How to Finance and Grow Your Startup – Without VC
School: London Business School
Registration Link: REGISTER HERE
Start Date: February 28, 2017 (7 Weeks Long)
Workload: 5-6 Hours Per Week
Instructor: John Mullins
Credentials: Since 2001, Mullins has served as an Associate Professor of Management Practice at the London Business School. Boasting an MBA from Stanford and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, Mullins began his career as an entrepreneur. Since then, he has emerged as a leading mind in entrepreneurship. In 2014, Fortune named his book, The Customer-Funded Business, among the five “Not-To-Be-Missed” books. Four years earlier, his Getting to Plan B ranked number one in Inc.’s “Best Books for Business Owners.” In 2010, he also made the list of Thinkers50’s emerging business thinking and guru radar.
Graded: Students must successfully complete all graded assignments to complete this course.
Description: It’s the dream of most entrepreneurs: You turn a genius idea into a business. You’ve developed a strategy. You’ve found an office. You may have even closed some customers and hired employees. Now, it is time for the big step: Pitching venture capitalists for seed money to take your venture to the next level. Question is, do you really need their help?
Not really, says Mullins, who considers taking angel or VC money to be an “exceedingly bad idea”…at least early on. From his experience, many of the fastest-growing firms avoid raising funds. In this course, students will learn why they should follow suit and how they can scale their business without fund-raising. In particular, Mullins will introduce students to five models that have been used to build firms ranging from Uber and Airbnb to grow their businesses without losing valuable shares to investors early in the process. From Silicon Valley to Latin America, Mullins will examine how these models work, detailing their advantages and drawbacks. In addition, students will look at successes and failures using these models, to gain an appreciation for the contexts where these models work best.
Review: “Brilliant course, I got a lot out of this. Covers the main revenue models for customer funding. A great counter to the fashionable way of starting a company (business plan + VC) and a course I’ll recommend to those looking to start their own businesses. The assignments were genuinely challenging (not quizzes) which had me out speaking to entrepreneurs about their perspectives – something I honestly wouldn’t have done if not encouraged to do by this course. The course does assume that you have at least a rough idea for a business before you start. If you’re just vaguely interested in business this will be less relevant for you.” To read additional reviews, click here.