6 free online courses that all entrepreneurs should check out
“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” – Albert Einstein
Well, Einstein truly was a genius. No matter how much we think we know, there’s always room to learn some more. That’s the beauty about knowledge. It is infinite in every sense of the word. With the increasing digitalisation of every branch of society, including education, it’s only a matter of time before the entire knowledge sector turns digital.
Image : Wikipedia
The advantage of a global library being available on the 15 inches of your screen is that you now have access to knowledge that would normally cost you a requisite tuition fee and after-work classes. This sounds fine when you’re a student and enrolled in a program, but what about after you get your degree and you still have your wisdom-bank half-full? Or half-empty?
We refer, in particular, to entrepreneurs who are way-warding into a stream of learning that is quite different from the traditional systems of business and management which have been taught through time and age in all the stone-book Institutions. For greater access to the trade of learning with respect to entrepreneurship and new-age information, we’d like to present a list of six free online courses that every entrepreneur should take before they indulge in the startup business.
“People talk about getting lucky breaks in their careers. I'm living proof that the 'lucky breaks' theory is simply wrong. You get to make your own luck... The world is run by those who show up...not those who wait to be asked.” – Steve Blank
In nine-classes, Steve Blank, the author of the two bibles of every entrepreneur - The Startup Owner’s Manual and The Four Steps to the Epiphany teaches students how to identify and engage with customers, use feedback received for better implementation, market their product and to strengthen their business model.
“If you have a big why, you’ll always figure out the what and the how.” – Jason Nazar
This is a series of two-hour long videos mandated by Jason Nazar, the CEO of Docstoc. In these videos, he speaks about his real-life experiences and the different steps required to run a successful business venture. He starts at the beginning, from coming up with a million dollar idea, to how to pool in money from the investors, to executing it and making it grow. Most of these are angled around the step-by-step process he had to go undergo to make Docstoc an international success.
This 10-week course is taught by two Professors of Indian origin at Stanford University – Balaji Srinivasan and Vijay Pande. Here, the two professors teach the entrepreneurs the necessary skills required to build a tech-startup from its very roots. The techniques involved broach on command lines, dotfiles, text editor, debugging, reading code, deployment and more. They also bring in guest lectures who are mostly senior-ranking engineers of successful tech startups, so that they can inspire the entrepreneurs by speaking about their experiences.
This course takes up only three to five hours a week and is taught by Professor Michael R. Pratt, who is affiliated with the University of Maryland. In it, he explains, in simple terms and demonstrations, what the entrepreneur needs to prepare for in the early stage of the business to get the requisite funding. He also teaches the technique to source-funding, pitching investors and venture capitalists, as well as close funding.
“The second, inter-connected thing about lawyers is that we help our clients to navigate rules to help achieve their goals.”
Possibly one of the most important for all entrepreneurs to follow, this class taught by Esther Barron and Steve Reed of Northwestern University aims to prepare the entrepreneurs to spot cracks in their startups from both a business and a legal perspective. It also deals with imparting knowledge regarding various legal connotations like choosing the type of entity, name and trademark, protection of intellectual property, structuring financial agreements and the relationship between the entrepreneur and his or her attorney.
This is yet another A-Z course for all entrepreneurs held by Dr. Jeff Cornwall, an erstwhile Professor of entrepreneurship at Belmont University, Nashville. Cornwall took a nine-year long break from academics, to establish and co-found Atlantic Behavioural Health Systems, a recognised leader in quality healthcare and advanced medical technology. With over 40,000 students across the globe enrolled in his class, Cornwall explains the practical steps in between creating a great idea for your business and running it successfully.
So what are you waiting for? Enrol yourselves, now!