Scaling a Business: How to Build a US$1 Billion+ Unicorn

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Course Dates

STARTS ON

June 15, 2022

Course Duration

DURATION

6 weeks, online
4-6 hours per week

Course Fee

PROGRAM FEE

US$2,600 US$2,288 or get US$260 off with a referral

Course Information Flexible payment available
Round 1

The deadline for this round has passed

1
Round 2

US$2,288 / program fee

Application Deadline
2

Overview

Achieving unicorn status — a valuation of $1 billion or more — is no simple feat. But preparing your business for scaling success early on can help ensure your company joins the unicorn ranks. This program is designed to help business leaders and entrepreneurs unlock the secrets of unicorn success and discover what it really takes to scale companies to billion-dollar valuations. You’ll learn the characteristics of a unicorn and how to recognize one as well as explore the challenges that come with building and scaling a unicorn to help you grow your own startup or business initiative.

900+

There are currently more than 900 unicorns globally, with a collective value of approximately $3 trillion.

SOURCE: Crunchbase

90%

Approximately 90 percent of all startups fail.

SOURCE: Investopedia

40%

Only about 40 percent of startups achieve profitability.

SOURCE: Small Business Trends

Key Takeaways

Wharton’s Scaling a Business: How to Build a US$1 Billion+ 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

Module 1:

Characteristics of a Unicorn — Yes, They Are Real

Begin by gaining a broad understanding of the program’s key concepts: the main characteristics of unicorns, myths of unicorns, growth limiters, and common mistakes.

Module 2:

Experimentation: Scaling the Organization

Learn how small companies can succeed even without all the resources large organizations have, and examine the latest research on conducting business experiments, how to make them successful, and how you can use them to continue to grow your organization to unicorn status.

Module 3:

Scaling Technology and Operational Resources

Discover the ways you can prepare to invest in the right operational and technological resources, including how to move from short-term to long-term considerations and how to think about modeling uncertainty.

Module 4:

Scaling Processes and Structure

Understand what problems processes solve and learn the advantages and disadvantages of formalizing processes. Then create a road map to identify and design processes that scale.

Module 5:

Metrics and Financials

Explore the framework for determining your organization’s readiness and ability to scale, as well as the metrics necessary before and after scaling to ensure that expansion is successful and sustainable.

Module 6:

Scaling Culture: Rewards, Hiring, Incentives, and Interviewing

When the time comes to scale, many companies realize internal factors are slowing their scaling process. Delve into scaling internally by focusing on your organization’s culture and people.

Module 1:

Characteristics of a Unicorn — Yes, They Are Real

Begin by gaining a broad understanding of the program’s key concepts: the main characteristics of unicorns, myths of unicorns, growth limiters, and common mistakes.

Module 4:

Scaling Processes and Structure

Understand what problems processes solve and learn the advantages and disadvantages of formalizing processes. Then create a road map to identify and design processes that scale.

Module 2:

Experimentation: Scaling the Organization

Learn how small companies can succeed even without all the resources large organizations have, and examine the latest research on conducting business experiments, how to make them successful, and how you can use them to continue to grow your organization to unicorn status.

Module 5:

Metrics and Financials

Explore the framework for determining your organization’s readiness and ability to scale, as well as the metrics necessary before and after scaling to ensure that expansion is successful and sustainable.

Module 3:

Scaling Technology and Operational Resources

Discover the ways you can prepare to invest in the right operational and technological resources, including how to move from short-term to long-term considerations and how to think about modeling uncertainty.

Module 6:

Scaling Culture: Rewards, Hiring, Incentives, and Interviewing

When the time comes to scale, many companies realize internal factors are slowing their scaling process. Delve into scaling internally by focusing on your organization’s culture and people.

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Program Experience

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Discussion Boards

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Industry Examples

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Assignments

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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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Casper

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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Tesla

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.

Faculty

Faculty Member Ethan Mollick

Ethan Mollick

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 author of The Unicorn’s Shadow: Combating the Dangerous Myths that Hold Back Startups, Founders, and Investors.... More info

Faculty Member Gad Allon, PhD

Gad Allon, PhD

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 University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in Management Science from Columbia Business School in New York.... More info

Certificate

Example image of certificate that will be awarded after successful completion of this program

Certificate

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

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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.

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