How to Validate your Startup Idea

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Description

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About this course: Starting a new business begins with an idea that needs to evolve through experimentation, iteration and interactions with people. This course is for existing and potential entrepreneurs who are looking for guidance and support to make their ‘great idea’ a reality. In addition to reviewing the basic principles of entrepreneurship, this course guides you through the process of actively validating your idea in the market. We encourage you to identify and communicate good opportunities and to create and capture value from these opportunities. By working through the course and completing the activities you’ll learn how to get feedback that systematically tests different pa…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Starting a new business begins with an idea that needs to evolve through experimentation, iteration and interactions with people. This course is for existing and potential entrepreneurs who are looking for guidance and support to make their ‘great idea’ a reality. In addition to reviewing the basic principles of entrepreneurship, this course guides you through the process of actively validating your idea in the market. We encourage you to identify and communicate good opportunities and to create and capture value from these opportunities. By working through the course and completing the activities you’ll learn how to get feedback that systematically tests different parts of your business idea. You will learn how to do this through interacting with potential customers, suppliers, partners and investors outside the course. Along the way, you will also become more confident in pitching your idea. By the end of the course you should have a validated business idea that you can start right away.

Created by:  UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales)
  • Taught by:  Allya Koesoema, Lecturer

    UNSW Business School
  • Taught by:  Martin Bliemel, Senior Lecturer

    UNSW Business School
Commitment 6 weeks of study, 2-4 hours/week Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.5 stars Average User Rating 4.5See what learners said Coursework

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UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales) UNSW Australia, based in Sydney, was established in 1949 and is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities with more than 50,000 students from over 120 countries. UNSW aspires to provide students with an outstanding educational experience, which both reflects our strong traditions of excellence, innovation and social justice, and builds on our strengths in scientific, technological and professional disciplines.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


How can you learn entrepreneurship?
In the first week, you'll be learning about some basic concepts in entrepreneurship. Specifically we're going to introduce the business canvas and the lean method, two key frameworks that will be used to structure your activities throughout this course.


2 videos, 4 readings expand


  1. Reading: About this course
  2. LTI Item: (OPTIONAL activity): How do you learn?
  3. Video: Video: Introduction to the Course and Entrepreneurship (3 min)
  4. LTI Item: Activity: Are you ready to be an entrepreneur?
  5. Reading: Reading: Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  6. Video: Video: How will your business idea evolve? The Lean Startup Method
  7. Reading: Activity: The Lean Startup Method and Business Model Canvas
  8. Peer Review: (Optional activity) Your first Business Model Canvas - Show it off to your peers!
  9. Reading: Reading: Mentors, who needs them?
  10. LTI Item: Offline Activity: Finding a mentor to validate your idea
  11. LTI Item: Activity: Lessons learned from your mentor
  12. LTI Item: (OPTIONAL activity): Ouch! Feedback can hurt. How sensitive are you?


WEEK 2


How is your idea valuable?



This week you'll learn to articulate and test your value proposition by drawing on three concepts: the strategy canvas, persona and minimum viable product (MVP). The strategy canvas emphasizes the uniqueness of your value proposition. The 'persona' represents who you think your typical customer is, which is useful for identifying real customers. The MVP is a simple prototype, which is a key tool to to get feedback from potential customers about the value you are providing them.


1 video, 4 readings expand


  1. Video: Video: How is your idea valuable?
  2. Reading: Strategy Canvas: Mapping how you are different
  3. Reading: Creating your first Persona and Customer Journey Map
  4. Reading: Building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  5. Reading: Measuring and Learning from your MVP
  6. LTI Item: Offline Activity: Finding a potential customer to validate your value proposition
  7. LTI Item: Activity: Lessons learned from your customer


WEEK 3


How will you reach more customers?
This week we'll help you think beyond your first customers, to scaling up your business across multiple segments of customers. The core concepts for this module are the diffusion of innovation and developing partnerships.


1 video, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Video: How will you reach more customers?
  2. Reading: Growing your business: Segmenting and targeting your niches
  3. Reading: Partners and resources
  4. LTI Item: Offline Activity: Finding a potential partner to validate the scalability of your idea
  5. LTI Item: Activity: Lessons learned from your partner

Graded: Midpoint Assignment: Self-assessing your Business Model Canvas

WEEK 4


How profitable is your idea?



This week is an introduction to financial literacy. We'll show you how to build an income statement, how to develop financial models and financial forecasts. We'll also introduce you to some metrics to track the viability of your business that complement the traditional accounting metrics.


1 video, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Video: How profitable is your idea?
  2. Reading: Income Statements
  3. Reading: Forecasts and models
  4. Reading: Metrics
  5. LTI Item: Offline Activity: Finding a potential supplier
  6. LTI Item: Activity: Lessons learned from your supplier


WEEK 5


Is investment capital right for you?
This week you'll learn some basic investment capital strategies for new ventures, illustrated using a simple capitalization table.


1 video, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Video: Is investment capital right for you?
  2. Reading: How will you finance your startup's growth?
  3. Reading: Valuations
  4. LTI Item: Offline Activity: Finding a potential investor
  5. LTI Item: Activity: Lessons learned from a potential investor


WEEK 6


How will you pitch your idea?
This week pulls together all the elements and evidence of your business idea so far to develop a coherent and succinct business pitch


2 videos, 5 readings expand


  1. Video: Video: How will you pitch your idea?
  2. Reading: Pitch structure: What key ingredients do you need?
  3. Reading: Activity: Example pitch decks - Learning from the greats (& not so greats)
  4. Reading: Contextualising and delivering your pitch
  5. Reading: Activity: Example pitches - Learning from the greats (& not so greats)
  6. Video: Watch UNSW students pitch 'crumplemap'
  7. Reading: Activity: Developing your pitch
  8. LTI Item: Exit survey

Graded: Final Assignment: Self-assessing your pitch
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