MITx: 15.390x: Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?

School: MITx
Course Code: 15.390x
Classes Start: 18 Mar 2014
Course Length: 6 weeks
Estimated effort: 4 hours/week



MITx: Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?

Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer?

You have an idea for a product, but do you know who will want to buy it?

About this Course

Many seemingly great ideas and technologies come to a sudden halt in the face of one simple, inescapable question. 
"Who is your customer?"
MIT has been asking its student entrepreneurs this question for many years – and with great success.  The 25,600 companies started by MIT alumni generate $2 trillion in revenue and have created 3.3 million jobs.  If MIT were a country, it would be the 11th largest economy in the world. 
Become a citizen of this 11th largest economy!  Join MIT in your entrepreneurial journey as you discover your startups most essential resource – the customer. 
This is entrepreneurship – so don't expect a lecture.  Every class session will be an in-depth and focused case study of MIT entrepreneurs from areas as diverse as mobile applications, 3D printing, power electronics, international development, and watchmaking. 
You will learn, through the stories of MIT entrepreneurs, how to go from idea or technology to the necessary understanding of who and why will want to buy your product.  Specifically, you will learn how to:
●      Identify prospective customers
●      Interview them
●      And finally, select the right customers for your business. 
Course assignments will be real-life exercises that will guide you through a series of concrete, practical, and effective steps that will help you make your idea very real. 
Prepare to have some fun too!  More on this after you enroll ;-)  

Ways to take this edX course:

Simply Audit this Course

Audit this course for free and have complete access to all of the course material, tests, and the online discussion forum. You decide what and how much you want to do.


Pursue a Verified Certificate of Achievement

Plan to use your completed coursework for job applications, promotions or school applications? Then you may prefer to work towards a verified Certificate of Achievement to document your accomplishment.

Course Staff

  • Bill Aulet

    Bill Aulet

    Bill Aulet is the managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship at MIT as well as a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
    Bill is a serial entrepreneur with a 25-year track record of success in business, having directly raised more than $100 million in funding for his companies and led the creation of hundreds of millions of dollars in market value in those companies. He ran two MIT spinouts as the president/chief executive officer (Cambridge Decision Dynamics and SensAble Technologies).
    At MIT, Bill teaches New Enterprises, Energy Ventures, and Applications of Advanced Entrepreneurial Techniques, in addition to running the Martin Trust Center, which supports student entrepreneurship education inside and outside the classroom across all five schools at MIT.
    He has conceived, designed and overseen the implementation of numerous innovative programs at MIT, from new courses (Linked Data Ventures, Entrepreneurial Product Marketing and Development, Energy Ventures, Applications of Advanced Entrepreneurial Techniques) and student initiatives (MIT Clean Energy Prize, MIT Entrepreneurship Review) to accelerators (Global Founders’ Skills Accelerator, Beehive Cooperative) and thought leadership initiatives (Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program).
    He is the author of Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup and writes and appears frequently in international media on entrepreneurship and innovation.  His work has won numerous awards; most recently, in April 2013, Bill was awarded the Adolf F. Monosson Prize for Entrepreneurial Mentoring at MIT.
    Bill holds a bachelor’s in engineering from Harvard University and an SM from the MIT Sloan School of Management.




What is the estimated effort for this course?

About 4 hrs/week.

Will the text of the lectures be available?

Yes. All of our lectures will have transcripts synced to the videos.

Do I need to watch the lectures live?

No. You can watch the lectures at your leisure.

Can I contact the Instructor or Teaching Assistants?

Yes, but not directly. The discussion forums are the appropriate venue for questions about the course. The instructors will monitor the discussion forums and try to respond to the most important questions; in many cases response from other students and peers will be adequate and faster.

Is this course related to a campus course of MIT?

Yes. This course corresponds to the campus course 15.390 New Enterprise, an elective course offered between the School of Engineering and the Sloan School of Management at MIT.