For some, the road to developing their startup is a natural one. Some entrepreneurs are born to manage the resources, technology, infrastructure, costs, and all of the roadblocks that come with their first startup. But for the majority of people there are unexpected pitfalls and roadblocks that go well beyond just getting funding. Even great startups can fall completely apart just when everything looks good. Thankfully, there’s a school for that.
Longtime seed funding organization Y Combinator has, in its time, contributed to more than 1,400 startups since 2005. As such their goal is to get startups “through the first phase.” They heavily stress support for their startups beyond seed funding. The likes of Airbnb, Dropbox, Twitch, and Reddit owe their origins to this group. So it came as no surprise in 2014 when they went so far as to offer a startup class at Stanford University on the early parts of developing a startup.
Even though the course only covers “30% of the way there“ according to Sam Altman President of Y Combinator “Hopefully it’ll still be really helpful.” Altman is currently one of the lead speakers for this startup class and after its debut put the lecture series on youtube and Itunes Connect.
However, recently Altman took his course one step further and announced this week that Y Combinator would be offering “a free 10-week massively open online course” on their website at StartupSchool.org. The idea was to overcome one of the larger, longer-standing criticisms of accessibility to advisors for feedback beyond Stanford attendees. As such people who sign up before the launch date of April 5th, 2017 will be able to participate as a Spectator or a Startup Founder.
Spectators will have access to all 10 lectures and class office hours made available at the site. Startup Founders will have access to the same but also be assigned to a group of students and an Advisor who are “members of the Y Combinator alumni community who are currently running their own startup” according to the site. Also, they are allowed weekly video sessions with their advisor as well as e-mail and a group chat room. At this level, Startup Founders are expected to make weekly updates on their startup and attend office hours to pass course evaluation.
While Y Combinator maintains that attending the class will not serve as a shortcut to getting into their seed funding or replacement thereof, they do consent that the coursework provided by the classes would force startups to offer more information for selection and thus improve their odds.
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Charles Runge says
This is totally great! Being able to get a college course online for free. What more can you ask for, right?
Stephen Manuel says
Where else are you going to be taught for just the cost of your time?
Mike Womack says
Even just 30% of a class that you do not have to pay for is a pretty generous amount. I applaud Stanford for doing this and am sure other schools will be there to follow.
Brenda Terrell says
Standford and all of the content they release online for free is a great thing. Even if you are not interested in attending college, the videos are well worth the browsing time you put into it.
Richard Fernandez says
Well, this is awesome! I have already been a subscriber to the Standford youTube channel because of the fact that they upload actual lectures that you can view for free. This is just another reason to check them out.
Justin Johnson says
More colleges lectures online and the students are getting a taste of what they can learn while attending the school. I think that is a great idea. I am going to follow this story.