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Lean Finance for Startups - Everything an Entrepreneur Needs

Learn how to build a financial model, value your company, find investors, and raise the right type of capital.
4.0 (35 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,541 students enrolled
Last updated 9/2016
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 13 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
learn how to build a financial model, value a company, and raise the right type of capital
understand how to find revenue and expense assumptions
understand how to determine the best source of capital for your company
understand how to find and pitch investors
View Curriculum
  • Basic understanding of excel or a willingness to learn

Building a company? Learn how SMART entrepreneurs raise the RIGHT type of capital FAST.


Lili Balfour has advised over 100 companies, who have gone on to raise over $200 million from investors around the world. She is the author of Master the Finance Game, a Wall Street Journal Guest Mentor, a contributor at Fox Business News, a blogger for The Huffington Post, a guest contributor for HuffPost Live and a guest lecturer at UC Berkeley.


Learn everything you need to know to grow revenue, to increase profitability, and to secure capital for $197. This course includes a downloadable cap table with step-by-step instructions, as well as a list of active investors who have recently raised funds.


“I've previously spent more than a thousand bucks on business financial consultations which didn't even explain 10% of what this course covers in less than two hours. You get to know real life metrics and milestones that your company must achieve to survive and prosper.” Oleg

“A must for start ups. This is the first course I finished on Udemy! This course covers a lot and Lili was able to condense it to the essential, important things everyone going into a start up should know. A very big bonus is the downloadable excel spreadsheet that contains pretty much everything you need to understand financially when starting a business. Highly recommend.” Mic

“Es un buen curso, Lili sabe mucho sobre el tema, pero quisiera haber tenido mas énfasis en el modelo financiero.” Mateo

Who is the target audience?
  • Entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs
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Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 33 Lectures Collapse All 33 Lectures 02:08:07
Understanding Finance
7 Lectures 22:09
The lecture 1 video outlines the goals for the course and provides a foundation to begin the learning process.
Preview 04:50

Define your "buyer" in 100 words or less. What is their age range, gender, lifestyle, etc. 

Quiz: Lecture 1
1 question

The lecture 2 video describes basic revenue models and covers the evolution of revenue models over the past 100 years. 
Preview 05:02

Lecture 2
1 question

The lecture 3 video explains standard financial statements and details why we use a "lean" version of financial statements in our model. 
Financial Statements

Lecture 3
1 question

The lecture 4 video explains the basic components of the income statement and defines the most accurate explanation of profitability. 
Income Statement

Lecture 4
1 question

The lecture 5 video explains the balance sheet and details why we analyze cash, accounts receivable, and inventory. 
Balance Sheet

Lecture 5
1 question

The lecture 6 video explains why the financial structure of a company is important.
Financial Structure

Lecture 6
1 question

Lecture 7 includes question that each student should be comfortable answering upon completion of the course.
Questions for Review

Lecture 7
1 question
Financial Modeling and Metrics
7 Lectures 26:18

Lecture 9 includes a pdf that provides line-by-line and cell-by-cell instructions for the benchmarking which occurs in the spreadsheets. 
3 pages

Lecture 9
1 question

Lecture 10 includes a pdf that provides line-by-line and cell-by-cell instructions for the revenue assumptions contained in the spreadsheets. 
Revenue Assumptions
2 pages

Lecture 10
1 question

Lecture 11 includes a pdf that provides line-by-line and cell-by-cell instructions for the expense assumptions contained in the spreadsheets. 
Expense Assumptions
5 pages

Lecture 11
1 question

The lecture 12 video explains customer acquisition cost and lifetime value 
Metrics - Customer Acquisition Cost and Lifetime Value

Lecture 12
1 question

The lecture 13 video explains viral coefficient, funnel analysis, and traffic
Metrics - Viral Coefficient, Funnel Analysis, and Traffic

Lecture 13
1 question

The lecture 14 video explains monthly active users, daily active users, and churn
Metrics - Monthly Active Users, Daily Active Users, and Churn

Lecture 14
1 question
5 Lectures 10:35
The lecture 15 video explains how to use related transactions to estimate the value of your company. 
Related Transactions

Lecture 15
1 question

The lecture 16 video explains how to use public comparables to estimate the value of your company. 
Public Comparables

Lecture 16
1 question

The lecture 17 video explains why we do not use discounted cash flow to value early-stage companies. 
Discounted Cash Flow
2 pages

Lecture 17
1 question

The lecture 18 video explains the purpose of a 409A valuation. 
2 pages

Lecture 18
1 question

The lecture 19 video explains how to use the information in Section 3 to determine your funding strategy.
Funding Strategy

Lecture 19
1 question
Capital Sources
6 Lectures 14:11
The lecture 20 video explains venture capital and outlines which types of companies should pursue this form of capital.
Venture Capital

Lecture 20
1 question

The lecture 21 video explains angel investors and outlines which types of companies should pursue this form of capital. 
Angel Investors

Lecture 21
1 question

The lecture 22 video explains crowd funding and provides a warning on the one fatal mistake entrepreneurs make with this form of capital. 
Crowd Funding

Lecture 22
1 question

The lecture 23 video explains convertible notes and details how to utilize this form of capital.
Convertible Notes

Lecture 23
1 question

The lecture 24 video explains revenue-based loans and details how to utilize this form of capital.
Revenue-based Loans

Lecture 24
1 question

The lecture 25 video explains asset-based loans and details how to utilize this form of capital. 
Asset-based Loans

Lecture 25
1 question
Pitching Investors
7 Lectures 00:00
The lecture 26 presentation explains what you need to know about investors. 
Preview 4 pages

Lecture 26
1 question

The lecture 27 presentation provides the 10 slides you will need to sell your vision. 
Slide Basics
11 pages

Lecture 27
1 question

The lecture 28 presentation outlines how you can find investors. 
Preview 4 pages

Lecture 28
1 question

The lecture 29 presentation outlines how to pitch investors. 
How to Pitch Investors
4 pages

Lecture 29
1 question

The lecture 30 presentation outlines how to follow up with investors, even when they are not immediately interested in your company. 
Investor Follow Up
2 pages

Lecture 30
1 question

The lecture 31 presentation provides resources for follow up and questions. I will answer all student questions within 48 hours.

Be sure to join office hours on the 3rd Monday of each month at 12:00 pm pst. T

3 pages

3 pages
Case Studies
1 Lecture 09:54
About the Instructor
3.9 Average rating
61 Reviews
4,505 Students
4 Courses
Join our global community of over 10,000 entrepreneurs.

Finance for Entrepreneurs ( was created by Lili Balfour, founder of Atelier Advisors and author of Master the Finance Game.

To date, she has served over 10,000 entrepreneurs, from Silicon Valley to Dubai, via online courses and in-person workshops, from SF Hacker News to American Express CEO BootCamp. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fox Business News, and Forbes.

Lili spent over 15 years in investment banking (technology and healthcare) and investment management before creating Atelier Advisors, a firm that provides strategic and financial advisory services to early-stage companies. To date, she has helped over 100 early-stage companies raise over $200 million.

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