.

Week 6 
Craft your value proposition to effectively communicate your value.

Week 7 
Create & refine your solution interview script.

You’ll make real progress in seven weeks. 
Our course is practical. Unlike other programs, we focus on tactics that (if done right) will accelerate the growth of your company. We’ve carefully curated proven methods to help you understand your customers.

We move fast.
This isn’t your average course on customer development. We feature experts with deep experience in these fields. We’ll help you get out and talk to your customers and grasp their needs.

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?


CDI is a seven-week online course, with seven modules. Each week, you’ll complete a set of lessons and exercises.

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

Register via the Register here! button below.  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 receive an email with additional instructions to create an account on our online learning platform.

The course costs $35.00

Yes! You’ll gain foundational knowledge about your customer & how to capture the market problem from your customer’s perspective—before you design your solution.

You’ll learn how to research & validate a value proposition. This is essential for startups as the value proposition is the heart of your business model: it defines what you do, who you do it for & how this differs from your competitors.

The Customer Development model is a methodology you’ll continue to apply throughout your business development.

Yes. CDI is available to anyone, anywhere—the core concepts are useful for all entrepreneurs. That said, the course was designed specifically for Ontario-based technology entrepreneurs, therefore some of the material may not be applicable to your business idea.

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


Hear what past participants had to say

Ellie Ardakani, Co-founder and President, Meta Innovation Technologies

Marc Reppin, Co-founder and Partner, AniZet Designs

“The Customer Development Immersive was a focused and fast-paced experience easily fitting in my busy schedule.”
– Ellie Ardakani, Co-founder and President, Meta Innovation Technologies (Kingston, ON)


“CDI provides a simple yet highly effective framework for better understanding your customer”
– Marc Reppin, Co-founder and Partner, AniZet Designs (Toronto, ON)

Ellie Ardakani, Co-founder and President, Meta Innovation Technologies

Marc Reppin, Co-founder and Partner, AniZet Designs


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.


Registration is now open!

Register here!