Inventors build innovative products, but entrepreneurs build innovative business models.

In your startup the business model is the engine that will take your product to market and make money on it. The business model basically answers four questions:

  • What are we offering?
  • How do we sell it?
  • How do we provide it?
  • How do we make money?

Of course it is a bit more complicated than that, but in order to make the process of business model innovation easy, simple and creative, we have developed the Business Model Architect tool.

What is Business Model Architect

Business Model Architect is a simple tool that enables your students to work with development of business models with a minimum of – or even without – previous knowledge about business models.

Concept environment:

  • A set of 147 cards in 13 categories. Each card represents an option in the business model.
  • A canvas board that organizes the selected cards in a business model.
  • My Business Model – an online tool to build and capture your business model.

Before you start…

Before you start building a business model with the Business Model Architect concept you only have to:

  • Define your core product or service.
  • Define who your target customers should be.

How to build your business model?

Building a business model with Business Model Architect works like this:

  • Place the BUILDING SITE on a table get the team seated around the board.
  • Place the cards around the board according to categories and colours.
  • Choose one or more cards in each category (and subcategories) for your business model.

When you choose cards in a category:

  • Take the cards in the category (or subcategory) and let a team member read out the cards one by one and pick cards that you want in your business model


  • Spread out the cards in a category in the center of the BUILDING SITE and discuss which cards should be in your business model.

A good guideline is that you should have 3 hours to work on the business model.
This includes some time for instructions in the beginning and some time for conclusion at the end.

How to think out of box?

When the business model is finished and cards are selected for all categories, it is easy to give a think-out-of-the-box-challenge:

  1. Give the cards that are not used in the business model to another group.
  2. Let the other group pick three (preferably random) cards from different categories.
  3. Ask the group who made the business model to discuss what their business model would look like if they had to implement the three random cards.

This little exercise will sometimes just be fun, other times it will lead to brilliant and original/innovative ideas.