Lesson 3: Group Ideation

The focus of this lesson is “ideation” as part of the innovation process. Groups will begin identifying meaningful problems to solve that will become the source of their business opportunities.

Required Outcomes

  • Teams will complete worksheets that capture potential ideas.
  • Teams will prioritize and rank their ideas based on specific criteria.
  • Students will generate ideas individually and as a team. Teams will have 3-5 ideas with BMC’s.
  • Teams will create business model canvas for each idea based on assumptions they create.


Ideation Worksheet

Add the Ideation Worksheet document to your team’s shared folder in Google Drive. Using your personal Bug Me/Forces at Play worksheets, generate a team list of problems to address on a whiteboard and then transfer them to the Google oc.

  1. Share examples of “bug me” items and start generating a master list
  2. Share examples from “forces at play”

Identify top 5-10 Problems/Needs/Wants

From your list, the class list, and the lists of the other teams, generate a list of the top 5-10 problems, needs, or wants that you think you’d like to address with your business.

Even if two teams chose the same topic, there are many different possible solutions – each its own potential business idea.

Impact and Desired Outcomes

After identifying 25 or so problems, move on to the next two columns of the Ideation Worksheet. Identify who this problem most affects and what the outcome would be if this problem were resolved (this is different than the solution).

Simple Ranking Method

Now you will choose your top 5-10 problems – the ones that offer the best market potential and that you are most passionate about. Use the table below to help you decide if you are stuck.

0 = Low, 1 = Med, 2 = High

Lists # potential people Impact if solved Passion Total
Childhood obesity (problem) 1 2 2 5
Hand crafted organic food in schools (Want) 0 1 2 3
Scoring my golf game in less time with less paper waste (problem) 1 1 2 4

Brainstorming Process

As a team, approach each of your top problems one at a time, and brainstorm solutions to the problem. Remember these rules as you work:

  • Think expansively
  • No judging
  • Be humorous, have fun
  • Hitchhiking and building on other members’ ideas is encouraged
  • Every person must contribute

Sketch your ideas on the whiteboard and then add them to your teams master list via Google Docs

Example Problems to Consider

Below are example problems for you to consider:

  • Teens suffer from embarrassing acne
  • There’s nothing to do on the weekend
  • Going to the movies is too expensive
  • Video games are expensive and then useless once you’ve beaten the game
  • Dating causes stress
  • It’s hard to meet new people/make new friends in high school
  • If you’re under 18, you can’t get a tattoo (and if you could, you might regret it when you’re older)
  • Fundraising is awful (no one wants to sell door to door)
  • It’s hard to find something to wear
  • It’s difficult to get into shape
  • Fast food is mostly unhealthy
  • It’s difficult to stay organized and keep track of homework and assignments
  • It’s difficult to travel around town (especially when you don’t have a car)
  • Biking in the rain is unpleasant
  • Enjoying the great outdoors requires too much planning and equipment
  • It’s difficult to learn a new skill

Business Model Canvas

Generate your team’s first version of your Business Model Canvas and save it to your shared folder.


Read the following article to examine how entrepreneurs solve problems in order to solve businesses:

Presentation of Nick Cromydas