Communications of the Association for Information Systems

Author ORCID Identifier

Ricarda Schlimbach: 0000-0003-2801-8563

Tim C. Lange: 0009-0007-0417-0321

Felix Wagner: 0009-0004-2543-5809

Susanne Robra-Bissantz: 0000-0001-9972-3935

Thorsten Schoormann: 0000-0002-3831-1395


Nowadays, it is crucial to teach business model ideation skills in education beyond disciplinary boundaries to shape students’ abilities to innovate processes, products, and entire businesses. Emerging (software-based) tooling for new ideas and innovations, however, often neglects the unique characteristics faced for educational purposes. Against this backdrop, we designed a novel artifact for teaching business model ideation in digital learning environments. By drawing on knowledge from pattern-based innovation, creativity, and conversational Artificial Intelligence, we built a personal ideation companion entitled PICO. Our companion navigates students through five common ideation phases, encouraging them to innovate business models in a divergent-convergent thinking style. The web-based tool covers diverse features on an educational, social, and motivational layer to teach business model basics and to promote creativity and versatile thinking along the ideation process. Based on our design science research project, we report on situational instantiation and provide abstract guidelines for its design and implementation in (entrepreneurship) education. The artifact has been evaluated in several formal and informal learning scenarios including altogether over 70 students from Information Systems and Entrepreneurship programs as well as 10 employees from company-driven training programs on innovation.





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