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Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies

In this course-Explore how communities in transitioning economies around the world are working to enable the growth of entrepreneurship

Course at a Glance

Mode of learning : Online - Instructor Lead(LVC)

Domain / Subject : Business & Management

Function : General

Trainer name : Professor Michael Goldberg

Starts on : 3rd Oct 2014

Duration : 6 Weeks

Difficulty : Medium

Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies
Explore how communities in transitioning economies around the world are working to enable the growth of entrepreneurship when the resources from the private sector alone are limited.
The path for entrepreneurs to grow their companies outside of well-developed entrepreneurial ecosystems like Silicon Valley is challenging. Most markets around the world do not look like Silicon Valley, and they never will. But there are other models to support new businesses. In transitioning markets (where entrepreneurs do not have much access to private sector financing), government officials, donors, and business leaders are experimenting with creative approaches to support the growth of entrepreneurs. Northeast Ohio, whose largest city is Cleveland, is one such community. During our time together in this course, we will be exploring some of these innovative approaches. 

A massive intervention of government and donor resources in Northeast Ohio has been in place for over ten years. In that time, Northeast Ohio has experienced success (including job creation and follow-on funding) with alternative methods of financing startups, but it has not been easy. Yes, some progress has been made, but whether or not they've hit on ultimate success has yet to be determined. A dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem takes many years, even decades, to develop. Government officials and donors typically are looking for shorter term success with their support programs which makes long-term support for entrepreneurship challenging. 

During this course, we will hear from entrepreneurs who have launched products and services ranging from medical devices to LED lights to whiskey. You will learn how these entrepreneurs engaged with resources made available to them through a variety of programs and intermediary organizations. We have chosen to talk with many business people that are still in the process of developing their companies and whose ultimate success or failure is still to be determined. 

One of our goals is to learn from you how different communities around the world are approaching about implementing strategies and methods to support businesses. Taking what we've learned from our examples in class, I will ask you to reflect on how to best grow entrepreneurship where you live. I am excited to use this global platform to create a dialogue where information flows in multiple directions. 

Course Format
The course will feature one or two video lectures per week (8-10 minutes each). 
There will be weekly in-video quizzes covering materials from the lectures and selected readings. 
You will also be required to post regularly in Coursera's discussion forums and complete surveys to reflect on how the lessons from the lectures and readings apply to supporting entrepreneurship in their home communities. There will also be a final, peer reviewed project where students will profile an entrepreneur in their community, detail the resources they are using to grow their company, describe how they have faced challenges and propose solutions based on what we discuss during the course (and may choose to include a video submission as part of the assignment).

Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

Resources need
An Internet connection. Also, while not required, I am hoping that participants can submit a short video (2 minutes) to accompany their final project. I recognize that not all students have access to a camera or smart phone so this video submission will be optional. 

Course eligibility

Recommended Background
There is no specific background needed to take this course, but having what I call an “entrepreneurial mindset” would be useful. The course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about how communities are creatively supporting the growth of entrepreneurship around the world. We hope that the mix of participants will include entrepreneurs, policy makers, and business leaders.

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Course Syllabus
Each session, we will feature a different entrepreneur from Northeast Ohio and look at how government and donor organizations combined with private investment to help them grow their companies. We will examine why the various programs and organizations were put in place to support entrepreneurs, how the success of these initiatives are measured, and where there are challenges. We will also provide different perspectives from international entrepreneurs and thought leaders who will compare and contrast their experience on a particular topic with their counterparts in Northeast Ohio. We will cover the following topics during the course:

  • Government Support
  • Engaging Philanthropy and Donors
  • Creating Intermediary Organizations
  • Leveraging Anchor Institutions
  • Seed Acceleration
  • Fostering Angel Investment
  • Access to Venture Capital


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Sample Video