David Meijer

Improve the preparation of Corporate Design Sprints using the “Corporate Startup Canvas”

The canvas describes an iterative process, in which it is not necessary to follow a specific order. The steps below describe our favourite method to use the canvas, and should be used as an indication how it could be used.

1. Define the corporate challenge and current business

The first step is to define the corporate challenge. What do we want to achieve, what is the issue for the corporate? Clients are usually quite good at this step :) We then fill in all the associated pieces of the Canvas. These are later used to redefine the challenge, so it doesn’t have to be perfect now!

  • Most important Customer Segments

What are currently the most important customer segments of the client? Within this step, also define why they are most important by defining a metric (profit, number, conversion ratio, etc.).

  • Products and Services

What are we currently selling to those customer segments?

  • Market Changes

Why are you facing your current Corporate Challenge? How might you be disrupted? Are wishes of the customer segment changing? Are new entrants disrupting your business model? Are there new technologies that could be leveraged?

  • Tried Solutions

What did the corporate already do to solve the Challenge?

  • Redefine Corporate Challenge

Insights provided in the previous four steps enable you to more clearly define the challenge of the corporate client. While you usually start with a vague challenge like: “We need to increase our profits”, while delineating the current business you to become more concrete.

2. Startup Opportunity

The Startup Opportunity can now be described.. It doesn’t have to be perfect, especially if the client has less experience with customer centricity. As with the Corporate Challenge, the next steps enable you to iterate on the opportunity.

  • Target Customer Segment

What is the customer segment we want to focus on. Startups (and Design Sprints) thrive with extreme focus. Be bold and try to clearly define the Customer Segment. Usually, we struggle here. Real customer insights are hard to find in some corporates!

  • Customer Problems

The most important, and most difficult step. Really start thinking about the customer. What problems is he facing, how would his life be improved significantly? Dig deep, brainstorm and see what problems we might solve for this specific customer. Solving a Corporate Challenge without solving a Customer Pain is just fantasy.

  • Customer Triggers

When does the customers face these issues? This answer really helps hammering down the Map on Monday more quickly, and provides opportunities throughout the week to create hooks for creative solutions.

  • Competing Solutions

A first step into Tuesday’s lightning demos. Thereby, getting a feel for the clients’ expectations and wishes by exploring “solutions that they think are great”.

  • Redefine the Startup Opportunity

Together, these four points help you to redefine the Startup Opportunity. This opportunity helps you with the Long Term Goal and throughout the week to create a more customer centric approach!


Team is one of the most overlooked and forgotten aspects of the Design Sprint (especially when running it with corporates). Unfortunately we hear: “People are not available, so we’ll just throw in some people that are…” too often. This canvas helps you to combat this issue as well. We’ve always kept the triangle of expertises in mind developing this canvas [Feasibility, Viability, Usability]. Since all three are captured in this canvas, it helps clients to better define who should really be there during the Design Sprint. You might need to add a customer expert if you already struggle to define customer problems now!


In short, the canvas helps with going from a Corporate Challenge, to a startup challenge and helps to define the team that should attack this opportunity!
It has helped at oneUp to clearly define the challenge upfront and communicate it to the facilitating team and the client’s team. Furthermore, it decreased the time of all parties involved. We usually take about 1 hour with the decider to fill this in, and one more hour shortly before the sprint to go through it with the whole Design Sprint Team (client + facilitators).

We hope you have the same experience using this Canvas! How have you tackled the challenge of on boarding and preparing a Design Sprint? Let us know what you think, how it helped you and share even more best practices!