Launch Your Startup

Columbia Business School

How long?

  • 8 weeks
  • online

Columbia Business School


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Who should attend

The Launch Your Startup (Online) program is designed for participants interested in creating and launching a new corporate or nonprofit venture. The program is ideal for individuals who have a new business or social enterprise idea prior to joining the class. New ventures can be considered as a new standalone startup or an internal corporate startup. Participants may join as a single participant or as part of a venture team.

About the course

At Columbia Business School, instilling entrepreneurial thinking in our students is part of our mission. Entrepreneurship is fully integrated throughout the MBA curriculum, and now — for the first time ever — it is offered in an open-enrollment format at Columbia Business School Executive Education.

The eight-week Launch Your Startup (Online) program offers an intensive learning experience that focuses on the creation, evaluation, development, and launch readiness of a new business or social enterprise. Program participants learn from world-renowned Columbia Business School faculty and tap into the expertise of the University's vibrant entrepreneurial community.

Each participant enters the program with a preliminary venture idea that they would like to work on. Using a proprietary sequence of eight modules, the program leverages associated work assignments to support the development of the new venture. Participants learn how to assess the industry and market attractiveness for their venture idea, form competitive strategies, develop minimum viable products and services, prioritize customer acquisition strategies for early traction, and generate full financial statements.

Throughout the program, participants refine their venture’s hypothesized business model based on instructor, peer, and customer feedback. They leave the program fully equipped with the tools and frameworks required to create and launch their new startup.


Participants will walk away with in-depth knowledge on:

  • Common challenges faced by entrepreneurs as they build a new venture
  • How to best frame a venture opportunity
  • How to develop a business model to test their assumptions about product offerings and market demand
  • How to define their early-target customer and engage in effective customer discovery
  • How to assess the current market and position their product offerings for competitive advantage
  • Agile ways to develop new product or service that will gain market traction quickly
  • Current approaches for cost-effective customer acquisition and retention
  • How to build credible financials based on reasonable, benchmarked assumptions
  • Critical metrics to measure and monitor new venture success
  • How to build the right team and culture for a successful launch and early-stage growth
  • Upon completion of this program, you will earn one day towards a Certificate in Business Excellence with select alumni and tuition benefits.


Through interactive lectures, pre-recorded modules, and self-directed assignments, participants learn the core elements of venture creation and planning in a specially sequenced modular format. Each module provides the participant with the knowledge and tools required to develop a comprehensive new venture plan.

At each stage, participants are exposed to critical terms, tools that support research and decision making, and explanations of how each major planning activity fits into the new venture creation process. During each module, participants respond to a series of venture questions and exercises, guiding them through the planning process in a self-directed manner.

Modules include:

  • Your Idea: Articulating the problem to be solved and the potential benefit to the customer
  • Your Business Model: Developing an initial business model to support early assumption testing and validation
  • Your Customer: Testing your assumptions about the alignment between your product offering and targeted customers through customer interviews and surveys
  • Your Industry: Synthesizing the unique benefits of new offerings and positioning against the competition in the marketplace
  • Your Product: Designing minimal viable products to quickly test customer acceptance
  • Your Brand: Creating an integrated marketing and brand strategy for early traction
  • Your Financial Plan: Identifying revenue sources while minimizing cost factors with a focus on break-even and cash management
  • Your Team: Selecting team members with the right mix of knowledge and skills and creating a culture for sustained growth


Jack McGourty

Jack McGourty Ph.D. is Director of Community and Global Entrepreneurship at the Columbia Business School and a faculty member teaching graduate courses in entrepreneurship, venture creation, and economic development in emerging markets. Prior to joining the Columbia Business School, Jack was Vice...

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Launch Your Startup at Columbia Business School

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

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