Funding a Business Course

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Overview

In our Funding a Business Course, we guide you through a hands-on process for evaluating funding alternatives, presenting to potential funders and navigating a funding process. This course is 12-weeks long and is well suited for entrepreneurs looking to raise funding for a business with social impact.

What members are saying...

What I Didn’t Know Before I Started

We had to look at how much money our businesses needed to grow. And, I just could not fix my mouth to even utter the amount. Through this course, I’ve had the chance to explore my relationship with money. Because of that, I was able to say, "Yeah, I can raise that much money."

April Fenall, Piikup

What I Learned to Help Me Build a Business

I gained clarity and direction specifically in preparation for the BAOBOB crowdfunding campaign. Working with Uptima helped me tame the storm of options and ideas so that I could put one foot in front of the other and lay out a step-by-step plan.

What I Learned to Help Me Build a Business

Crowdfunding was scary to me. I was afraid to put myself out there, ask for money, and take the risk. With the support of the course and an amazing mentor I was able to get through it. Facing those fears is the best thing I could've done for my business. With what I learned in this course, I was able to create a successful Kickstarter and raise over $18,000 for the launch of my product Ebb Filter.

Geana Sieburger, GDS Cloth Goods

What You Will Learn

Unit

Topics Covered
Introduction
  • Explore your relationship with money and how it can impact your perception of raising money for the business
  • Discuss why it is important to get outside funding and what you need to have in place to begin raising funds
  • Assess your current business, business plan, and emotional readiness for funding
Funding Needs
  • Review and update your current financial forecast to determine realistic funding needs and use of proceeds
  • Learn how to present your financial forecast and funding needs in a concise way
  • Update your business plan to describe the key assumptions of your financial forecast and funding needs
Understanding the Process & Key Terms
  • Learn about different funding alternatives and funders’ processes, timelines, and key terms
  • Identify funding alternative(s) that are aligned with the purpose, values, and funding needs of your business
  • Develop a plan for raising money and update financial forecast to reflect funding alternative(s)
Identify Potential Funders
  • Identify potential funders to reach out to and build a potential funder prospect list
  • Understand how to reach out to and build relationships with potential funders
  • Conduct informational interviews with a couple of potential funders to understand their processes
Due Diligence
  • Gain an understanding of how funders perform due diligence on potential funding opportunities
  • Learn how to produce due diligence documentation, organize a due diligence dataroom, and manage due diligence requests
  • Establish a due diligence dataroom
Executive Summaries & Online Profiles
  • Learn how to summarize your funding opportunity in a one-page executive summary for potential funders
  • Learn about online platforms for listing your funding opportunity, and identify platforms your business should create a profile on
  • Create your executive summary and online profiles
Begin the Funding Process
  • Prepare application, online profile, or other documentation to begin the funding process
  • Draft and get feedback on your funding application, online profile, or other documentation
  • Begin the funding process by submitting your funding application, online profile, or other documentation
Storytelling
  • Gain an understanding of the key elements of a presentation to potential funders
  • Learn how to craft a story to capture the attention of potential funders
  • Develop a funding pitch for your specific funding source
Pitching
  • Learn how to pitch the business to potential funders
  • Identify key questions that may arise when pitching to potential funders
  • Hold a practice pitch and receive feedback from an advisor
Networking
  • Learn how to use networking events to increase your business’ visibility and enhance fundraising efforts
  • Learn how to initiate conversations and begin cultivating relationships through networking events
  • Present your business at our entrepreneur networking event
Managing the Funds
  • Gain an understanding of how to manage funds received from funders and create reserves to cover payments to funders
  • Create a plan for managing cash flow after funding
  • Discuss how to evaluate and access the next round of funding
Final Presentations
  • Present your funding pitch and progress to your peers and mentors
  • Receive constructive feedback from your peers and mentors to refine your fundraising process

Prerequisites

Must be making sales to customers or have letters of intent for sales to potential customers, have a basic website and social media for your business, and have an up-to-date business plan.

Commit to Building Your Business

Average time commitment for our Funding a Business Course is 10 hours / week dedicated to building your business, and includes the following weekly activities:

Title

Weekly 
Activity Weekly Commitment
Background Materials
  • Series of required background readings and videos on each unit to be completed online prior to the weekly workshop sessions
  • Describes concepts and their applications in developing a business

1-2 hours / week

Workshops
  • Weekly workshop sessions led by an expert instructor
  • Lecture and discussion on background materials, group activities, and reflection

3 hours / week

Business Development Activities
  • Weekly activities focused on your business development
  • Apply concepts learned in background materials and workshops

2-10 hours / week

Peer Mentoring
  • Weekly video conference with small peer group of other entrepreneurs in your course
  • Present weekly business development activities and receive constructive feedback from peers

1 hour / week

One-on-one Mentoring
  • Weekly one-on-one meetings with your mentor
  • Discuss business progress, review weekly business development activity, and connect with resources to meet business needs

30 minutes / week

Meet Your Mentors

Lesa Hammond, Ph.D.

Lesa Hammond, Ph.D.

Instructor & Mentor

Oakland

Course Dates

Our Funding a Business Course is offered during the following times.

Boston

Enrollment Period Program Dates Application Deadline
Spring / Summer, 2021 June 10 - August 26, 2021 September 4, 2021
Fall, 2021 September 23 - December 16, 2021 January 8, 2021

Oakland

Enrollment Period Program Dates Application Deadline
Winter, 2021 February 18 - May 13, 2021 May 15, 2021
Spring / Summer, 2021 June 10 - August 26, 2021 September 4, 2021
Fall, 2021 September 23 - December 16, 2021 January 8, 2021

San Francisco

Enrollment Period Program Dates Application Deadline
Fall, 2021 September 20 - December 12, 2021 January 8, 2021

Apply for Our Academy

To take our Funding a Business Course, you must be enrolled in our Academy.

Our Academy is a year-long entrepreneurship certificate program to support small business owners in creating plans, improving operations, accessing capital, and developing leadership capabilities to build resilient businesses with social impact.

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