The Opportunity Analysis Canvas

The Opportunity Analysis Canvas distills vast amounts of research in psychology, sociology, and business into a practical how-to guide for aspiring and active entrepreneurs. Dr. James V. Green presents a whole new understanding of entrepreneurial mindset and action. At its core, The Opportunity Analysis Canvas contains a powerful argument that anyone can be a successful entrepreneur by thoughtfully examining themselves and the business opportunity. By harnessing these insights, we can transform our ideas into businesses that are lasting successes.

The Opportunity Analysis Canvas is structured as a nine-step experience segmented into thinking entrepreneurially with an entrepreneurial mindset, entrepreneurial motivation, and entrepreneurial behaviorseeing entrepreneurially with industry condition, industry status, macroeconomic change, and competition; and acting entrepreneurially with value innovation and opportunity identification. This is the basis of Dr. James V. Green's research and teaching at the University of Maryland since 2004.

"The Opportunity Analysis Canvas: Third Edition"


  1. Introduction
  2. What are entrepreneurial opportunities?
  3. What is strategic decision making?
  4. Part I - Thinking Entrepreneurially
  5. Entrepreneurial Mindset
  6. Entrepreneurial Motivation
  7. Entrepreneurial Behavior
  8. Part II – Seeing Entrepreneurially
  9. Industry Condition
  10. Industry Status
  11. Macroeconomic Change
  12. Competition
  13. Part III – Acting Entrepreneurially
  14. Value Innovation
  15. Opportunity Identification
  16. Next Steps

"The Opportunity Analysis Canvas : Third Edition" is now available in paperback or as an eBook.

The Opportunity Analysis Canvas was created by Dr. James V. Green, Director of Entrepreneurship Education for Mtech at the University of Maryland. It is based on his experiences of teaching more than 800,000 students and advising over 100 companies, to include multiple Inc. 500 award winners. Conceived during his doctoral dissertation titled "Educating entrepreneurship students about opportunity discovery: A psycho-social development model for enhanced decision-making", the Opportunity Analysis Canvas is the cornerstone of Dr. Green's teaching and research at the University of Maryland.

The Opportunity Analysis Canvas establishes the framework for the highly popular "Developing Innovative Ideas" course by Dr. James V. Green, offered in partnership with Coursera.


This course assists aspiring entrepreneurs in developing great ideas into great companies. With strong economies presenting rich opportunities for new venture creation, and challenging economic times presenting the necessity for many to make their own job, the need to develop the skills to develop and act on innovative business opportunities is ever present.

Using proven content, methods, and models for new venture opportunity assessment and analysis, students will learn how to enhance their entrepreneurial mindset and develop their functional skill sets to see and act entrepreneurially. The initial steps to creating a business plan, and raising financial capital to launch the firm, are examined as well. Our goal is to demystify the startup process, and to help you build the skills to identify and act on innovative opportunities now, and in the future.


Visit for dates and FREE registration. 


Module One: Entrepreneurial Perspective

  • What is entrepreneurship?
  • Who is an entrepreneur?                    
  • Entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation
  • The world's most innovative companies
  • Types of innovation
  • Entrepreneurs and strategic decisions
  • The Opportunity Analysis Canvas

Module Two: Entrepreneurial Mindset, Motivations, and Behaviors

  • Entrepreneurial mindset
  • Entrepreneurial motivations                     
  • Entrepreneurial behaviors
  • Risk taking in entrepreneurial decision-making
  • Risk, uncertainty, and stakeholder involvement

Module Three: Industry Understanding

  • Knowledge conditions
  • Demand conditions
  • Industry lifecycle
  • Industry structure
  • Competitive advantage
  • Learning curve
  • Complementary assets
  • Reputation effects

Module Four: Customer Understanding and Business Modeling

  • Macro changes that increase new venture opportunities
  • Exploring real market needs
  • Satisfying real market needs
  • Strategic positioning 
  • Strategic planning
  • Value innovation
  • Opportunity identification
  • Business modeling

For faculty interested in offering a course based on The Opportunity Analysis Canvas, register for access to instructional materials to include a syllabus, lecture slides, and assignments.

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