Launching New Ventures

Develop your promising idea into a successful business concept proposal, and launch it! Gain practical experience in the key steps of the venture creation process, including marketing and fundraising. Sharpen your entrepreneurial mindset!

About The Course

Launching New Ventures is a course on Entrepreneurship & Strategy for Technology-Driven Startups designed for professionals, entrepreneurs, and students who are interested in learning more about how to successfully launch their venture idea. Through short, animated lectures, inspiring interviews with entrepreneurs from Africa and around the world, short quizzes, and a practical final project, students will gain a broad overview of entrepreneurship strategy with insights they can apply to their venture regardless of location, industry or venture stage.

Students will be required to complete quizzes, and develop and submit venture ideas as part of the course’s assessment.  Eligible top performing students will earn a chance to receive seed-funding for their venture concept. Course material has been developed from practical experience and proven insights gained from cutting-edge entrepreneurship research.
  • Learn how to develop your ideas into a venture concept
  • Learn how to craft an opportunity exploitation road-map
  • Use social media to test market receptiveness to your venture idea and raise money
  • Learn how to calculate how much money you need, where to find it and how to manage it
  • Learn how to grow your venture (intelligently!)
  • Experience the early stages of the entrepreneurial process
  • Sharpen your entrepreneurial mindset and learn how it can benefit your organization

In addition to the lectures, quizzes, and forum on Coursera, we encourage you to join the conversation on our course Twitter and Facebook pages.  You'll find relevant, interesting links to additional resources, and these are great channels for engaging with other students, the professors, and the Venture MOOC Team. 

Twitter: @ventureMOOC
Facebook Page: EPFL Entrepreneurship

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is this course completely free?
    The course content is completely free. There are no textbooks or readings to buy. You must, however, have access to a computer or tablet to view the course content and complete the exercises. We are working with partners around the world to organize screenings of the course, and/or give you access to the course material in areas where access to high-speed internet may be difficult to obtain.

  • What do I have to do to be eligible for seed funding?
    The teams will be selected among the top performers in the course, so it's imperative that you and your team members follow the course closely from start to finish. More information will be provided at the start of the course.

  • Will I get a certificate after completing this class?
    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment. We also offer a Verified Certificate available through Coursera. We will be updating this page with information on how to obtain an EPFL CDM Statement of Accomplishment through our local partners.

  • I have never taken a business, finance or economics class. Can I still take this course?
    You’ll see that entrepreneurship strategy is something that anyone can learn (and with enough time and dedication, some can master it). We encourage people of all disciplines and backgrounds to join, you might find that your prior experiences and trainings are exactly the ones needed to spot and exploit a promising opportunity to create value for the world.

  • What if I don’t have a venture idea?
    No worries. The course includes exercises to help you generate creative ideas. One of the exercises includes: exchanging with other students, around you and in the online forums. You might choose to team up with other students to refine your idea, and make the most of your different skills and backgrounds.

  • What if I don’t have a venture idea and cannot find team mates because I live alone on an island?
    It’s a good thing we have the internet. :) Also, feel free to use an idea that you do not think is your ‘Big Entrepreneurial Idea’ in order for you to complete the final project of this course. You might find that it develops into the big idea (see Airbnb’s journey), or, that it provides useful learning experiences.

    “The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did okay. Number five was PayPal.”– Max Levchin (former CTO of PayPal)

  • Why the focus on African entrepreneurs?
    No country, or city, or valley has a special claim to entrepreneurship. We've made an effort to create a course on technology-driven startups which will be applicable to entrepreneurs at various stages of their venture, and from various industries and economic contexts. In line with EPFL's activities on the great African continent, we have travelled to a few countries in Africa to showcase a few entrepreneurial stories we found inspiring, and which help to illustrate the course's concepts. We feature an international selection of entrepreneurs in our biweekly online panels who confirm that despite local differences, many of the challenges of entrepreneurship are universal.

  • What if I have another question?
    Tweet us @ventureMOOC!
    Or ask us in our Launching New Ventures Facebook Group.

Recommended Background

There are no prerequisites for this course, except for:
  • Curiosity
  • Persistence
  • Interest in sharpening your entrepreneurial mindset
The course is mostly in English, with some interviews in French. Subtitles will be available in English and French. If you are interested in translating this course into your local language, please contact us at venturemooc@epfl.ch. Your support is greatly appreciated and will be explicitly acknowledged on the course website!