Looking to expand your current knowledge, master new skills and learn the key steps to build a successful startup in tech? Here is a list of essential online courses that you can take today. Whether you are already running a startup, or just at the beginning of developing new business ideas, these courses will empower you with the knowledge and skills you need to enhance your entrepreneurial journey.
1. Technology Entrepreneurship: Lab to Market
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvard University is offering free open learning opportunities, including courses in a business category that are currently available through edX. Lab to Market is a five weeks long course where you can learn the venture creation process and how to commercialize technologies to launch successful new businesses. The best part of this course is that you are acquiring knowledge through real-world examples from founders, VCs and industry experts.
Some of the highlights of the course:
- Framework for problem solving and a systematic approach to technology entrepreneurship
- Outcome-Driven approach vs. Linkages-driven approach, and how to uncover hidden customer needs
- How to generate new use scenarios by matching customer needs with promising technology seeds
- How to evaluate technology and determine readiness and market fit
- How to position opportunities to secure funding
2. The Lean LaunchPad: How to Build a Startup
This course was developed by Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a professor at Stanford University. Steve Blank is an author and a creator behind a popular Customer Development Method that launched the Lean Startup Movement. The course provides a framework to help you quickly develop and validate ideas, understand different phases of customer discovery, and identify revenue streams with pricing tactics. Throughout the course, you will learn about common startup mistakes and how to manage the entire entrepreneurial process to build a sustainable business model.
3. Startup School By Y Combinator
Startup School is a free 8-week online course created by Y Combinator to empower founders and inspire others to pursue entrepreneurship. The course covers the entire journey from evaluating your startup idea and talking to users to leading and creating the company culture.
The goals of this course:
- Encourage and inspire people to consider starting a company as a way to positively impact the world.
- Teach people how to start a startup, and equip them with the resources and tools to help prepare them now and in the future.
- Build a community of entrepreneurs who can encourage, teach and support one another.
All the videos are available on YouTube, and each session is about 30 min long. Here is an example of a class presented by Eric Migicovsky.
4. How to Share Ideas That Inspire Action
This short course was developed by the most influential TED talk speaker and best-selling author, Simon Sinek. In his 30-minute class, you will learn how to identify your passion, speak with conviction and transform stress from public speaking into natural energy.
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe.Simon Sinek
5. New Venture Finance: Startup Funding for Entrepreneurs
A four-week course offered by the University of Maryland provides insights into the investment landscape along with tools and techniques to help entrepreneurs create a comprehensive funding strategy for their new venture. This course covers everything from the basics of finance, valuation and capital structure to practical tips on how to develop winning investor pitch.
Key questions answered within the course include:
- When to raise outside capital?
- What kind of investors invest by stage and where to find them?
- What are your fundraising options?
- What are the key components of the term sheet?
- How to perform company valuations?
- How to pitch to investors?
- What techniques help the entrepreneur ‘get to the close’?