Building Your Startup: A Hands-on Course for Academic and New Entrepreneurs

Dates: Every Tuesday, January 12-May 25, 2021
8:00pm to 9:30pm ET
Online. No travel needed.

Course Description:

Building a company is not an easy task. The time and energy needed to transform an innovative idea into a successful company are often greatly underestimated. If you are a new founder or a new entrepreneur, this course will help you apply the foundational tools to start building your company.

This course is for researchers, future founders, new entrepreneurs, and anyone playing with the idea of creating a startup in 6-12 months or need help with moving their startup forward.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Identify and assess the market and the competition
  • Appreciate the importance of an IP strategy to the company
  • Understand company formation and evaluate skill requirements for a winning team
  • Know how to write a business plan
  • Put together a coherent pitch deck

Course Schedule

Module 1 – Market Assessment and Competitive Analysis

Module Description: Mapping your competitive position allows you to define the boundaries of your market and understanding your customer. Also, knowing your competition is vital as it feeds into your market analysis. Assessing your competitors allows you to implement effective strategies to understand and improve your competitive advantage.

Tuesday, January 12

Session 1: Competitive Analysis

Tuesday, January 19

Session 2: Market Analysis

Tuesday, January 26

Session 3: Competitive Positioning and Market Introduction

Tuesday, February 2

Session 4: Presentation and Discussion of Written Output: Market Assessment and Competitive Analysis Strategy

Module 2 – IP and Dealing with the University

Module Description: For researchers creating IP in universities the tech transfer office is your main source of information and support. However, every entrepreneur needs to understand the process of patenting and licensing technologies from the university. This module also discusses how to create your IP strategy within the context of your business goals.

Tuesday, February 9

Session 1: Description of patents, copyrights, trades secrets

Tuesday, February 16

Session 2: Dealing with the University

Tuesday, February 23

Session 3: Doing a Licensing Agreement or Starting a Company

Tuesday, March 2

Session 4: Presentation and Discussion of Written Output: IP Strategy

Module 3 – Company Formation and Team

Module Description: This module covers what a startup needs to form the company: its organizational structure and its team. The type of business entity you choose has its advantages and disadvantages. This module will also look into the types of skills needed for your startup.

Tuesday, March 9

Session 1: Company Formation and Different Business Entities

Tuesday, March 16

Session 2: Company Organizational Flow and Structure

Tuesday, March 23

Session 3: Self-Assessment and Company Assessment of Skills Needed

Tuesday, March 30

Session 4: Presentation and Discussion of Written Output: Company Formed, and Operations and Management Team

Module 4 – Creating Your Business Plan

Module Description: A business plan is a fundamental document for any company. It provides an operational, financial, and marketing roadmap for your company and it is a way to think through its key elements. Business plans are important to attract investors and partners as it outlines how your company goes about achieving its goals.

Tuesday, April 6

Session 1: Business Plan versus Mapping

Tuesday, April 13

Session 2: Elements of a Business Plan

Tuesday, April 20

Session 3: The Marketing Plan and Launching the Company

Tuesday, April 27

Session 4: Presentation and Discussion of Written Output: Mini-business plan

Module 5 - Funding Your Business

Module Description: One of the main concerns of a startup founder is how to raise money to fund the company and where to find it. This module discusses the different funding avenues for a startup and how to create a coherent story to attract investors.

Tuesday, May 4

Session 1: Debt versus equity and Leveraging

Tuesday, May 11

Session 2: Government and University Funding, and Crowdfunding

Tuesday, May 18

Session 3: Angel and Venture Capital Funding (The Enterprise Capital Market)

Tuesday, May 25

Session 4: Presentation and Discussion of Written Output: Startup Pitch Deck


Robert Hisrich, PhD

Dr. Robert D. Hisrich is the Bridgestone Professor of International Marketing and the Associate Dean of Graduate and International Programs at College of Business, Kent State University. He has been involved in the startup of numerous global companies. Professor Hisrich received his BA from DePauw University, his MBA, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Cincinnati, and honorary doctorate degrees from Chuvash State University (Russia) and the University of Miskolc (Hungary). Prior to joining Thunderbird, Dr. Hisrich held the A. Malachi Mixon, III Chaired Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.

Helena Wisniewski, PhD

Dr. Helena S. Wisniewski is Professor of Entrepreneurship, and Chair of the Management, Marketing Logistics and Business Analytics Department, at the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA). Previously she served as UAA’s Vice Provost for Research and Dean, of the Graduate School. She has an impressive record of leading technology innovation and has successfully launched and sold startup companies. Her extensive executive and leadership experience includes a Corporate Director at Lockheed, a Vice president at Titan and ANSER. At DARPA, she identified and directed many breakthrough advances in mathematics, science and engineering as the Manager of the Applied and Computational Mathematics Program. Prior to DARPA, she served at the CIA. She holds patents and has awards for outstanding leadership, and significant contributions to scientific areas, including the 2002 Women in Technology Leadership Award for Entrepreneurship. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, in recognition of creating and facilitating inventions that have a tangible impact on society improve the quality of life and contribute to economic development.

Tony Stanco, JD, LLM

Tony Stanco, Esq. is the founder and executive director of the National Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer and co-founder of National Angels USA. Previously he was the director of the Council of Entrepreneurial Tech Transfer and Commercialization (CET2C) of The George Washington University. Mr. Stanco was a senior attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also has worked on innovation policy, including start-up creation and funding by angel investors and VCs. At the School of Engineering and Applied Science at The George Washington University, Mr. Stanco worked with universities and governments around the world on innovation policy, startup finance policy, software policy, Open Source, cyber-security, and e-Government issues. Mr. Stanco has appeared before the US Congress, various US defense and civilian agencies, the World Bank, the European Commission, United Nations, Inter-American Development Bank, and Organization of American States. Mr. Stanco teaches the Lab to IPO course dealing with start-up formation and funding. He has an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center in securities regulation and is licensed as a lawyer in New York state.

Course Registration

Get the early bird rate!
Register on or before November 30 to get 10% off registration.
Use the code: Acad10

Option 1. Full course registration: $1,450
  • Access to all 5 Modules
    • Module 1 – Market Assessment and Competitive Analysis
    • Module 2 – IP and Dealing with the University
    • Module 3 – Company Formation and Team
    • Module 4 – Creating Your Business Plan
    • Module 5 - Funding Your Business

Option 2. Register per Module: $395/Module

  • Register only for the Modules you want to take
  • Each module includes 4 weeks' worth of lectures and discussions, and an assignment per Module topic. Assignments will be given feedback by the lecturers.
Buy the Book as an Add-on or by itself for $60

Payment Policy:

  • All registrations must be made online and by credit card. We do not accept Purchase Orders or checks.
  • Payment for all registrations must be made by institutional or personal credit card and paid in full prior to the Virtual Conference.
  • Receipts of registration will be sent to you via email upon completion of registration.

Refunds and Cancellations:

  • Cancellations and Refunds: Notification of cancellation must be submitted in writing to Cancellations received more than 48 hours in advance will be subject to a $25 cancellation charge. No refunds will be given within 48 hours of the event.
  • Substitutions are allowed at any time but must be submitted in writing to within 48 hours in advance.


  • Fees change without notice. We exercise dynamic pricing which can change daily. Actual pricing is established each day at the point of registration. All prices are quoted as information only and we reserve the right to change them without notice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete the course?

The live sessions will run for 20 weeks from January 12 to May 25. We encourage registered attendees to attend the live sessions. However, should you miss a session, recordings will be made available after each lecture.

What background knowledge is necessary?

No specific background is required. This course is ideal for researchers, entrepreneurs, and university personnel engaging in creating startups.

Do you have discounts for startups/universities enrolling more than 1 person?

Contact to discuss discounts for multiple attendees.

I may not be available for all days of the course will a recording be available?

Yes, recordings are available and it will be posted after each lecture.

Can I get in touch with the lecturers outside the lecture hours of the course?

Yes, you may. Email should you have additional questions. We will also open a limited number of slots for Office Hours after each lecture.

Will I receive feedback on the assignments?

Yes, each assignment will receive written comments from the lecturers.

Are we required to complete the assignments?

No, doing the assignment is not required for attendees although it is encouraged.

If I enroll for a single module at the start but decide to enroll for the full course later on, will the single module fee be deducted from the full course fee?

Should you decide to enroll for the full course later on, we will deduct the amount you paid for the single course from the full course fee.

How can I access the online classes?

This course is online. You need a computer with web access for the visual/audio. You may also dial-in using the audio-only telephone number. The call in details and instructions on how to join the course will be sent to you via email before the course. Once registered to the course you will receive a reminder email 24 hours before the start of the webinar with instructions on how to join.

I purchased the ebook, how will it be sent to me?

Once you purchase the book you will be provided access to the VitalSource app where you can read them online or download them for offline use.

Can I only purchase the ebook?

Yes, you may. And if you purchase it through us, you get a special price of $60 compared the regular price of $110.

Is there a fee if I wish to engage with NCET2 for additional help in building my startup?

If you wish to engage with any of the lecturers for assistance beyond the course, please email us at and we can discuss with you services to help you develop your company.

Avail of the Early-Bird Rate

expires on November 30
Register Today and get 10% off
use code: Acad10

Buy the book

This course is based on the book "Academic Entrepreneurship: Creating the Ecosystem for your University"
Buy the book here for $60 (discounted from $110)