Course Number: 95-794
Tech Startup: Tools and Techniques
The first three years of a technology start-up are the most critical. That is
when the company’s “DNA” or trajectory is set. Too few entrepreneurs
appreciate this fact and many start without the essential skills, talents and
capabilities needed to set the company on a successful path. Some of
these skills can only be learned through starting and growing a business
while others can be learned. This course introduces you to those learnable
• Creating, developing and evaluating your “concept of a business” – Is
my idea a real innovation? Is it also a business or a product or neither?
How do I know how big the market is for my product? What are the
technology, market and competitive risks in my idea and how do I
assess them? Can I compete with the big boys? Can I sell it? How?
• Identifying, managing and evaluating a start-up team – Do I have the
skill, motivation and ability to be a tech entrepreneur? Can I build a
company from scratch (really?)? Should I be the CEO, Sales Account
Manager, VP of Engineering or something else altogether? What
should my team look like on day 1, a year from now, or three years
from now? How do I incent them? Manage them? Lead them? How do
I evaluate whether people have the skills, knowledge, abilities and
attributes necessary for a) this team generally, b) the role I’ve picked
for them specifically, and c) the long haul?
• Raising money – I know I need money what but how much, where,
when and what kind of money?
Students will apply their newfound practical skills, gathered, in part, from
lectures from experienced entrepreneurs and investors, to case studies1,
Mark F. DeSantis