From entrepreneurs to executives, this Specialization provides an opportunity for you to learn how to advance business innovation in your company and gain insights from leading faculty in the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
In the first course, you will learn how to valuate entrepreneurial ventures—including high-growth startups—using Excel spreadsheet models. You will also learn how to discern between the tradeoffs of different financing strategies: loan investments, venture capital, angel investing, and crowdfunding.
The second course will teach you how to manage a startup’s financing strategy, where you will learn how to build capitalization tables (or “cap tables”) in Excel. Cap tables will help you explore different financing strategies for your startup company and determine which financing decisions are best for your entrepreneurial venture.
The third course transitions to an analysis of blockchain technologies, where you will learn how to identify opportunities to disrupt and innovate business models using blockchain as well as avoid poorly executed applications of blockchain to business.
The fourth course will teach you how to use R programming to calculate the return of a stock portfolio as well as quantify the market risk of that portfolio.
This Specialization is also an excellent opportunity for professionals interested in Fuqua’s master’s programs to get an inside look into Fuqua’s faculty expertise and courses.
Startup Valuation Methods
How do different types of investors think about an investment opportunity? What kind of securities and contracts do they offer? How should a company decide what is a "good deal"? This course is designed to introduce you to the challenges and pitfalls of financing new enterprises. You will learn the basic tools for valuating companies, including using discounted cashflow analysis in Excel and understanding how to apply this model to your entrepreneurial venture. You will then learn how valuation works with different types of securities that investors use to finance startups, from bank loans to venture capital to angel investing.
Financing for Startup Businesses
This course will teach you how to manage a startup’s financing strategy, where you will learn how to build capitalization tables (or “cap tables”) in Excel. Cap tables will help you explore different financing strategies for your startup company and determine which financing decisions are best for your entrepreneurial venture. You will also learn about innovations in the digital space that allow new ways to finance entrepreneurial ventures. These include different forms of crowdfunding, and alternative credit scoring mechanisms based on web-based data. This course concludes with a module featuring cutting edge research from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business on the financial technology industry. In this module, you will learn how financial technology companies are disrupting the credit scoring industry by developing new methods for credit scoring using consumers’ digital footprints. In addition, you will explore how financial technology platforms have introduced new, experimental forms of financing, such as crowdfunding.
Blockchain Business Models
Blockchain is an emerging and highly disruptive technology that is poorly understood. In this course you will learn what blockchain is and how it can create value by tokenization in cryptocurrencies and in many other practical applications. The applications include: stablecoins (like Facebook’s Libra and JP Morgan’s JPMCoin), machine to machine payments, identity protection, supply chain management (Walmart, Maersk, IBM), secure voting, distributed exchanges, decentralized finance, property transfers, central bank fiat crypto (e.g., Fedcoin and China’s digital Renminbi), dispensing prescription drugs, private records, intellectual property, financial reporting, and media and advertising, to name a few. The goals of the course are to: (i) provide an advanced understanding of the various blockchain technologies; (ii) determine the specific business situations where blockchain technology can be deployed to solve important problems; (iii) select the specific blockchain technology that has the best chance of success for a particular problem; and (iv) detail the risks presented by this new technology.
Financial Risk Management with R
This course teaches you how to calculate the return of a portfolio of securities as well as quantify the market risk of that portfolio, an important skill for financial market analysts in banks, hedge funds, insurance companies, and other financial services and investment firms. Using the R programming language with Microsoft Open R and RStudio, you will use the two main tools for calculating the market risk of stock portfolios: Value-at-Risk (VaR) and Expected Shortfall (ES). You will need a beginner-level understanding of R programming to complete the assignments of this course.