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General Card #2989
Opportunity Recognition Resources
Updated: 1/16/2023 10:18 AM by Becky Benishek
Use this collection of activities sourced from faculty to help students identify opportunities for impactful, empathetic solutions.

30 Second Overview

One-Sentence Description: This collection of cards contains activities related to real-life experiences or familiar topics that can help students identify opportunities for impactful, innovative solutions, develop a sense of empathy for the customer, evaluate societal benefits and economic viability, and more.  

Course Name: Varied

Topic: Opportunity recognition, customer discovery, design

Type: Activities, projects, classes

Time: Varied

Materials: Varied


Developing opportunity recognition is a powerful skill! 

By adding opportunity recognition to design, students are able to refine concepts, think more broadly about the world around them, and better understand their customers' needs. 

As part of teaching the entrepreneurial mindset, encourage your students to not only identify opportunities that influence design, but investigate markets, create business models, and learn skills to assess policy and regulatory issues. 

The cards listed below offer different approaches to couple opportunity skills with your design activities. 


Request for Readers: Have a card that should be featured here? Comment below with a link!

Learning Objectives

Here are some of the things you will find in the cards below:

Identifying Project to Product Opportunities- Assessing Value and Testing Protocols includes resources for student teams to create and test value propositions.
"Why are we making this?" Customer Discovery in a Capstone Course helps students build customer archetypes to identify opportunities. 
The Journey to the Top: Board Game to Instill Entrepreneurial Mindset includes everything needed to build a game board that allows students to go through the 4 stages of an entrepreneur’s journey — “brainstorming stage,” “prototype stage,” “market stage,” and “sales stage.” This work was also published in the Experiential Entrepreneurship Exercises Journal Vol. 2 Issue 3. 
Electric Circuits spark an Entrepreneurial Mindset employs the NABC framework to guide students through value propositions. 
Building Solutions for Real Customers has students identify opportunities to solve problems for real customers at a local non-profit. An emphasis is placed on creating solutions based on customers’ needs.
Identifying Viable Product Opportunities via Customer Discovery employs a variant of the customer discovery process developed by Steve Blank for training engineering students work on the right opportunity prior to designing. Plus this card features one of the more unique images you will find on the site... 
Opportunity Identification with Customer Interviews connects students to elderly individuals though one-on-one interviews. Students develop questions and use the interviews to identify opportunities for this population.
Generating New Ideas Based on Societal Needs and Business Opportunities (e-Learning Module) introduces students to a number of methods that can lead to new business ventures, including recognizing societal trends and market gaps and discovering different ways to solve.
Finding Opportunities for Creating Value (Class Assignment) has students form expert groups and learn more about the different participants in the farm economy and then identify an opportunity for innovation around a challenge statement.
The Relationship Between Engineering and Design - Opportunity Identification equips students to conduct field research with an open mind, identify potential and a more targeted user for the product, become aware of the multitude of "pivot" opportunities to develop new products, and begin to develop a sense of empathy for the targeted user.


[Workshop] The Problem with Strawberries: Practicing Opportunity Recognition features a video explaining how to implement an exercise to teach students about opportunity recognition focused on challenging convention, future proofing, and cost-benefit analysis.

Instructor Tips
  • Explore the Framework, a downloadable guide to entrepreneurially minded learning, for a starter-set of mindset and skillset learning outcomes, including Opportunity Recognition.
  • Identify Opportunity
  • Evaluate Tech Feasibility, Customer Value, Societal Benefits & Economic Viability
  • Investigate Market
  • Test Concepts via Customer Engagement
  • Create Preliminary Business Model
  • Assess Policy & Regulatory Issues
Categories & Tags
  • Classroom & Courses
  • Engineering Unleashed Resources
  • opportunity recognition
  • impactful solutions
  • empathy
  • customer discovery
  • Comprehensive