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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


5.0 rating, based on 49 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at edX based on 9 ratings

Start your review of Financing Innovative Ventures

  • Anonymous
    This short course covers the basics to start thinking of how to finance innovative venture in the US. The instructor has a lot of experience and provides technical and practical knowledge and advice. I recommend it to anyone interested in starting a…
  • Dimitar Pavlov Ganchev
    I would recommend this course to anybody who's planning to start a business or has an interest in the startup sector. I was very impressed by the way the whole course was set up and the information, the topics and the details that were presented and explained by lector. I was especially very happy with the fact that real life examples were included and that made things easier to understand. The book that was recommended at the beginning of the course also helped a lot with the whole learning experience. The course does a great job in describing a very important aspect in the path of the early entrepreneur and some of the hardships that one could face along the way.
  • Anonymous
    Amazing and wonderful. It has a full information to start in this field. I suggest to support the course with a real example including and covering all the topics in one video and a pdf file.
  • Anonymous
    Great instructor and course! I truly learned a lot about financing startups and term sheets and many of the terms that I've been hearing for a while.
  • Anonymous
    This course gives you all the details (and more) for entrepreneurs in the early stages of their businesses. It is practical and well worth your time.
  • Anonymous
    It is worth all of your time you need to watch this basic online business start up structures guidance, and terminology, well done and well-made
  • Anonymous
    This course gives a great introduction to concepts associated with financing Innovative Ventures.
    For someone like myself who has no prior training in financing innovative ventures, this course was easy to understand and well-presented by a lecturer who clearly has great depth of experience in this area, and has the skills to communicate his experience in a manner that makes the content very accessible.
  • Anonymous
    Compliments to lecturer. Street-smart! Really useful. Much of what you need at one place. GREAT. Many thanks for your time to design this course.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course! Such a difficult subject made so easy! Very knowledgeable and experienced faculty!
  • Anonymous
    Very clear and good, useful information provided. I appreciated the links to downloadable materials.
  • Profile image for Ron Jansen
    Ron Jansen
    Great content and very well presented. Despite being UK based, will be extremely helpful going forward.
  • Anonymous
    This course is very informative and covered the subject matter quite extensively - especially on the quick pitch area. Perhaps very very rare- an issue could arise about being the only product - of having a product that solve a serious problem, that there really was no other product out there that provides the solution and you have the proprietary right. Certainly- this would be the exemption- that there is no competition.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course on understanding “Financing Innovative ventures” Very simple to understand the most complex topics. Excellent videos, intersects quizzes. I could get a complete understanding of the subject. It will be very useful for my professional growth. The session planning , presentation were simply classic.
  • Anonymous
    Very comprehensive overview of the presented topic and after even a bachelor degree completed in this field, many Aha!-Moments and new insights along the way. Thoroughly enjoyed this course and would not want to miss it.
  • 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 ju…
  • 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
    Really enjoy this class by Michael. I found the information he provides is very helpful for anyone who's looking for becoming an entrepreneur or diving into finance field.
    Very recommend :) Thank you Michael!
  • Anonymous
    Clear explanation with examples for Financing Innovative Ventures, the early stage landscape , business plan from investor pint of view and templates are very useful for budding entrepreneur
  • Anonymous
    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
    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.

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