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Duke University

Financing for Startup Businesses

Duke University via Coursera


This course will teach you how to manage a startup’s financing strategy, where you will learn how to build capitalization tables (or “cap tables”) in Excel. Cap tables will help you explore different financing strategies for your startup company and determine which financing decisions are best for your entrepreneurial venture. You will also learn about innovations in the digital space that allow new ways to finance entrepreneurial ventures. These include different forms of crowdfunding, and alternative credit scoring mechanisms based on web-based data.

This course concludes with a module featuring cutting edge research from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business on the financial technology industry. In this module, you will learn how financial technology companies are disrupting the credit
scoring industry by developing new methods for credit scoring using consumers’ digital footprints. In addition, you will explore how financial technology platforms have introduced new, experimental forms of financing, such as crowdfunding.


  • Raising Capital from Venture Investors
    • This module explores the securities that venture investors use when they invest in startups, and how the dynamic nature of fundraising creates complex ownership structures.
  • Exiting Venture Investments
    • Venture investors generate returns for their investors by selling their portfolio companies, either to strategic buyer, to other private equity investors, or by listing them as publicly traded firms. This module explores how the proceeds from these liquidation events are distributed among the different investors based on the terms of their investments.
  • Crowdfunding
    • This module examines different kinds of crowdfunding. We start with peer-to-peer lending to understand the setup in its early days and evolution, and then examine equity crowdfunding and rewards based crowdfunding.
  • Credit Scoring Through Digital Footprints
    • This module examines credit scoring through the traditional means of credit bureau scores and then looks at new ways of doing credit scoring through a simple digital footprint.

Taught by

Manju Puri and David Robinson


4.5 rating at Coursera based on 204 ratings

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