Stephanie is a strategist and innovator who spent 16 years at Target Corporation developing "what's next" in omnichannel Target. Her focus was on driving new businesses and strategies that leverage innovative technology. Stephanie led and managed teams charged with evaluating acquisitions, joint ventures, partnership opportunities and developing relationships with key digital partners, VCs and early-stage startups. She initiated and executed numerous high-profile test and learn strategies focused on emerging business models such as flexible fulfillment, loyalty and alternative payments. Examples include the execution of REDCard Free Ship and Curbside. Most recently, Stephanie created and managed the first ever Digital Board for Target. These board members included high-profile serial entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, primarily in Silicon Valley.
Stephanie held numerous positions during her 16-year tenure at Target, including corporate strategy, merchandising strategy and financial planning and analysis. Many of her positions included starting new teams and functions as an intrapreneur. She also taught as an adjunct lecturer at Kellogg during the 2014-15 school year. Additionally, Stephanie taught Intro to Strategy as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota, Carlson. Prior to Target and teaching, Stephanie developed problem-solving skill sets from her management consulting and banking experiences.
Stephanie has served two terms on the board of American Refugee Committee (ARC), a $40 million international nonprofit organization that provides humanitarian assistance to millions of refugees. She has also served on the board of ACES, an after-school programming organization.
Stephanie has an undergraduate degree in economics and French from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a graduate degree from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management.
New Venture Discovery is designed to help students navigate the earliest stages of starting a new venture beginning with the identification of a problem in the market that is worth solving. The class teaches students tools and techniques to translate these problems into viable business concepts, with an emphasis on enabling an aspiring entrepreneur to get as far as possible, with as little as possible, as FAST as possible.
Student teams begin the quarter with nothing more than a series of hypotheses about a new venture, then design and execute a series of in-market experiments that either validate these assumptions, or force them to iterate aspects of their business model in real time. The objective of the course to guide students toward the achievement of "product-market fit" as a crucial first step in in the creation of a startup. From here, students can evolve their businesses by enrolling in the "Develop" and "Launch" courses that serve as the continuation of the new ventures curriculum.
New Venture Discovery course material ranges from customer discovery and design thinking, to rapid prototyping (of both offers and business models), bootstrapping methods and communicating/selling the vision for a new venture. The course format is a blend of lecture, fieldwork, cross-team collaboration and ideation sessions, outside speakers and expert mentoring.
**This course may not be dropped after the second week of the quarter**