Venture Capital – Who Really Needs It?

07 June 2016

Dr John Mullins, Associate Professor at London Business School and leader of the new MOOC How to Finance and Grow Your Startup - Without VC, will answer the public’s questions in a special online session hosted on Quora. The session is now open for the public to pose their questions, and Dr Mullins will respond with his answers on Thursday 9 June.

Dr Mullins will be answering questions about entrepreneurship and venture capital relating to the new seven week MOOC course, hosted on the Coursera platform in partnership with the University of London and the London Business School.Dr John Mullins, Associate Professor London Business School

Quora, the online Q&A platform whose tagline is ‘The best answer to any question’, allows members of the public to put their questions directly to Dr Mullins about all aspects of the MOOC course, and about how it will help them get their own projects up and running.

Dr Mullins’ new MOOC addresses some of the most vital questions faced by today’s aspiring entrepreneurs. Buoyed by stories of angel investors and unicorns in Silicon Valley, these entrepreneurs might reasonably feel that securing venture capital is the only way to get their startup going.

Dr Mullins’ course challenges the need for initial venture capital by introducing learners to five models that entrepreneurial superstars like Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and Sir Richard Branson have used, to fund their businesses.

Speaking about the addition of this course to the University of London MOOC offering, Dr Mullins commented:

‘More than two generations ago, the venture capital community convinced the entrepreneurial world that writing business plans and then raising venture capital constituted the twin centrepieces of entrepreneurial endeavour. Actually though, the vast majority of fast growing companies never take any venture capital. So where does their money come from? And for you, where might your money come from to start and grow your business?’

Learners enrolled on this new seven week MOOC will find real, practical tools to help them find this funding. Learners can hear stories from creative entrepreneurs - about their successes and failures - through intimate, no holds-barred interviews with founders, investors and other experts.

If you are an entrepreneur looking for advice, or if you are thinking of enrolling on the MOOC yourself, login to Quora and have your questions answered by Dr Mullins himself.

Notes to Editors


Binda Rai, Head of Corporate Affairs:
University of London International Programmes
Tel: 07920 476483

Christina Gregory, PR Manager, Marketing and Communications:
London Business School
Tel: 0207 000 0171

The University of London

  • The University of London was established in 1836 by Royal Charter and its 27 autonomous independent member institutions, including the LSE, UCL and Kings College, are recognised globally, in their own right, as world leaders in higher education.
  • The University of London International Programmes has responsibility for over 50,000 international students studying inter-collegiate programmes in over 180 countries -
  • It is the world’s oldest provider of academic awards through distance and flexible learning, dating back to 1858, when the University of London was awarded its Fourth Royal Charter.
  • In 1858 Charles Dickens described the University of London as ‘The People’s University’ when its fourth Royal Charter extended access to degrees to those who could not come to London to study.
  • Today, students of the University of London International Programmes study from a suite of 100+ academic programmes, with some taking the award through self-study or through support from local teaching institutions.
  • Further information about the University of London is available at
  • The International Programmes is the world’s largest classroom, with 50,000 students worldwide, and over a million learners on the Coursera online platform, bringing its global reach to 1,050,000 people around the world.
  • Since joining Coursera, the University of London has launched the following 22 courses, of between seven and five week duration:
  1. ‘The Camera Never Lies’.
  2. ‘Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour’.
  3. ‘Enhance your Career and Employability Skills'.
  4. ‘Managing the Company of the Future’.
  5. ‘Malicious Software and its Underground Economy: Two Sides to Every Story’.
  6. ‘Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps’.
  7. ‘ICT in Primary Education: Transforming Children’s Learning Across the Curriculum’.
  8. ‘Supporting Children with Difficulties in Reading and Writing’.
  9. ‘What Future for Education?’
  10. ‘Freedom and Protests: Magna Carta and its Legacies’.
  11. ‘English Common Law: Structure and Principles’.
  12. ‘Understanding Research Methods’.
  13. Responsive Website Basics: Code with HTML, CSS and JavaScript (MOOC 1/6 of Specialisation).
  14. Responsive Web Design (MOOC 2/6 of Specialisation).
  15. Introduction to Meteor.js Development (MOOC 3/6 of Specialisation).
  16. Web Application Development with JavaScript and MongoDB (MOOC 4/6 of Specialisation).
  17. Responsive Website Tutorial and Examples (MOOC 5/6 of Specialisation).
  18. Responsive Website Development and design’ Capstone Project (MOOC 6/6 of Specialisation).
  19. Global Diplomacy - Diplomacy in the Modern World.
  20. Keeping up with change: Issues for the finance professional.
  21. How to Finance and Grow Your Start-up - Without VC.
  22. Teaching EFL/ESL Reading: A Task Based Approach.

About London Business School

London Business School's vision is to have a profound impact on the way the world does business. The School is consistently ranked in the global top 10 and is widely acknowledged as a centre for outstanding research.

As well as its highly ranked degree programmes, the School offers award-winning executive education programmes* to executives from around the world.

With a presence in five international cities – London, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai – the School is well positioned to equip students from more than 130 countries with the tools needed to operate in today’s business environment. The School has more than 40,000 alumni, from over 150 countries, which provide a wealth of knowledge, business experience and worldwide networking opportunities.

London Business School’s 157 academics come from more than 30 countries and cover seven subject areas:

  • accounting
  • economics
  • finance
  • management science and operations
  • marketing
  • organisational behaviour
  • strategy and entrepreneurship.


*London Business School’s Executive Education programmes overall have been ranked in the top five, by the Financial Times (FT) 2015. London Business School was awarded the 2013 EFMD Excellence in Practice Award for its 10-year partnership with Danone.

About Coursera

Coursera is an online education company that offers courses and learning experiences from the world’s top universities and education institutions including the University of London. Coursera has more than 18 million registered learners worldwide. Anyone, anywhere can access over 1,800 courses and Specializations in dozens of topics including business, technology, social sciences, health, and art. Coursera empowers learners around the world to achieve their career, educational and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives. For more information, visit: