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Financial Modeling for Entrepreneurs 201: Kickstart your Spreadsheet Skills

Learn everything you need to build spreadsheet-based financial models, and nothing else.

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Why Should Entrepreneurs Learn Spreadsheets?

Watch this short video to find out. (06:26)


About this course

Spreadsheets are powerful tools with many uses, but it is daunting to get started.

Don't waste your valuable time slogging through irrelevant material and learning functions and features you will never use.

This practical course teaches you the essential spreadsheet functions, how to build user-friendly spreadsheets, draw charts, interpret charts and check for errors.


What will I gain? What will I be able to do?

  • Be able to navigate the spreadsheet interface
  • Know and be able to use a core set of spreadsheet functions
  • Be able to build spreadsheet models
  • Do spreadsheet error checking
  • Draw charts and know which chart types are suitable for which type of data visualization
  • Recognize chart errors and deceptions

Your Instructor


Dr. Sean Moolman
Dr. Sean Moolman

Dr. Sean Moolman has a broad range of experience stretching across chemical plant design and cost engineering, R&D (research and development), management of innovation, technology transfer, intellectual property management and entrepreneurship. He is an inventor on several international patent families.

Sean is a co-founder of PowerOptimal (Pty) Ltd, a renewable energy technology company, and has served on the boards of several other early-stage companies. Before his first start-up, Sean was the head of technology transfer (licensing & ventures) at the largest R&D institute in Africa, the CSIR in South Africa.

He has a PhD in Chemical Engineering, is a Registered Technology Transfer Professional (RTTP) with the ATTP, is a member of the Licensing Executives Society of South Africa (LES) and has completed the Management Advancement Programme at Wits Business School.

Sean regularly presents courses in financial modeling and technology & startup valuation, including for the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Licensing Executives Society of South Africa (LES) and the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA).

Sean is passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, reason and science, life-long learning and inspiring people!


Here's a preview module from the course called: Why Draw Charts? The Value of Data Visualization

See what you can expect if you enroll (09:57)


Course Curriculum


  Chapter 1 - Course Introduction and Overview
Available in days
days after you enroll

Course duration, difficulty and background required

Background required: No specific background is required, although some general computer experience is recommended.

For an explanation of all course gradings, click here.



❓ FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions


Course questions
This course is for entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, technology managers and technology transfer professionals.

You need to understand and use spreadsheet-based models, and in many cases you have to build them as well, but you have little to no knowledge of spreadsheets. This course has been designed and developed specifically for you.

Even if you yourself will not be building spreadsheets regularly, this course is an excellent primer for you to:

  • use spreadsheet models with confidence
  • understand types of charts and spot errors or deliberate deception in others' spreadsheet models and charts
  • Video lectures
  • Graded quizzes and exercises
  • Course completion certificate
  • Downloads:
    • Spreadsheets with exercises and answers
    • Guidelines: Chart type selection guide; 12 Common spreadsheet errors to avoid; How to reduce spreadsheet errors
    • Reference sheets: Spreadsheet formatting conventions; Keyboard shortcuts; Spreadsheet functions
  • Access to student discussions on lectures & lecturer answers to questions
  • For the Coaching package: One-on-one consultation with lecturer
Financial Modeling for Entrepreneurs Course Series This course (Financial Modeling for Entrepreneurs 201: Kickstart Your Spreadsheet Skills) is the second of four courses in the Financial Modeling for Entrepreneurs Course Series.

The first three courses (courses 101 to 301) provide skills sets in 3 different areas, building up to the 4th course (course 401), where you will learn to build your own full financial model and use it to analyze your business or technology.
Yes, definitely - each course is a fully standalone course. You can enroll and do any individual course or combination of courses as per your needs and skills gaps. (See "Course duration, difficulty and background required" section above for background required for this course.)
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
You have unlimited access to the course for two years - across any and all devices you own.
The course has 4.5 hours of video lectures. Together with the exercises, worked examples and quizzes, you should be able to complete the course in only 4 weeks, if you commit just 60 minutes per day. You can do this!
I would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact me in the first 30 days and I will give you a full refund.
  • 2-year access to the course materials
  • Work at your own pace
  • Review or redo any part whenever you want to
  • Pause and pick up again at any point
  • Downloadable materials, quizzes and exercises reinforce the learning and provide practical tools that you can apply in your own business or activities immediately
General questions
Don't waste your time wading through avalanches of generic and poor-quality information. I know what you need, because I have been through it myself (from commercializing my own patented inventions to managing R&D technology and patent portfolios, to running the commercialization arm of a large R&D institution, to serving on start-up investment panels, to starting my own technology business).

With the overload of information that we all have to deal with, curation and synthesis of quality and value-added content have become critical in efficient and effective learning.

A paid course means that I have put in the hard work and effort to synthesize useful knowledge into a quality, structured and usable package that can help you develop your skills much faster and more effectively.
Financial modeling refers to the process of building a model (typically spreadsheet-based) of the financial aspects and implications of things in the real world (such as technologies, intellectual property, businesses, etc.) for analysis and decision-making.

It is widely applied in the innovation space, for example:

  • Assessing commercial potential of products, processes, services and business models;
  • Company valuation;
  • R&D and other investment decisions;
  • Building budgets;
  • Valuing IP (intellectual property);
  • Monitoring & evaluating project or business performance.

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