Y Combinator is taking its entrepreneurship lessons into the classroom. The accelerator said Tuesday its president, Sam Altman, will teach a class at Stanford this fall for budding startup founders. The instruction and course material will be made available online and free of charge.
“For nine years now at Y Combinator, we’ve been advising startups, and we’ve been learning a lot about what good advice is and what bad advice is,” Altman told Fast Company.
Altman, a Stanford dropout himself, said the class is designed to be a single business course for entrepreneurs, covering about 30% of what a startup founder needs to know–the other 70% is unique to the startup’s product and situation. His favorite professor from Stanford, Mehran Sahami, is the faculty sponsor for the class. “He is like a legend,” says Altman.
The course, offered through the computer science department for two credits, will cover how to raise money, hire, grow a user base, leverage marketing, build company culture, execute business strategy, and more. In total, it will cover about 1,000 minutes of content in 20 videos, which Altman will post to his personal website.
Like Y Combinator’s famed off-the-record dinners, a number of tech celebrities will speak to the class as guest lecturers. Aside from Altman, they include Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman, Box CEO Aaron Levie, as well as a number of deep-pocketed venture capitalists, such as Peter Thiel, Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, and Ron Conway.