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Entrepreneurship 101

Essential information for emerging entrepreneurs. Based on the free Entrepreneurship 101 business training course, these lecture videos and related resources provide startup business training online to help you start and grow your company. Learn more about MaRS Discovery District’s Entrepreneurship 101.

Curriculum overview:

Information on funding your business, marketing, recruiting, intellectual property and more. Business topics from start to pitch and everything in between.

  • Session 1 Course introduction / Finding and validating your idea

    Learn the scope of the Entrepreneurship 101 course and how it can help you build a business. Hear why entrepreneurship matters so much in today’s world, what makes entrepreneurs different (and successful) and how you can come up with your next big idea (or test the one you have). The resources below the video offer a [...]

  • Session 2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystem and Legal Fundamentals

    In session 2 of Entrepreneurship 101, learn about the legal and tax considerations of starting a business including how to register and structure your business. Emphasis on the importance of understanding the entire “ecosystem” of your business, including corporate organization, intellectual property, contracts and more. The resources below the video offer a foundation upon which you [...]

  • Session 3 Different types of entrepreneurship

    An entrepreneur must decide on their business structure before committing to a business. Are you a for-profit enterprise, a not-for-profit or somewhere in between? What are the requirements and resources for each enterprise model? What type of financing should you target?

  • Session 4 Introduction to entrepreneurial management

    Starting a new business is not the same as running an operating business. As Steve Blank puts it “a startup is an idea looking for a business model”. Over the last decade a number of management practices have emerged that recognizes the particular challenges facing new ventures. In particular, Blank’s Customer Development Model and the [...]

  • Session 5 Value proposition

    In session 5 of Entrepreneurship 101, we explore the process of creating a crisp and concise value proposition for your startup. Learn how to answer the essential question, “what is the value you bring to your customers?”―without getting into the details of your technology. Formulating a good value proposition is an essential step for any startup. [...]

  • Session 6 Product development

    Converting an idea or even a lab prototype into a real, customer-ready product is no simple task. In session 6 of Entrepreneurship 101 we discuss how to turn your idea into a successful product by following the “V-model” of concept development. We also cover how to differentiate the steps of product development, including: Research Design [...]

  • Session 7 IP management

    Intellectual property (IP) is the lifeblood of every knowledge-based start-up or venture. In session 7 of Entrepreneurship 101, learn how to identify and manage your intellectual property in a strategic way and examine how it fits in with your overall business model. A large part of your competitive advantage will depend on your ability to [...]

  • Session 8 Business model canvas

    Careful consideration of economics and business strategy can make the difference between simply having a great technology and building a great company. This lecture focuses on clearly defining your business model and how you propose to make money with your product or service. Case studies will be used to test concepts against a specific business. [...]

  • Session 9 Business communication tools

    In session 9 of Entrepreneurship 101, we provide tips, techniques, tools and examples for building the five essential business communication documents for entrepreneurs: Elevator pitch Executive summary Company presentation Technical white paper Business plan

  • Session 10 Customer discovery and market intelligence

    In session 10 of Entrepreneurship 101, we highlight the value of market research and its importance for startups and introduce various strategies and key resources to conduct market research and analysis. When crafting your value proposition, you need to make certain assumptions about your target market.  These assumptions must be validated through market research techniques [...]

  • Session 11 Marketing communications

    In session 11 of Entrepreneurship 101, we define the field of marketing communications, covering the basics of advertising, branding, public relations and social media. We explore the importance of thought leadership in the technology sector, and where to go for help when developing a marketing plan. We look at marketing communications from the standpoint of [...]

  • Session 12 Go-to-market strategy

    In session 12 of Entrepreneurship 101, we focus on market strategy and provide practical tips on how to prepare to enter the marketplace with your product. This session is geared for startups that have not yet entered the market and are contemplating what needs to be in place for product launch. We examine case studies [...]

  • Session 13 Sales (B2B)

    How are you going to sell your product? In session 13 of Entrepreneurship 101, we explore sales and the principles of “selling value” to your customers. We emphasize the challenges of sales for technology startups. Get tips on: Dealing with stakeholders and distributors Managing risks and problems Making sales calls Successfully closing a sale Following [...]

  • Session 14 Negotiations

    The art of negotiation touches every aspect of our lives — we routinely negotiate with our spouses, our children, our landlord, our employer, and so on. It is equally important in business — we negotiate with our customers, our suppliers and our investors. In session 14 of Entrepreneurship 101, we discuss case studies that focus [...]

  • Session 15 Distribution

    Get a strategic perspective of the distribution channels available to startups. In session 15 of Entrepreneurship 101, we examine the pros and cons of different channels such as inside sales, direct sales, distribution, e-commerce, franchises and integrators. The session emphasizes developing the right criteria for choosing and managing channels. Integrating sales across multiple channels can [...]

  • Session 16 Board of directors and other advisors

    In session 16 of Entrepreneurship 101, you’ll learn the difference between a board of advisors and a board of directors, and what roles they play in running a business. We examine real-life examples of governance best practices to see the legal requirements of different structures and the consequences of board decisions.

  • Session 17 Financial planning

    In session 17 of Entrepreneurship 101, learn the financial planning basics that will help you build a realistic financial plan for your startup. This will help you identify  how you spend and make money. Get to know the basic tools of financial planning, including income statements, cash-flow forecasts, expense statements and balance sheets. We examine [...]

  • Session 18 Recruiting

    In session 18 of Entrepreneurship 101, we cover human resources (HR) with a focus on why building a highly adaptable workforce and workplace matters for small companies.  How to plan for building this team and finally how to recruit and hire both your core team and virtual teams.

  • Session 19 Building and Managing a Team

    Every start-up encounters speed bumps on the highway of growth. It’s the people on your team who will enable your company to power through them. Skills and capabilities must evolve as you grow. You’ll need to navigate advisory and other boards, recruit well and have effective team communication and a CEO who sets the stage [...]

  • Session 20 Bootstrapping

    Bootstrapping is the process of building your business from your own funds and the revenue from customers, instead of raising money from outsiders such as angels and venture capitalists. This is the method most startups use to build their companies. In session 20 of Entrepreneurship 101, we cover the pros and cons of bootstrapping, how [...]

  • Session 21 Terms of investments

    In session 21 of Entrepreneurship 101, we focus on understanding the motivation of private venture capital (VC) firms and how it affects their structuring of term sheets and legal agreements. We explore common pitfalls in dealing with VCs, as well as success stories regarding VC investment.

  • Session 22 Raising money from VCs

    In session 22 of Entrepreneurship 101, we look at raising money for your business. Leading venture capitalists discuss the secrets to successfully pitch to a VC or an angel investor to secure money for a growing technology venture. The format is a Q&A session in which the panel answers questions posed by the moderator and [...]

  • Session 23 The pitch

    In session 23 of Entrepreneurship 101, we discuss how to build and deliver an effective pitch to help you find financing for your entrepreneurial venture or to sell your product to customers. This session covers the essentials of a good PowerPoint pitch deck and identifies the elements of good communication that successful startups use.

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