Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies

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  • Course Overview
    • The Course Welcome and Overview video lays the foundation for the course and provides context for what we are calling the “Cleveland Case Study.” We’ll explore how my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio is working to support start-up companies with the help of government and philanthropy/donors working in conjunction with the private sector.
  • The Role of Government
    • The Role of Government video lecture examines the role of government in an entrepreneurial ecosystem. You will learn how an entrepreneur from India developed a technology in a university lab and turned it into a medical device company in Cleveland with the support of government funding. As with all of lectures, you will also hear international perspectives on the topic, this time from Vietnam and Tunisia. In reviewing this lesson, consider the following questions. How can governments avoid bias? What is follow-on capital? What is government matching funds? How can both be used as tools to support startup initiatives? How can a government measure the success of its entrepreneurial support programs? What role does corruption play in government support?
  • The Role of Philanthropy/Donors
    • The Role of Philanthropy/Donors video lecture explores how foundations in Cleveland came together to form the The Fund for Our Economic Future ( to provide funding alongside government and the private sector to entrepreneurs. Consider the following questions when reviewing the materials. Why donors get involved in supporting entrepreneurs? How donors may differ from government and private investors? What are the challenges of maintaining donor interest in entrepreneurship over the long haul? What makes philanthropies decide to dedicate resources to entrepreneurship and economic development? What is donor fatigue and what causes it? How are the metrics of success for a philanthropy similar and different from those of the government/private sector? Are donors more or less risk tolerant than their government and private sector counterparts? What role can corporations play in the international philanthropic setting?
  • The Role of Intermediary Organizations/NGOs
    • Governments and donors are often forbidden by law or uncomfortable funding entrepreneurs directly so they provide grants to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who then in turn offer capital, mentoring or other services to promising entrepreneurs. The Role of Intermediary Organizations/NGOs video lecture examines several examples of NGOs that do this type of work in Cleveland and around the world. Some key points covered in the lecture are: Why are intermediary organizations created? How do intermediary organizations measure success? What are the challenges of intermediary organizations?
  • Leveraging Anchor Institutions
    • The Leveraging Anchor Institutions video lecture focuses on the role that anchor institutions such as universities can play in supporting the growth of entrepreneurship including supporting increased commercialization activity, licensing versus new company formation, and measuring success. While completing this module, consider the following questions. What are the different ways that anchor institutions stimulate entrepreneurship? Why might an anchor institution provide financial support for an early stage company? How can an anchor institution's research capabilities translate into support for early stage companies? What are the different ways that anchor institutes measure their own success?
  • Access to Capital and Mentoring
    • Entrepreneurs working outside of Silicon Valley with struggle with every day: where to find capital (and mentoring) to grow their start-up companies. The Access to Capital and Mentoring module includes three video lectures: Seed Accelerators, Angel Investors, and Venture Capital. We trace how donors and government backers in Cleveland and selected international markets have come together with the private sector to support each of these areas. While completing this module, consider the following questions. Given the challenges, why would an angel investor invest in a highly risky startup? How is an angel investor motivated differently from other investors? Who has traditionally supported seed accelerators? Why do seed accelerators ask for equity in the companies that they support?
  • Course Wrap-Up and Looking Ahead
    • The Course Wrap-Up and Looking Ahead video lecture explores how much progress has been made in Cleveland and if the situation has really improved for entrepreneurs. Thought leaders and entrepreneurs provide advice for other communities around the world looking to support the growth of entrepreneurship.