Sep 022014

Startup CEO: The Online Course Part II

Startup CEO: The Online Course Part II

Startup CEO the online course offered by the Kauffman Fellows Academy is back this fall starting September 15!  As many of you know, the course is based on my book Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Your Business.

When the course first ran earlier this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Hundreds of students from six continents signed up, all eager to learn as much as they could about entrepreneurship and how to develop their startups.  The students worked together in teams to develop their startup ideas on the unique online educational platform NovoEd.  I was amazed at the enthusiasm of students who dove into lectures and the book and then exchanged ideas in the forums.  It was very powerful to see cohorts of students from all over the world sharing their experiences together, almost like the CEO peer group that I write about in the book.

The real power of it really hit me when I was in Brazil  this last spring at a dinner and one of the attendees approached me and told me he was one of the Startup CEO students and how much he was enjoying the course.

To bring the class to life, we began holding Google hangouts moderated by KFA VP and former CNN correspondent Rusty Dornin.  The students could write in questions live during the hangout or watch the recorded version later.  The hangouts were not only informative but fun.

Here are a few comments from students in the winter course:

The lectures and the hangouts were incredibly insightful. I’m sure I’ll avoid a good number of mistakes I would have surely made without taking this class!

“I enjoyed the high quality of the lecturers and their very practical experience and guidance. This included the excellent visiting lecturers and whilst I was unable to join the hangouts in real time (I’m in Australia) I was able to watch the recordings

In addition, Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson’s course Venture Deals  based on their popular book Venture Deals: Be Smarter than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist will begin September 29th.  Brad Feld and other celebrated investors will also be featured in hangouts for the course and Brad loves to dive into the forums.

I am looking forward to this next round and our global discussion of how to create and manage successful startups.

Jul 182011

Book Short: I Wish This Existed 12 Years Ago

Book Short:  I Wish This Existed 12 Years Ago

Brad Feld has been on my board for over a decade now, and when he and his partner Jason Mendelson told me about a new book they were writing a bunch of months ago called Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist, I took note.  I thought, “Hmmm.  I’d like to be smarter than my lawyer or venture capitalist.”

Then I read an advanced copy.  I loved it.  At first, I thought, I would really have benefited from this when I started Return Path way back when.  Then as I finished reading it, I realized it’s just a great reference book even now, all these years and financings later.  But as much as I enjoyed the early read, I felt like something was missing from the book, since its intended audience is entrepreneurs.

Brad and Jason took me up on my offer to participate in the book’s content a little bit, and they are including in the book a series of 50-75 sidebars called “The Entrepreneur’s Perspective” which I wrote and which they and others edited.  For almost every topic and sub-topic in the book, I chime in, either building on, or disagreeing, with Brad and Jason’s view on the subject.

The book is now out.  As Brad noted in his launch post, the book’s table of contents says a lot:

  1. The Players
  2. How to Raise Money
  3. Overview of the Term Sheet
  4. Economic Terms of the Term Sheet
  5. Control Terms of the Term Sheet
  6. Other Terms of the Term Sheet
  7. The Capitalization Table
  8. How Venture Capital Funds Work
  9. Negotiation Tactics
  10. Raising Money the Right Way
  11. Issues at Different Financing States
  12. Letters of Intent – The Other Term Sheet
  13. Legal Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

Fred has posted his review of the book as well.

Bottom line:  if you are an aspiring or actual entrepreneur, buy this book.  Even if you’ve done a couple of financings, this is fantastic reference material, and Brad and Jason’s points of view on things are incredibly insightful beyond the facts.  And I hope my small contributions to the book are useful for entrepreneurs as well.

css.php