Class Central is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Stanford University

How to Start a Startup

Stanford University and Y Combinator via Independent


CS183B is a class we’re teaching at Stanford. It’s designed to be a sort of one-class business course for people who want to start startups.

Videos of the lectures, associated reading materials, and assignments will all be available here. There will be 20 videos, some with a speaker or two and some with a small panel. It’ll be 1,000 minutes of content if you watch it all.

We’ll cover how to come up with ideas and evaluate them, how to get users and grow, how to do sales and marketing, how to hire, how to raise money, company culture, operations and management, business strategy, and more.

You can’t teach everything necessary to succeed in starting a company, but I suspect we can teach a surprising amount. We’ve tried to take some of the best speakers from the past 9 years of Y Combinator dinners and arrange them in a way that will hopefully make sense.

We’re doing this because we believe helping a lot of people be better at starting companies will be good for everyone. It will hopefully be valuable even for people who don’t want to start startups.

Talks like these have really helped Y Combinator founders create their companies. We hope you find it helpful too!


Date Speaker Topic 9/23/14 Sam Altman, President, Y Combinator  Welcome, and Ideas, Products, Teams and Execution Part I 9/25/14 Sam Altman, President, Y Combinator  Ideas, Products, Teams and Execution Part II 9/30/14 Paul Graham, Founder, Y Combinator  How to Have Ideas and How to Get Started 10/2/14 Adora Cheung, Founder, Homejoy  Building Product, Talking to Users, and Growing 10/7/14 Peter Thiel, Founder, Paypal & Palantir, and Partner, Founders Fund  Business Strategy and Monopoly Theory 10/9/14 Alex Schultz, VP Growth, Facebook  Growth 10/14/14 Kevin Hale, Founder, Wufoo and Partner, Y Combinator  How to Build Products Users Love, Part I 10/16/14 TBA    10/21/14 Marc Andreessen, Founder, Andreessen Horowitz and Founder, Netscape 
Ron Conway, Founder, SV Angel 
Ben Silbermann, Founder & CEO, Pinterest  How to Raise Money 10/23/14 Alfred Lin, Former COO, Zappos and Partner, Sequoia Capital  Company Culture and Buliding a Team, Part I 10/28/14 Patrick and John Collison,Founders, Stripe  Company Culture and Building a Team, Part II 10/30/14 Aaron Levie, Founder, Box  Sales and Marketing 11/4/14 Reid Hoffman, Partner, Greylock Ventures and Founder, LinkedIn  TBA 11/6/14 Keith Rabois, Partner, Khosla Ventures  How to Operate 11/11/14 Ben Horowitz, Founder, Andreessen Horowitz, and Founder, and Opsware  How to Manage 11/13/14 Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo  TBA 11/18/14 Hosain Rahman, Founder, Jawbone  How to Build Products Users Love, Part II 11/20/14 Kirsty Nathoo and Carolynn Levy, Partners, Y Combinator  Mechanics--Legal, Finance, HR, etc. 12/2/14 TBA    12/4/14 Sam Altman, President, Y Combinator  Closing Thoughts and Later-Stage Advice

Taught by

Sam Altman


4.7 rating, based on 16 Class Central reviews

Start your review of How to Start a Startup

  • Absolutely am loving this course, primarily because it is based on the real world, all the speakers are businessmen who own and run startups, and no professors so far. I am currently on Video#7 of 20, and am finding it to be fascinating. Every speaker has his own unique take on what a start up is, and yet I can see them agreeing with each other. Starting a StartUp is really tough business, primarily because the payoff for a successful startup is so bloody huge.
  • Profile image for Harshil Lodhi
    Harshil Lodhi
    This is the only MOOC course in which I didn't feel the need to motivate myself to complete the course. It is very interesting and relates very easily to real life. And the people giving their opinions are ones who have created real business value worth Billions of Dollars.
  • Anonymous
    Die meisten von uns haben die letzten Jahre auch noch mal mit der Arbeit gesprochen wie ich das mit dir zusammen mit dem Handy habe ich bin gerade in den letzten Tagen in den nächsten Jahren in den letzten Jahren in den USA in den nächsten Tagen in den letzten Tagen und ich bin ein paar Jahre lang in den nächsten Tagen und ich habe keine Zeit für dich und dann habe man die letzten zwei Wochen auch noch nicht so viele Menschen mit dem Kind zu Hause haben wir können das
  • Rick Renner
    Extraordinary guidelines and advice to chart your course and set the agenda and approach for your development and launch cycles.
  • Profile image for Pablo Antonio Vegvarel
    Pablo Antonio Vegvarel
    Excellent course to introduce yourself to the world of startups. It helps you understand the basic notions and an approximation to the necessary roadmap for an entrepreneurial path.
  • Connie
    Completed this course
    Very useful for new start up
    And good sharing to new entrepreneurs
    Thanks for the sharing
    I will share it to my student Incase
  • I have been loving it so far. The teachers are cool and fun, relating the lessons in the simplest ways ever. I would take more courses from this institution. Thanks for being a blessing guys.
  • in this class, i can know how to start a first step in running a company orstart an easier one first. the most important thing is not be afraid to start.
  • Anonymous
    it is really good and I am learning a lot from it thank you for making this course freepeifigboerubgeubgousrbgousbrgi;ubsr;ogube
  • Akshatha Ck
  • Kirill_krokodil
  • Nathan Usibelli
  • Zadhit
  • Khadda

Never Stop Learning.

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Someone learning on their laptop while sitting on the floor.