Innovation Blog

Free online courses on innovation and entrepreneurship

In parallel with the expansion of offline training in innovation and entrepreneurship, a plenitude of online courses on these topics are available on the Web. We present some free ones in this blog post.

Introduction to Innovation and Entrepreneurship

This short course will introduce you to the fundamentals of innovation and entrepreneurship, providing you a blueprint for the ideas and strategies to build a successful venture. In addition to learning from Stanford faculty, you will also hear from top Silicon Valley leaders as they share their experiences and insights in interviews and talks. Throughout the course, you will be asked to reflect on how the material applies to your own experiences to help you build a self-reflective practice.

Innovation & Entrepreneurship – From Basics to Open Innovation

This Innovation and Entrepreneurship course focuses on the interconnection between entrepreneurial thinking and innovation. Specifically, it looks at models used in Silicon Valley to grow both start-up companies as well as innovation inside large organizations. Bringing together top Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley faculty, this course addresses critical areas for successful growth, including design thinking, open innovation, business models, product-market fit, and financing. This course will teach you how to think like an entrepreneur and provides the models, tools and frameworks to further develop your business or idea. An emphasis will be placed on the IT space.

Sustainable Business – Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Learn how entrepreneurship and innovation can help establish a sustainable business, with this free online course. This free online Sustainable Business course focuses on Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Opening a new restaurant is not necessarily an entrepreneurial venture, rather than just a new venture. To be truly entrepreneurial, you need to come up with a new model of profitable and sustainable business. With this course, you will learn that in an entrepreneurial venture, improved solutions are applied to better satisfy consumer needs.

How to Build a Startup

In an introduction to the basics of the famous Customer Development Process, Steve Blank provides insight into the key steps needed to build a successful startup. The main idea in this course is learning how to rapidly develop and test ideas by gathering massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback. Many startups fail by not validating their ideas early on with real-life customers. In order to mitigate that, students will learn how to get out of the building and search for the real pain points and unmet needs of customers. Only with these can the entrepreneur find a proper solution and establish a suitable business model. Building a startup is not simply building an execution plan for a business model that the entrepreneur thinks will work, but rather, a search for the actual business model itself.

Energy Economics and the Environment

Environmental issues require trade-offs, primarily in how we use energy. A former White House economist offers answers. Energy use and its impact on the environment will be two of the most important issues of the 21st century. The large role of energy in geo-political relationships combined with the fact that most of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with global climate change come from energy production means the energy sector is poised for dramatic change, and thus great opportunity. This course is designed to be a primer for potential entrepreneurs, investors, managers and policy makers on energy and environmental issues. Topics will include environmental economics, energy economics, environmental ethics, oil sector, the electricity sector, alternative energy, sustainability, climate change and climate policy.

Model Thinking

We live in a complex world with diverse people, firms, and governments whose behaviors aggregate to produce novel, unexpected phenomena. We see political uprisings, market crashes, and a never ending array of social trends. How do we make sense of it? Models. Evidence shows that people who think with models consistently outperform those who don’t. And, moreover people who think with lots of models outperform people who use only one. Why do models make us better thinkers? Models help us to better organize information – to make sense of that fire hose or hairball of data (choose your metaphor) available on the Internet. Models improve our abilities to make accurate forecasts. They help us make better decisions and adopt more effective strategies. They even can improve our ability to design institutions and procedures. In this course,  a starter kit of models is presented: models of tipping points, cover models that explain the wisdom of crowds, models that show why some countries are rich and some are poor, and models that help unpack the strategic decisions of firm and politicians.

Foundations of Business Strategy

Develop your ability to think strategically, analyze the competitive environment, and recommend firm positioning and value creation. This course explores the underlying theory and frameworks that provide the foundations of a successful business strategy and provide the tools you need to understand that strategy: SWOT, Competitor, Environmental, Five Forces, and Capabilities Analyses, as well as Strategy Maps.

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship

This course assists aspiring and active entrepreneurs in developing great ideas into great companies. With strong economies presenting rich opportunities for new venture creation, and challenging economic times presenting the necessity for many to make their own job, the need to develop the skills to develop and act on innovative business opportunities is increasingly vital. Using proven content, methods, and models for new venture opportunity assessment and analysis, you will learn how to:  identify and analyze entrepreneurial opportunities; enhance your entrepreneurial mindset; improve your strategic decision-making; and build innovative business models. The goal is to demystify the startup process, and to help you build the skills to identify and act on innovative opportunities now, and in the future.

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