Thursday 2 May 2013

A Vote for a Massive Open Online Course for Start-Ups

Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft and iversity are sponsoring a contest for the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).  The ten winners will receive 25,000 Euros and support in creating their course.  Basically, the purpose of the contest is to get the word out about and increase participation in MOOCs.  The time for submittal of proposals has passed and the public voting period has begun.  (after the public voting period to help assess demand, the jury chooses the winners).  The proposals include courses covering Harry Potter to Applied Biology to Network Security. 

Professor Karl Okamoto’s (Drexel University, Earle Mack School of Law) proposal is for a MOOC for advising startups.  Here is his description:

Participants in this course will obtain an understanding of the legal issues that should be addressed by a startup venture. The course is designed for two audiences – for aspiring legal practitioners and for the entrepreneurs who will consult them. It provides an overview of the applicable business, intellectual property and tax law doctrines (with an emphasis on US law), but emphasizes the various “private ordering” solutions that transcend a particular set of legal rules. The course will also consider various theories of entrepreneurial success and examine the role of lawyers and lawyering in the creation of value in light of these theories. Participants will gain familiarity with the praxis of entrepreneurial lawyering both as a means to developing concrete solutions to real world problems and as a lens on startup culture and practice. In addition to lectures by the instructor, participants in the course will undertake numerous hands-on exercises. Experts, both lawyers and entrepreneurs, will participate in the course, providing both feedback on student performances and expert discussion.

This looks like a very useful course, and I voted for it.  Any other supporters?  [If you see any other proposals that merit a vote, please note them in the comments.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes this proposal looks good, but I think it also highlights an underlying problem that startups face a very complex legal and tax environment which someone really needs to address properly. Of course lawyers, tax accountants and patent attorneys are going to object to making the system simpler, but I propose that we create a special class of company called a 'startup' which for a specified period is exempt from all laws that would hinder its development.