Instructor: Jacques Habra

Course Description

A comprehensive Course in Entrepreneurship and business development offered by Jacques Habra, an award-winning, proven, and engaging Entrepreneur. Habra founded his first company, Web Elite in 1996 while still a student at the University of Michigan. Habra’s leadership and drive led to Web Elite growth include several million in revenue and cultivating a 30-person team serving some of the world’s largest and most innovative companies at the time including Sun Microsystems, General Motors, Wells Fargo, and ESPN. Habra’s accolades include being named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001 by Andersen Consulting, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist 1999, 2000, and 2001, and receiving numerous company and leadership awards.

THIS JUST IN: Jacques Habra named “2016 Entrepreneur of the Year” by The Santa Barbara Technology and Industry Association.

Habra has made several 40 under 40 lists across the Country. Habra sold Web Elite in 2002 to a group of investors for an undisclosed sum and went on to launch 9 companies from 2002 – 2013. 3 of those companies were sold, 3 obtained Series A or A & B rounds of financing, and 3 remain active. Since 2013, Jacques has been developing personal projects, consulting with startups and executives, and managing a few strategic angel investments.

Jacques lectures around the world at technology and entrepreneurship conferences and is an adjunct Marketing Professor at Santa Barbara City College and presenter at Antioch University.

About the Entrepreneurship Course

The course consists of 10 sessions covering all aspects from ideation to launch. Each session includes a 30-45minute presentation in which Habra reviews academic theories on the specific topics and provides real life case studies. Each session includes real-life experience examples.

NOTE: For best results, entrepreneurs should have already taken the Vision to Reality course or have their minimum viable product complete and ready for marketing/launch.

Week 1 – Quality Assurance / Marketing Prep

1) Product Quality Assurance and Testing

a) Technical Analysis
b) User Analysis
c) Establishing Success Metrics

2) Marketing plan

a) Getting your first customers – what’s the plan
b) Early Adopters -> Late Adopters – Understanding the Chasm

Week 2 – Online Marketing Tools/Objectives

3) Online Marketing Infrastructure

a) Social Media

i) Some Worth the Time, some not – based on product/service/competitive matrix

b) Keyphrase and online marketing research – First Analysis

i) Do the research yourself
ii) Hire a professional firm

c) Email Marketing

i) Begin analysis target customer database
ii) Get comfortable with Constant Contact or Mail Chimp

d) Community building marketing plan

4) Test Product with 20 Potential Customers

a) Get Consultants involved in setting up Product Validation plan
b) Test technology, get feedback
c) Test marketing impact, get feedback
d) Test communications impact, get feedback

Week 3 – Refining Product and Marketing Outreach

5) Make improvements to Product

a) Set Tight Development Timeline
b) Refine Marketing Messages
c) Setup Launch plan

i) PR
ii) Email Marketing Outreach
iii) SEO
iv) Social Media Push

d) Back of the House Infrastructure

i) Definition of Support Voice
ii) Phone/Customer Service Support

(1) Internal FAQ
(2) Training with Brand in Mind

iii) Live Chat
iv) Email Protocol

6) Financial, Engineering, and Growth Planning

a) Assume Great Success

i) What must you have to grow from nothing to something

(1) Defining “Something”

b) Build feature list and wish list from day 1

i) Consider version 2.0

c) Put together multiple touch point customer service/follow-up plan

i) Make sure it’s mostly automated

d) Consider hiring consultant to produce initial detailed financial plan

i) Assume great growth over the next 3 years
ii) Assume conservative growth over the next 3 years
iii) Define clearly the trigger points for growth

(1) Make assumptions
(2) Track assumptions
(3) Adjust plan accordingly – on a monthly basis

Week 4 – Preparing For Launch

7) Checking in your energy and passion level

a) By now, you’re in the market and you have customers – how do you feel?
b) What is your greatest block or challenge?
c) What is exciting to date?
d) Is this still what you want?
e) What do you need to go to the next level.

8) 6 Month Key Considerations

a) Consider hiring online marketing consultant to help define:

i) Cost of Impression
ii) Cost of Conversion
iii) Cost of Acquisition
iv) Highest likelihood of success
v) Use Cases
vi) Use Optimizely
vii) Engage

b) Understand the impact of above terms to key financial metrics

i) What types of customers are most profitable

(1) Where do they originate?
(2) What is their behavior?

c) How engage certain customers as champions

i) Incentive based
ii) Encouragement to their network

Week 5 – Capital Consideration, Fundraising, and Outlook

9) To Raise Money or to Grow Organically?

a) Valuation

i) How to calculate valuation

(1) Market analysis
(2) Financial analysis

b) Barriers to Entry

i) How costly is it for a competitor to enter market
ii) How much are competitors growing and willing to spend/invest

c) Can you keep up organically? Or do you need outside capital to scale?
d) What kind of investor do you need?

i) Angels
ii) VCs
iii) Private Equity Financial Services
iv) Grants
v) Loans

e) What value proposition could an investor add to the business

i) Network/Distribution
ii) Leadership
iii) Advisor
iv) Access to portfolio companies

f) Components of Investor Deck

i) Required sections
ii) How to deliver in 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes
iii) What investors will question

(1) Not being defensive
(2) Writing everything down
(3) Build a list of issues/blocks
(4) Make adjustments to pitch

g) Presenting at Paid Investment Conferences

i) Pros and Cons
ii) Getting Ready
h) Using LinkedIn for your Investor Relations strategy

10) Crowdfunding

a) Identify 5 crowdfunding campaigns in your category that worked
b) Identify 3 crowdfunding campaigns in your category that failed
c) Capital Raise
d) Broad Product Validation
e) Video
f) Marketing Strategy
g) What key learning metrics can you gain from crowdfunding

Additional Addendum Items We Will Cover

Finding the Formula

a) If you spend X, you will earn Y Customers (or revenue)
b) Test all pay per click platforms
c) Talk to customers about the “Value” the product/service provides
d) Update all marketing/communications in all channels
e) Know Google Analytics

i) Set Conversion Points
ii) Set Cost Points

Growth – Months 6-12 and Future Planning

a) Affiliate Marketing
b) Marketing Assessment for non Web/online/mobile

i) Radio
ii) TV
iii) Print
iv) Billboard

c) Cash flow and financial scaling vision
d) How to hire effectively
e) The importance of the first team
f) Facing the Fear of Success and Responsibility

i) Asking for help

g) Leaning on your community
h) Developing Corporate Culture
i) Is there an exit strategy?

i) Not required
ii) Always good to have in mind

(1) Asset or Growth purchase

Experiencing the course:

Recorded Video

Review course through recorded videos based on your schedule.
Course Cost: $699.00

Recorded Video + Mentorship

Review course through recorded videos based on your schedule.  Participate in 1 hour weekly live video discussion with Jacques Habra and other students to discuss course content and your startup questions.
Guarantee of 8 (1) hour discussions.
Course Cost: $1199.00

Videos are released on the Monday of each week for 4 weeks.


Jacques Habra brings 20+ years of actual entrepreneurship experience with results that include helping to raise $10MM for startups, launching numerous companies, and selling several over the course his career. Habra’s experience as an adjunct Professor and lecturer at national universities and colleges provides the skills and expertise to manage a course with efficiency and efficacy. Each participant is expected to follow work book and complete assignments. Participants can expect to take an “idea” and turn into a viable business ready for launch through the 4 week course.

Key Takeaways

  • Truly knowing yourself, your capacity, strengths and weaknesses. Understanding how to weave the self-awareness as a role in your startup.
  • How to create and build a brand
  • Market research and competitive analysis both technical and qualitative
  • Business model considerations and approach
  • Product development from design, flow, all the way to engineering
  • Sales, Marketing and Communication Plan
  • Creating Business and Financial Forecasts Plans
  • Investor relations – from Investor deck development to “how to” pitch
  • Customer Acquisition planning on-line and off-line (if applicable)
  • Critical Management and leadership skills.
  • Basic Legal and HR considerations as well template legal documents to get you started


Classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays with the first day on Tuesday November 29th 6-8pm held at the University Club and via Webinar format. Thursday sessions via Webinar are held from 12pm – 1:30pm. 10 total sessions with a wrap-up next session scheduled the second week of February, 2017.*

* There is no class December 27 in order to enjoy the holidays.