Financing Innovation: Valuing Projects and Firms


Stanford School of Engineering



As of March 31st, 2021 this course is no longer available, but is still recognized by Stanford University.

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

  • Analyze and optimize the sources and drivers of firm value
    • Learn how to use a financial model to better understand your investment opportunity and optimize its value. Learn how to increase the value of an opportunity by timing or staging an investment. Learn about identifying sources and drivers of value, the pitfalls of return-based measures of value, and real options and the staging of investment.
  • Build a financial model to assess the value proposition for a product or investment
    • Learn the determinants of an investment’s cost of capital – the expected return required by investors in order to invest. Learn about the dynamics of interest rates and the yield curve (and how it can be used to forecast the economy), as well as the main principles of stock market investing. Learn about risk versus return, measuring market risk and building a DCF/WACC model.
  • Identify the determinants of earnings, cash flows, and shareholder value
    • Learn the basics of financial statements, and see how to assess the impact of an investment decision on the firm’s earnings and cash flows. Learn how to assess the value created, or NPV, of a risk-free investment. Learn about capital budgeting, financial decision making, and developing an earnings forecast. Learn the difference between cash flows versus earnings and why it matters.
  • Value projects, firms and new ventures
    • Learn how the techniques used to evaluate a project can also be used to value an entire company. Explore the main methods used to value firms in practice, and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Learn to develop a basic template that can be used to estimate a firm’s share price. Learn about the use and misuse of comparables, dividends, repurchases, and fundamental value, P/E multiples and growth, and estimating share prices using the DCF/WACC model.



The All-Access Plan – a full year to view and complete course materials, video lectures, assignments and exams, at your own pace. Revisit course materials or jump ahead – all content remains at your fingertips year-round. You also get 365 days of email access to your Stanford teaching assistant.

  • $7960
  • $75 one-time document fee

Individual Courses - 60 days to view and complete course materials, video lectures, assignments and exams, at your own pace.  You also get 60 days of email access to your Stanford teaching assistant.

  • $995 per course
  • $75 one-time document fee

Continuing Education Units

By completing this course, you’ll earn 1 Continuing Education Unit (CEU). CEUs cannot be applied toward any Stanford degree. CEU transferability is subject to the receiving institution’s policies.

Record of Completion

When you complete each course, you’ll receive an email with a link to download your Record of Completion. This email will be sent to the address you provide in your mystanfordconnection within 3 business days of course completion.


Please contact us at 650-204-3984


Course Preview

Watch a brief overview of the Financing Innovation: Valuing Projects and Firms course

Enroll Now

Dates:September 1 - August 31, 2021
Delivery Option:
All Access Online Course $995.00

Course Access
365 day access to the online course starts upon payment.

Course Materials
Course materials are available for download from the online videos page. All materials are available for printing and review upon enrollment.

Final Exam
Online participants are asked to complete a final exam at the end of each course to maintain the integrity of the program. A score of 85% must be achieved to successfully pass the exam. A digital record of completion will be emailed to participants when they pass the exam.

Course Evaluation
It is required that participants complete the course evaluation once they have passed the final exam.

This course may not currently be available to learners in some states and territories.