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We learn by doing...


For HBS entrepreneurs and for the “startup curious” joiner/investor, this course offered in the fall term provides hands-on instruction through the early stages of building your business. In teams of 2-4, students will test assumptions and hypotheses to evolve their product, build their strategic and operating roadmaps, create organizational plans and develop skills necessary to manage the many complexities of operating a startup. Sessions feature skill-building exercises led by the instructor and outside experts and weekly peer-to-peer critiques on work-in-progress. There are no case discussions in this course other than students’ ventures. All deliverables are designed to move student ventures forward.

Startup Operations is structured for HBS students who wish to gain practical skills and further their businesses while pursuing their MBAs, for those who wish to join a startup after graduation or for aspiring investors who want to gain a better understanding of startup operations.

All ventures enrolled in the course may be eligible to receive non-dilutive funding.

HBS Course Catalog Description



This new course offered in the spring term is for students who have successfully completed Startup Operations in the fall term as either founders or joiners. Auditors who attended at least 12 of the 14 sessions in the fall may also enroll. The course will continue to provide the structure and community offered in Startup Operations to ensure each student/team is focused on key milestones tailored to their particular venture. Through course sessions, students will continue to build practical skills to lead and operate their entrepreneurial venture. Students may enroll as individuals or as a team. Team members who did not complete Startup Operations, but who are HBS students (or qualified cross-registrants) may apply as long as one team member who completed Startup Operations also applies for enrollment in the course.

Eligible students enrolled in the course will receive a modest grant.

HBS Course Catalog Description

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