Scaling a Business: How to Build a Unicorn

Play a vital role in executing the growth strategy for your business

Inquiring For
Work Experience

Key Takeaways

Wharton’s Scaling a Business: How to Build a Unicorn program explores the concept of unicorns, from what they look like and how they prepare for growth to how they deal with failure and crisis along the way. This program will enable you to:

  • Identify the characteristics of unicorn organizations

  • Design a well-structured business experiment

  • Analyze organizational resources and constraints to scale technology

  • Examine the processes and structure of a growing organization

  • Examine effective frameworks and metrics of an organization’s readiness to scale

  • Evaluate the personnel and cultural needs within an organization

Program Modules

Program Experience

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Discussion Boards

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Industry Examples

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Live Office Hours

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Try-It Activities

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Knowledge Checks

Industry Examples

This online program provides real-world learning examples to help you understand the realities of building a unicorn startup through the experiential lens of leading global brands.

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Blue Apron

Premature scaling can be dangerous for a company. Discover the critical mistakes Blue Apron made during their scaling phase and how that affected their growth.

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Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Underestimating and overestimating are both common in the startup world, but maintaining adequate resources and processes is essential to any startup's growth. Learn how Amazon Web Services (AWS) attempted to stay nimble even after becoming a large enterprise.

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Most founders consider operational scalability a high-class problem — but it’s still a problem. Discover how operational scalability affected the mattress firm Casper due to inaccurate demand forecasting.

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Learn how Tesla overestimated in their plans to build a Gigafactory in 2014. While the company was capable of producing batteries for 500,000 cars, the actual car sales were 5,000.



Ralph J. Roberts Distinguished Faculty Scholar; Associate Professor of Management; Academic Director, Wharton Interactive

Ethan Mollick is an associate professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he studies and teaches innovation and entrepreneurship. He is also autho...


Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor; Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions; Director, Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, The Wharton School

Gad Allon is the Jeffrey A. Keswin Professor and Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, and the director of the Management and Technology Program at the Universit...


The content was outstanding — the approach is very direct and understandable for a businessperson who doesn’t have time to be sitting in a classroom for months.
Oscar Sardinas
President, Home Value Stores
The program holistically touches all aspects of a startup/organization's success — from founders and market fit to competitive strategy, culture, and hiring.
Asheesh Mehta
Managing Director, Accenture
The content was the best part of the program. It was relevant and delivered in an easy-to-digest manner. I also appreciated the pace at which the professors spoke.
Garfield DeBarros
Vice President, Blackstone
The diverse concepts offered and the efficiency by which they were taught was the best aspect of the program. It’s an effective way to get the big picture and understand what it takes to scale to unic...
Patrick Anquetil
CEO, Portal Instruments
The approach to communicating through interesting lectures was the best of the program. The professors’ talking time was spot on and the assignments were challenging. I walked away from this program t...
Chris Branchetti
Vice President, BCHH
I felt the program gave me a road map to follow to help me make more effective decisions and realize that if processes and people are not adding value — be ready to change direction quickly.
Jeff Liva
Owner, Preventive Plus P.A.


Upon successful completion of the program, you will earn a digital certificate of completion from the Wharton School.

Note: After successful completion of the online program, your verified digital certificate will be emailed to you in the name you used when registering for the program. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the Wharton School.

Save US$260 With Our Referral Program

Refer your friends and colleagues to the Scaling a Business: How to Build a Unicorn program, and amplify the impact of continuous and collaborative learning.

How to refer:

  • Visit our referral page and share your referral code with your friends and colleagues

  • Your friend can sign up for the program using your referral code

  • Learn together and save US$260 on program fees each

Refer now!

Not a student? Learn more about how the referral program can benefit you.


Didn't find what you were looking for? Write to us at or Schedule a call with one of our Program Advisors or call us at +1 680 205 5118 (US) / +44 185 845 9995 (UK) / +65 3135 1422 (SG)

Early registrations are encouraged. Seats fill up quickly!

Flexible payment options available.

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