CSCI 4830/7000: 
Startup Essentials for Software Entrepreneurship

Fall 2014

Department of Computer Science, University of Colorado at Boulder


Course Summary

The goal of this course is to give Computer Science students the tools to be successful technical co-founders of their own startups.  We take the students through the initial stages of founding a startup, including team formation, validating their ideas, and pitching.  We employ the Lean Startup methodology, which teaches among other concepts to "get out of the building" and develop customers.  Students will iterate on their startup concept, seeking customer validation, and pivoting as needed.  Students will develop a minimum viable product, and will pitch their final startup concept, and be evaluated on product/market fit.  The emphasis on early customer development will help teams develop sustainable business models.  We will seek to bring in entrepreneurs and venture capitalists from the Boulder ecosystem, including both current and former CU students, who have had success founding or working at IT startups, to give the class useful perspectives on what it's like to be out there in the startup world.

General Information

See the Moodle class Web page at

Schedule & Location: Tues, Thurs 2-3:15 pm, HUM 135 (location may change later in the semester - stay tuned to moodle)
Course number: CSCI 4830
/7000.  See also the registrar's Web site.
Basic Computer Science programming and/or consent of the instructor.
Professor Rick Han,, and Zach Nies, CTO Rally.
Office (Prof. Han): ECCR 1B05F
Office Hours (Prof. Han): Tuesdays 4-5 pm and Wednesdays 2-3 pm either
in my office or ECCR 1B09 (next door).  Additional appointments as needed.
Phone: 303-492-0914 (Prof. Han)

Other very useful references: 

class Web site:
See the Moodle class Web page at  Assignments, lecture slides, and announcements can be found there.  The moodle has a variety of useful features, including a forum for posting questions.  Each student should establish an account on the moodle and then subscribe to our class on the moodle using the special enrollment key given out in class.

Approximate Timeline
see moodle for revised up-to-date timeline


60% Demos in class
30% Final presentation on team venture's status and progress
10% Class participation

You will form teams based around your team's startup idea/vision and iterate through the various stages of customer development involved in startup formation, demo'ing along the way, and culminating in a final presentation to the class describing the progress made in forming your startup.

Plagiarism policy.

Additional Policies:

Disability Policy

Religious Observances Policy

Discrimination and Sexual Harassment Policy

Classroom Behavior Policy