Cornell Insurance Blog

8 Free Courses for Entrepreneurs

Posted by Cornell Insurance Services on Oct 2, 2015 11:30:00 AM


Becoming an Entrepreneur is a mindset. They have a strong personality filled with confidence and a great idea. Sometime just having a great idea won’t cut it. We came across some FREE online courses for startup business owners to help you grow your business and expand your education. These courses come from respected institutions such as Stanford University, MIT, Northwestern University, the University of Maryland and more. Check out these course and grow your business.

How to Build a Startup

This course is an introduction to the Customer Development Process and key steps needed to build a successful startup. The Course is broken into 8 lessons (three parts to lesson 1), that consumes about 6+ hours a week but students can work at their own pace. This course will help you develop your business model and bring your business to life.

The instructor, Steve Blank is a Silicon Valley business owner and innovator, building 8 companies with several IPO’s. He was named "Master of Innovation" by Harvard Business Review and is an advisor to many successful entrepreneurs.

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies

This course is brought to you by The University of Maryland for an introductory course in Entrepreneurship. This course is 4 weeks long, 3-5 hours per week. The course’s main objective is to help aspiring business owners develop great ideas into amazing companies. There are no prerequisites for this course, the class will consist of a series of video lectures each week and an end of week assignment is available each week to apply and reinforce learnings from the week.

Foundations of Business Strategy

This course is taught by Professor Lenox, who teaches at the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business where he coordinates and teaches the core MBA strategy course. The course helps you develop the skills to analyze the competitive context organizations operate in and make reasonable decisions on how to position your company in the market. There are 15 lectures included in this course with seven hours of content for you to download.

Competitive Strategy

In this course, you will learn how businesses and organizations make strategic decisions and analyze how businesses attain a competitive edge. This course is broken into six modules, each under two hours. This course was originally taught at a German university.

Law and the Entrepreneur

Esther Barron, a professor at northwestern Law School, devised this course to highlight the critical legal and business issues entrepreneurs face as they build and launch their new venture. This is a six week course for about 5-7 hours per week.

Entrepreneurial Finance

If you’re going to take a finance course, it might as well be from a school like MIT. The course examines the elements of entrepreneurial finance, focusing on technology-based start-up ventures and the early stages of company development. The course addresses key questions which challenge all startup business owners: how much money can and should be raised; when should it be raised and from whom; what is a reasonable valuation of the company; and how should funding, employment contracts and exit decisions be structured. It aims to prepare students for these decisions, both as entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. In addition, the course includes an in-depth analysis of the structure of the private equity industry.

Startup Engineering

Taught by Stanford University’s Balaji Srinivasan and Vijay Pande, this FREE course teaches the ins and outs of starting a technology based startup. The syllabus includes coding (HTML/CSS/JS), back end development and much more. By the end of the class, you do receive a certification. A background of basic programming is required and exposure to coding will be a plus. 12 weeks of studying with 2-20 hours per week.

Inventions and Patents

This MIT course is extremely helpful for startups who developed their own product and need to understand copyrights and patents and all the legal talk in between. This course explores the history of private and public rights in scientific discoveries and applied engineering, leading to the development of worldwide patent systems. It also features a downloadable textbook on inventions and patents, Create or Perish, in the readings section. The textbook was written by the course instructor, Dr. Robert Rines, who has been inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.


Topics: entrepreneur