20 Free Entrepreneurship Courses Online to Check Out : Under30CEO 20 Free Entrepreneurship Courses Online to Check Out : Under30CEO
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20 Free Entrepreneurship Courses Online to Check Out

| March 1, 2013 | 8 Comments

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We have been highlighting the numerous online resources that are tackling the education industry in recent weeks. Everyday new startups are launching and everyday new courses are being made available online at little to no cost. Many of these courses are taught by some of the best professors in the world. The below 20 entrepreneurship courses are just a start. There are many more available on a ton of topics from amazing schools and teachers.

How to Build a Startup

Learn the key tools and steps to build a successful startup (or at least reduce the risk of failure). You’ll learn the key steps of the Customer Development process: how to identify and engage the first customers for your product, and how to gather, evaluate and use their feedback to make your product, marketing and business model far stronger.

Check out the course

21 Critical Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Whether you aspire to start your own business or are a serial entrepreneur, this course offers real-world insights that can be put into action. Jason Nazar, CEO of Docstoc, shares important lessons learned over his career, first by working with new companies then on to starting his own successful business. From the early stages of vetting your idea and raising money to hiring the best team and continuing to grow your business, this course offers poignant insights from a real entrepreneur that can be applied to any business.

Check out the course

Foundations of Business Strategy

Strategic analysis is critical for analyzing the competitive context in which an organization operates and for making reasoned and reasonable recommendations for how that organization should position itself and what actions it should take to maximize value creation. In this course, we will explore the underlying theory and frameworks that provide the foundations of a successful business strategy. Managers, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, analysts, and consultants all may find value in mastering these fundamentals.

Check out the course

Operations Management

This course provides a general introduction to operations management. This course aims to (1) familiarize you with the major operational problems and issues that confront managers, and (2) provide you with language, concepts, insights and tools to deal with these issues in order to gain competitive advantage through operations.

Check out the course

Build. Measure. Learn. Lean Startup SXSW 2012

Welcome to the exclusive Lean Startup course where you will learn from the world’s leading startup founders and experts, including Steve Blank, Scott Cook, Ash Maurya, Todd Park, and many more.

Build: Lessons learned in agile, continuous development.

Measure: Case studies on pivots & minimum viable product (MVP).

Learn: Best practices in customer development.

Recorded at SXSW Interactive 2012, this course is the only place where you can find all presentations and videos for the entire Lean Startup event!

Check out the course

Energy Economics and the Environment

Energy use and its impact on the environment will be two of the most important issues of the 21st century. The large role of energy in geo-political relationships combined with the fact that most of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with global climate change come from energy production means the energy sector is poised for dramatic change, and thus great opportunity. This course is designed to be a primer for potential entrepreneurs, investors, managers and policy makers on energy and environmental issues.

Check out the course

Inventions and Patents

This course explores the history of private and public rights in scientific discoveries and applied engineering, leading to the development of worldwide patent systems. The classes of invention protectable under the patent laws of the U.S., including the procedures in protecting inventions in the Patent Office and the courts will be examined. A review of past cases involving inventions and patents in:

  1. the chemical process industry and medical pharmaceutical, biological, and genetic-engineering fields;
  2. devices in the mechanical, ocean exploration, civil, and/or aeronautical fields;
  3. the electrical, computer, software, and electronic areas, including key radio, solid-state, computer and software inventions; and also
  4. software protection afforded under copyright laws.

Check out this course

Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager

This course provides a basic understanding of legal issues that corporations face during their existence. The course starts by providing the basic building blocks of business law. We then follow a firm through its life cycle from its “breakaway” from an established firm through it going public.

The goal of the course is not to impart technical legal skills, but to enhance the judgment which students will bring to their responsibilities as entrepreneurs, managers in established companies, or consultants and advisors. There are two take-home exercises, and no exams.

Check out this course

Special Seminar in Management The Nuts and Bolts of Business Plans

The nuts and bolts of preparing a Business Plan will be explored in this 16th annual course offering. The course is open to members of the MIT Community and to others interested in entrepreneurship. It is particularly recommended for persons who are interested in starting or are involved in a new business. Because some of the speakers will be judges of the MIT $50K Entrepreneurship Competition, persons who are planning to enter the Competition should find the course particularly useful.

Check out this course

Managing Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This course discusses the basics every manager needs to organize successful technology-driven innovation in both entrepreneurial and established firms. We start by examining innovation-based strategies as a source of competitive advantage and then examine how to build organizations that excel at identifying, building and commercializing technological innovations. Major topics include how the innovation process works; creating an organizational environment that rewards innovation and entrepreneurship; designing appropriate innovation processes (e.g. stage-gate, portfolio management); organizing to take advantage of internal and external sources of innovation; and structuring entrepreneurial and established organizations for effective innovation. The course examines how entrepreneurs can shape their firms so that they continuously build and commercialize valuable innovations. Many of the examples also focus on how established firms can become more entrepreneurial in their approach to innovation.

Check out this course

Entrepreneurial Finance

Entrepreneurial Finance 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 entrepreneurs: 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.

Check out this course

Managing the Innovation Process

This course approaches “managing the innovation process” through five levels of analysis: individual, team, network, organizational, and industrial. At each level of analysis, particular attention is given to the conditions under which innovation processes succeed and fail. The weekly readings consist of a mixture of book chapters, journal articles, and cases, and an online forum will be used for further discussion of the required readings outside of class. Tuesday classes will begin with a reflection exercise that entails critical thinking about the topic for the week, followed by an activity and lecture introducing material found both within and outside of the readings. Thursday classes will begin with a case analysis completed in small groups, followed by a discussion based on the issues raised in the case and online forum. The primary goal of the course is to expose students to a variety of perspectives on innovation, while building on past work experiences and preparing for work experiences in the future.

Check out this course

Managing Innovation: Emerging Trends

Important emerging trends in innovation are identified, and their implications for innovation management are explored. Major topics to be discussed include the trend to open information (“open source”) rather than protected intellectual property; the distribution of innovation over many independent but collaborating actors; and toolkits that empower users to innovate for themselves.

Check out this course

The Art and Science of Negotiation

This course provides an introduction to bargaining and negotiation in public, business, and legal settings. It combines a “hands-on” skill-building orientation with a look at pertinent social theory. Strategy, communications, ethics, and institutional influences are examined as they influence the ability of actors to analyze problems, negotiate agreements, and resolve disputes in social, organizational, and political circumstances characterized by interdependent interests.

Check out this course

Economics and E-commerce

This course uses theoretical models and studies of “old economy” industries to help understand the growth and future of electronic commerce. We will begin with a discussion of relevant topics from industrial organization including monopoly pricing, price discrimination, product differentiation, barriers to entry, network externalities, search and first-mover advantages. The largest part of the course will be a discussion of a number of e-industries. In this section we’ll discuss extensions and applications of the ideas from the first part of the course, draw analogies to previous technological revolutions and read current case studies. Finally, we’ll discuss two additional topics: bubbles in asset markets and the macroeconomic effects of the Internet.

Check out this course

Patents, Copyrights, and the Law of Intellectual Property

This weekly seminar examines key concepts of U.S. intellectual property law, with emphasis on patents and copyrights and a briefer look at trade secrets and trademarks. Current issues relating to information technologies and business methods will be highlighted. The seminar has no prerequisites, and is designed for both graduate students and undergraduates. Half of the seats in the seminar are reserved for students from MIT departments other than Sloan.

Check out this course

Model Thinking

We live in a complex world with diverse people, firms, and governments whose behaviors aggregate to produce novel, unexpected phenomena. We see political uprisings, market crashes, and a never ending array of social trends. How do we make sense of it? Models. Evidence shows that people who think with models consistently outperform those who don’t. And, moreover people who think with lots of models outperform people who use only one. Why do models make us better thinkers? Models help us to better organize information – to make sense of that fire hose or hairball of data (choose your metaphor) available on the Internet.

Check out this course

Foundations of Business Strategy

In this course, we will explore the underlying theory and frameworks that provide the foundations of a successful business strategy.  We will develop your ability to think strategically by providing you the tools for conducting a strategic analysis. Strategic analysis is critical for analyzing the competitive context in which an organization operates and for making reasoned and reasonable recommendations for how that organization should position itself and what actions it should take to maximize value creation.   Aspiring managers, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, analysts, and consultants all may find value in mastering these fundamentals.

Check out this course

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies

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.

Check out this course

Entrepreneurship Through the Lens of Venture Capital

The course explores how successful startups navigate funding, managing, and scaling their new enterprise. This process is explored through guest lectures and mentorship from experienced venture capital investors and seasoned entrepreneurs who manage these issues on a daily basis in Silicon Valley.

Course themes: customer value equation, board management, market strategy, company culture, and hyper growth.

Check out this course

Have you taken any courses that have helped your business?

About the Author: Jared O'Toole

Co-founder and editor of Under30Media. You can send an email to Jared(at)Under30CEO.com. Follow him on Google+ or @JaredOToole

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