Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Specialization covers the conception, design, organization, and management of new enterprises. This four-course series is designed to take you from opportunity identification through launch, growth, financing and profitability. With guidance from Wharton’s top professors, along with insights from current Wharton start-up founders and financiers, you’ll develop an entrepreneurial mindset and hone the skills you need to develop a new enterprise with potential for growth and funding, or to identify and pursue opportunities for growth within an existing organization.
Entrepreneurship 1: Developing the Opportunity
How does a good idea become a viable business opportunity? What is entrepreneurship and who fits the profile of an entrepreneur? This introductory course is designed to introduce you to the foundational concepts of entrepreneurship, including the definition of entrepreneurship, the profile of the entrepreneur, the difference between entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial management, and the role of venture creation in society. You’ll explore where technology entrepreneurship and impact entrepreneurship align and where they diverge, and you’ll learn proven techniques for identifying the opportunity, assessing the opportunity, hypothesis testing and creating a prototype. By the end of this course, you’ll know how to test, validate and prototype your idea, and also whether or not you fit the profile of an entrepreneur! You’ll also be ready to move on to the next phase of entrepreneurship in Entrepreneurship 2: Launching the Start-Up.
Entrepreneurship 2: Launching your Start-Up
Once you have a prototype and a clearer vision of the opportunity, you’ll need to create a small organization to discover how to create a repeatable and scalable business model. Designed to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the critical components of creating a start-up, Entrepreneurship 2: Launching the Start-up, provides practical, real-world knowledge about the lean approach, the minimum viable product, when to pivot, when to quit your day job, the art of the pitch, building and managing a team, allocating equity, and building your external team, advisory board members, professional services, and entrepreneurial strategy. At the end of this course, you’ll be able to create a strategy for launch, including knowing who you need to hire, how to manage them to provide the greatest value, and what legal aspects are involved. You’ll also be prepared for Entrepreneurship 3: Growth Strategies.
Entrepreneurship 3: Growth Strategies
Start-ups are designed to grow quickly, but successful start-ups grow smart. This course is designed to provide you with an understanding of the essential elements of successful scaling, including an overview of demand generation, customer acquisition, adoption, diffusion and forecasting demand. You’ll also learn how to market effectively using best practices of digital marketing, social media, PR, SEO, and pricing. Finally, you’ll cover the nuts and bolts of building a sales process, partnerships and supply relationships, and examine the crucial components of attracting, developing and retaining talent. By the end of this course, you’ll have an outline of an expansion strategy for your idea or enterprise, and also be ready for Entrepreneurship 4: Financing and Profitability
Entrepreneurship 4: Financing and Profitability
Start-ups can benefit from a wide variety of financing options on the path to profitability, but how do you know which one to choose? This course explores different financing models, including bootstrapping, organic growth, debt and risk capital, and also provides a clear overview of equity financing including the key types of investors: angels, venture capital, and crowdfunding. You’ll learn about terms, and term sheets, exit modes and what exit strategy might be best for you. By the end of this course, you’ll have an understanding of what success looks like and how it can be financed. You’ll also be ready for the capstone project, in which you will get feedback on your own pitch deck, and may even be selected to pitch to investors from venture capital firms.
Wharton Entrepreneurship Capstone
In this Capstone project, you will be assembling a pitch deck for a new venture, including the key deliverables (e.g., customer needs, concept description, financials, and so forth). You will review your peers' projects according to a rubric develop by Wharton Entrepreneurship and practice applying the same criteria VC’s use in evaluating potential investments. The learners with the top-scoring projects will be introduced to the most appropriate VC firms in Wharton Entrepreneurship’s network, according to region and sector.