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BUS 144 — How to Create and Grow a Startup: For Fractional and Full-Time Founders

Quarter: Summer
Instructor(s): Sandy Diao, Shuo Chen
Duration: 5 weeks
Format/Location: Live Online
Date(s): Jul 9—Aug 6
Class Recording Available: Yes
Class Meeting Day: Tuesdays
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Class Meeting Time: 6:00—7:50 pm (PT)
Tuition: $470
   
Refund Deadline: Jul 11
 
Unit(s): 1
   
Enrollment Limit: 50
  
Status: Open
 
Quarter: Summer
Day: Tuesdays
Duration: 5 weeks
Time: 6:00—7:50 pm (PT)
Date(s): Jul 9—Aug 6
Unit(s): 1
Format/Location: Live Online
 
Tuition: $470
 
Refund Deadline: Jul 11
 
Instructor(s): Sandy Diao, Shuo Chen
 
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
 
Enrollment Limit: 50
 
Recording Available: Yes
 
Status: Open
 
New companies face intense challenges when acquiring and retaining customers, but none greater than proving their idea solves a real problem for enough people to be sustainable. This course is designed for current and aspiring entrepreneurs to gain the essential skills to move beyond an initial idea to a viable business. Students will learn:

  • Market validation: Use market data and customer insights to choose an initial market to focus on.
  • The pitch: Craft a powerful value proposition that resonates with investors and customers.
  • Customer acquisition: Attract and sell to your first 100 customers through founder-led sales, where early-stage startup founders directly engage in the sales process.
  • Growth metrics and strategies: Use data to measure growth and increase month-over-month sales.
The instructors will cover best practices, drawing from their experience investing in more than 60 software companies and leading growth teams to drive over $100M in revenue. By the end of the course, students will have created a startup growth plan that they can immediately use in marketing, fundraising, or internal planning.

SANDY DIAO
Growth Executive; Investor

Sandy Diao is a growth executive with a track record of scaling user bases from zero to hundreds of millions. She has led growth teams for over 12 years at industry-leading companies such as Meta (Facebook/Instagram), Pinterest, and Descript. Diao invests in software as a venture partner at IOVC and advises early-stage companies on growth strategy. She has been a keynote speaker and lecturer at more than 30 conferences on growth strategy and entrepreneurship.

SHUO CHEN
General Partner, IOVC

Shuo Chen is a general partner at IOVC, where she invests in early-stage startups in Silicon Valley with a focus on future of work and enterprise/SaaS. In her venture role, she has invested in companies acquired by Goldman Sachs, Ford, Caterpillar, Binance, and Dialpad, as well as unicorns including Boom, Checkr, GrubMarket, Instacart, and Rescale. Earlier, she worked at Goldman Sachs in investment banking and at PwC, where she was involved with Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola and LinkedIn’s $119 million acquisition of SlideShare.

Textbooks for this course:

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