Learning to Become a Tech Entrepreneur

Note: this is a post of how I took Technology Entrepreneurship Stanford Venture Lab course by Chuck Eesley  back in May 2013. 

Technology entrepreneurship is definitely not something that you can learn from reading books, however if you are looking to make a career loop from corporation to a startup, educational courses can give you guidelines which make a transition more smoothly.

This was exactly my case, when after 3 years of career in investment companies and hundreds of startups analyzed as potential investment opportunities, I wanted to gain more operational experience from a startup side.

By this time I already knew a lot about Lean Entrepreneurship and various startup business models, but this knowledge was mostly theoretical, gained from books and lectures, thus I was looking to add more practice to it without quitting from a job.

2-month Tech Entrepreneurship MOOC seemed like a perfect fit with practical assignments, best practice course syllabus, high-quality professor, and global students scale.

From the beginning of the course, I’ve started actively taking part in forum discussions and communicating with students and organized several local meet-ups in order to find the right team for a project. By the time of submitting a first team assignment, I already had a technical co-founder and was getting a feedback from students during the whole course.

Our idea of the project “Bemy.co” got into the top-list for all of the assignments, mainly because we were actively implementing the concept of “getting out of the building”, gathering lots of feedback from the course students and running potential customer interviews in the public places of Moscow.  We were also constantly making changes in the original business model canvas from the lessons we’ve learned during the process of customer development. Our final opportunity assessment project showed that the concept was sustainable, however monetization for it was yet to be proved. 

Summing up a course was a great experience which gave a feeling of sleepless nights and fighting about the idea with co-founder, being able to acknowledge mistakes and change the concept quickly, taking customer as a king and learning from them. In addition to it I’ve broadened my knowledge of the market and got to know useful online sources for building a startup.

Finally, I’ve got my statement of accomplishment:

Ekaterina_Klink_Technology_Entrepreneurship_Part_1

P.S. The course was a beginning of my path to becoming a tech entrepreneur, which finally led me to a business development role at a startup. Though I haven’t actually become one right after it, I was able to make a more conscious decision whether I want to become her one day.

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