Kick-start your start-up this spring with Startup School. Y Combinator, the hyper-successful startup accelerator program, is launching its first massic open online course (MOOC) on April 7. It’s free, it’s open to anyone and if you’re a female start-up founder, you should sign-up today.
Got a Startup?
The MOOC is based on the 2014 Stanford How to Start a Startup course. Instead of having to head to California, you can study from the comfort of your own home. The course covers a range of topics essential to anyone in the early startup stages. Startup School will open with a lecture on ‘How and Why to Start A Startup, and Mechanics’, hitting on key subjects like ‘How to Build a Great Product’ or ‘How to Execute’ before wrapping up with ‘How to Raise Money, and How to Succeed Long-Term’. Their goal is to get early-stage startups intensively prepared for launch and investment, with all the best, often hard-earned, learnings from successful startup founders.
While it all sounds nice, these programs really come with serious accomplishments. The Y-Combinator model for early-stage funding has a long list of success stories. Airbnb, Quora, Stripe and reddit have all come up through their program. Some of these founders will even be visiting lecturers, including Jan Koum (WhatsApp), Steve Huffman (Reddit), and Alex Schultz (Facebook).
Are you Ready?
Are you in the really, really early-stage? Or, are you still molding your startup idea? Whether you’re ready to dig in or learn more, Startup School has developed two different streams to suit your learning style. If you’re already an early-stage founder, you can join the Founder stream. For a limited number of founders, you have access to all the videos as well as ‘office’ hours, as well as an Advisory Group. This Group includes other students and a Y Combinator alumni (who is currently working on their startup) for weekly meetings as well as a shared group Slack channel. Note that for this stream, registration is required.
If you’re still mulling an idea, you can still participate in the Spectator stream. Here, you’ll have access to both the videos published weekly and the ‘office’ hours, which are offered each Thursday during the course and provide live advice and feedback to students. This stream requires no registration – just show up!
Breaking Down Barriers
Although there has been evidence of an upward trend in female start-up founders, they are still a serious minority. A study by CrunchBase revealed that in 2009, 9.5% of startups had at least one woman founder, but that rate had nearly doubled in 2014 to 18%. We hope that the number has continued to increase, but it’s still conceringly low. Building your startup can have a lot of barriers to entry. The staff at Y Combinator saw their own barriers – one being the requirement to spend an intensive three-months at Stanford – and built this MOOC to address them.
The Startup School MOOC offers high-quality materials from real startup founders at in a flexible and affordable way. Whether you’re wondering how to start seeking investment or wondering if you could even be a startup founder, this course will be a great resource for you.