$36,000/year, is how much money you have to pay to attend the world’s leading university Stanford. This is not something most of the world’s students and entrepreneurs can afford. So, last year Stanford has opened its doors to thousands of students and entrepreneurs around the world through online free courses.
Only 3 courses have been offered last year, and they have attracted 58,000 students from all over the world. This year Standford is expanding the modules to 16 brand new online courses. From cryptography to science writing, technology entrepreneurship, finance, and a crash course in creativity, the courses are open to anyone with a computer, anywhere.
Last year, the “Technology Entrepreneurship” course has attracted 37 000 students and entrepreneurs.
You will learn the process technology entrepreneurs use to start companies. It involves taking a technology idea and finding a high-potential commercial opportunity, gathering resources such as talent and capital, figuring out how to sell and market the idea, and managing rapid growth. To gain practical experience alongside the theory, students form teams and work on startup projects in those teams.
Registration is now opened, and below is last year introduction to the course.
You can complement this course with this one on “How to build a Startup“ by Steve Blank, starting on 14 September 2012.
Here, you will learn the basics of Steve Blank’s famous Customer Development process, where entrepreneurs “get out of the building” to gather massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback, and then use that feedback to continuously iterate and evolve their startup business models, improving the chances of success at every step.
Now, the second must-take course for entrepreneurs is the Startup Boards course.
This is an advanced entrepreneurship class, designed for teams who have already started a company or are seriously thinking about starting a company. We encourage teams to take this class together as much of the work will be focused on working with your board to make real progress on the most important issues in your startup.
For each startup team, we will create a board comprised of your peers based on your needs, their skills, and everyone’s engagement. In addition, one of the early assignments will be for each team to find one or two domain experts to serve on their board for the duration of the class.
I’ve personally signup for above 3 courses + this one on creativity: http://venturelab.stanford.edu/creativity
You should also visit the Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship Corner which offers 2000 free videos and podcasts, featuring entrepreneurship and innovation thought leaders.
Asked why Stanford is giving away such high level courses, taught by the best professors, practitioners, and thought leaders in the world, one of the instructor Sebastian Thrun, the world’s best-known artificial intelligence experts, who has led Google project to develop autonomous vehicles, replied:
“I’m much more interested in bringing Stanford to the world, I see the developing world having colossal educational needs.”
Entrepreneurs who take the free courses won’t get a qualification, but they do gain access to some of the best educational brains on the planet.
Here is a list of fall quarter classes, with instructor, course title, start date and platform:
Andrew Ng, Machine Learning, Aug. 20, Coursera
Dan Boneh, Cryptography, Aug. 27, Coursera
Keith Devlin, Introduction to Mathematical Thinking, Sept. 17, Coursera
Daphne Koller, Probabilistic Graphical Models, Sept. 24, Coursera
Scott Klemmer, Human-Computer Interaction, Sept. 24, Coursera
Michael Genesereth, Introduction to Logic, Sept. 24, Coursera
Dan McFarland, Organizational Analysis, Sept. 24, Coursera
Kristin Sainani, Writing in the Sciences, Sept. 24, Coursera
Tim Roughgarden, Algorithms: Design and Analysis, Part 2, October, Coursera
Chuck Eesley, Technology Entrepreneurship, Fall, Venture Lab
Tina Seelig, A Crash Course on Creativity, Fall, Venture Lab
Paul Kim, Designing a New Learning Environment, Fall, Venture Lab
Kay Giesecke, Finance, Fall, Venture Lab
Clint Korver, Startup Boards: Advanced Entrepreneurship, Fall, Venture Lab
Bruce Clemens, Solar Cells, Fuel Cells and Batteries, Oct. 8, Class2Go
Nick McKeown and Philip Levis, An Introduction to Computer Networks, Oct. 8, Class2Go