Summer may be over, but the kids aren’t the only ones going back to school. A new year is starting, and it’s a perfect time to make some good resolutions, reorganize your life and work style, and dedicate more time to educating yourself. This fall, educators and education platforms are launching a whole new crop of massive open online courses (MOOCs) for tech entrepreneurs of all levels to benefit from.
While we highly recommend you take MOOCs depending on your specific needs (whether on finance, communication, accounting, or others), this article will mostly focus on classes directly related to tech entrepreneurship and innovation. We also recommend you check out the various Arabic MOOC platforms launched this year, like Edraak, Rwaq, and MENAversity.
How to start a startup, led by Sam Altman of Y Combinator
Ever wondered what startups get when they join Y Combinator? Well this fall, YC president Sam Altman is teaching at Stanford and will be putting all his lectures online. During the class, some of the best speakers who came to Y Combinator dinners will take the stage, including Marc Andreessen, Brian Chesky, Reid Hoffman, Marissa Mayer, Ben Horowitz, and more.
Many universities and other organizations are organizing groups and viewing sessions including some in the Arab world. Class started on September 23, but you can still join.
Lead like an entrepreneur, led by David Bradford and Allan Cohen of Babson College
Bradford and Cohen, two lecturers at Babson College, a leading American university when it comes to entrepreneurship, will focus, for their first MOOC class, on leadership for entrepreneurs.
Of course, leadership implies interaction, so this class will requires both personal and group work. Get ready for some role-playing and feedback sessions; you’ll need to convince people in order to succeed.
The class is over, but you can still follow the program on your own or with friends; it will require two to three hours of work per week.
How to Build Your Startup, led by Steve Blank
Renowned entrepreneur and writer, who teaches at several well-known American universities, will walk students through key tools and steps for building a successful startup. This class is an introduction to the basics of his famous Customer Development process, where entrepreneurs "get out of the building" to gather massive amounts of customer data and marketplace feedback, which they then use to iterate and evolve their business models to improve their chances of success.
This course can be started whenever you feel like, and is self-paced.
Scaling Up Your Venture Without Screwing Up, led by Huggy Rao and Robert Sutton
This Stanford class tackles the issue of scaling up, and compiles the lessons Huggy Rao and Robert Sutton relayed in their Wall Street Journal bestseller Scaling Up Excellence: How to Get More Without Settling for Less. Guests include Silicon Valley VCs and entrepreneurs like Ben Horowitz, Survey Monkey’s president Selina Tobaccowala, Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy Chip Conley, and more.
This class started on September 15 but can be picked up at any time. Expect to spend between four to six hours per week on the course over the five-week period. This class mostly allows students to work whenever is convenient for them and does not meet at specific times.
You may find many other classes on specialized websites like Poets and Quants.
Have you taken a MOOC? Do you have any recommendations? Let us know!