Kauffman Fellows Academy Online

Startup CEO

Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path
Clint Korver, COO of NovoEd
You can take this course for $249.00.
January 27, 2014
March 24, 2014
Registration closed
Future offerings

The Course

Improve Your Management and Leadership Skills Quickly

Instead of learning from the school of hard knocks, let experienced startup founders guide you to being a successful first-time CEO. In addition to explaining the most critical responsibilities of a startup CEO, Matt Blumberg, Founder/CEO of Return Path and author of Startup CEO and Clint Korver, successful serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist and Stanford University adjunct professor, will provide you with an operating system that will help increase the chances of your startup’s success, while saving you time and reducing stress.

You’ll learn how systems thinking can help you build and scale a successful company. Many first-time CEOs focus on problem solving. However, encountering a problem, solving it and moving on to the next one is inherently limited and frustrating. Building a scalable business requires designing and implementing systems that prevent problems or at least make them easier to solve.

You’ll also learn from fellow online students—startup CEOs from around the world— helping you to build your network and gain a broader perspective on your company’s strengths and weaknesses.

A How-To Guide for the First-Time CEO

This online course focuses on the areas of responsibility unique to the CEO such as communicating the vision, building the company’s human capital, driving execution, building and leading a board of directors and managing yourself.

You’ll learn about a variety of systems--from those that help you manage your own time and priorities to those that drive the most important activities in your company.

Fundamentally this class describes how to create an operating system for managing yourself and your company.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Understand what a successful Startup CEO really does

  • Understand the power of story telling and how to communicate your vision to all stakeholders

  • Know how to recruit, hire and retain the very best talent

  • Know how to marshal financial resources and use them wisely through disciplined execution

  • Understand how to build and lead a board of directors

  • Know how to manage your time and your priorities so you can effectively manage others

Working in virtual teams, this online course allows you to learn by doing. You’ll gain leadership skills you can apply to your own startup or work situation in real-time. Designed by entrepreneurs for new and aspiring entrepreneurs, the seven-week curriculum will both improve your interpersonal skills and help you create an operating system for managing yourself and your company.

Our team-based exercises allow for substantial interaction with other students and the opportunity to build a network of fellow startup CEOs from around the world.

More Information

Workload: 2 - 4 hours / week, for seven weeks

Prerequisites: This is an introductory course and there are no prerequisites.

Technical Requirements: You need a computer that allows you to watch the video lectures, and the ability to upload your assignments, which will include text reports and images or video.

Statement of Accomplishment: Subject to satisfactory performance and course completion, you will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor.


Week 1: Storytelling

• Dream the possible dream

• Defining and testing your story

• Telling the story to your investors

• Telling the story to your team

• Revising the story

• Bringing the story to life

Week 2: Building a Company’s Human Capital

• Fielding a great team

• The CEO as functional supervisor

• Crafting your company’s culture

• The hiring challenge

Week 3: Managing a Company’s Human Capital

• Every Day in Every Way, Get a Little Better

• Compensation

• Promoting

• Rewarding: “It’s the little things” that matter

• Managing remote offices and employees

• Firing: When it’s not working

Week 4: Execution – planning and fund raising

• Creating a company operating system

• Creating your operating plan and setting goals

• Making sure there’s enough money in the bank

• The good, the bad, and the ugly of financing

• When and how to raise money

• Forecasting and budgeting

Week 5: Execution – the nitty gritty

• Collecting data

• Managing in tough times

• Meeting routines

• Driving alignment

• Benchmarking

• Going global

• M&A

• Competition

• Failure

Week 6: Building and leading a Board of Directors

• The value of a good board

• Building your board

• Board meeting materials

• Running effective board meetings

• Non-board meeting time

• Decision-making and the board

• Working with the board on your compensation and review

• Serving on other boards

Week 7: Managing Yourself so you Can Manage Others

• Creating a personal operating system

More Information

• Working with an executive assistant

• Working with a coach

• The importance of peer groups

• Staying fresh

• Your family

• Traveling

• Taking stock of the year

• A note on exits

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