Technology Venture Formation


Stanford School of Engineering

Management Science & Engineering: Technology Venture Formation


What does it take to create a successful tech start-up? In this course, you will have the opportunity to learn and practice the fundamental skills required to assess a technology concept or product in the framework of a business opportunity. Focusing on the experience of early-stage entrepreneurs seeking initial investment, you will learn about opportunity assessment, customer development, go-to-market strategy, and IP. You will also learn effective tools for team building and brainstorming. The course will feature presentations by serial entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, who will share their knowledge and expertise. Learn how to craft investment pitches using the knowledge you’ve obtained and participate in student teams to make live pitches to a panel of top tier VC partners. This hands-on course will help you gain critical skills to stand out from the crowd.

To be considered for this limited-enrollment course, you must submit a special application by August 23rd, 11:59 pm PDT. You will be notified of your application status by September 4th. (This deadline does not apply to Honors Cooperative students.)

The class involves a team project requiring significant time commitments. The course is open to graduate students, NDO, and Honors-Cooperative students.

What you will learn

  • How to create a business model that will attract investors
  • How to make an effective investment pitch
  • How to build early-stage teams
  • How to create a go-to-market strategy


There are no prerequisites other than a passion for creating new ventures and the ability to put in the required time.

NDO students: To apply, you must also submit your full NDO application and transcripts to SCPD customer service team if you are a new student.

Topics include

  • Effective brainstorming
  • Marketing fundamentals and customer discovery
  • Product development and unit economics
  • Building a financial operating plan
  • Investor pitches and VC term sheets


Note on Course Availability

This course is typically offered Autumn quarter.

The course schedule is displayed for planning purposes – courses can be modified, changed, or cancelled. Course availability will be considered finalized on the first day of open enrollment. For quarterly enrollment dates, please refer to our graduate certificate homepage.

For questions regarding the course content, please contact:

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