Launch Your Venture: Creating Your Entrepreneur Story
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Launch Your Venture: Creating Your Entrepreneur Story

A guide to the leadership journey of entrepreneurship explained through the experiences of 18 successful entrepreneurs.
5.0 (1 rating)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
51 students enrolled
Last updated 3/2016
English [Auto-generated]
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 5 articles
  • 9 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Through examining hundreds of hours of video, we have seen a common thread in the entrepreneur's journey. The Launch Your Venture course will take you through this journey by sharing the stories of some of our near-peer exemplars. It will inspire you to reflect on your experience, see where you are in your journey, and learn how to advance to next steps.
  • You are open to learning from others like you who have gone through a process of launching a venture
  • You have a broadband connection that allows you to watch course videos
  • You have material to complete the homework assignments after each section on your computer or in writing

Launch Your Venture is a Capture Your Flag course focusing on the emotional journey of entrepreneurship. We have found that there are plenty of courses on the logistics of entrepreneurship, but very few about the personal challenges that the entrepreneur goes through. This course covers those challenges that are faced not only by not by entrepreneurs but also by innovators inside companies, individuals starting charities, or anyone about to embark on a new venture.

Through Capture Your Flag, Erik Michielsen has interviewed 75 near-peer exemplars over the course of the past five years. These exemplars have been experiencing the challenges of mid-career: starting ventures, having families, caring for parents, working for promotions, quitting jobs, impacting communities and realizing their potential.

The magic of the near-peer exemplar is that they have just been through the challenges that you are facing now. Their story is your story, but a few years ahead.

The power of longitudinal interviews filmed over a series of years is that you are able to follow their story rather than just getting a snapshot of their experience.

Through examining hundreds of hours of video, we have seen a common thread in the entrepreneur's journey. The Launch Your Venture course will take you through this journey by sharing the stories of some of our near-peer exemplars. It will inspire you to reflect on your experience, see where you are in your journey, and learn how to advance to the next steps.

Who this course is for:
  • Entrepreneurs Starting Companies, Charities, or Community Projects
  • Intrapreneurs Leading Change Inside Organizations
  • Thinkers and Innovators Who Have a Great Idea and Need to Take Action on Making It Happen
  • Students Considering a Career in Entrepreneurship
  • Changemakers Seeking to Learn How to Affect Change by Taking Action on Your Passion and Making an Impact in Your Work
Course content
Expand all 12 lectures 01:16:14
+ Introduction to Launch Your Venture Course
1 lecture 05:01

Launch Your Venture Course Introduction Script:

Erik Michielsen: Hello. This is the Capture Your Flag “Launch Your Venture” course. When you start your own venture, whether you start a new company, go into a new company, create a non-profit, or innovate inside your existing organization, you need to launch.

After going through the hundreds of hours of video on Capture Your Flag, we found a pattern in common with entrepreneurs and innovators. The videos we use in this course will show you that pattern and give you the tools to use it in your own endeavor.

The launch pattern has five main events. The first is your why moment. This is your driving question.The second is your movement moment: when your questions inspire you to action.The next moment is your first failure. Which is quickly followed by a time of iterating on your idea.Finally, you need to develop a way to measure your success as you iterate: how do you know that you are succeeding?

Now, the big question and why it matters: who are we interviewing?

We call them exemplars.The Capture Your Flag exemplars are people like you.Or, more accurately, like you in the near future.They've just been through what you are about to start.Let’s meet a few of them so you can look for one whose experience launching a venture relates best to you.

Louise Langheier: I’m Louise Langheier and I’m the co-founder and CEO of Peer Health Exchange.

[Near Peer Exemplar video intros of Louise Langheier, Slava Rubin, Courtney Spence, Phil McKenzie, Hattie Elliot, Mike Germano]

Slava Rubin: Hi there! My name is Slava Rubin. I’m founder and CEO of Indiegogo.

Courtney Spence: My name is Courtney Spence and I’m founder and Executive Director of Students of the World.

Phil McKenzie: Hi. My name is Phil McKenzie. I’m the founder and Global Curator of Influencer Conference.

Hattie Elliot: My name is Hattie Grace Elliot and I’m the Founder of the Grace List.

Mike Germano: My name is Mike Germano. I’m the Chief Digital Officer at Vice Media.

Erik Michielsen: Now that you have seen a couple Near Peer Exemplar examples, I want to let you know another key part of this course: since our interviews have been filmed over five years, we can see their progression through the launch process stages.

What have the Near Peer Exemplars you will meet in this course launched?

Social Entrepreneur Louise Langheier launched a non-profit - Peer Health Exchange - that she has expanded across the United States.

Slava Rubin launched Indiegogo, a leading crowd funding platform used by millions of people to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for projects.

Courtney Spence launched Students of the World, a non-profit that helps college students produce media to create positive change.

Phil McKenzie is an MBA who left Goldman Sachs for publishing and launched Influencer Conference to unify change-makers around the world.

Small Business Owner Hattie Elliot launched a physical social networking company, The Grace List.

Author Simon Sinek launched not one but two bestselling books and has inspired the world with the #2 most popular TED Talk of All-Time

Marc Ferrentino left an executive level job at to eventually launch a software startup company called Nomi.

Dan Street left a private equity job at KKR to bootstrap a startup called Loku he grew and sold to Groupon.

Award winning food entrepreneur Julie Hession has launched several food initiatives, including a specialty food store and multiple cookbooks.

Joe Stump, a serial entrepreneur, launched his startup SimpleGeo, sold it, and then launched a 2nd company,

Entrepreneur Audrey French launched ClearResult consulting and sold it to a private equity company.

New York City standup comedian Matt Ruby launched, a comedy web series that satires startup culture.

Jon Kolko launched the Austin Center for Design, a design school based in Austin, Texas.

Chicago-based entrepreneur J.T. Allen launched MyFootpath, an online career site that he has grown to #234 on the Inc 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the United States.

And finally, Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Mike Germano launched social media ad agency Carrot Creative and had it acquired by Vice Media in 2013.

As we learn from these Near Peer Exemplars in this course, we will go through key takeaways and you will do assignments to personalize your experience so you are better prepared to Launch Your Venture.

Before starting each section, please go to the Lecture Description tab to get your assignments for each section.You will see them at the bottom of that page.

Use the Discussion Board tab to ask your fellow learners questions, ask me questions, and share additional insights based on your own experiences. I’m here to support you on this journey so please, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Now, let’s join our Near Peer Exemplars and start learning.

Preview 05:01
+ Part 1 of 5: The Why Moment
3 lectures 14:52


Erik Michielsen: The first step in launching your venture is the why moment. The why moment is the realization that there is a challenge. An unmet need. There's a problem - something out there that you can fix. The Why Moment for some ventures is as simple as "business cards could be more creative" or as personal as "no one else should have my father’s experience with the health care system." The why moment is what drives us.

[Cut to Near Peer Exemplar Stories]

Preview 12:18
Why moment challenge
The 5 Whys
+ Part 2 of 5: The Movement Moment
2 lectures 11:15


Erik Michielsen: After you have had an inspiring idea, you still need to be inspired to act on it. For some people, this movement moment happens right after the inspiration. A great idea occurs to them and they move immediately. For others, the movement moment happens later. Sometimes much later. Maybe it’s a matter of not knowing what the answer to your problem is. Maybe it’s a matter of needing a change in context to inspire your movement. Whatever it is, it’s important to know that inspiring ideas also need inspiration to action.

Here are multiple video perspectives of the Movement Moment from Capture Your Flag interviewees.

[Cut to Near Peer Exemplar Stories]

Part 2 of 5: The Movement Moment
Movement Moment Worksheet
+ Part 3 of 5: First Failure
2 lectures 15:26


Erik Michielsen: If a new venture is a real thing, failure is a possibility. In fact, failure will come. The moment of the first failure is important and worth examining, because failure will be coming again, and the lessons of the first failure shape your organization moving forward.

First failure can come in different places: failure in the market; failure or the team to come together; failure to acquire the resources you need.

Let’s look at video examples of different types of failure.

[Cut to Near Peer Exemplar Stories]

Part 3 of 5: First Failure
The Upside of Failure
+ Part 4 of 5: Iteration
1 lecture 13:12


Erik Michielsen: Once you have failed successfully, you are ready to do so again. And again. The next stage in launching your venture is iteration. The process of iteration involves being brave enough to experiment with your venture, fail or succeed, and learning from the results. It’s important to note that this process is not random. Iteration is a process of coming to understand your venture, your team, your product and your market better so that you can find long-term success.

Let’s learn from Capture Your Flag interviewees and how they experienced the iteration stage.

[Cut to Near Peer Exemplar Stories]

Part 4 of 5: Iteration
+ Part 5 of 5: Metrics
3 lectures 16:27


Erik Michielsen: You’ve failed. You’re iterating. You’re iterating some more. How do you stop from feeling like you are on a hamster wheel? The next step in the process is an ongoing step. You need to know when you are making it. As you iterate and iterate, you need to decide what success looks like. For some people, success is the liquidity event – selling a company or going public. For some, it’s changing how people are educated; getting cost of goods sold to a 20-year low; eradicating a disease. Whatever it is, you need a clear idea of when you have hit it. You need to define your success – measurably and clearly.

Your success will relate back to our "Why Moment." After so much time and so many iterations and failures, you may have lost sight of the why. Or it may have become so nebulous and far off that you it's hard to imagine achieving it. But knowing when you are making it is all about breaking that why into pieces so you can see your progress.

Capture Your Flag interviewees have covered this extensively in their interview series. Let’s look to their examples get a couple perspectives on success as it relates to the journey.

[Cut to Near Peer Exemplar Stories]

Part 5 of 5: Metrics
Metrics Worksheet
Thank You Message from Erik Michielsen