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Build an early-stage startup

Microsoft via Microsoft Learn


  • Module 1: Explore the fundamentals and core business concepts of startups. Learn about factors that can lead to success and failure.

    In this module, you'll:

    • Consider whether you're in a position to invest the time and effort that's needed for a startup.
    • Inform yourself about factors that help startups succeed.
    • Learn about mistakes that cause startups to fail.
  • Module 2: Explore various ways to validate your startup idea with customers. Learn about tools and strategies for testing your startup assumptions.

    In this module, you'll:

    • Identify the value that your product creates for your customers.
    • Learn about tools that you can use to design a value proposition.
    • Explore experiments that you can use to test assumptions that you've made about your startup.
    • See how to interview customers effectively.
  • Module 3: Learn about the most common startup revenue models. See practical tips on how to get your startup to start generating revenue.

    In this module, you'll:

    • Learn about the wide range of revenue models that are available to startups.
    • Find out how to identify assumptions that you've made and test them with customers.
    • See which type of customer to focus on initially.
    • Understand how to develop strong sales capabilities.
  • Module 4: Learn how to choose a good name for your startup and create a strong brand.

    In this module, you'll:

    • Learn the importance of naming and branding for startups.
    • See principles that help you choose an effective name for your startup.
    • Learn practical tips for strengthening your personal brand.
  • Module 5: Find out how to build your startup team and find cofounders. Learn how to benefit from diversity in teams, mentors, and risk management measures.

    In this module, you'll:

    • Learn about personal attributes that are valued in startup team members.
    • See how to bring in a co-founder.
    • Understand the functional roles that need to be filled in your startup.
    • Find out about the advantages of co-founder agreements and founder investing.
  • Module 6: Learn how to raise money from investors such as angels and venture capital funds. See practical tips for asking potential investors for funding.

    In this module, you'll:

    • Understand external funding and bootstrapping.
    • Familiarize yourself with different types of investors.
    • See tips for asking potential investors for funding.
    • Learn strategies for raising funding rounds.
    • Appreciate the growth and scale needed to generate an acceptable return to investors.
  • Module 7: In this module, you'll learn how to pitch your startup to investors, discover what makes a pitch effective, and get tips for delivering compelling pitches.

    In this module, you'll:

    • Learn about types and formats of pitches.
    • Understand what makes a pitch effective.
    • Get valuable tips for delivering compelling pitches.


  • Module 1: Module 1: Startup fundamentals
    • Introduction
    • Should you found a startup?
    • What makes startups succeed?
    • What makes startups fail?
    • Knowledge check
    • Summary
  • Module 2: Module 2: Validate your startup idea with customers
    • Introduction
    • Articulate your idea
    • Test assumptions
    • Test assumptions with customers
    • Use the power of experiments
    • Knowledge check
    • Summary
  • Module 3: Module 3: The path to revenue
    • Introduction
    • Revenue models
    • Generate early revenues
    • Knowledge check
    • Summary
  • Module 4: Module 4: Naming and branding
    • Introduction
    • How to name your company
    • The importance of personal brand
    • Knowledge check
    • Summary
  • Module 5: Module 5: Build your team
    • Introduction
    • What does an ideal startup team look like?
    • Risk management in startup teams
    • Build diverse teams
    • Make use of mentors
    • Knowledge check
    • Summary
  • Module 6: Module 6: Fundraising for your startup
    • Introduction
    • How investment works
    • Different types of investors
    • Raise a funding round
    • Knowledge check
    • Summary
  • Module 7: Module 7: How to pitch your company
    • Introduction
    • Principles of pitching
    • What should go in my pitch deck?
    • Deliver a compelling pitch
    • Knowledge check
    • Summary


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