Welcome to our Entrepreneurship 101 course, Introduction to Entrepreneurship. At the EC, we help all types of entrepreneurs launch all types of entrepreneurial missions. We’ve taught hundreds of classes for thousands of entrepreneurs, graduated 130 startups from our intensive accelerator programs, and facilitated more than $40 million in startup funding. 

In this course, developed by our very own President & CEO, Dr. Michael Burcham, and our Director of Education, John Murdock, we walk you through the process of building the best possible foundation for your own entrepreneurial mission. Many entrepreneurs assume they have this understanding when they don’t and wind up wasting their time, resources, and sanity building a broken startup. We arm you with the knowledge you need while walking you through the process of building the right foundation for the best possible entrepreneurial mission. We provide this information in more than twenty educational modules covering the following topics:

Unit 1: Orienting Yourself to the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Every startup is born and grown in an ecosystem that will affect the shape and nature of its success. Entrepreneurs are much better prepared to succeed when they understand the components of a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem, how to evaluate the resources around them, and how to identify which resources they need to connect to in which ways to accelerate their own success. This unit contains the following: 

1.0: Overview of the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

1.1: The Different Types Entrepreneurs

1.2: Critical Market Networks for Your Mission

1.3: Accessing the Right Knowledge Networks for Your Mission 

1.4: Overview of Financing Options for Entrepreneurs



Unit 2: Adopting the Optimal Entrepreneurial Approach: A carpenter who knew all about houses but didn’t know how to use a saw would be a pretty lousy carpenter. No matter how much you know about the structure of entrepreneurial missions, you won't succeed unless you develop the right approach to building them. The best entrepreneurs learn, act, and think in a distinct way. We walk you through those entrepreneurial processes to prepare you to launch your mission the right way. This unit contains the following modules:

2.0: Overview of the Entrepreneurial Approach

2.1: The Optimal Entrepreneurial Learning Process

2.2: The Critical Underlying Processes of Entrepreneurship

2.3: The Entrepreneurial Mindset



Unit 3: Building the Core Idea: Every entrepreneurial mission is built on a core idea. Many entrepreneurs struggle or fail when they didn’t have to because they never took the time to build, evaluate, and optimize the core concept around which their entrepreneurial mission was based. 

In this portion of the course, we walk you through the processes of building the best possible entrepreneurial foundation by analyzing, aligning, and optimizing the critical components of the core idea. This unit contains the following modules:

3.0: Overview of the Core Idea

3.1: Defining Your Purpose

3.2: Identifying Customer Problems

3.3: Creating Your Customer Problem Statement

3.4: Analyzing the Potential of Your Customer Problem

3.5: Aligning Your Solution With Your Customer Problem


3.6: The Critical Success Factors of a Startup Solution

3.7: Early-Stage Value Modeling

3.8: Early-Stage Market Sizing


Unit 4: We also give you one final bonus. At the end of the course, we walk you through the basics of developing a three-minute pitch for your core idea to improve your own understanding of it and help you communicate it effectively to others to gain the support you need to succeed. This unit contains the following modules:

4.1: Market Research Tips and Tricks

4.2: Building Your Three-Minute Pitch




We offer our Entrepreneurship 101 course in two different formats: an Independent Study (IS) format and a Teacher Feedback (TF) format. Students should choose which format they would like to utilize. In the Independent Study (IS) format, students have access to core educational content and technological support, but they are not able to interact with the teacher or get feedback on their own ideas during the course. Theses students will have access to the same exercises as students in the Teacher Feedback (TF) format, but they will not get feedback on those assignments from the instructor.

In the Teacher Feedback (TF) format, students have access to all the content provided in the Independent Study format, as well as access to direct interaction with and feedback from the teacher. Following is a more detailed breakdown of the two formats from which students may choose:

In the Independent Study format, which costs $250, students have access to:

1. More Than 20 Narrated Presentations of Actual EC Content: We've taken the presentations that Michael and John have used in one form or another for years, trimmed them down to an average of nine minutes, and recorded them to walk you through the exact same material in the same order we use with entrepreneurs at the EC. We provide approximately three hours of presentations through this format.

2. More Than A Textbook Worth of Readings Created by Michael Burcham and John 

Murdock: We like to read. Maybe you do too. In case you do, we've provided excerpts from books we've been using and developing for years that's relevant to each learning module. In many instances, the information in the videos and texts will overlap (we are trying to make a point), so you can use each as you see fit, but some information will appear only in one format or the other.

3. 18 Learning Quizzes Created by Michael Burcham and John Murdock: We didn’t design this course just so you could feel like you learned something. We designed this course to make sure that you learned the right things that we see entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs struggling with every day at the EC. To test and strengthen your own understanding, we’ve created 18 quizzes that you must complete throughout the course to unlock later learning modules. 

Some of our quiz questions test what you remember, but the majority test what you understand by giving you hypothetical scenarios based on our own experience and having you choose the best course of action. Because our goal is for you to learn, not to get a certain grade, we provide an answer key with an explanation of our rationale for each answer at the end of the quiz. If you fail the quiz, you may view our detailed answer key and your responses before we shuffle the answers and give you another chance—as many times as you need.

4. Curated Content Selected by Michael Burcham and John Murdock Just for You: We don’t want to reinvent the wheel or waste our time doing something other people are already doing really well. In that spirit, we’ve provided access to videos and other content from other experts that we feel add value to each module.

5. Action Steps Created by Michael Burcham and John Murdock: Throughout the course, in our videos and readings, we outline processes you should complete and questions you should answer. Throughout the course we occasionally place BUILD YOUR MISSIONmodules that outline an assignment you should be able to complete for your own entrepreneurial mission at that point in the program. We’ve provided these exercises, which mirror exercises we use in our live classes at the EC, to help you build your own entrepreneurial mission.


In the Teacher Feedback (TF) format, which costs $500, students have access to all of the content in the Independent Study (IS) format plus:

1. Customized Feedback on Your Entrepreneurial Mission from John Murdock: Throughout the course there are five assignments that entrepreneurs may complete for their own entrepreneurial mission and submit to John for feedback. The first four assignments walk entrepreneurs through evaluating the nature of their entrepreneurial mission, making their own case as the sort of entrepreneur people will believe in, aligning their customers’ problems with the solutions they will provide, and building the core idea of their entrepreneurial mission. Entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to get feedback on each assignment, and use that feedback to create their final submission at the end of the course, which John will also evaluate.

2. Weekly Online Office Hours with John Murdock: The average student completes the course in 6-8 weeks, but all students are allowed to go at their own pace. Each week for the first 8 weeks of the course, John will host an online meeting for three hours during which time students may enter the meeting to ask questions and get immediate feedback. After that time students will still have access to course content and feedback on their assignments.

3. Live Discussion Groups with John Murdock and Your Peers: We like connecting people to different knowledge, perspectives, and support. To that end, we’ve connected you to people like you by creating an open discussion for class members to utilize to ask each other questions. Periodically, John will respond to questions posed in the discussion, creating an accessible FAQ for class members and directly answering your questions.


Still not sure which format works best for you? Here’s a quick summary of each:

Introduction to Entrepreneurship—Independent Study (ENT 101—IS)

Registration: Open Until Seats Sell Out at 
To register, go to this link: and buy a ticket labeled ENT 101 Independent Study and fill out the required information. If you register prior to July 17th we will send you your user ID and access to the course on July 19th we will send you your user ID and access to the course within two business days. As long as tickets are available, you will still be able to purchase a ‘seat’ in the course. In each instance you will have access to the course for a full year. 

Seating Space: Limited. Seats will be assigned in the order that students register for the class until all seats have been filled. 

Course Schedule: Flexible. The course will be accessible on July 19th purchased seats in the class, and two business days after registration for all other students (if seats still remain). Students will have access to the course for a full year, and may proceed at their own pace. The course may be completed in a week or over the course of several months, depending on the students time commitment to the course. The vast majority of students. If you enroll after July 17th to all students who already complete the course in 6 to 8 weeks of part-time study.

Cost: $250 + taxes and fees. 

*Reminder: In the independent study format, students will not have live interactions with the professor but may complete the class at their own pace, with access to the course content for 1 year. Students may reach out to an administrator regarding course formatting and will have full access to a technology help desk should either be necessary, but students will not get feedback in the course on their own ideas or further explanation of course topics. If students would like access to that additional feedback and information, they should choose the Teacher Feedback learning format summarized below:

Introduction to Entrepreneurship—Teacher Feedback (ENT 101—TF)

Registration: Open until July 17th, 2014 unless seats sell out earlier at:

To register, go here: and buy a ticket labeled ENT 101 Teacher Feedback and fill out the required information. Students will be granted access to the course on July 19th

Seating Space: Strictly Limited. Because of the demands on the instructor to provide quality feedback to class members throughout the course, seating is strictly limited.

Course Schedule: 8 Weeks Interactive, 44 Weeks Accessible. For the first 8 weeks of the course, John Murdock, our Director of Education, startup teacher, and co-creator of this course, will host online office hours weekly (3 hours per week), give feedback to all completed student assignments, and moderate a live discussion board by answering posted questions three days a week. After the first 8 weeks, students may still access the course for the remainder of their yearlong subscription, but John will no longer be engaging live with the class.

Cost: $500 + taxes and fees.


We’ve worked hard to create the right class for you based on our own experience working with thousands of entrepreneurs. If you have any questions, please reach out to John at Please note that while we still refer to spots in the class as “seats” the entire class, in both formats, takes place online. As you register for the class, please be sure to pick the ticket that you want.

Good Luck!

—Michael, John, and Your Team at the EC.