Finding free startup courses is not necessarily a difficult feat on the internet. Infact, if you search hard enough you can find a free course for almost everything. The problem is the “WRONG” kind of free will cost you and your business extensively. As an entrepreneur I’m pretty sure I’m preaching to the choir. However, I want to preface the the remainder of this post with a few tenets:
- I still believe in the fundamentals of education. If you want to improve you must be willing to learn. This is the power of a living organism, we can learn, adapt, and grow.
- Learning for the sake of learning is as if you endeavor to be a dusty encyclopedia. If you’re goal is to become a successful startup then you must learn the fundamentals necessary to become a successful startup.
- Free is often overrated, economically speaking there is no such thing as a free lunch, if you don’t pay in currency you will pay in time. These resources will require your time but are immensely valuable to startups with little to no business acumen.
- My goal is to help you filter free junk from FREE RESOURCES I’ve nerd-ily developed an internal filtering mechanism. It’s algorithmic success will depend largely on how many times you decide to click on the links in this post.
#1 on my list of Free Startup Courses You Must Take If You Know Zilch About Tech
While some might say that you need to know ZERO about tech to be a tech startup
- I’d likely laugh in their faces
- walk around them in a circle
- and commence laughing again
Consider this, as a tech startup founder you’re competing against a global tribe of brilliant scientific minds. Tech is not just another industry vertical it’s an entire CULTURE. You must be able to speak the language or at minimum understand what the natives are saying. What better place to learn about technology then from Harvard. Course author David J. Malan Harvard University Professor and founder of 2 Startups (Crimson Tutors and Diskaster) teaches CS530: Introduction to Computer Science. The course is free and available via Edex, iTunes, YouTube, and Harvard Extension. What I find interesting about this course is how the professor focuses much of his efforts on applying practical problem solving methodologies through the use of computer science. Aside from obtaining knowledge on the basics of technology you will also learn necessary problem solving skills that you must employ while building and running a startup of your own. More importantly, Dr. Malan also has experience building startups consequently you’ll also be receiving insight from a founder who is extremely adept in technology. Also worth mentioning is that I noticed an option for paid certification that runs about $90 but the course itself is free.
#2 on my list of Free Startup Courses to Help You Understand The Business of Starting Up
As some of you may know I am a bit of a business enthusiast. My formal education is rooted in the study of business which is why I believe this next course will arm you with the tools to effectively plan and strategically deploy your startup from idea to market. Who should take this course: EVERYONE
Unless you’re an expert at every single business concept on the planet I suggest taking the course at minimum it will give you a refresher or add value to subjects you are familiar with. Despite the fact that I’ve spent many years learning about business I still keep my mind open to new ideas or new ways of experiencing and evaluating businesses. For example last year after meeting and attending Alistair Croll’s talk at Lean Startup 2015 I became engrossed in the idea of waterfall iterations and lean analytics. Which plays a pivotal role in my marketing stack today. The point is mastering the fundamentals is an essential course of action. On my short list of free startup courses I suggest taking is Udacity’s How To Build A Startup
At the onset the course which can be taken for free on Udacity addresses one very important concept which entrepreneurs today aren’t fully aware of. Routinely, from experience we associate the idea of a startup as a small business “just going into business”. Associating the term startup with the verb “starting up” has become one of today’s economic pink elephant’s. A business just starting up today does not necessarily indicate it fits the startup model. This is why I suggest you take the course it will help you learn about applicable business principles and practices.
#3 on my list of Free Startup Courses From Udacity
Statistically speaking only a small fraction of startups actually get funded in the traditional “Series A” VC sense of the funding. Don’t let that deter you. Fundamentally, many startups originating for the iconic Silicon valley have a deep understanding of what it takes to receive funding. Whereas, the rest of us haven’t necessarily experienced the economic abundance that is Startup heaven. I love one of the headlines written by Grabble’s startup founder via startupmumblr on tumblr
Startup stories from a Mumblr – Follow us through the highs and lows of going from zero to hero (fingers crossed). We didn’t go to Stanford and we don’t live in San Francisco so technically we’re doomed, but determined to make it in spite of all that….
There’s a reason we look to San Francisco residents and Stanford Alumn as technically walking around with a startup leg up. Much of their advantage comes from the bounty of experience and opportunity available in the Bay area. A great deal of the experience results in knowledge one which can also be acquired through other mediums like Learning from courses, reading books from other founders, etc. What that in mind you can learn the Art of the pitch Udacity’s Get Your Startup Started course
Speaking of Icons a ridiculous compilation of startup lessons from Y Combinator & Friends
For those unfamiliar with Y-Combinator it’s “the” seed accelerator for tech started in 2005 Y-Combinator Course noted as being the world’s most powerful incubator by Fast Company. This free startup course includes lessons from Marc Andreessen, Reid Hoffman, Ben Horowitz, and many more startup influencers. This course is filled with experienced lessons that will guide you through many different stages of growth startups deal with. What’s interesting is that through the eyes of some of the world’s biggest and brightest startups you’ll discover that many founders basically experience some of the same fundamental struggles and successes.
Have you taken or do you offer free startup courses that you believe will prove valuable to our readers. If so leave a message and link below 🙂 Thanks for reading. Thoughts and questions are always appreciated.