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This year we are focusing the class on the emerging Silicon Valley Project in Russia. We will select 5 outstanding Russian entrepreneurs to participate in the class and develop their ideas alongside Stanford students. The 20 Stanford students that we recruit will form 5 groups and will be matched with 5 Russian entrepreneurs according to their interests and relevant skills. The group project for the class will entail meeting with your assigned Russian entrepreneur as well as the rest of your group at a minimum of once a week to discuss the progression of your business. The class is structured so that it trains each group to take their initial business idea and convert it into a business plan, a marketable product and a final pitch to a panel of Venture Capitalists. Taking this class, you will have the opportunity to gain consulting and entrepreneurial skills, listen and interact with Venture Capitalists from the Silicon Valley, and professors from the GSB and Law School. Last but not least, with Russian entrepreneurs who are incredibly passionate about their idea and are ready to collaborate with you to develop it.

Your official obligations are limited to the ‘2 units commitment’ that you sign up for. However, the more time you devote to the group project the more skills and tangible business experience you gain. This will translate into a far more successful product when you present the final pitch to a panel of Venture Capitalists. To meet the minimum requirement for receiving 2 units, you are expected to:

  • Spend 1 hour in class/week

  • Spend 1 hour and 30 minutes doing the readings for the class/week

  • Spend 3 hours working with your group (Skype, Blog Conversations, Research, etc.)

The weekly meeting will take place every Tuesday, from 7:15pm to 8:05pm and will be formatted in the following manner: 70% of the time will be spent listening to a lecture given by the speaker and 30% engaging in an active conversation with the speaker and with each other. You are also expected to comment on the lecture on the blog of the class and exchange opinions on the relevance of the class with the Russian entrepreneurs.

The grading for the class will be dependent on your class participation (15%), your group project participation (60%), your contribution to the discussion blog(15%) of the class and your attendance (10%) in the following manner.