10 Fall MOOCs to Check Out for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

September 12, 2013

5:00 pm

Entrepreneurship is an essential part of America's economic tapestry – a core of its national ethos. Every day, someone out there is waking up with the desire to live and work for one's own self! Oh, the freedom! Oh, the splendor! Can you taste it! But how will you get there, dear dreamer?

When it comes to starting a company, entrepreneurs are split between two different schools of philosophy: 1) thou shalt study how to run a business or 2) learn by actually running ish, sucka. For those of you aspiring to run your own company (and belong to the first school of entrepreneurial philosophy), I've put together this guide to fall MOOCs for entrepreneurs to help you get started.

*Note: some of these courses have already begun, but you can sign up for most of them at any point during the course. 

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship (Coursera)

Instructor: James V. Green
Start Date: September 30, 2013
The course will teach aspiring entrepreneurs to “enhance their entrepreneurial mindset” and “to see and act entrepreneurially” – whatever that means. Basically, this MOOC will help you in really developing your ideas into great startups that respond according to the needs of the market.

How to Build  a Startup: From Idea to Successful Business (Udemy)

Instructor: Jeet Banerjee
Start Date: Anytime; Self-Paced
Off the bat: this is a paid course. While the $99 price tag may be a deterrent for some, it's a really popular course on creating a startup; it's even more popular than Eric Ries's class, which is why I've chosen to feature this course instead of Ries's (plus, you can just buy his book, which is significantly cheaper). Jeet is a successful serial entrepreneur who covers topics from analyzing markets and minimizing risk, to knowing when to pivot and building sustainable business models.

How to Build a Startup (Udacity)

Instructor: Steve Blank
Start Date: Anytime; Self-Paced
The author of The Four Steps to Epiphany will teach you the key tools and steps to build a successful startup. It's an introduction to his renown Customer Development process, which involves having entrepreneurs actually gathering mass amounts of customer and marketplace feedback in order to constantly iterate and evolve their startup models.

Innovation and Commercialization (edX)

Instructors: Andreas WankerlEugene Fitzgerald
Start Date: September 16, 2013
A fantastic course for product design and development. Wankerl and Fitzgerald will help you understand the innovative process, from research to development to products in the market. They also offer their own model for the iterative design process and show you to implement it for yourself.

Innovation for Powerful Outcomes (Open2Study)

Instructor: Noordin Shehabuddeen
Start Date: September 9, 2013
More of a course focused on helping you induce creativity and develop compelling innovation strategies. It's one of the shorter courses on the list, lasting a mere four weeks.

Foundations of Business Strategy (Coursera)

Instructor: Michael J. Lenox
Start Date: September 2, 2013
A course being offered by my own alma mater, this 6-week course will help you analyze the competitive landscape to create the best business strategy for your company.

Lead Like an Entrepreneur (NovoEd)

Instructors: Allan Cohen, David Bradford
Start Date: October 15, 2013
This MOOC is meant to be really engaging – requiring participants to work on virtual teams, practice giving and receiving feedback on team performance, and role-playing situations in which you influence others to accomplish team/business goals. It should be a good course, and it's definitely more interactive than many of the other MOOCs on this list

New Models of Business in Society (Coursera)

Instructor: R. Edward Freeman
Start Date: September 2, 2013
Freeman is renown for his work on stakeholder theory (like, seriously, he's THE guy to go to). This class focuses on the values that businesses create and destroy for customers, suppliers, employees, communities, and societies (in addition to shareholders and other financiers). The idea: entrepreneurs must become more stakeholder-centric rather than shareholder-centric.

Opportunity and Entrepreneurship (NovoEd)

Instructor: Dennis Ceru
Start Date: October 15, 2013
This MOOC places an emphasis on the concepts of innovation and creativity, and how entrepreneurs can spur innovation to identify, solve, and act on practical business challenges. The course purports to offer a “blueprint process” that entrepreneurs can use to discover, assess, and evaluate new business opportunities.

Use Mapping to Position Your Brand (

Instructor: Sachin Gupta
Start Date: Anytime; Self-Paced
Once you've gotten an idea for a product or service, then what? Gupta's course is aimed at introducing you to perceptual maps, which are used to identify how consumers differentiate among products and how they perceive one product to the next. This MOOC will help you take advantage of these maps to position your product, identify your competition, and build a strong marketing campaign.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.