Real-time Venture Engineering

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The Real-time Venture Engineering Lab (ReVeL) at CDR conducts research aimed at creating and developing technology-based innovation ecosystems using the theories and methodologies of engineering design. Technological innovation has been identified as a key influencer of economic growth. However, many regions around the world experiencing economic stagnation and having a desire to increase their rate of innovation, are finding it difficult to do so. Why is that the case? What are the barriers to increasing the rate of technological innovation? How can communities around the world overcome their barriers and increase their rate of innovation?

In order to investigate these questions, the Real-time Venture Engineering Lab uses an engineering and design approach to build and study innovation ecosystems in various geographic communities. Based on the previous research conducted at the Center for Design Research and the product-based learning model, we help setup active testbeds for the design and development of innovation ecosystems. These testbeds enable researchers at CDR to intervene, analyze and document the feedback response of individuals, teams and institutions that engage in the invention and commercialization of technical products. ReVeL researchers build models and theories of interaction patterns within innovation ecosystem, design and test new instruments, tools, curricula, and roles to effect human and material changes within these ecosystems in a dynamic manner.

Currently, ReVeL conducts research through two field sites - one in Abeokuta, Nigeria, and the other in Ahmedabad, India.

Field Sites:

Institute for Venture Design, Abeokuta, Nigeria

The Institute for Venture Design (IVD) has been established at Abeokuta in Nigeria in collaboration with Fate Foundation. IVD's goal is to set-up a series of activities within a purposefully designed space to develop people with a sustained mindset of collaboratively exploring new ideas, and realizing those ideas in terms of commercial success and positive social impact. IVD aims to simultaneously effect three changes
1. Transforming individual mindsets
2. Creating sustainable business venture teams
3. Creating an extended community of investors, entrepreneurs and engineers to nurture, buy and sell innovative businesses

VentureStudio, Ahmedabad, India
VentureStudio has been established at Ahmedabad in India in collaboration with Ahmedabad University. VentureStudio offers a product and business creation oppurtunity through a full-time fellowship program for entrepreneurs, engineers, innovators and designers to learn and practice designing their own companies. Focus is on creating scalable, innovative ventures within a six-month period.



Larry Leifer, Faculty and Principal Investigator -

Ade Mabogunje, Senior Researcher -

Neeraj Sonalkar, Research Associate - sonalkar@stanford.ed

David Cannon, PhD Candidate -


Sonalkar, N., Mabogunje, A., & Leifer, L. (2013). Developing a visual representation to characterize moment-to-moment concept generation in design teams. International Journal of Design Creativity and Innovation, 1(2), 93-108.

Sonalkar, N., Malte, J., Mabogunje, A. and Leifer, L. (2013) A Structure for Design Theories. Paper presented at the International Workshop on Models and Theories of Design, Bangalore, India.

Sonalkar, N. (2012). A Visual Representation to Characterize Moment-to-moment Concept Generation Through Interpersonal Interactions in Engineering Design Teams. PhD Dissertation, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Sonalkar, N., Mabogunje, A., Parmar, V., Cannon, D. & Leifer, L. (2012) A Testbed for Studying Venture Design Teams in Emerging Markets. Proceeding of the 12th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Jung, M. F. (2011). Engineering Team Performance and Emotion: Affective Interaction Dynamics as Indicators of Design Team Performance. PhD Dissertation, Stanford University, Stanford, CA.

Jung, M, Sonalkar, N., Mabogunje, A., Banerjee, B., Lande, M., Han, C., Leifer, L. (2010) Embedded Theory: A blueprint for designing theories that bridge design research and practice. Paper submitted to the Eighth Design Thinking Research Symposium (DTRS8). Sydney

Lande, M., Sonalkar, N., Jung, M. and Han, C. (2010) Mapping Design Thinking: Studying Professional Software Design with Design Thinking Culture Metrics. Paper presented at Studying Professional Software Design Symposium. University of California at Irvine, February 2010.

Sonalkar, N., Jung, M., & Mabogunje, A. (2010). Emotion in Engineering Design Teams. In S. Fukuda (Ed.), Emotional Engineering (pp. 311): Springer.

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