Silicon Valley Business School

Contents of SVBS Course: Entrepreneurship

This course explores what it means to be an entrepreneur, what entrepreneurs do, the risks involved in forming a startup venture, the challenges and potential rewards of entrepreneurship. The startup journey is discussed, a roadmap is provided, and the pro's and con's of various exits (sale of the Company, IPO, sale of assets, shutdown and bankruptcy) are compared and contrasted. Business planning, business models, routes to market and business momentum are covered. Advanced management maneuvers such as reinventing the Company and restarting the Company are explained. Note: Although this is an extensive course covering the essence of entrepreneurship, there are many skills required to become a successful entrepreneur and students of entrepreneurship are advised to enroll on many other SVBS courses including Finance & Accounting, Raising Finance, Marketing, Sales and Business Development, IPO & Securities Regulation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Patents & Intellectual Property, Patent & I.P. Strategies.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

Generate buzz and a sense of momentum around a startup venture.
Implement management maneuvers designed to boost momentum in a startup venture.
Execute certain radical management maneuvers, such as reinventing or restarting the Company, designed to breathe new life into a stalled or failing startup venture.
Weigh the risks and challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the high-tech sector against the potential rewards to be gained from a career as an entrepreneur.
Anticipate several of the significant challenges and experiences entrepreneurs can expect to encounter along the startup journey.
Write a business plan for a startup venture, and appreciate how the business planning is an essential activity for startup ventures, especially when raising finance from venture capital investors.
Appreciate how distribution channels and routes to market are key to the success of businesses in the high-tech and other sectors.
Understand what it takes to assemble a winning team for a startup journey comprising founders, CEO & officers, employees, independent contractors, a board of directors, shareholders and advisors.
Explains how the power is split between the shareholders, officers, managers and board of directors in a startup organization.
Appreciate the special challenges faced by companies entering the U.S. marketplace from foreign markets.

Course Sections

The course is organized into the following sections:

Entrepreneurship: Introduction
Entrepreneurship: Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship: Assembling a Winning Team
Entrepreneurship: Planning & Company Navigation
Entrepreneurship: Routes to Market
Entrepreneurship: Business Momentum
Entrepreneurship: Business Momentum ~ Radical Momentum Maneuvers
Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship Challenges & Potential Rewards
Entrepreneurship: Alternative Routes & Destinations for the Startup Journey

Entrepreneurship: Introduction
  • Welcome Video ~ Introduction Section
  • In this introductory section of the Entrepreneurship course, among other issues, we look at what it means to be an entrepreneur, as well as the common characteristics of entrepreneurs.

  • Video ~ Entrepreneurship
  • This voice narrated slideshow provides an introduction to Entrepreneurship.

  • Video ~ Entrepreneurial DNA
  • In this video, the concept of "Entrepreneurial DNA" is explained.

  • Video ~ 10 Rookie Startup Mistakes to Avoid
  • Video ~ What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from the 1968 Olympic Games
  • Video ~ Top 10 Rules for Success
  • Silicon Valley Trends Podcast ~ Introduction
  • David Smith explains how SVBS and this podcast series are designed to help entrepreneurs build more successful startups and help more innovators profit from their ideas and inventions. David explains how he has formed more than a dozen startups, authored several books, graduated from law school as well as business school, raised finance from Bill Gates, venture funds and angel investors in China & Japan. Unfortunately, the vast majority of startups fail. Many fail due to lack of knowledge and experience by the entrepreneurs. The podcast series is designed to help entrepreneurs understand what they need to know to be successful. This episode discusses how this podcast series is supported with dozens of courses, thousands of videos and reading materials, and how Silicon Valley Business School provides online guidance and education to everyone, everywhere. Offering suggestions as to how entrepreneurs can be more successful, the topics range from patents to venture capital preferred stock investment terms.

  • Video ~ Silicon Valley Business School MentorAccelerator Program
  • How the Silicon Valley Business School MentorAccelerator Program educates and mentors entrepreneurs, helping them accelerate their startup ventures toward success.

  • Video ~ Steve Jobs on Starting A Business
  • Valuable insights on starting a successful new business from Steve Jobs.

  • Video ~ 50 Entrepreneurs Share Priceless Advice
  • Insights from successful entrepreneurs.

  • Reading ~ "Entrepreneur" defined
  • Merriam Webster defines an entrepreneur as "one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise".

  • Slideshow Handout ~ Entrepreneurship
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Entrepreneurship".

  • Audio ~ Why Are Women Less Likely To Become Entrepreneurs Than Men?
  • Research analyzes how confidence and over-confidence drive entrepreneurs, and how women differ from men.

  • Reading ~ Master of All Trades
  • Mastering many different skills is necessary if you wish to build a successful business from scratch. The entrepreneur is required to master skills in product development, business planning, finance, accounting, marketing, human resources, business law, and must be prepared to persevere through difficult times and hazardous terrain.

  • Book ~ Zero-to-IPO
  • Reading ~ The Young Entrepreneur Myth
  • The average age of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who have a successful exit is not as young as you might think.

    Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship Challenges & Potential Rewards
  • Welcome Video ~ Challenges & Potential Rewards Section
  • Video provides introductory information regarding the pros and cons of becoming an entrepreneur.

  • Video ~ Challenges & Potential Rewards of Entrepreneurship
  • Video ~ Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba | The Brave OnesPage
  • Jack Ma may be one of China's biggest success stories now - but he started from humble beginnings.

  • Slideshow Handout ~ Challenges & Potential Rewards of Entrepreneurship
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Challenges & Potential Rewards of Entrepreneurship".

  • Reading ~ Start-Up Queen
  • This article shares the story of Thuy Truong, a Vietnamese entrepreneur.

  • Silicon Valley's Work-Life Balance
  • Reading ~ Making it Through
  • This article provides tips on how to deal with the challenges that startups face.

  • Reading ~ Even Well-Known Startups Often Fail
  • An article regarding the technology blog Gigaom, which shut down after running out of money.

  • Reading ~ Why do Startups Fail?
  • Reading ~ The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship
  • Reading ~ 10 Questions Entrepreneurs Should Ask Before Starting a New Business URL
  • The reality is that half of all new businesses are no longer around five years after being formed. That's why it's smart to fully think through how you plan to succeed in advance rather than winging it after launching the business. Here are 10 questions every entrepreneur should ask before starting a new business.

  • Reading ~ Odds Of Becoming A Unicorn Are About 1%
  • 70% of companies end up either dead, or become self-sustaining.

    Entrepreneurship: Alternative Routes & Destinations for the Startup Journey
  • Video ~ Alternative Routes & Destinations
  • Video ~ Q&A With Jeff Ready, Entrepreneur
  • Video ~ Interview with Imin Lee, Entrepreneur
  • Optional Video ~ Interview with Wu-Fu Chen, Entrepreneur & Investor
  • Video ~ VC Exits Increasingly Elusive
  • Video ~ Cashing Out Post-IPO
  • Video ~ Following IPO, Groupon Founder's a Billionaire--On Paper
  • Video explains how the founders of startup companies get to cash out following IPO. It discusses the lock-up period, insider trading regulation and other restrictions on selling stock following IPO.

  • Video ~ The Hidden Costs of Startup Funding Sources
  • Video ~ Exit Strategy for Investors and Startups
  • When investing in a startup, investors never lay down any money until they have an exit strategy - here's a short video explaining what that means.

  • Zero-To-IPO Roadmap (High Resolution)
  • Reading ~ Read Pages 17-21 Zero-to-IPO
  • Slideshow Handout ~ Alternative Routes & Destinations
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Alternative Routes & Destinations".

  • Audio ~ Lecture on the Startup Journey
  • The startup journey and challenges facing technology entrepreneurs.

  • Reading ~ Read Pages 194-251 Zero-to-IPO
  • This portion of the book, Zero-to-IPO by David Smith, examines the life of a startup in the context of a journey. This journey terminates when the company reaches its destination, and ceases to exist as a private, independent organization—at IPO, Acquisition or Shutdown.

  • Reading ~ CEO & Venture Investors Shares In the Box IPO
  • Forbes article on how the VC's earned more (on paper) than the CEO of Box at the IPO.

  • Reading ~Startup Dissolved Overnight
  • This article gives an account of how a startup dissolved overnight and laid off its 400 employees.

  • Reading ~ Employees Lost Out when Company Acquired
  • A New York Times article regarding the sale of a company and how it affected the employees.

  • Reading ~ A Good Deal for Preferred Holders Wasn't so Good for Common Stockholders
  • Entrepreneurship: Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship
  • Welcome Video ~ Silicon Valley Entrepreneurship Section
  • Video ~ 10 Steps to Setting up Shop and Becoming a Successful Silicon Valley Entrepreneur
  • Video ~ Seven Secrets of Silicon Valley
  • Silicon Valley Trends Podcast ~ Interview with Justin Kan, Co-Founder of Twitch
  • Justin Kan talks about how he became an entrepreneur, got into the Y-Combinator program, started live streaming his whole life, created Twitch and sold it to Amazon for $970m. Justin talks about his new startup, Atrium, a tech-driven law firm servicing startups and high growth companies from its base in San Francisco.

  • Silicon Valley Trends Podcast ~ Interview with Paul Kallmes, Entrepreneurship and Angel Investment Expert
  • Paul Kallmes discusses entrepreneurship, international expansion, managing risk, pitching investors, raising finance from venture capital investors, angel investing and even rock climbing in this interview from the Vault, an innovation ecosystem and global network of startup accelerators and collaborative workspaces with a facility in the heart of San Francisco.

  • Slideshow Handout ~ 10 Steps to Setting up Shop and Becoming a Successful Silicon Valley Entrepreneur
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ 10 Steps to Setting up Shop and Becoming a Successful Silicon Valley Entrepreneur".

  • Slideshow Handout ~ Seven Secrets of Silicon Valley
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Seven Secrets of Silicon Valley".

  • Reading ~ The Growth & Scale of the Internet
  • The statistics presented in this article show how the Internet has grown. At the start of the boom, less than 1% of the world population had an Internet connection. Today, the 1% figure has grown to 40% and represents over 3 billion Internet users.

  • Reading ~ Turning a Tech Startup Into a Global Giant
  • Entrepreneurship: Planning & Company Navigation
  • Welcome Video ~ Planning & Company Navigation Section
  • This video provides an introduction to the "Planning and Company Navigation" section of the Entrepreneurship course.

  • Video ~ Top 10 Tips for Forming a Fundable Startup
  • This voice narrated slideshow explains how you can build your startup company and make it appealing to Venture Investors.

  • Video ~ The Business Plan
  • Video ~ Q&A with Diana Benedikt, Venture Advisor and Professional Business Plan Writer
  • Video ~ Seven Point Travel Plan
  • Video ~ Business Models
  • Video ~ The Lean Startup
  • In some industries, it is possible to build a minimum viable product, solicit customer feedback, undertake rapid prototyping and iterative product releases before a winning product is identified.

  • Video ~ Finance, Startups & Entrepreneurs
  • Video ~ 10 Key Questions To Address: Business Plans
  • Video ~ How to Write a Mission Statement
  • Video ~ Difference Between Vision & Mission Statements
  • Video ~ Business Model Canvas
  • Video ~ The Lean Canvas Business Model
  • Videos ~ SWOT Analysis
  • Videos ~ SWOT Analysis
  • This video explains how to perform a SWOT Analysis.

  • Video ~ Key Parts of a Business Plan With Product Description
  • Video ~ Market Size & Competition
  • Video ~ Market Research Ideas for Business Plans
  • Video ~ How to Size your Market: Tips & Pitfalls
  • Video ~ Financial Model
  • Video ~ Four Steps to Making Great Financial Forecasts
  • Video ~ Correctly Assessing Business Plan Expenses
  • This video provides information regarding how to determine the expenses that will be incurred in starting a new business.

  • Video ~ 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Financial Projections
  • Video ~ Executive Summary & VC Investors
  • Video ~ Funding Requirements, Team & Executive Summary - Key Elements of a Business Plan
  • Silicon Valley Trends Podcast ~ The Startup Journey--Targeting your Destination
  • If you don't know where you're going, what chance do you have of getting there? This is the first in a series of episodes on the startup journey and today we’re talking about targeting your destination. Future episodes will deal with other aspects of your journey like generating momentum, gathering your provisions, setting and achieving milestones and selecting your travelling companions. In this series on the startup journey, you’ll learn that you’re most likely to reach your destination if you know exactly where you’re going, you have sufficient fuel to get there, you plan for contingencies, maintain momentum and assemble a winning team. This episode looks at some of the alternative destinations you might want to select for your startup.  We’re going to talk about independent survival, where you build a business independent of outside investment, with the goal of generating profitable revenues, for years to come. We’ll talk about IPO, where you build a company that has its shares traded on the public markets.  “IPO” stands for “initial public offering”. Then we’ll divide a sale of the company into two types. Cash flow sale is where you sell the company as a profitable going concern. The buyer is getting a cash-flow generating business. The term “asset sale” has a more specific meaning in legal jargon, but for the purpose of our startup journey, we’ll use this to refer to a situation where a buyer acquires your company for your product or technology.  In Silicon Valley, there are situations where unprofitable companies are acquired when they have a hot product, or some unique technology or asset that will enhance the buyer’s business. In this episode you get to learn the basics of how venture capital investment funds operate, how they select startups for investment and what types of companies are suitable for venture capital investment. This is an important episode as it provides a foundation for future discussions we will have on this podcast series.

  • Silicon Valley Trends Podcast ~ Guiding Entrepreneurs Toward Success
  • Silicon Valley Business School provides affordable, real-world business education to everyone, everywhere and guides entrepreneurs toward success with their startup ventures. This podcast explains how the SVBS Milestone Progress system is combined with expert advice and mentoring to help entrepreneurs hit milestones, get their startups on track and drive them toward profitability or exit in the form of an IPO or acquisition.

  • Video ~ Silicon Valley Business School Milestone Progress Tracking System
  • How Silicon Valley Business School leverages its knowledgebase of educational materials together with its milestone progress tracking system to help entrepreneurs build successful startups one milestone at a time.

  • Why Choose a C-Corporation for Your Startup Journey
  • In this podcast you will learn why C-Corporations are the vehicle of choice for tech startups in Silicon Valley and the tech sector. You’ll learn why it doesn’t make sense to operate as an S-Corporation, or an LLC, and how you can escape paying taxes when you sell your C-Corporation shares.

  • Slideshow Handout ~ Top 10 Tips for Forming a Fundable Startup
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Top 10 Tips for Forming a Fundable Startup".

  • Slideshow Handout ~ The Business Plan
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ The Business Plan".

  • Reading ~ Microsoft's CEO Rallies The Troops With A New Mission Statement
  • Entrepreneurs and investors often have different interests when it comes to exits. Venture investors often need the billion dollar exit, whereas entrepreneurs do not.

  • The Catch-22 of Raising Too Much Money URL
  • Selling a company is usually cause for celebration, but for the founders of fantasy sports company FanDuel, the moment is likely to be bittersweet.

    Entrepreneurship: Assembling a Winning Team
  • Welcome Video ~ Assembling a Winning Team Section
  • This video provides an introduction to the "Assembling a Winning Team" section of the Entrepreneurship course.

  • Video ~ Assembling a Winning Team
  • Video ~ How was Steve Jobs Fired From Apple?
  • This video examines how founders of startups can be fired from the companies that they founded, and looks at the departure of Steve Jobs from Apple in 1985.

  • Video ~ 5 Traits Of An Excellent Startup Team
  • Video ~ The 4 Types of Employees that Every Entrepreneur Should Know
  • Video ~ Secrets to Team Building for Entrepreneurs
  • Video ~ How Can A Startup Attract Top Sales Talent?
  • Video ~ Building your Startup Team
  • Video ~ Family Businesses Perform Better
  • Video ~ Hiring Your First Employee - Tips for Startups
  • Video ~ Three Ways to Build Your Business Team
  • Video ~ Ways to Select the Perfect Board Members
  • This video provides tips for successfully choosing the right board members.

  • Video ~ How an Outside Board Member Can Help
  • Video ~ Making Orientation Materials for a New Board Member
  • This video discusses how to create orientation documents for your new board member(s).

  • Video ~ Welcoming a New Member to Your Board
  • Video ~ Independent Contractor v. Employee
  • Video ~ The Difference Between Employee and Independent Contractor
  • Readings from Zero-To-IPO Book on Team & H.R.
  • Reading ~ California ~ Independent Contractors v. Employees
  • How employees and independent contractors are distinguished in California.

  • Reading ~ Independent Contractor (Self-Employed) or Employee?
  • This article provides information regarding how to determine whether individuals that are providing services to a business are Employees or Independent Contractors.

  • Reading ~ Uber Driver an Employee or Contractor?
  • Story about the decision of the California Labor Commission regarding a case involving an Uber driver.

  • Reading ~ Uber Independent Contractor Settlement
  • Story about the outcome of a pair of class-action lawsuits against Uber regarding how it classifies its drivers.

    Entrepreneurship: Routes to Market
  • Welcome Video ~ Routes to Market Section
  • This video provides an introduction to the "Routes to Market" section of the Entrepreneurship course.

  • Video ~ Distribution Channels
  • Video ~ Avoiding Unintentional Poison Pills
  • This voice narrated slideshow provides information regarding how to avoid terms in licensing, distribution and other agreements that could make a company unappealing to potential acquirers later on.

  • Video ~ Q&A with Jon Rortveit, International Marketing Expert
  • Movie ~ Watch Beer Wars Documentary
  • This documentary is an excellent example of how difficult it can be for new entrants to gain access to channels of distribution to reach consumers and win market share from established market leaders. The US beer industry is regulated, and dominated by 3 large players. In this documentary, you see how new brewers struggle to get access to retail shelves. Rhonda Kallman's efforts to raise finance and get her new caffeine beer Moonshot onto the market ultimately is unsuccessful. Studying Rhonda's challenge is an interesting exercise for all entrepreneurs raising finance, and all companies looking to establish channels of distribution.

  • Handout ~ Unintentional Poison Pills
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Avoiding Unintentional Poison Pills".

  • Paper ` Avoiding Unintentional Poison Pills
  • Entrepreneurship: Business Momentum
  • Welcome Video ~ Business Momentum Section
  • This video provides an introduction to the "Business Momentum" section of the Entrepreneurship course.

  • Video ~ Momentum--The Invisible Force
  • Video ~ Managing Momentum
  • This voice narrated slideshow discusses some of the maneuvers that are available, to help management generate and maintain momentum in a startup venture.

  • Video ~ How to Inspire Employees
  • Video ~ Tips for Motivating Your Employees
  • Silicon Valley Trends Podcast ~ Business Momentum
  • Momentum is critical for success in business, especially in the fast moving tech sector. Recognizing this and figuring out how to generate positive momentum can make the difference between your venture winding up in a painful shutdown or reaching a profitable IPO.

  • Read Pages 17-51 Zero-to-IPO
  • Slideshow Handout ~ Momentum--The Invisible Force
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Momentum--The Invisible Force".

  • Slideshow Handout ~ Managing Momentum
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Managing Momentum".

  • Read Pages 31-34 Zero-to-IPO
  • Entrepreneurship: Business Momentum ~ Radical Momentum Maneuvers
  • Welcome Video ~ Radical Momentum Maneuvers Section
  • This video provides an introduction to the "Business Momentum ~ Radical Momentum Maneuvers" section of the Entrepreneurship course.

  • Video ~ Reinventing the Company
  • Video ~ Restarting the Company
  • Video ~ Knowing when to Pivot
  • Video ~ What to Do When Your Business Isn't Working
  • This video looks at five steps to turn things around when a business model is not quite working out.

  • Video ~ How To Change Your Strategy Midstream
  • This video provides tips on how to do a pivot and radically shift your business model when your product does not appeal to your market.

  • Video ~ Is it the Right Time to Change Your Business Strategy?
  • This video provides information regarding how to know the right time to reconsider your business strategy, and how it will affect your business.

  • Reading ~ Read Pages 275-280 Zero-to-IPO
  • Slideshow Handout ~ Reinventing the Company
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Reinventing the Company".

  • Freefall Momentum ~ Reinvention Thoughts of a Failing Startup's CEO
  • Memo to staff from CEO of failing startup, with negative momentum.

  • Reading ~ Can We Talk? Five Tips For Communicating In Turnarounds
  • Reading ~ Read Pages 280-291 Zero-to-IPO
  • This portion of the book, Zero-to-IPO, written by David Smith, provides information regarding how to restart a company. Topics covered include "Warm Restart", and 'Cold Restart".

  • Slideshow Handout ~ Restarting the Company
  • PDF slides for the learning material titled: "Video ~ Restarting the Company".

  • Reading ~ The Case for Hiring a Re-Founder
  • Oftentimes, startup entrepreneurs are simply too close to their businesses to get a clear, non-biased look at what may be holding it back from ultimate success. Maybe they lack the required skills or business experience required to identify or correct problems inside their product, process or team.

    Certificate Course
    This certificate tracks your progress and tests you in each section. Once you have passed all the quizzes, submitted an assignment and reviewed all the materials, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.