Startup School, as the name suggests, is one massive learning ground for individuals who’ve just started their entrepreneurial journey. The said initiative is run by Y Combinator, the organization widely known for churning out successful startups. This year, however, it is not being restricted and expanding to more individuals through a 10-week MOOC (massively open online course) offering. And the best thing about the said course — it’s free.
The primary aim of Y Combinator’s Startup School program has been defined on the official website as under:
We believe the barrier to entry for people to start a startup is still too high. We want to make it easier for people to start a company, regardless of who or where you are, so we’re starting by sharing what we’ve learned, through Startup School.
Earlier, Startup School had been a one-day annual event where Y Combinator would invite startups and students to receive lessons and interact with industry professionals in person. It also included startup pitches from participations, in the form of a mock Demo Day. With today’s initiative, Y Combinator president Sam Altman is looking “to replicate much of the YC experience” online through the startup course.
Under the online MOOC course, the organization will host a cohort of guest speakers who’ll talk about a variety of topics ranging from how to ideate and build a great product to how to raise money and sustain growth. Some of this year’s guests speakers are — Jan Koum (WhatsApp), Patrick Collison (Stripe), Steve Huffman (Reddit), Adam D’Angelo (Quora), Alex Schultz (Facebook), Jess Lee (Sequoia), Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures) and Ali Rowghani (YC) among others.
While 30-40 percent will be recorded advice sessions, YC will also organize weekly online advice sessions where the founders can get feedback on their startup idea. They will also gain access to a Slack community which will enable you to connect with the classmates.
The classes for this online course will initiate on April 5 but the registrations are now open for those interested in interacting with the cohort of leading experts mentioned above. Also, if you are not associated with a startup but would like to learn, then you can just visit the official website to access course material — even without any registration. Other participants are required to attend 9 out of the 10 courses to be eligible for a certificate and idea presentation.