A Hybrid Distance Learning and Classroom-Based Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, offered in partnership by UC Berkeley and FICE
The “Learn2Launch” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program is an integrated program that provides students with an intensive, immersive and hands-on approach to the study of innovation, entrepreneurship and startups. The program involves online instruction from top UC Berkeley faculty along with select presentations and discussions with guest speakers that include entrepreneurs, investors, product designers, and key professional advisors from the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley entrepreneurial ecosystem. The instructors and speakers provide insights into the most current and effective theory and practice of entrepreneurship, and also insights into the business culture of the SF Bay Area which is the global epicenter for the creation of disruptive startups, many of them technology-based. The UC Berkeley faculty partner with local India-based faculty, teaching assistants, and mentors who provide hands-on classroom instruction, regular review of student work, local mentoring, and ongoing accountability, encouragement, and grading. This hybrid US – India program is based on the highly-regarded UC Berkeley-based Learn2Launch program that has hosted numerous cohorts of students from the US and around the world. It also incorporates elements of instruction from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and College of Engineering, and numerous executive education programs taught at UC Berkeley and around the world. The lead instructors have held key faculty and faculty director roles in entrepreneurship programs at UC Berkeley and other top US universities.
This program incorporates:
The “Learn2Launch” Framework
The many topics, skills and activities that are included in this curriculum are integrated in our “Learn2Launch” framework. Here are the four major stages of this framework:
Define -where the opportunity and concept, vision, values, and founding team are developed
Learn -where basic prototypes are created and early customer discovery activities take place
Launch -where the startup takes on more structure, products are defined, and initial customers/clients are created and revenues generated
DAccelerate-where the team undertakes activities needed to scale the company from a small startup to a growth stage venture to a major enterprise
Curriculum Components and Activities
The foundation and structure for this program is laid in the classroom. That said, and building upon the classroom education, much of the activity and learning takes place outside of the classroom as students and teams build demos and prototypes, interact with customers, evaluate funding alternatives, experience team dynamics, investigate partnerships, and develop and test various go to market strategies. In fact, “getting outside the classroom” as early and often as possible is one of the key objectives of this program. More specifically, during this program students will experience and perform a broad variety of activities related to launching an entrepreneurial venture, in a very hands-on manner, including:
At the conclusion of this program each team will formally present their venture in-person to a panel comprised of instructors and members from the local business/investor/startup communities in India, including entrepreneurs and investors, replicating the real world process that startup ventures and entrepreneurs undertake in Silicon Valley and elsewhere around the world to launch their company and obtain funding for growth. In previous offerings of this and similar programs at UC Berkeley some of the student teams have gone on to obtain angel and venture funding, matriculate to prestigious incubator accelerator programs such as Y Combinatory and 500 Startups, launch successful products and services, and build scalable and sustainable enterprises.