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Course Title
Starting a Startup


Ready to be your own boss?  This is your chance! In this course only, one lucky participant will be chosen to receive $1,000 in seed money. Use the cash to help implement the no-nonsense lessons from Charlotte’s Kenneth C. Paulus, a top startup consultant, successful executive and entrepreneur. With more than 20 years of experience, Paulus has raised more than $30 million in funding and helped launch 10 new ventures in the past seven years. Yours could be next.

Whether a product or service, bring your business concepts to apply throughout the course as you validate your idea, build your plan and prepare your pitch. The course will draw on Paulus' experiences and involve local guest lecturers and experts from their relevant fields.


Upon successful completion the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a foundational skill set on evaluating market opportunities
  • Understand the fundamentals of starting and managing a business
  • Test concepts and business models in the “real world”
  • Work in teams and gain insight from local experts
  • Understand how Lean Startup differs from traditional startup/product development and have the ability to leverage Lean Startup practices


  1. The Pros and Cons of Being an Entrepreneur – Class Overview

  2. Conducting Market Research, Discovering Trends and Identifying Opportunities

  3. Building Networks and Leveraging Contacts

  4. Concepts of a Lean Startup

  5. Business Fundamentals

  6. Customer Discovery – Part 1

  7. Customer Discovery Findings

  8. Customer Discovery – Part 2

  9. Business and Revenue Models

  10. Creating a Balance Sheet, Managing Cash Flow and Building Value

  11. Legal Learnings: Incorporation, Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights

  12. Charlotte Resources for Entrepreneurs

  13. Raising Capital

  14. Making Your Pitch - Class Competition

Method of Instruction

Interactive activities and lecture


Activities, Quiz, Pitch