New Massive Open Online Course on entrepreneurial network-building draws students globally

Case Western Reserve Weatherhead School of Management faculty member Michael Goldberg uses groundbreaking documentary style for new twist in online learning

News Release: Tuesday, April 21, 2014

CLEVELAND—A documentary-style Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on entrepreneurial strategies aimed at driving economic growth is drawing considerable interest internationally.

Approaching the Monday, April 28 start date of “Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies” more than 12,000 people were enrolled, with about 80 percent from outside the United States.

Michael Goldberg, visiting assistant professor of Design & Innovation at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, designed the free, six-week online course to enable those from outside the U.S. to apply lessons learned from cities that have had to reinvent themselves—like Cleveland.

In addition to learning about Cleveland's attempts to support entrepreneurship in a Rust Belt business environment not often thought of kindly by venture capitalists, students in Goldberg’s MOOC will hear from business activists in diverse entrepreneurial markets around the world, including Greece, Vietnam, Tunisia, Argentina, Rwanda and China. They will describe their ways to form and grow start-ups.

Goldberg’s MOOC has been supported through a $69,000 grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

Goldberg designed the MOOC, which is hosted by Coursera, to make each session as personal as possible—not just a classroom lecture. Each week will feature a quick-paced, professionally produced 12-minute video, or more than one, featuring people who have taken on big ideas with limited resources. Interaction is key part of the course with weekly sessions to be held with entrepreneurs and thought-leaders from around the world.

Here is a link to course information and registration:

Goldberg’s interest in documentary-style videos as a teaching tool was sparked in 2012 while in Vietnam with his family. His oldest daughter, Anna, who was 9 at the time, wanted to create a video explaining how to buy fresh chicken in a Hanoi outdoor market. Goldberg filmed her on his iPhone, and she created her own graphics and added them to the final product. Her YouTube lesson has attracted more than 4,000 views.

Goldberg was awarded a Fulbright fellowship in 2012 to teach entrepreneurship at the National Economics University in Hanoi, and also lectured on behalf of Fulbright in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. During the summer of 2013, Goldberg taught entrepreneurial management at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey.

The Cleveland area, for decades, has faced a major entrepreneurial challenge, Goldberg said. Cleveland was ranked 61 out of 61 regions in a 2002 survey by Entrepreneur Magazine in terms of friendliness to entrepreneurs. Cleveland subsequently developed a number of creative programs, supported by government and philanthropy in partnership with the private sector, to support the growth of start-up companies. The course highlights not only what the region has done, but what it still needs to do.

“A dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem takes many years, even decades, to develop,” Goldberg said. “Sustaining long-term support for entrepreneurship is challenging.”

Here is a schedule for “Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies”:
Week 1 (April 28): Overview/Role of Government
Week 2 (May 5): Role of Philanthropy/Donors
Week 3 (May 12): Creation of Intermediary Organizations
Week 4 (May 19): Leveraging Anchor Institutions
Week 5 (May 26): Access to Capital and Mentoring
Week 6 (June 2): Course Wrap-Up

Posted by: Marvin Kropko, April 22, 2014 05:27 PM | News Topics: Official Release