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Business & Management

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Monday, October 3, 2016 to Friday, December 2, 2016
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Great companies, like great homes, can be built in many ways. Outstanding entrepreneurs, like outstanding architects, can learn much from the achievements of their predecessors. Designed for the budding entrepreneur, this course will introduce you to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, advisors, and investors, and the varied ways in which they’ve constructed successful startups.

During the course, numerous guest speakers will assist us in addressing these and other key questions: How can you overcome the critical challenges founders face, such as assessing your own unique goals, skills, and capabilities; forming a complementary core team; creating a breakthrough product; and raising initial capital? What are the advantages and disadvantages of different kinds of companies, whether big or small, technology- or market-focused, a traditional for-profit startup or a novel social enterprise? Which development path would be best to get your company off to a strong start? Should you go it alone, apply to an incubator or accelerator, or begin pitching venture firms immediately? What are effective ways to raise growth capital from a variety of sources? With rapid growth, what new organizational, managerial, and competitive challenges might your company face? What are useful metrics for measuring a startup’s progress? And, if all goes well, what is the IPO process like? Finally, what vital technological, educational, cultural, and other resources does Silicon Valley offer startups today?

Guest contributors include: Neerav Berry (Co-Founder and CEO, Payplant), Leon Chen (Venture Partner, OrbiMed Advisors), Adam Cheyer (Co-Founder and Vice President of Engineering, Viv Labs), Adam Draper (Managing Director, Boost VC), Timothy Draper (Founder, Draper Associates and DFJ), William H. Draper III (General Partner, Draper Richards LP and Co-Chairman, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation), Jim Fruchterman (Founder and CEO, Benetech), Jim Kleckner (Co-Founder and Vice President, Analytics, CloudPhysics), Kira Makagon (Executive Vice President of Innovation, RingCentral), Ambarish Malpani (Vice President of Engineering, Edmodo), Ted McCluskey (Chief Medical Officer, Finance Technology Leverage), Jessica McKellar (Director of Engineering, Dropbox), Alan Mendelson (Partner, Latham & Watkins, LLP), Jan Møller Mikkelsen (President and CEO, Ascendis Pharma A/S), Daria Mochly-Rosen (The George D. Smith Professor in Translational Medicine, Stanford School of Medicine), Camilla Olson (Founder and CEO, Savitude), Cecily Anne O’Regan (Patent Attorney, Shartsis Friese LLP), George G.C. Parker (Dean Witter Distinguished Professor of Finance, Emeritus, Stanford Graduate School of Business), Rob Reis (Founder and CEO, Higher Ground), Elton Sherwin (President and Founder, Sherwin Advisors), and Glenn Winokur (CEO and Co-Founder, Syapse). 

This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade. 

John Kelley, Co-Founder and COO, OnRisk

John Kelley is the COO of OnRisk, which provides software services to the commercial insurance industry. Earlier, he founded 399 Innovation, which advises firms on invention and innovation strategy. He received a JD from Stanford, where he pursued an independent research track in artificial intelligence and law. Kelley also studied at Sorø Akadamiet in Denmark on an American Field Service Fellowship.

Textbooks for this course

  • (Required) Elton B. Sherwin Jr., The Silicon Valley Way, Second Edition: Discover 45 Secrets for Successful Start-Ups, Second Edition/Paperback (ISBN 0982796110)
  • (Recommended) William H. Draper III, The Startup Game: Inside the Partnership between Venture Capitalists and Entrepreneurs, Paperback (ISBN 0230339948)
  • (Recommended) Jessica Livingston, Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days, Paperback (ISBN 1430210788)
  • (Recommended) Ash Maurya, Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works, Second Edition/Hardcover (ISBN 1449305172)
  • (Recommended) William F. Miller et al., The Silicon Valley Edge: A Habitat for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Paperback(ISBN 0804740631)


How to Build Successful Startups

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Online Team Workshop!

About the Workshop

Presentations are a necessity in all areas of a business but presentation skills are often overlooked as a core competency. Many of us even fear the process. Nerves and negative feedback can make you uncomfortable which quickly drain your energy, preventing the effective transfer of information to your audience. In this workshop, Perry Klebahn, Jeremy Utley and Scott Doorley take your team or group through an interactive step-by-step process to create presentations that draw the audience in.

Get ready to practice techniques to amplify the "power messages" in presentations and create active audiences.

  • Learn techniques to engage with an audience
  • Understand how to give feedback without being an expert on the topic
  • Explore ways to make the presentation goal clear and achieve the desired outcome

The new and innovative ideas that your team learns here will change your perspective of the presenting process.

Fee applies.


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Newly updated – open for enrollment!

Application and fee apply.


Growth requires getting people to do more and do it better. Senior executives, managers, frontline employees and other players need to spread existing pockets of excellence to more people in more places. This course is based on the premise that scaling is a crucial skill for building vibrant and enduring organizations—small startups to large enterprises—in every industry and sector. You will learn best practices and principles for scaling excellence, and hear from industry leaders who have applied these principles successfully.

Learn how to

  • Build an organizational mindset of accountability and ownership
    • Learn how to scale up organizations and projects by creating strong and resilient bonds between people. Enable people to feel and act as if they own the place and the place owns them.
  • Evaluate the scaling capacity of your organization
    • Learn to identify the prevalent mindset within your company, and what are some taboos that exist within your organization. Evaluate the grit and resilience of the people involved in your scaling effort. Decide whether your scaling effort requires a Catholic approach (emphasizing replication) or a Buddhist approach (emphasizing variation).
  • Avoid traps that inhibit scaling
    • Sidestep common scaling mistakes by applying the pre-mortem methodology and by learning from stories and case studies of companies who have scaled successfully.


  • Hayagreeva Rao, Professor of Organizational BehaviorStanford Graduate School of Business


Please contact us at 650.741.1630



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Application and fee apply.


The potential application for Bitcoin-like technologies is enormous. This course covers the technical aspects of engineering secure software, system interactions with crypto-currencies, and distributed consensus for reliability.


  • Dan BonehProfessor of Computer ScienceStanford University

Topics Include

  • Altcoins
  • Bitcoin transactions
  • Consensus protocols
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Elliptic curves
  • Hash functions
  • Mining strategies and incentives
  • Proposed Bitcoin regulations
  • Zerocoin, zerocash




CS110CS255 is recommended

Certificates and Degrees


Bitcoin and Crypto Currencies

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Monday, September 26, 2016
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Value investors like Warren Buffett can beat not only the stock market, but also most other money managers as well. Why? What do value investors do differently from other investors? And if value investing works so well, why do so few people use it? 

In this online course, we will learn the fundamentals of analysis, projection, valuation, and implementation. We will first learn to analyze companies’ historical performance by calculating vital metrics like return on invested capital. Second, we will discover how to project future corporate performance using frameworks like Porter Five Forces analysis. Third, we will master how to value a stock. And finally, we will learn how to implement a value strategy by steering clear of short-term reporting, biases, and other hurdles. By tackling the tools of value investing and the keys to their implementation, students will gain insight into the capital management strategy that performs best over the long term. 


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Spring Session: 14 Mar 2018 – 13 Mar 2019  Application Deadline February 7, 2018


Immerse yourself in an interactive learning experience that’s powered by technology, fueled by innovation, and taught by tenured Stanford GSB faculty.

Learn. Engage. Accelerate. Disrupt. The LEAD certificate program provides a unique online learning environment in which participants and faculty openly discuss, debate, question, challenge, comment, support, and share.

This is an academically rigorous program, focused on corporate innovation, that includes video lectures, live events, classwide discussions, small team projects, and direct faculty feedback.

One year and eight courses later, you’ll receive 24 continuing education units, or CEUs, and a Stanford GSB certificate that demonstrates your drive and motivation, skills, and leadership ability.

Key Benefits

Learn new skills and strategies, and immediately apply what you’ve learned to drive innovation in your organization.
  • Acquire business tools and techniques to implement and accelerate change in your organization.
  • Collaborate and innovate with a small, select group of peers through team projects, class discussions, and ongoing feedback.
  • Iterate and innovate on the job, applying new learnings to real-world business challenges.
  • Showcase your success and demonstrate your skills and leadership with a prestigious Stanford GSB certificate.
  • Earn 24 CEUs.
  • Build a valuable network of highly qualified peers from around the globe. 

Who Should Attend

  • Highly motivated professionals from around the world who crave an intense, immersive learning experience from Stanford GSB
  • Professionals who are committed to driving change in their organizations
  • Aspiring leaders from large and small companies who are developing new products, services, or markets or who are embarking on strategic pivots or cultural changes within their organizations.


LEAD certificate program

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Monday, October 24, 2016
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Application and Fee Apply.

This course is offered through Worldview Stanford. Worldview Stanford is an innovative Stanford University initiative that creates interdisciplinary learning experiences for professionals to prepare them for the strategic challenges ahead.


What's driving big data? We increasingly live our social, economic, and intellectual lives in the digital realm, enabled by new tools and technologies. These activities generate massive data sets, which in turn refine the tools. How will this co-evolution of technology and data reshape society more broadly?

Creating new knowledge and value: Big data changes what can be known about the world, transforming science, industries, and culture in the process. It reveals solutions to social problems and allows products and services to be even more targeted. Where will big data create the greatest sources of new understanding and new value?

Shifting power, security, and privacy: The promise of big data is accompanied by perils—in terms of control, privacy, security, reputation, and social and economic disruption. How will we manage these tradeoffs individually and in business, government, and civil society?

  • Synthesize expert opinions from researchers and Silicon Valley innovators to understand big data's opportunities and challenges. Balance the tradeoffs between individual privacy and security and social value.
  • Apply strategies for leveraging the potential of big data while managing potential vulnerabilities, both personally and organizationally.


Learn from a variety of sources and Stanford experts, including:

Lucy Bernholz, philanthropy, technology, and policy scholar at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

Sharad Goel, computational scientist studying politics, media, and social networks

Jennifer Granick, attorney and director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society

Michal Kosinsk, psychologist and computational scientist studying online and organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Margaret Levi, political scientist specializing in governance, trust, and legitimacy

John Mitchell, computer scientist, cybersecurity expert, and Vice Provost of Teaching and Learning


Big Data

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Monday, June 20, 2016 to Friday, August 12, 2016
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What makes one product good and another great? Is the ability to drive game-changing innovation an inborn gift or a practice any person can develop? This course explores the brain science and psychological methodology of creative ideation and introduces new paths to elevating our “visionary quotient” as business innovators and leaders. 

We will explore neuroscience, design thinking, and mindfulness in product development as they relate to new thinking about the innovation process and the creation of extraordinary brand experiences. Drawing on leading-edge research in design and psychology— as well as timeless wisdom, Silicon Valley history, and the classic book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which has guided many of the Valley’s most impactful business leaders—this course zeros in on the tangible and intangible attributes that make products great. With case studies spanning Apple, Google, Airbnb, Facebook, and other success stories, this course will illuminate new ways to guide product ideation, brand, and design. Entrepreneurs, marketers, developers, or anyone who wants to “think different” about innovation and take their impact to the next level will find actionable, differentiating insight in this course. 

Ellen Leanse, Tech Advisor; Entrepreneur

Ellen Leanse coaches startup teams and writes on innovation, mindfulness, and product design. She has advised more than forty technology companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, NeXT, Oracle, Intuit, and Samsung, and has worked with entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia, India, Latin America, and across the US. A member of the Macintosh launch team, Leanse was Apple’s first User Evangelist and forged the company’s pioneering steps into online communities. In 2012, PandoDaily named her as one of technology’s “Top Five Marketers” and the Silicon Valley Business Journal recognized her as a “Silicon Valley Woman of Influence.” She spoke on “Happiness by Design” at TEDxBerkeley 2016.

Textbooks for this course

(Required) David Rock, Your Brain at Work (ISBN 0061771295)
(Recommended) Nir Eyal, Hooked (ISBN 1591847788)

DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)- See more at:




Unleashing Creative Innovation

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Monday, May 2, 2016 to Friday, May 27, 2016
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Economics professors Paul Oyer, Mike Mazzeo, and Scott Schaefer have spent the past six years visiting small to medium-sized ventures around the world, gathering stories of success and failure.

This course uses those stories to provide lessons that can help business leaders identify new opportunities and avoid pitfalls as their company reaches for the next level. We will do a deep dive into key strategy concepts, based on economic fundamentals, that will help you think about growing your business. You will learn about these concepts through the examples of real-life businesses and then practice applying the concepts to your business (or a business you know well).

During the course, we'll ask you to think about questions like:

  • What scales and what doesn't?

  • What does your cost structure tell you about your future?

  • Where can you add value for your customers so that they will be willing to pay a price that can ensure you stay profitable as you grow?

Strategic Thinking for Growing Your Enterprise will conclude with a final team project where you will analyze and address a key strategic growth challenge of a business.

Most of the course material will be self-paced, but there will also be live webinars where you can ask the professors questions about challenges you face and participate in discussions with business owners whose companies you learn about in the class content.

By the end of the course, you will:

  • Understand the economic foundations of strategy (but we promise not to do too much math to get you there)
Make an analytical case to support a strategic growth initiative

  • Be in a position to make analogies from cases/examples to other organizations
Hopefully, have a lot of fun!




You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will be images, videos, slides, and text. You should also be prepared to collaborate with teammates via email, Skype, and other free online tools.


Paul Oyer

Fred H. Merrill Professor of Economics in the Stanford University Graduate School of Business

Paul Oyer has been on the Stanford faculty since 2000, where he teaches classes in Economics, Strategy, and Human Resource Management. He is also a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economics and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Labor Economics. Paul does research in the field of labor economics. In addition, he is the author of two books -- "Roadside MBA" (with Michael Mazzeo and Scott Schaefer) and "Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned from Online Dating". Thanks to his ongoing collaboration with the other instructors of this MOOC, Paul has visited all fifty states, spent a day on a dairy farm, and driven across shockingly expensive toll bridges throughout Scandinavia.

Scott Schaefer

Kendall D. Garff Chair in Business Administration at the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business

Scott Schaefer joined the University of Utah faculty in 2005, and served as Associate Dean from 2009 to 2012. Prior to moving to Utah, he taught for ten years Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, where he held the Richard M. Paget Chair. Scott does research on the economics of organization, with an emphasis on employment relationships and decision-making inside firms. He has won multiple teaching awards at both Kellogg and Utah, and has co-authored the booksEconomics of Strategy and Roadside MBA. Scott holds a PhD from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and enjoys driving rental cars on two-lane roads with spotty cell coverage.

Michael Mazzeo

Associate Professor of Strategy at Kellogg School of Management

Mike Mazzeo is an Associate Professor in the Strategy Department of the Kellogg School of Management, and a Faculty Associate at Northwestern University's Institute for Policy Research. He teaches Kellogg's core MBA and EMBA classes in Business Strategy, and is a three-time recipient of the school's Core Course Teaching Award. He is the Academic Director of Kellogg's open enrollment executive program in Competitive Strategy. He joined the faculty in 1998 after completing his PhD in economics at Stanford University.


Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment?

Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor.

How much of the time commitment will this course be?

Expect to spend between 2 - 3 hours per week on the course over the four-week period. This class is mostly asynchronous and does not meet at specific times. Live webinars will be recorded for those who are unable to attend at the scheduled time.

Any additional textbooks or software required?

There is no textbook for this course. The instructors have written a book called Roadside MBA: Backroad Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Small Business Owners if you are interested in learning more about the material covered in this course.

Strategic Thinking for Growing Your Enterprise

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Monday, March 28, 2016
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This course is offered by Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Application and fee applies.

Course Description

The best and most innovative ideas will never see the light of day unless they can obtain funding. How can you, as a manager or entrepreneur, make the most convincing case to advance your projects and make them attractive to senior decision makers or outside investors? And how do successful companies and investors pick the best products and manage R&D investments? Effective product innovation relies on clearly defined financial models and analysis. This course will explore the tools of financial valuation and their role in investment decisions faced by managers, entrepreneurs, and investors. You will learn the difference between earnings and cash flow, the importance of net working capital, and the determinants of a firm's cost of capital. You will explore the sources and drivers of value and how to maximize created value. Finally, you will apply financial valuation tools to understand how firms are valued by investors, considering both publicly traded and venture-backed firms.

Learn How To:

  • Identify the determinants of earnings, cash flows, and shareholder value
  • Build a financial model to assess the value proposition for a product or investment
  • Analyze and optimize the sources and drivers of firm value
  • Value projects, firms and new ventures


  • Peter DeMarzo

Additional Resources


Financing Innovation

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