Venturing 101

Venturing 101

Venturing 101 is a set of short courses on topics relevant to launching a venture.  After completing the experience, you will have more knowledge about the venturing process using the Lean Canvas framework.  You can use the mini-course content to gain exposure to venturing and self-assess your readiness to advance in the venturing process.  Courses will be offered online through D2L and you will complete the courses asynchronously at your own pace.  Each course is expected to take 6-10 hours to complete.  You can choose to complete as many courses as you desire.   You will receive a virtual badge for completing a course and a virtual pathway badge for completing the entire set of courses.  In-person and hybrid “live” sessions will be unlocked for participants as courses are completed.  These “live” sessions will offer you the opportunity to explore a topic more deeply with experts and experienced founders. 

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Specific learning outcomes include, participants should be able to:

  • Identify personal interests, values, strengths, talents, and skills
  • Identify a clear problem to address
  • Research customer needs, pain points, likes, dislikes to compose a clear customer profile
  • Generate a solution that addresses customer needs
  • Identify ways to communicate their solution to customers
  • Identify the key operational cost components for their startup
  • Research potential funding opportunities for a venture
  • List key success metrics to evaluate success

Course topics include:

Course 1: Getting Started with a Venture

Duration: 4 hrs, 20 mins

Participants explore their past experiences and identify times they have been entrepreneurial and resourceful.  They learn about what skills and dispositions contribute to an entrepreneurial mindset, and they are introduced to the Lean Canvas business model for organizing a venture.

Course 2: Ideation, Problems, & Solutions

Duration: 3 hrs, 30 mins

Participants learn about the design thinking process and how to identify problems and opportunities, ideate solutions, and build collaboration skills.

Course 3: Customer Development

Duration: 6 hrs, 30 mins

Participants learn and explore ways to validate their solutions through talking to people and identifying customer needs.  Additionally, participants learn about the value of active listening skills, interviewing skills, and how to bring what they learned together into a value proposition statement.

Course 4: Failure & Resilience

Duration: 3 hrs

Failure is an inevitable part of the venture process and in this course participants explore how failure is a learning opportunity and what they can do to be resilient through listening to others’ experiences with failure and resilience and by testing their own resiliency through a self-assessment tool.

Course 5: Business Modeling

Duration: 3 hrs, 30 mins

Participants gain an understanding of the financial and operational business models, how to conduct a competitor analysis, and a basic understanding of key metrics to measure success of a venture.

Course 6: Communicating Your Idea

Duration: 2 hrs, 45 mins

Participants gain an overview of effective presentation methods, pitch deck preparation, how to receive and incorporate feedback, and considerations for team communication.

Course 7: Building Your Team

Duration: 2hrs, 45 mins

Participants review the importance of establishing values and work culture for their venture.  Specifically, how diversity, equity and inclusion factor into establishing a culture of belonging.  Additionally, participants explore what to consider when bringing on new venture team members, how to develop networking skills and a basic review of human resource systems and processes to consider when establishing a venture.

Course 8: Financial Literacy

Duration: 11 hrs

Participants gain a better understanding of financial operations both from a personal perspective and venture perspective.  In partnership with the Singleton Foundation for Financial Literacy and Entrepreneurship, participants explore topics such as: budgeting, income, expenses, emergency funds, getting started with your financially independent life, debt management, taxes, insurance, saving for retirement, credit card, credit score and report basics, student loans, and financial management for entrepreneurs.

Course 9: Intellectual Property and Business Formation

Duration: 5 hrs, 15 mins

Setting up a venture includes various legal elements.  Through content developed by the Michelson 20MM Foundation, this course helps participants understand what type of venture structure to select and how to protect and defend a venture’s intellectual property through patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyright.


Upcoming courses in the Venturing 101 series:

  • Biomedical
  • Native Ventures
  • Cybersecurity
  • Data Science
  • Nonprofit
  • Food-based