How to Start a Startup

Startup School provides faculty, staff and students instruction and guidance on how to start a company with a customer validated, agilely designed and financially rationalized product worthy of continued startup development.

October 5 – November 9
Wednesday evenings 6-8 pm
KU School of Engineering Complex
LEEP2 Building, Room 2415


Startup School @ KU

Startup School@KU provides participants a fundamental understanding regarding how to start a startup motivating further development of entrepreneurial skills (adapted from Stanford’s CS 183). Open to all faculty, staff and students at KU.

Download PDF of Curricula

- Flipped classroom: students consume provided materials (identified by class below) prior to class meetings
- Guest lecturers on the respected topic for that evening plus answer questions for that topic. Other material (personal experiences) are welcome additions.
- Each session consists of standard lecture (for selected sessions): 30 minutes; guest lecture discussion (90 minutes).
  Dinner for participants is provided. 

October 5th: Key Components of Successful Startups & Top Ten Critical Considerations for an Unsuccessful Startup (TTCCUS
Lecturer: Wally Meyer, School of Business
How to Start a Startup: Ideas and Products (Sam Altman, Dustin Moskovitz)

How to Start a Startup: Team and Execution (Sam Altman) 

Optional: Lecture 3: Before the Startup (Paul Graham)

October 12th: Generating Ideas
Lecturer: John Fein, Firebrand Ventures
Reading: How To Get Startup Ideas (Paul Graham)   

Reading: The 10X Rule for Great Startup Ideas  

Reading: Real innovation is about solving problems, not having ideas 

How to Get Started (Stanley Tang – Doordash) to 15:50

Optional: Competition is for Losers (Peter Thiel-Pay Pal)

October 19th: Building Product
Lecturer: Kyle Johnson, Founder & CEO Bixy, Pipeline Innovator of the Year
Building Product, Talking to Users and Growing (Adora Cheung-Homepoint)

How to Build a Product Users Love (Kevin Hale – WuFoo)

Optional: How to Run a User Interview (Emmett Shear – and Twitch)

October 20th:  Celebration of Innovation: A Startup Showcase (Register Here)

  • Demo Day for KU startups founded by students, faculty, and new alumni
  • Investor Panel
  • Networking

October 26th: Growth
Lecturer: Mike Bosch, Founder & CEO RG Fiber, Pipeline Fellow
Financing Your Startup (Marc Andreessen – Netscape; Ron Conway – SV Angel; Parker Conrad – Zenefits)

The Pitch to Investors (Michael Seibel – beginning at 19:35 ; Investor Meeting Roleplay (Dalton Caldwell – and Qasar Younis – Talkbin)

November 2nd: Operating the Startup
Lecturer: Howard Berkowitz, Managing Director, Precision Growth Strategies
Growth (Alex Schultz-Facebook)

Getting the First $1M in Sales (Tyler Bosmeny – Clever) to 19:00;

Reading: Five Ways to Build a $100M Business (Crishtoph Janz – Point Nine Capital) 

November 9th: Working Session with Mentors
Operating the Startup (Keith Rabois – Khosla Ventures Partner and Square COO)

Optional: Later Stage Advice (Sam Altman – Y Combinator)

Optional: Legal and Accounting Basics for Startups (Kirsty Nathoo, Carolynn Levy, General Counsel – Y Combinator)

November 18: Global Entrepreneurship Week at KU
Funding raising discuss financing of startups including a guest presentation by Marianne Hudson, CEO, Angel Capital Association and other roundtable discussions