Venture Development Workshops

Lilie’s Venture Development Workshops (VDW) series exists to provide the Rice entrepreneurial ecosystem an open-invitation event that combines learning with doing.

Lilie brings together folks from diverse backgrounds together to learn about how ventures grow and progress from the ideation phase to building a sustainable business model. The aim of the VDW workshop is to not only arm attendees with actionable knowledge moving forward, but to also give founders and/or teams the chance to actually work ON their idea as part of the workshop. Don’t have an idea yet? No worries, we’ll have a problem space or idea generator to give you something to work with during the workshop. The idea here is that these skills are built just like muscles; the more times you flex that muscle, the stronger it becomes. Come flex your entrepreneurial muscle with us!

VDW workshops are designed to be stand-alone programs, though the greatest benefit can be realized by attending all the workshops. Open to any current Rice student or alum, each VDW workshop is a focused look at a particular phase of venture development. We’ll start the series at the Design Thinking and Ideation phases, and continue to later phases such as Customer Acquisition and Business Model development. We’ll also be collaborating with participants to see what topics THEY’D like to see in a VDW in the future, and building that into our program later on.

Spring 2023 Schedule


Wednesday, February 15 – 6:00pm-8:00pm

This session is focused on how we ideate iteratively to identify an actionable problem space. You’ll come out having worked through problem space identification on a manufactured idea, or one of your own that you’ve brought into the program. Be prepared to challenge ALL of your assumptions and to assume a beginner’s mindset!



Customer Definition

Wednesday, February 22 – 6:00pm-8:00pm

Who is your customer? In this session, we’ll learn how to identify what is arguably the most important player in your business: the paying customer. We’ll go over how to define potential customers and markets, how to research your top markets, define and identify a place to start (a “beachhead market”), and learn how to identify a specific end user, calculate the Total Addressable Market (TAM) of the beachhead market, learn about customer personas, and think about next steps.