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BUS 165 — How to Identify and Test Startup Ideas: For the Non-Technical Founder

Quarter: Summer
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jun 28—Aug 16
Time: 6:30—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Jul 11
Units: 2
Tuition: $530
Addtl. Fee: $5 (non-refundable)
Instructor(s): Leah Edwards
On-campus course
6:30—8:50 pm
Jun 28—Aug 16
8 weeks
Drop By
Jul 11
2 Units
Addtl. Fee: $5 (non-refundable)
Leah Edwards
Have you been thinking of turning your knowledge, skill, or passion into a business? This course will get you started by teaching you to work methodically through the early stages of launching a new product or service. Working on team projects, students will be coached through the process of finding, testing, and developing a business idea—a tool that can be used repeatedly and confidently once finishing the course. The course will introduce Design Thinking, Lean Startup, and Business Model Canvas principles, all of which are useful for understanding the needs and preferences of your audience (your customers), prototyping products and services, and conducting user tests.

Although open to any potential entrepreneur, the course will be geared toward the “non-technical founder”—meaning the founder of a company who might not want to develop a technology but who may leverage existing technology. The course will generally focus on content-based businesses, such as entertainment videos, podcasts, courses, and music. (The beauty of content-based businesses is that they allow you to leverage products you can create with your own mind.)

Guest speakers will regularly visit the class and demonstrate how you can make use of easy-to-use technologies (such as Indiegogo, Udemy, and Patreon) to crowdfund, launch, and market online products or services. With highly interactive discussions, guests will share their experiences launching content-based businesses and will give students advice about designing user tests. Students will come away from this course understanding the process of testing a new business idea and the online platforms that support entrepreneurs in developing their businesses.

This course includes a non-refundable materials fee to be paid at the time of registration.

Leah Edwards, Former Director, Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Leah Edwards is an educator, a consultant on entrepreneurship programs, and a startup advisor. She started her career launching software products for major Silicon Valley companies such as Oracle and Intuit before co-founding, building, and selling startups to companies such as IBM and Netcentives. She received an MBA from Stanford.

Textbooks for this course:

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