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Online Course

How to finance your venture ?

École Polytechnique via Coursera

  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Duration 6 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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The course aims at providing knowledge and experience to entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs generally start with a mission, a new idea that they want to bring to the world. If the idea is original, it is probably not expected by the market, which has to be educated. This is a very costly experience. Entrepreneurs need to gather capital at the start of the journey. They need to articulate clear plans, define objectives and resources and raise money accordingly. They also need to manage cash for two reasons: i) because the better it is managed, the less you need to raise with outsiders; ii) because generation of cash flow is the pillar of the valuation of the company. And we should add that the practical reason why a company gets bankrupted is because it runs out of cash..
The course is based on this belief. We look at the myth of the balance sheet and explain the dynamics of cash flows and the way they should be managed. We also investigate the basics of venture capital and provide a practical roadmap to entrepreneurs.

Many courses are dedicated to the same topic. Our originality is that we operate in the advisory board of the private equity firm, Xerys and are board members of their venture companies. In addition, Michel was the country head for Merrill Lynch in France while Philippe served in the same function at UBS. The former as head of investment banking, the latter as head of global markets.


-Welcome! This first week will help you understanding the different types of financial documents and the information each contains with one goal in mind: make more informed decisions about your venture.

-In this module you will learn: How does your venture create wealth? What is a business plan? What is wealth? What are the main financial metrics of wealth creation? How does your venture create cash? What is the Burn rate? Why should you finance your venture through equity? And why not debt?

-Understand that growth and size do influence market power and cash flows/profits as a consequence

-Understand the details of the relation between the entrepreneur and the financier, private equity in the first stages, then the public market at the time of the IPO. Understand the expectations, the documentation and the basis of price discovery

-Understand via real life examples the respective objectives of the entrepreneur and the financiers. Examine the trade off between ownership and growth and get an understanding of the different stages of investment.

Case Study

Taught by

Michel Fleuriet and Philippe Tibi

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