Custom acceleration programs designed to educate and accelerate real projects.

We are a hybrid — half educational program, half Design Sprint incubator. The Hivelab experience is for leaders looking to create efficient and relevant business models that fit the Service Age. We have a comprehensive Service Innovation curriculum. The core-program is divided into five Service Innovation Domains carefully crafted for you to pick from when building your internal acceleration program. Our program delivers Silicon Valley grade content and acceleration experience to business leaders, and it is a journey of empowerment through the lenses of service.

Custom acceleration programs designed to educate and accelerate real projects.

We are a hybrid — half educational program, half Design Sprint incubator. The Hivelab experience is for leaders looking to create efficient and relevant business models that fit the Service Age. We have a comprehensive Service Innovation curriculum. The core-program is divided into five Service Innovation Domains carefully crafted for you to pick from when building your internal acceleration program. Our program delivers Silicon Valley grade content and acceleration experience to business leaders, and it is a journey of empowerment through the lenses of service.

Things you are going to L.earn at a custom designed HiveLab acceleration cycle:

Our Acceleration Cycles are based on five Service Innovation Domains. Our Service Innovation Domains were created based on our extensive global research on service innovation in combination with our vast experience accelerating service innovation.  It covers things that are of utmost importance to entrepreneurs and business leaders today. Below you can see the description of the five domains and how they can be arranged to create a 10-week acceleration program. Time and conditions may vary from business to business, consider the scenario below a standard example that will be customized.

 Service Thinking as a path to disruption

We live in a service economy. Contrary to what many think, services and products are completely different animals. The last 100 years of business administration and marketing have been focused on the production and distribution of goods. A transactional mindset that spanned a century and brought us to the place we are today. This product-driven “make and sell” mentality informed the design of most of the service systems we as human beings interact with every day. No wonder our services are broken, beat, and scarred. From mobility to education and healthcare, the services that you depend upon to live your daily life were designed based upon a productized mentality, yet they still exist today in a widely distributed and ever-changing digital economy. The new range of products that will disrupt the status quo are not based on a “make and sell” mindset, but instead on a mindset that harnesses the power of relationships.

From product to service: The human journey

Here we dive deep into our historic economic cycles and the reasons we were led to believe products are the centerpiece of economic value exchange. But not so fast, our roots as a service society date back to our beginnings as a species and may actually be telling us a different story.

service: A better and more sustainable logic

We tend to think of services as commercial practices: just like products, only intangible. According to The Economist’s Business Glossary, services are: “Products of economic activity that you can’t drop on your foot, ranging from hairdressing to websites.” Still, great leaders like the Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus Christ, and the famous Japanese samurai Miyamoto Musashi all seem to disagree with this shallow transactional definition. Those leaders often spoke about service as the path to self-realization, happiness, and purpose in life. There is definitely more to the human act of serving one another. Makers need to understand service as a logic, one that is more sustainable and efficient. 

the dynamics of a SERVICE economy

In order to innovate, one must understand the new dynamics underlying the current service economy. Access is surpassing ownership as a lifestyle. Social platforms have brought new exchange dynamics to the market. This marks the rise of the sharing economy. Relevant service offers must be designed with these, and others, powerful dynamics in mind.

Frame the challenge: Choose your service disruption

The industrial reductionist way of thinking about business—the logic of the conveyor belt—is outdated. In the current Service Age, value is created in a distributed way and shared by all actors in a service exchange. We were taught to think of businesses in small parts, but guess what? That isn’t going to work anymore. If it ever had worked at all. Value generation today is simply too widely distributed for the old approach. Today, opportunities rise from every corner of the business ecosystem.
In this lab we will help you frame the challenge. What sector, behaviours or interactions you will aim to disrupt? This is the first, very important, step towards building your project. And it's also lot's of fun. 

Craftsmanship in service comes from Design Thinking

Human-Centered design, or design thinking, is not a technique, nor a methodology. Design thinking is an attitude, a way of seeing the world and solving its problems. Contrary to the industrial scientific and reductionist mindset we have inherited from the old industrial days, design is a transdisciplinary problem-solving practice. The word “design” in German (its mother tongue) is spelled Gestaltung. Gestalt is a philosophy which says that in a complex system, the whole is never equal to the sum of its individual parts. To Gestalt, the interactions between the parts form another layer of complexity that cannot be left out of the analysis. To the user of a service, the journey is bigger than the sum of all its processes. To design a service is to design moments in people’s lives. When we look back at the Industrial Revolution, we can track the origins of the production processes that evolved to become Lean practices and ultimately served as inspiration for the Lean Startup methodology, a rapid development approach widely adopted by startups today. But what many do not know is that design was born during that very same age, out of the same influences, struggles, and technological advances brought about by the mechanization of humankind. As siblings sharing the same mother, they of course have their differences. One is scientific, extremely rational, while the other is humanistic, empathetic, and has a soft spot for emotions. Both attitudes are necessary, so in the end, it is not really a matter of choice between the two approaches. There should be no science without empathy, and innovations are only good if they leave the blueprint behind.

Design Thinking fundamentals

The first instance of Design as a way to spark humanism and creativity within the industrial sectors dates back to the Bauhaus era. The transdisciplinary school founded in Germany in 1919 by Walter Gropius preached that the new efficiency-driven scientific production methods were not enough to prepare industries to create things that people would desire, love, and cherish. In order to deeply understand Design Thinking’s origins and potential, we need to look back at those days, and also to humanity as a whole along with its Da Vinci’s—living proof that transdisciplinarity and human-centrism have always been better approaches to solve people’s problems and evolve as a species.

Service Design fundamentals and integration with the lean startup

Service design is a transdisciplinary practice. It is design in full swing, at the service of the current economy. It is not a design specialization as the idea of “service” is too abstract to be defined as a distinct specialization. Applying design to services should not be a specialized practice nor an academic discipline, but rather recognized as an ability, skill, and attitude that can be learned and applied by people with different professions, roles, and expertise. Lean Startup is a lean practice that also integrates Agile principles and aim to empower lower resource project teams with a clear direction towards innovation. 

business acceleration through service design: the MVS model

The MVS model is an Agile blend of Lean Startup and Service Design created by our founder Tenny Pinheiro in his book The Service Startup: Design Thinking gets Lean. The Lean Startup is a science-based methodology created by Eric Ries and inspired by a mixture of the scientific approach to production found in Lean Manufacturing and the principles of rapid development found in the Agile approach. The result is a product development approach that keeps the startup’s focus on developing small incremental prototypes, instead of spending energy and incurring the risks of deploying big chunk solutions to the market. The MVS is a fast paced service design approach within the existing Lean Startup loop. It is an easy-to-use and well-structured framework that allows small teams to accelerate businesses in cycles as short as four days.

Service Design Sprint

The Lean Startup idea of taking care of viability first and then running tests to determine whether or not the proposal has value to the user, is wasteful. It is smarter to reverse this approach and anticipate what is valuable to people beforehand, and then go from there to refine the findings into viable models. Let’s face it, if you are really concerned about waste, then the first thing that you should be thinking of, in this economy, is how to create things that are valuable. Because if it is born with no value, then it is waste-by-design. The MVS model has tools and practices to help a project team ingrain service design into its practices from day one without increasing the burn rate or workload—if applied correctly to any project, it will actually decrease both metrics. The GV model, by Google Ventures, is another efficient approach to do the same. Project teams will learn to master both.

Design stories. Tell stories. Good ones.

“We owe it to each other to tell stories.” ― Neil Gaiman 

It’s in our nature. Humans are natural storytellers. Stories are the only reason we’ve survived as species, they are the way we learn and the way teach. And most importantly, stories are the only interfaces you have to sell ideas. One of the most difficult things in the world is to convince someone that does not need something, that this something is worthwhile. Many innovations fall apart before even hitting the ground because of this simple factor. Perhaps the people you will be telling the story to are investors, high ranking stakeholders, or even coworkers and friends that have a different vision than you do (or no vision at all). The difference between a good idea and a great innovation lies in the stories we tell to engage the audience. They are the ones you will need on your side in order to make dreams reality.

Storytelling fundamentals

An atelier that will teach you how to craft and tell great stories. The class is followed by case studies and a practice session that aims to teach participants how to break down the story and bring it to life.


A game is more than a toy. It’s a system. And the way the system is designed is to maximize audience engagement. Sound like something you would like your projects to be able to do? Yep. So that is why we are dedicating one session to Gamification—the art and strategy of designing for high engagement levels.

Emotional design

“When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty but when I have finished,
if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.” - Buckminster Fuller.

Form is function, function is service. Therefore… When was the last time that for the same price and equivalent quality you chose the ugliest of two products? Yep, we thought so. The reason for this is that our brains are hardwired to appreciate and feel attracted to beautiful things. It is definitely true that design is not the same as beautification, nevertheless the power of aesthetics can make or break a product. People will sometimes pay more and settle to use the worst of the two, in order to take a beautiful thing home. No, we are not settling for crappiness. We are just learning how to play with beauty, this huge mental engine.


We need to make sure teams are ready for the demoday pitch. This is where they will present their projects to internal stakeholders to pursue sponsorship and approval.

Exponential business modeling

Uber, Airbnb, Instacart, you know the story, right? Exponential organizations are disrupting industries and burning our old cramped industrial business models to the ground. Airbnb took over the hotel industry without having one brick and mortar hotel. Uber is the biggest transportation company in the world, but it owns no cars. Instacart, an expanding San Francisco startup links you to real people willing to do your grocery shopping for you. And they keep adding people. Even though these companies are in different industries, they have something in common: They are set up for exponential growth. A simple login is enough for Airbnb to enter a country or a city. The Four Seasons would tell you a different story. In order for such hotel chains to move to a new city or country, they need heavy investments and a lot of concrete. But with this new model comes new business strategies, tactics, risks and rewards.


Exponential organizations are a new breed of corporation. In contrast to the classic intermediary, these organizations work with a small amount of people sharing a common inspirational purpose that manage a growing community of trusting members. The design of such business structures is different. In order for such organizations to thrive, they need to setup routines to protect the exchange so that people can develop trust in one another. Rewards, roles, responsibilities, policies, and numerous engagement strategies are a must for such organizations to grow.

Metrics, engines and traps for exponential businesses.

Exponential organizations have different success metrics than traditional ones. They are driven by community engagement and mutual trust, and not traditional carrot and stick techniques.

Exponential and disruptive technologies

From 3D printing to bitcoins, from nanotech to virtual reality, some of these technologies are pointing to exponential growth in performance and adoption while others are rewriting market practices and human habits. You may think these technologies have nothing to do with your business…perhaps the same way car washes never saw the impact that always-on weather forecasts would have to their cash flow coming. Now, if with a quick glance you can find out whether it’s going to rain this week, then what is the point of going to your usual car wash? Exponential technologies are changing the whole landscape, and your business will be impacted by them one way or another.

Let's Get exponential! 

In this lab you will practice how to apply the concepts of this service domain into your project. You will have the opportunity to reevaluate your business strategy and find opportunities to tap into the power of communities, peer to peer engagement and other dynamics you've learnt. 

Made for+by+with Humans

Humans are unpredictable, erratic, and emotional. Yet, you are building for them. So in order to successfully bring anything to life, it is of the utmost importance that you learn how to identify and understand human behaviors that can leverage or kill your idea. The challenge is that people are changing their behaviors faster than ever. New technologies and social platforms are giving people an expanded sense of participation and contribution. People are no longer simply targets for company promotions—they want to feel that they are an integral part of the service those companies are offering. It’s about them. Us. The most complicated species to ever live on this planet. In order to innovate in this economy it is not enough to understand and decode people, we need to go beyond that point and actually learn how to have users participate in the design process, making them an integral part of the quest we are pursuing.

Hacking the Human Mind

This is about the key tools that will open you to the art of persuasion. And before you think we are talking about something magic or evil, keep in mind that if you are breathing, you are for sure in the business of persuading. A fireman must persuade a person not to take the jump, a father has to influence his son to study, and a football coach must motivate his players in order to ensure that his team performs. Your dog does it all day, mostly for food. We will share 10 key cognitive science tools with you that will make you a better leader and a better designer. You will learn to recognize behavioral patterns, mental models, techniques for spotting micro-expressions, as well as the art and persuasive power of hypnosis.

Service oriented DESIGN-research

Ethnography is a powerful human research technique used by designers and anthropologists in order to gather and assess human behaviors where the behavior actually takes place. Contrary to focus groups, which try to query consumers in confined rooms, a designer will blend into the environment where the behavior actually happens and extract his impressions from his actual observations and from deep conversations with target users. In service, ethnographic studies gain a new layer of complexity. Contrary to objects, services are moving ecosystems. Journeys. Moments in people’s lives. There is no static way to map user behaviors in service. So, new practices and techniques are necessary in order to design and execute fruitful studies.

form is service, BEYOND UX.

Here we will discuss user experience research and development techniques. You will learn the do’s and don'ts of creating successful mobile and web interfaces and will understand how to make smart decisions regarding features and interactions to make sure your users are able to enjoy, learn, use, and remember your service touchpoints.

crafting the lean consumer-Journey

Enough talk, let’s get to the action. In this lab, you will learn how to put all this human-centric knowledge into action. Here, you will build a seamless and consistent user journey by applying everything you’ve learned during the previous sessions. This session is hands-on, you must wear comfortable clothes and shoes.

The anatomy of an acceleration cycle: 

Bellow you can see and example of an Acceleration Cycle spanning 10 weeks. All the local Hivelabs have flexibility to adjust the program according to it's region demands and specifics. This is a standard example.


How long is the program?
Usually 10-weeks long but this varies by region. Ask your local Hivelab about the format they will be running for the acceleration cycle you are planning to attend to. 

When do classes take place?
Contact your local HiveLab to get the program agenda and details.

How much does it cost?
Tuition is set independently by each Hivelab and it varies by country and region. Access your local HiveLab to get details about tuition and financing options. 

Do I have to pitch my project at the DemoDay even if I'm enroled just for learning purposes and will not be pursuing the project further after the end of the program?
Yes. The DemoDay experience is designed to give you the complete entrepreneurship-through-service design sprinting experience. This will transform you in a better and more prepared innovative leader. We believe that being able to make, pitch and defend your Ideas is a pre-req to bringing innovations to life.

Can I enroll with a pre-conceived project idea?
Yes. But only enrolled students are able to attend classes and have access to mentorship sessions. So if you are thinking

about bringing-in your startup, consider bringing other members with you. Check with your local HiveLab for special offers for groups and bootstrapping startups.

Do I get a certificate?
You will be certified by HiveLab as Service Designer-entrepreneur

Can I visit a Hivelab? 
You must contact your local Hivelab for hours and visiting rules. 

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