By Cheryl Conner
MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are great for students, good for executives, provide education certificates, and most importantly, they are free. But what kind of an impact are they making for entrepreneurs?
Today I had the chance to visit with Bill Aulet, managing director for the Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship at MIT. Aulet is a consummate entrepreneur—as someone “closing in on 60” he’s raised more than $100 million in funding for the various companies he has founded and run. And he’s authored a book, Disciplined Entrepreneurship. But for the past five years, the endeavor that has most fully captured Aulet’s passion is cultivating and teaching other entrepreneurs through edX, the online learning initiative from Harvard and MIT.
These days Aulet divides his time between traditional coursework on entrepreneurship as a senior lecturer for the Martin Trust Center for MIT with his efforts on the two MITx courses he developed specifically for edX: Entrepreneurship 101: Who is your customer? and Entrepreneurship 102: What can you do for your customer?
Aulet is unbridled in his enthusiasm for MOOCs. “Initially, when I was asked ‘can’t you do an online course on entrepreneurship?’ I was reluctant,” he says. “It is so hard to teach entrepreneurship in a cookie cutter fashion. There’s no algorithm. It’s not like programming Java, or Math or Physics. The path you take depends on your company.”
“This has been one of the most exciting things that I’ve done, to see this happen,” he continues. “There are people in Africa saying ‘this is the first time I see a path to financial independence,’ for example.”
[ Full article available at Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2014/12/23/what-can-entrepreneurs-gain-from-moocs-and-the-6-questions-every-entrepreneur-should-be-asking/ ]