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BUS 189 — Enterprise SaaS Startups: The Ride from Inception to Fundraise

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 9—May 28
Time: 6:30—8:00 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 11
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $555
Instructor(s): Arpit Goel
Limit: 40
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
6:30—8:00 pm (PT)
Apr 9—May 28
8 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 11
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Arpit Goel
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
There's a common misperception among startups that the most difficult part of securing funding is the idea. In fact, what often determines the outcome is a company's mastery of product/market fit (PMF), a critically important variable that determines the success of a series A funding round. This course provides practical lessons for first-time entrepreneurs in the enterprise SaaS space who are challenged with first-round fundraising. Students can learn and practice navigating the startup journey while gaining valuable new skills, including:

  • Assessing and sizing the market opportunity
  • Conceptualizing a minimum viable product
  • Validating solution and product/market
  • Creating a "fundable" pitch deck
Two fast-paced, collaborative halves make up the course. The first half builds a foundational understanding of the SaaS startup market, go-to-market (GTM) motions, minimum viable product development, team building, and early-stage fundraising models through a series of case studies. Exercises include:

  • Selecting and sizing the market
  • Building and testing customer feedback playbooks
  • Nailing down a minimum viable product
  • Creating a fundraising pitch presentation
The second half includes hands-on experiential learning by splitting the class into teams and applying learnings from the first half to begin building their startup ideas. The course culminates with a pitch night where each team presents their work to the audience, including external venture capitalists, angels, entrepreneurs, and operators who will provide invaluable feedback.

Startup Advisor; Angel Investor; Former Vice President of Product, Palo Alto Networks; Founder and Former CEO, Gamma.AI

Arpit Goel is an entrepreneur, mentor, and investor based in Silicon Valley. He founded Gamma.AI, the ML-powered cloud data security company, which was acquired by Palo Alto Networks within two years of founding. Passionate about helping entrepreneurs unlock their full potential, Goel actively advises and invests in early-stage companies. He received a PhD in operations research and an MS in science, management, and engineering from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.