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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

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5.0 rating, based on 22 reviews

Start your review of Financing Innovative Ventures

  • 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
    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 well-structured. I enjoy this class very much. Michael Pratt with his real-life experience guided me through an exciting journey of financing for my new ventures. I look forward to bringing all this knowledge to life.

    Thanks very much Michael!
  • Anonymous
    This course is very comprehensive, easy to understand, practical, and covers the important topics. I enjoyed the course a lot and gained practical knowledge. Great course!
  • Anonymous
    It gives a detailed explanation on the approach to raising funds from various sources. It is quite elaborate and contains necessary inputs.
  • Anonymous
    Very persuassive and easy to learn. I can access again the syllabus and media.

    Hopefully, I could pass the exam at the end of the course.
  • Anonymous
    Very well structured course. The professor clarify all the aspects of venture financing with personal experience, excellent!!
  • Anonymous
    Great course with highly informative instructors we gained a many information that will boost our knowledge
  • 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
    Excellent course to understand the lingo of VC as a start. I liked that the presenter was able to talk about some examples of real world experience / expectations. The student, will however, need a solid background in accounts/business to fully understand this course.
  • Anonymous
    This is a very informative and helpful course. I would highly recommend it to any innovator and startup with interests in looking for financing.
  • Anonymous
    Great course! Wonderful instructor! Very concise though explanatory enough. Excellent material and templates also available. Many thanks!
  • Anonymous
    Time well spent! Actionable learning for entrepreneurs and support communities. The VC world can be intimidating and this class did an excellent job of summarizing the overwhelming amount of terms, demonstrating examples, providing templates and additional resources, as well as sharing senior expert advice. I have an MBA and felt like this covered a lot of gaps.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    A highly recommended course for any entrepreneur to learn the international (especially US) start up scene from the ground up. The instructor provided a lot of essential tools and the information is delivered in easily relatable anecdotes. Thoroughly enjoyed the content and resources included of this MOOC!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Excellent course, focus and teach all need for raising money to start up companies
    The videos are expended, valuable and we'll projected
    I recommend this course to new enterpreneurs to take this course
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course was a very detailed and comprehensive class. I enjoyed the topic and it helped expand a skill set and I believe position myself for professional growth.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    really important content and helpful information for venture capital and business in general i enjoyed the information provided very much

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