A guide to the leadership journey of entrepreneurship explained through the experiences of 18 successful entrepreneurs.

Course Description

Launch Your Venture is a Capture Your Flag course focusing on the emotional journey of entrepreneurship. We have found that there are plenty of courses on the logistics of entrepreneurship, but very few about the personal challenges that the entrepreneur goes through. This course covers those challenges that are faced not only by not by entrepreneurs but also by innovators inside companies, individuals starting charities, or anyone about to embark on a new venture.

Through Capture Your Flag, Erik Michielsen has interviewed 75 near-peer exemplars over the course of the past five years. These exemplars have been experiencing the challenges of mid-career: starting ventures, having families, caring for parents, working for promotions, quitting jobs, impacting communities and realizing their potential.

The magic of the near-peer exemplar is that they have just been through the challenges that you are facing now. Their story is your story, but a few years ahead.

The power of longitudinal interviews filmed over a series of years is that you are able to follow their story rather than just getting a snapshot of their experience.

Through examining hundreds of hours of video, we have seen a common thread in the entrepreneur’s journey. The Launch Your Venture course will take you through this journey by sharing the stories of some of our near-peer exemplars. It will inspire you to reflect on your experience, see where you are in your journey, and learn how to advance to the next steps.

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What are the requirements?

  • You are open to learning from others like you who have gone through a process of launching a venture
  • You have a broadband connection that allows you to watch course videos
  • You have material to complete the homework assignments after each section on your computer or in writing

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 12 lectures and 1.5 hours of content!
  • Through examining hundreds of hours of video, we have seen a common thread in the entrepreneur’s journey. The Launch Your Venture course will take you through this journey by sharing the stories of some of our near-peer exemplars. It will inspire you to reflect on your experience, see where you are in your journey, and learn how to advance to next steps.

What is the target audience?

  • Entrepreneurs Starting Companies, Charities, or Community Projects
  • Intrapreneurs Leading Change Inside Organizations
  • Thinkers and Innovators Who Have a Great Idea and Need to Take Action on Making It Happen
  • Students Considering a Career in Entrepreneurship
  • Changemakers Seeking to Learn How to Affect Change by Taking Action on Your Passion and Making an Impact in Your Work

Curriculum

When you start your own venture, whether you start a new company, go into a new company, create a non-profit, or innovate inside your existing organization, you need to launch.

The videos we use in this course will show you that pattern and give you the tools to use it in your own endeavor.

The launch pattern has five main events. The first is your why moment. This is your driving question.The second is your movement moment: when your questions inspire you to action.The next moment is your first failure. Which is quickly followed by a time of iterating on your idea.Finally, you need to develop a way to measure your success as you iterate: how do you know that you are succeeding?

Now, the big question and why it matters: who are we interviewing?

We call them exemplars.The exemplars are people like you.Or, more accurately, like you in the near future.They’ve just been through what you are about to start.Let’s meet a few of them so you can look for one whose experience launching a venture relates best to you.

Louise Langheier: Co-founder and CEO of Peer Health Exchange.

Slava Rubin: Founder and CEO of Indiegogo.

Courtney Spence: Founder and Executive Director of Students of the World.

Phil McKenzie: Founder and Global Curator of Influencer Conference.

Hattie Elliot: Founder of the Grace List.

Mike Germano: Chief Digital Officer at Vice Media.

Now that you have seen a couple Near Peer Exemplar examples, I want to let you know another key part of this course: since our interviews have been filmed over five years, we can see their progression through the launch process stages.

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What have the Near Peer Exemplars you will meet in this course launched?

Social Entrepreneur Louise Langheier launched a non-profit – Peer Health Exchange – that she has expanded across the United States.

Slava Rubin launched Indiegogo, a leading crowd funding platform used by millions of people to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for projects.

Courtney Spence launched Students of the World, a non-profit that helps college students produce media to create positive change.

Phil McKenzie is an MBA who left Goldman Sachs for publishing and launched Influencer Conference to unify change-makers around the world.

Small Business Owner Hattie Elliot launched a physical social networking company, The Grace List.

Author Simon Sinek launched not one but two bestselling books and has inspired the world with the #2 most popular TED Talk of All-Time

Marc Ferrentino left an executive level job at Salesforce.com to eventually launch a software startup company called Nomi.

Dan Street left a private equity job at KKR to bootstrap a startup called Loku he grew and sold to Groupon.

Award winning food entrepreneur Julie Hession has launched several food initiatives, including a specialty food store and multiple cookbooks.

Joe Stump, a serial entrepreneur, launched his startup SimpleGeo, sold it, and then launched a 2ndcompany, Sprint.ly.

Entrepreneur Audrey French launched ClearResult consulting and sold it to a private equity company.

New York City standup comedian Matt Ruby launched Vooza.com, a comedy web series that satires startup culture.

Jon Kolko launched the Austin Center for Design, a design school based in Austin, Texas.

Chicago-based entrepreneur J.T. Allen launched MyFootpath, an online career site that he has grown to #234 on the Inc 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the United States.

And finally, Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Mike Germano launched social media ad agency Carrot Creative and had it acquired by Vice Media in 2013.

As we learn from these Near Peer Exemplars in this course, we will go through key takeaways and you will do assignments to personalize your experience so you are better prepared to Launch Your Venture.

Now, let’s join our Near Peer Exemplars and start learning.

Launch Your Venture: Creating Your Entrepreneur Story

Section 1: Introduction to Launch Your Venture Course
Lecture 1
Intro to Launch Your Venture Course

Preview

05:01
Section 2: Part 1 of 5: The Why Moment
Lecture 2
Part 1 of 5: The Why Moment
12:18
Lecture 3
Why moment challenge
Text
Lecture 4
The 5 Whys
Text
Section 3: Part 2 of 5: The Movement Moment
Lecture 5
Part 2 of 5: The Movement Moment
10:02
Lecture 6
Movement Moment Worksheet
Text
Section 4: Part 3 of 5: First Failure
Lecture 7
Part 3 of 5: First Failure
13:17
Lecture 8
The Upside of Failure
Text
Section 5: Part 4 of 5: Iteration
Lecture 9
Part 4 of 5: Iteration
13:12
Section 6: Part 5 of 5: Metrics
Lecture 10
Part 5 of 5: Metrics
15:06
Lecture 11
Metrics Worksheet
Text
Lecture 12
Thank You Message from Erik Michielsen
00:26

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