Building a Startup Pathway Program

Startup founders often face the challenge of turning their ideas into viable businesses. This is where our Pathway Programs come in. It guides founders in developing the skills needed to validate their ideas and transform their concepts into a valid business venture.

Next start date: July 1


Idea Validation + Formation

Step boldly into the startup world armed with the necessary tools and skills for turning a loose idea into a viable venture that has been validated and transformed into the early stages of a startup. The courses in this Pathway will set the groundwork for launching your startup.
Craft The Vision

Craft The Vision

Define your idea through an executive summary, that crystallizes the unique value proposition, and helps you pitch your concept.

Market Evaluation

Develop Ideal Customer Profiles and User Journey Maps to demonstrate how your product addresses unmet customer needs.

Product Planning

Product Planning

Articulate and prioritize the core features needed for an MVP and create a Product Brief and Roadmap for future development.

Growth Strategy

Build a monetization strategy that balances market dynamics with your startup's strengths. Determine success metrics to track progress.

Legal Preparation

Learn about the most suitable business entity for your startup and draft an investor-ready term sheet.

Pathway Courses

The Building a Startup Pathway Program consists of four individual courses:

  • From Idea to Pitch

    This survey course introduces fundamental concepts of the entrepreneurial process that must occur to go from a business concept to the launch of a new venture. Learners improve their entrepreneurial skills through content and interactive activities around the processes and steps that an entrepreneur must take to go from A to Z in successfully launching a business.

    By the end of this course, you will not only have developed a comprehensive business pitch but also gained the confidence and knowledge needed to embark on your entrepreneurial journey with conviction. Whether you're an aspiring founder or a future business leader, this course is your gateway to the world of entrepreneurship. You will gain a well-rounded skill set and knowledge base, enabling them to transform ideas into compelling business pitches and thrive in the entrepreneurial landscape.

  • Executing a Vision: Product Design & Development for Entrepreneurs

    Learn how to bridge the gap between abstract ideas and tangible products. This course is designed to equip learners with the necessary skills to validate ideas, conduct effective user research, and apply design thinking principles. We delve into the creation of personas, story mapping, and prototyping, all crucial elements in the design thinking process. The course also offers an in-depth look into engineering strategies, focusing on decision-making processes such as build vs. buy, and leadership. We explore Agile development and SCRUM practices, providing students with a solid foundation in modern, efficient product development methodologies. The course also covers the business aspects of new product development, ensuring learners are well-versed in the complete product lifecycle.

    This course is perfect for aspiring product designers, engineers, and entrepreneurs who are eager to turn their innovative ideas into reality.

  • Startup Strategy and Development

    This practical course explores the strategies necessary for startups to succeed. Startups are resource-strapped and must be creative and innovative with their ideas, strategies, and actions to drive their business to succeed. This course covers concepts including monetization, profitability, and key success measures among other startup strategies. Learners will apply concepts from this class to their own startup ideas so they can further their strategy development.

  • Legal Topics for Founders: Navigating the Corporate Landscape

    This course provides a comprehensive overview of the legal aspects of founding a company. You will explore various legal entities and companies and delve into corporate/constitutional documents, such as Articles of Association. A significant portion of this course is dedicated to understanding investor rights, terms, and jargon, and the business impact of each of these elements, including Right of First Refusal (ROFR) and Anti-dilution.

    The course will also offer an in-depth look into the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Standards, a set of guidelines most venture capitalists use globally. It will cover topics such as Term Sheets, Subscription/Stock Purchase Agreements, Shareholder agreements, and Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs). You will understand how to build and manage capitalization tables and cover core policies like diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Our Pathways Guide You

Startup Ideation & Launch

Craft a pitch-ready idea and launch your startup.

Skill Upgrade

Skill Upgrade

Upgrade your entrepreneurial skills and competencies.

A Nexford Degree

Where applicable, transfer credit for completed Pathway coursework into a full Nexford degree program.

Startup Growth

Acquire knowledge that aids the growth and expansion of your startup.

Why Learn at Nexford

At Nexford we have reimagined the university experience, torn down the walls of the traditional campus, and designed a learning experience for modern professionals. Our programs blend business knowledge and technical skills that will set you up for leading teams.


At Nexford, you'll graduate with more than a degree and capstone. You'll have a portfolio or projects, tools, and resources to support your startup's success.


Online but never alone. You'll contribute to small-group peer projects, connect with others in our community channels, and strengthen your co-creation and cross-functional skills.


Join a global community from over 110+ countries and build a strong network with professionals from Fortune 500 companies to startups.

Admissions Requirements

Age 18 or older

Self-certification of Bachelor's degree completion or submission of official/unofficial documents

Appropriate device with stable internet connection (view requirements)

Learners must be proficient in written and spoken English.

Tuition & Duration

Monthly tuition

Your monthly tuition fee for the Building a Startup Pathway program offers flexibility - the faster you complete the program, the more you save!

Complete in as little as 6 months

The Building a Startup Pathway Program can be completed in as little as 6 months, with learners expected to spend approximately 18 hours/week attending lectures and completing course content.

It's 100% online

Study at your convenience while you build your startup. Upon completion, you get a Nexford certificate and also have the option to count the coursework towards a full MSc in Entreprenuership program.

Please note that this Pathway program and Nexford degree programs have separate admission processes.

Ready to build your startup?

Take the next step and start your application today.

Find out more about Nexford's Entrepreneurship Pathway Programs

Submit your details to learn more about our 100% online, next-generation Entrepreneurship Pathway Programs. You'll receive our university brochure, as well as personalized information to help you choose the right program for your business goals.