TECHCOMM 3901 - TechChallenge

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

TechChallenge is focused on the operational factors that entrepreneurs must make to design and develop their products for operational excellence to satisfy their customers. These operational factors include technology platforms, product development process and designing for the whole system and supply chain from input resources to the customer product use and disposal. This is a hands-on, experiential course where a viable product is identified and developed ready for commercialisation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code TECHCOMM 3901
    Course TechChallenge
    Coordinating Unit Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation & Innov Centre
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 40 hours
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Course Description TechChallenge is focused on the operational factors that entrepreneurs must make to design and develop their products for operational excellence to satisfy their customers. These operational factors include technology platforms, product development process and designing for the whole system and supply chain from input resources to the customer product use and disposal. This is a hands-on, experiential course where a viable product is identified and developed ready for commercialisation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Noel Lindsay

    Name: Professor Noel Lindsay

    Short Bio:
    Noel graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and a PhD in Commerce. Prior to his current position, he held positions at The University of Queensland (Director, Centre for the Development of Entrepreneurs), Bond University (in Australia – Director, Australian Centre for Family Business; and in South Africa – Director, MBA Program), and the University of South Australia (Director, Centre for the Development of Entrepreneurs).

    He joined the University of Adelaide’s Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC) as its Director in July 2006 where he also is the Professor of Entrepreneurship and Commercialisation. In 2012, Noel was seconded from his position as Director of the ECIC to the position of Academic Director Singapore Operations where he is responsible for the academic operations of the Ngee Ann Adelaide Education Centre.

    Noel's research interests include both business and social entrepreneurship. He lectures in the areas of entrepreneurship, business planning, and venture finance.

    As an entrepreneur, Noel has successfully established, grown, and harvested a number of business ventures in Australia, Malaysia, and South Africa. In addition to his entrepreneurship experience, Noel also was a Director of a $22m Australian venture capital fund for a number of years that invested between $1 - 3 million in growth oriented entrepreneurial ventures.

    Noel has an accounting background in public practice including the corporate insolvency field (in the area of company liquidations and receiverships). He currently is an associate director in a firm of chartered accountants in Adelaide where he consults in the areas of family enterprise, entrepreneurial finance, and strategic planning. Noel is a Member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and a Fellow of CPA Australia (he holds public practicing certificates with both organisations), and he is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Noel also is a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) in Queensland, Australia. 

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 Work effectively in a multi-disciplinary team
    2 Develop and action a market research plan
    3 Design and develop to prototype to satisfy identified customer needs
    4 Clearly communicate ideas and concepts, orally and in writing, in a professionally relevant manner
    5 Identify and discuss risks and challenges based on critical reflection of the process.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 2
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2, 3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 3, 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1, 4
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 5
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 4
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 2, 3
  • Learning Resources
    Recommended Resources

    Library Resources
    The University of Adelaide’s Barr Smith Library provides a range of learning resources including texts, journals, periodicals, magazines, and access to online databases and information services. It also offers a virtual library which is accessible via the University’s website. The University Library web page is: 
    From this link, you are able to access the Library's electronic resources.
    Online Learning
    MyUni is the University of Adelaide's online learning environment. It is used to support traditional face-to-face lectures, tutorials and workshops at the University. MyUni provides access to various features including announcements, course materials, discussion boards and assessments for each online course of study (see:
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course is offered in blended learning mode with the face-to-face component offered as intensives.

    Materials will be provided via MyUni for independent study in preparation for the upcoming intensives as well as review. Work will be collaborative and participatory.

    As well as ECIC academics and lecturers who will present workshops in their field of expertise, external business and technical professionals in areas relevant to your needs will also be on hand to guide you in the development of your project.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    As a guide, a 3 unit course comprises a total of 156 hours work (this includes face-to-face contact, any online components and self-directed study).

    Due to the structure of this course and the collaborative nature of building the project, students should attend all classes in order to pass the course. There is considerable experiential learning during the intensive classes that build your knowledge and thus enable you to be successful in this course.

    Where modules include presentations that form assessment items, attendance is deemed mandatory.

    Additional mentoring sessions outside the scheduled intensives are at the discretion of the student.

    Learning Activities Summary

    This is a draft schedule and session dates are a guide only. The timetable may be changed during the course delivery if necessary.

    Hours Activities Assessment
    1 Evening
    Intro session
    • Introductions
    • Program overview
    • Any product ideas
    • Expectations
      • ECIC
      • Participants
    Overview of entrepreneurship/commercialisation process
    • Importance of creativity
    • Importance of teams
    • Leadership
      • Dynamics
      • Who do you need on your team? Skills required
    Assessment 5
    Blog your journey

    Validating your product idea/concept
    • Market research
      • Types of market research
      • How to conduct research

    Creative Ideation

    Assessment 5
    Blog your journey
    4-5 Evening Session Team presentation: validation of product idea – receive feedback from lecturers/ advisors/ mentors present to be most effective.

    Overview of design and development process
    Assessment 2
    1 min presentation in class

    Assessment 5

    Blog your journey
    6 Saturday
    Mapping process of your concept
    • Specialised professionals to assist in technical aspects
    Assessment 1
    Team Dynamics Report

    Market Research Report

    Assessment 5

    Blog your journey
    7-10 Evening
    Tue & Thu
    Specialised workshops on technical aspects delivered by Enabled and Microsoft Assessment 3
    Prototype video

    Assessment 5

    Blog your journey
    11 Saturday
    Develop your prototype
    • Hands on workshop with mentors
    • Technical support
    • Testing
    Assessment 5
    Blog your journey
    12-13 Evening
    Tue & Thu
    Specialised workshops on technical aspects delivered by Enabled and Microsoft Assessment 5
    Blog your journey
    14 Teams have set appointment
    times on a
    Work in process prototype presentations
    • 10 minutes presentation (5-10 slides)
    • 10 feedback from mentors, tech support
    Assessment 4

    Assessment 5
    Blog your journey
    15 Teams have set appointment
    times on a
    Final presentations to judging panel
    • 15 minute presentation
    • 10 minute Q&A from panel of judges
    Assessment 5
    Blog your journey
    'Where to next?’

    Assessment 6

    Readings will be supplied relevant to each session and well as input from professional and technical experts.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    An overview of the course assessment appears in the following Table. Details appear in the following section:

    #AssessmentLengthWeightingDue DateLearning Outcomes
    1 Team Dynamics Report 1500 words 10% See MyUni 1, 4
    2 Market Research Presentation and Report

    Presentation: 5 min

    Report: 1000 words
    10% See MyUni 2, 4
    3 Prototype Development Video Video: 5 min 15% See MyUni 3, 4
    4 Progress presentation Presentation: 10 min;
    feedback: 10 min
    10% See MyUni 4, 5
    5 Blog your journey Each blog to be between
    200-500 words with
    final special question
    500 words
    25% See MyUni 4, 5
    6 Final presentation Presentation: 15 min;
    Q&A: 10 min
    30% See MyUni 1-5
    Total 100%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students should attend all classes in order to pass the course. There is considerable experiential learning in workshops during the intensive classes that build your knowledge and thus enable you to be successful in this course.

    Course results are subject to moderation by the ECIC Board of Examiners
    Assessment Detail
    Assessment 1: Team Dynamics Report
    Weighting: 10%
    Submission Details: Online through MyUni


    Analyse the requirements of your chosen idea.
    Identify leadership and entrepreneurial factors that will contribute to a cohesive operational team.
    Identify the gaps your team has and how you will address them.
    Develop a memorandum of understanding for maximum effectiveness, which can include but not be limited to:
    • Allocation of responsibilities
      • Individual roles
      • Shared expectations for assessment
    • Decision processes
    • Conflict resolution
    • Equity shareholding
    Length and Presentation:
    1500 words

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:

    • Thorough and realistic analysis of team composition
    • Realistic and reasonable expectations of team members
    • Clear and concise language and presentation of information
    • Demonstrate critical thinking and insight

    Assessment 2:
    Market Research Presentation and Report
    Weighting: 10%
    Submission Details: In class, online through MyUni


    From materials supplied and your own research, select market research methodology approach applicable to your product.
    Source, evaluate, analyse and summarise primary and secondary research required
    Develop action plan
    Implement and report on the action plan.
    Students will give a verbal presentation in module 3 for feedback before finalising action plan.

    Length and Presentation:
    Report: 1000 words
    Presentation: 5 minutes (depending on time constraints)

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    • Identification of the potential customers and/or end users
    • Application of market research theory to your product
    • Ability to justify decisions
    • Clear and concise language and presentation of information
    • Effective use of presentation time

    Assessment 3:
    Prototype Development Video
    Weighting: 15%
    Submission Details: Online via blog


    Modules 8-12 are hands-on workshops where you, with assistance from mentors and technical advisors, will design and development your prototype.

    This assessment is for you to explain
    • The problem your product solves
    • The challenges faced in the design
    • The type of support you are looking for in mentors and technical advisors in the modules
    Length and Presentation:
    3-5 minute video

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    • Clear and concise language and presentation of information
    • Clear explanation of the problem being addressed, the solution and challenges.
    • Effective use of presentation time

    Assessment 4:
    Progress presentation
    Weighting: 10%
    Submission Details: In class


    This is your opportunity to get feedback to refine your final presentation.
    See criteria in assessment 6 to make sure you have covered all areas. In addition, in this presentation:
    • Describe clearly the design process and why
    • Identify where additional detail is required and how it will be addressed.
    • Identify and manage risk of product failure: what risks you face and how you have/will overcome these
    You will be expected to record the feedback provided
    You should reflect on this feedback in your blog

    Length and Presentation:
    10 minute presentation*
    10 minute feedback from mentors and tech support*

    * (depending on time constraints)

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    • Clear and concise language and presentation of information
    • Risk assessment analysis and strategies to overcome perceived risks
    • Analyse probability vs. impact of risks
    • Effective use of presentation time

    Assessment 5:
    Blog your journey
    Weighting: 25%
    Submission Details: Though your own website (Wordpress is acceptable). Discuss alternate options with Course Coordinator.


    Blog your journey during the course and what you learned
    Capture not only what was done but why, how, and with what consequences/results
    Blog entries must be critical reflection on the journey, not simply a description
    The questions you are considering at each stage in these reflections should be apparent in your entries

    In the last blog additionally reflect on: Where to next? and why?
    For example:
    • Start own business?
    • Licence? 
    • Sell off?
    Length and Presentation:
    Blog posts should average 200-500 words and be posted after each block.

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    • Clear and concise language and presentation of information
    • Nature and quality of reflections
    • Understanding of the product
    • Relevant knowledge to your product, market, risks and challenges
    • Identifying insights and expressing them
    • Lessons learnt and where to next

    Assessment 6:
    Final Presentation
    Weighting: 30%
    Submission Details: In class


    Based on the feedback from the previous presentation and further development of your concept, the final presentation of your product is to a panel of judges.

    Required presentation order and content:
    1. The problem you are addressing
    2. Your solution
    3. The market for the product: who is your customer?
    4. What is your product? (What it does, not specifics of how it works.)
    Length and Presentation:
    15 minutes presentation (depending on time constraints)
    It is at your discretion what tools and props are used, if at all.
    10 minutes Question and Answers

    Criteria by which your assignment will be marked:
    • Clear and concise language and presentation of information
    • Follow the order and address the required presentation content
    • Appropriateness of your presentation for your audience
    All text based assignments must be submitted via MyUni.
    Please refer to step by step instructions:

    There are a few points to note about the submission of assignments:
    • Assignment Submission:  Assignments should not be emailed to the instructor; they must be lodged via the MyUni Course site (unless specified to do both). Note that assignments may be processed via TURNITIN, which is an online plagiarism prevention tool.
    • Cover Sheet:  Please submit, separate to your assignment, the completed University of Adelaide Assessment Cover Sheet providing details of yourself and your team members (if applicable), your assignment, the course, date submitted, etc. as well as the declaration signed by you that this is your (your team’s) work.  Note that the declaration on any electronically submitted assignment will be deemed to have the same authority as a signed declaration.
    • Backup Copy of Assignments:  You are advised to keep a copy of your assignments in case the submitted copy goes missing.  Please ensure that all assignment pages are numbered. If your assignment contains confidential information, you should discuss any concerns with the Course Lecturer prior to submission.
    • Extensions of Time:  Any request for an extension of time for the submission of an assignment should be made well before the due date of the assignment to the Course Lecturer.  Normally, extensions will only be granted for a maximum of two weeks from the original assignment submission date.  Extensions will only be granted in cases of genuine extenuating circumstances and proof, such as a doctor’s certificate, may be required.
    • Failure to submit: Failure to submit an assignment on time or by the agreed extension deadline may result in penalties and may incur a fail grade.  Note that a late penalty of 5% of the total available marks for that assessment item will be incurred each day an assignment is handed in late (Unless otherwise stated in 'Assessment Related Requirements' or 'Assessment Detail' above) Assignments handed in after 14 days from the due submission date will fail even if a 100% mark is granted for the work.

    Resubmission & Remarking

    Resubmission of an assignment for remarking after reworking it to obtain a better mark will not normally be accepted.  Approval for resubmission will only be granted on medical or compassionate grounds.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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