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University System of Maryland

Financing Innovative Ventures

University System of Maryland and University of Maryland, College Park via edX


This course will demystify key financial concepts to give aspiring and active entrepreneurs and innovators a guide for understanding their financials and securing funding. Assuming that our learners have no prior knowledge in accounting, economics, or finance, we will work from the ground up to:

● Examine the many financing options available to get your new venture funded

● Learn the basics of finance, valuations, dilution, and non-dilutive funding source

● Understand capital structure for new ventures, term sheets and how to negotiate them, and the differences between early-stage versus later-stage financing

● Develop an understanding of how to develop winning investor pitches, who and when to pitch, how to avoid common mistakes that limit the effectiveness of the pitch, and how to ‘get to the close.

Key questions answered within the course include:

● If and when to raise outside capital?

● What kind of investors invest by stage and where to find them?

● What are your fundraising options?

● What are the key components of the term sheet?

● How to perform company valuations?

● How to pitch to investors?

● What techniques help the entrepreneur ‘get to the close’?


Module 1: The Early Stage Investment Landscape

This session provides insights into the investment landscape, to include how investors and lenders evaluate new ventures. Key terminology and principles are addressed to provide learners without an accounting or finance background with an understanding of these areas.

Module 2: Sources of Capital for Startups and Corporate Ventures

This session examines the options that entrepreneurs and innovators face in where to raise their financial capital from in the early stages of their venture. From friends and family, to angel investors and venture capitalists, the pros and cons of each source of capital are explored. We will also explore the different sources of internal and external financing for the corporate venture.

Module 3: Getting Funded – Steps in the Funding Process

This session discusses the techniques and tools to secure funding for a new venture. This provides insights into how entrepreneurs can create a comprehensive funding strategy for their new venture.

Module 4: Pitching Investors and Closing the Round

This final session instructs learners on how to share their investment opportunity with investors and partners, to include those that manage internal corporate funding decisions. With practical tips on the do's and don'ts of pitching, learners are able to develop a compelling story for their new venture.

Taught by

Michael Pratt


5.0 rating, based on 40 Class Central reviews

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  • Anonymous
    Excellent course on understanding “Financing Innovative ventures” Very simple to understand the most complex topics. Excellent videos, intersects quizzes. I could get a complete understanding of the subject. It will be very useful for my professional growth. The session planning , presentation were simply classic.
  • Anonymous
    The course is really useful to the beginners in financial and accounting, and especially helpful to the small business owners.

    The teacher is very professional and hardworking. He could clarify the complex knowledge in simple words. The most important thing is that he has give the key points of financing the innovative ventures.

    The templates are very convenient to download and easy to understand. Thanks to the teacher and other faculty and IT staff of EDX.

  • Anonymous
    Really enjoy this class by Michael. I found the information he provides is very helpful for anyone who's looking for becoming an entrepreneur or diving into finance field.
    Very recommend :) Thank you Michael!
  • Anonymous
    Clear explanation with examples for Financing Innovative Ventures, the early stage landscape , business plan from investor pint of view and templates are very useful for budding entrepreneur
  • Profile image for Ron Jansen
    Ron Jansen
    Great content and very well presented. Despite being UK based, will be extremely helpful going forward.
  • Anonymous
    The course is easy to navigate and understand. It is detailed yet does not take a long time to finish. I think one could finish this within a week. This is also perfect for those who want to know more about or enter into startup businesses or who just...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    A really good course, filled with useful information, told in a lean but interesting way by a personable and credible presenter. Really enjoyed doing it, and am looking forward to now putting my learning into practice.
  • Anonymous
    This course is very informative and covered the subject matter quite extensively - especially on the quick pitch area. Perhaps very very rare- an issue could arise about being the only product - of having a product that solve a serious problem, that there really was no other product out there that provides the solution and you have the proprietary right. Certainly- this would be the exemption- that there is no competition.
  • Anonymous
    This course gives a great introduction to concepts associated with financing Innovative Ventures.
    For someone like myself who has no prior training in financing innovative ventures, this course was easy to understand and well-presented by a lecturer who clearly has great depth of experience in this area, and has the skills to communicate his experience in a manner that makes the content very accessible.
  • Anonymous
    Very comprehensive overview of the presented topic and after even a bachelor degree completed in this field, many Aha!-Moments and new insights along the way. Thoroughly enjoyed this course and would not want to miss it.
  • Anonymous
    Course is very interesting & educative. Many new concepts can be learnt. All the videos are excellent, explained lucidly clear in simple language. Good add on knowledge. Well structured & well presented.
  • Anonymous
    The process of selecting and identifying a new and innovative venture and how to go about financing them is the need of the hour and requires a set of skills which is currently required in current scenario.
  • Anonymous
    Very interesting and useful. This will not only help the start ups to raise necessary funds required for the business but also helps in negotiating with the investors better terms.
  • Anonymous
    The course is very comprehensive and gives insight into vital aspects of Innovative Ventures. Explained well through videos and made the concept clear.
  • Anonymous
    Really useful. Highly recommended for those who are looking for funding for their venture. Easy to understand and informative.
  • Anonymous
    Informative, well-paced course. Professor is extremely knowledgeable and thoughtful about his content.
  • Anonymous
    The course has been designed in an easy to understand format. Concepts have been explained very lucidly. While it has been designed to assist an entrepreneur raise investments, I approached it from the perspective of an investor. The course helped me understand things from the side of an entrepreneur. Quite useful and practical.
  • Anonymous
    A very well structured course, packed with a wealth of useful information, and delivered in a balanced manner by a very credible presenter. Michael Pratt does and excellent job of taking his audience from the A to the Z of the subject matter without getting bogged down into too many technicalities.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent Course Content which helps in understanding the nitty gritty of business world. Helps in take a deep dive into the fundamental requirements of Venture Financing and leaves the user a much more confident person, who can handle the risk and pressure of an unchartered territory.
  • Anonymous
    Very comprehensive with well provided discussions and examples, full guidelines in raising capital; reasons for starting business venture with business plan; and the financial statements required from businesses.Appreciation to all the efforts of the professors.

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