Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program: Scaling Your Business

Pitch your ideas to blue-chip Silicon Valley venture capital firms. Seed funding of $10,000 for the winner of the pitch competition!

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Course Dates

STARTS ON

July 14, 2022

Course Duration

DURATION

3 months, online
3-4 hours per week

Course Fee

PROGRAM FEE

US$1,950 US$1,794 or get US$195 off with a referral

Course Information Flexible payment available
program fee

US$1,950 US$1,794

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Why Enroll in Wharton’s Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program?

There’s no shortage of pitfalls for startups and their founders. The 90 percent failure rate of startups is enough to make you think about keeping your day job — forever. But what if there was a proven playbook that dramatically increased the odds of success?

Being successful in venture capital means having a mix of cross-disciplinary skills, which is why expert faculty for this program stem from social psychology, organizational behavior, information technology, finance, and marketing.

The Formula to Accelerate Your Business
Enroll in this program and dramatically increase the odds of success by learning how to:

  • Pick the right business model
    There are many different types of business models. Survey the range of options, including the disruptive model, the architecture model, the value chain model, and the efficiency model, with examples of each type. Utilize the Business Model Canvas tool to help you decide on your model.
  • Build the right team
    Learn about the Three Rs of founding teams — relationships, roles, and rewards — and the three critical questions entrepreneurs must address when setting up their company. Topics include allocating equity, founder’s agreements, hiring key management, and finding technical resources.
  • Choose the right financing approach
    Raising funds to scale is one of the biggest challenges that startups face. Learn about the various financing pathways available and the tradeoffs for each type. Topics include equity financing valuations, equity financing terms, and term sheets.
  • Ramp up sales and scale the business
    In order to drive sales, you need a foundational understanding of your potential customers and markets. Considerations such as the rate of adoption of new products help with demand forecasting. Understand the importance of creating a growth culture and different expansion strategies, such as vertical and horizontal expansion.

Your Learning Experience

Through a mix of live and recorded faculty video sessions, assignments, quizzes, and interactive discussions moderated by teaching assistants, your learning journey culminates in a pitch to the Wharton team and renowned venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital, Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Ved Capital and Walnut Venture. The winner and runner-up of this pitch competition will be awarded seed funds of $10,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Note: Seed funding cannot be used for personal expenses. It must be used to develop the business cited in the final pitch. The seed funding will not dilute equity positions. T&C apply.

Your Business or Idea

Regardless of stage of maturity

Real-World Examples

Delivered through a mix of recorded and live online lectures with faculty and guests

Discussion Boards

Moderated by subject-matter experts

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Seed Money for Pitch Winners

Awarded to top two pitches, and everyone improves in the process

Program Topics

Module 1:

Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship

Learn how to apply the "lean approach": transform a good idea into a successful business venture while minimizing risk

Module 2:

Building the Right Team

Learn how to select founding members, employees, managers, and other key players on your team

Module 3:

Lawyers, Advisors, and Mentors

Learn how to use innovation and networking to drive your enterprise forward

Module 4:

Business Models and Customer Lifetime Value

Learn how to choose the right business model for your venture

Module 5:

Customer Acquisition and Demand Generation

Learn how to find markets and create demand for your product

Module 6:

Pricing and Distribution Strategies

Learn how to apply cost structures and pricing mechanisms to your business and use performance measurement tools effectively

Module 7:

Gearing Up for Scale

Learn to recruit people who will build your company’s culture and use it to scale up your venture

Module 8:

Financing: Funding and Valuation

Learn the various sources of financing available for your business

Module 9:

Financing: Venture Capital vs. Alternative Funding Channels

Learn how to make a wise decision about venture capital or alternative funding and how to estimate a breakeven point

Module 10:

Elements of the Pitch

Create executive summaries and pitch decks for your business and understand how the exit of founding shareholders affects liquidity

Module 11:

Business Plan Competition

Participate in a business plan competition with your peers and create a pitch for your own venture. The winner of the competition and the runner-up will win a substantial cash prize to use for seed funding (rules and restrictions apply).

Module 1:

Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship

Learn how to apply the "lean approach": transform a good idea into a successful business venture while minimizing risk

Module 7:

Gearing Up for Scale

Learn to recruit people who will build your company’s culture and use it to scale up your venture

Module 2:

Building the Right Team

Learn how to select founding members, employees, managers, and other key players on your team

Module 8:

Financing: Funding and Valuation

Learn the various sources of financing available for your business

Module 3:

Lawyers, Advisors, and Mentors

Learn how to use innovation and networking to drive your enterprise forward

Module 9:

Financing: Venture Capital vs. Alternative Funding Channels

Learn how to make a wise decision about venture capital or alternative funding and how to estimate a breakeven point

Module 4:

Business Models and Customer Lifetime Value

Learn how to choose the right business model for your venture

Module 10:

Elements of the Pitch

Create executive summaries and pitch decks for your business and understand how the exit of founding shareholders affects liquidity

Module 5:

Customer Acquisition and Demand Generation

Learn how to find markets and create demand for your product

Module 11:

Business Plan Competition

Participate in a business plan competition with your peers and create a pitch for your own venture. The winner of the competition and the runner-up will win a substantial cash prize to use for seed funding (rules and restrictions apply).

Module 6:

Pricing and Distribution Strategies

Learn how to apply cost structures and pricing mechanisms to your business and use performance measurement tools effectively

Download Brochure

Business Plan Competition

Participate in a business plan competition with your peers in which you will create a pitch for your own venture. The winner of the competition and the runner-up will win a substantial cash prize to use for seed funding (rules and restrictions apply).

The judging criteria are focused on the customer value proposition, which includes size of market, competitive landscape, and clear differentiation; economic model of the venture; go-to-market plan; and the capabilities and background of the team.

Members of the Wharton entrepreneurship community, with support from program leaders, will review the plans submitted for consideration and will select the top seven business plans as semi-finalists.

What Was the Best Part of the Program for the Participants?

"…the business plan contest, forcing me to apply everything I’ve learned.”

— Elissavet F., Health Care Professional

"…the session on financial statements and exit strategies.”

— Raf H., CEO and Founder, Kukun Inc.

"…the peer reviews were really helpful.”

— Fallon T., CEO, Tur Swimwear

PJ Mastracchio

"More than two years after winning the Wharton EAP pitch contest, AtYourGate is now the industry leader in mobile ordering and delivery inside airports. As COVID-19 affected travel so dramatically, we pivoted from convenience to safety — and are launching in 16 new airports in Q2 of 2021. This program exceeded my expectations."

— PJ Mastracchio, Founder and CEO, AtYourGate
Business Plan Competition Winner (2018)

Rajpreet Kaur

"When I joined Wharton’s EAP, my initial research had been done and my company was in motion. This program gave me the confidence to scale the venture and validated my concept by virtue of being runner-up in the pitch competition. They ran a rehearsal pitch with me, offered insights on structuring equity offers, and much more. I highly recommend Wharton’s EAP program for anyone serious about scaling their own venture."

— Rajpreet Kaur, Founder of SayCheese.life Former VP at HSBC Bank and Head of Derivatives at Bharti Airtel Limited, India Business Plan Competition 1st Runner-Up (2020)

Want to know what ideas won the Wharton Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program business plan competition since it started in 2018?

Interviews and Industry Examples

The Wharton Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program features in-depth interviews with company founders and representatives from startups and established venture capitalist firms.

  • Big Ass Fans
  • Forerunner Ventures
  • Greylock Partners
  • Stringr

The online program also features examples of startups and established companies that were once startups. It will cover multiple industries, including consumer packaged goods, ecommerce, internet, media and entertainment, and technology.

  • Adobe
  • Intel
  • Qualcomm
  • Aerocardal
  • Harry’s Blades
  • Dollar Shave Club
  • Jet.com
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • Bandar Foods
  • Silicon Valley Bank
  • IBM
  • Kickstarter
  • Xiaomi
  • Belle-V Kitchen
  • Wholly Moly

Note: All product and company names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.

Program Faculty

Faculty Member Karl Ulrich

Karl Ulrich

CIBC Endowed Professor; Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions; Professor of Management; and Vice Dean of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Faculty Member Ethan Mollick

Ethan Mollick

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

Faculty Member Kartik Hosanagar

Kartik Hosanagar

John C. Hower Professor; Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions

Faculty Member Lori Rosenkopf

Lori Rosenkopf

Simon and Midge Palley Professor

Faculty Member David Hsu

David Hsu

Academic Director, Richard A. Sapp Professor; Professor of Management

Certificate

Certificate

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

Download Brochure

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.

This online certificate program does not grant academic credit or a degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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FAQs

  • How do I know if this program is right for me?

    After reviewing the information on the program landing page, we recommend you submit the short form above to gain access to the program brochure, which includes more in-depth information. If you still have questions on whether this program is a good fit for you, please email learner.success@emeritus.org,and a dedicated program advisor will follow-up with you very shortly.


    Are there any prerequisites for this program?

    Some programs do have prerequisites, particularly the more technical ones. This information will be noted on the program landing page, as well as in the program brochure. If you are uncertain about program prerequisites and your capabilities, please email us at learner.success@emeritus.org for assistance.


    Note that, unless otherwise stated on the program web page, all programs are taught in English and proficiency in English is required.


    What is the typical class profile?

    More than 50 percent of our participants are from outside the United States. Class profiles vary from one cohort to the next, but, generally, our online certificates draw a highly diverse audience in terms of professional experience, industry, and geography — leading to a very rich peer learning and networking experience.


    What other dates will this program be offered in the future?

    Check back to this program web page or email us at learner.success@emeritus.org to inquire if future program dates or the timeline for future offerings have been confirmed yet.

  • How much time is required each week?

    Each program includes an estimated learner effort per week. This is referenced at the top of the program landing page under the Duration section, as well as in the program brochure, which you can obtain by submitting the short form at the top of this web page.



    How will my time be spent?

    We have designed this program to fit into your current working life as efficiently as possible. Time will be spent among a variety of activities including:



    • Engaging with recorded video lectures from faculty
    • Attending webinars and office hours, as per the specific program schedule
    • Reading or engaging with examples of core topics
    • Completing knowledge checks/quizzes and required activities
    • Engaging in moderated discussion groups with your peers
    • Completing your final project, if required

    The program is designed to be highly interactive while also allowing time for self-reflection and to demonstrate an understanding of the core topics through various active learning exercises. Please contact us at learner.success@emeritus.org if you need further clarification on program activities.



    What is it like to learn online with the learning collaborator, Emeritus?

    More than 250,000 professionals globally, across 80 countries, have chosen to advance their skills with Emeritus and its educational learning partners. In fact, 90 percent of the respondents of a recent survey across all our programs said that their learning outcomes were met or exceeded.

    A dedicated program support team is available 24/5 (Monday to Friday) to answer questions about the learning platform, technical issues, or anything else that may affect your learning experience.


    How do I interact with other program participants?

    Peer learning adds substantially to the overall learning experience and is an important part of the program. You can connect and communicate with other participants through our learning platform.

  • What are the requirements to earn the certificate?

    Each program includes an estimated learner effort per week, so you can gauge what will be required before you enroll. This is referenced at the top of the program landing page under the Duration section, as well as in the program brochure, which you can obtain by submitting the short form at the top of this web page. All programs are designed to fit into your working life.

    This program is scored as a pass or no-pass; participants must complete the required activities to pass and obtain the certificate of completion. Some programs include a final project submission or other assignments to obtain passing status. This information will be noted in the program brochure. Please contact us at learner.success@emeritus.org if you need further clarification on any specific program requirements.


    What type of certificate will I receive?

    Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a smart digital certificate. The smart digital certificate can be shared with friends, family, schools, or potential employers. You can use it on your cover letter, resume, and/or display it on your LinkedIn profile.
    The digital certificate will be sent approximately two weeks after the program, once grading is complete.


    Can I get the hard copy of the certificate?

    No, only verified digital certificates will be issued upon successful completion. This allows you to share your credentials on social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.


    Do I receive alumni status after completing this program?

    No, there is no alumni status granted for this program. In some cases, there are credits that count toward a higher level of certification. This information will be clearly noted in the program brochure.


    How long will I have access to the learning materials?

    You will have access to the online learning platform and all the videos and program materials for 12 months following the program start date. Access to the learning platform is restricted to registered participants per the terms of agreement.

  • What equipment or technical requirements are there for this program?

    Participants will need the latest version of their preferred browser to access the learning platform. In addition, Microsoft Office and a PDF viewer are required to access documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts.


    Do I need to be online to access the program content?

    Yes, the learning platform is accessed via the internet, and video content is not available for download. However, you can download files of video transcripts, assignment templates, readings, etc. For maximum flexibility, you can access program content from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

    Video lectures must be streamed via the internet, and any livestream webinars and office hours will require an internet connection. However, these sessions are always recorded, so you may view them later.

  • Can I still register if the registration deadline has passed?

    Yes, you can register up until seven days past the published start date of the program without missing any of the core program material or learnings.


    What is the program fee, and what forms of payment do you accept?

    The program fee is noted at the top of this program web page and usually referenced in the program brochure as well.

    • Flexible payment options are available (see details below as well as at the top of this program web page next to FEE).
    • Tuition assistance is available for participants who qualify. Please email learner.success@emeritus.org.

    What if I don’t have a credit card? Is there another method of payment accepted?

    Yes, you can do the bank remittance in the program currency via wire transfer or debit card. Please contact your program advisor, or email us at learner.success@emeritus.org for details.


    I was not able to use the discount code provided. Can you help?

    Yes! Please email us at learner.success@emeritus.org with the details of the program you are interested in, and we will assist you.


    How can I obtain an invoice for payment?

    Please email learner.success@emeritus.org with your invoicing requirements and the specific program you’re interested in enroling in.


    Is there an option to make flexible payments for this program?

    Yes, the flexible payment option allows a participant to pay the program fee in installments. This option is made available on the payment page and should be selected before submitting the payment.


    How can I obtain a W9 form?

    Please email us at learner.success@emeritus.org for assistance.

  • What is the policy on refunds and withdrawals?

    You may request a full refund within seven days of your payment or 14 days after the published start date of the program, whichever comes later. If your enrolment had previously been deferred, you will not be entitled to a refund. Partial (or pro-rated) refunds are not offered. All withdrawal and refund requests should be sent to admissions@emeritus.org.



    What is the policy on deferrals?

    After the published start date of the program, you have until the midpoint of the program to request to defer to a future cohort of the same program. A deferral request must be submitted along with a specified reason and explanation. Cohort changes may be made only once per enrolment and are subject to availability of other cohorts scheduled at our discretion. This will not be applicable for deferrals within the refund period, and the limit of one deferral per enrolment remains. All deferral requests should be sent to admissions@emeritus.org.

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