Make use of free resources: Coursera as an example

Aspirant entrepreneurs: with rising concerns of college debt it is increasingly relevant to use the resources at your disposal to get your venture off the ground. One way to do that is to increase your knowledge base through free educational opportunities. Although there are many excellent options available, I have personally used Coursera.

I teach a Feasibility Analysis course at Iowa State University, and noticed that many of my students are developing ideas for a product that could be prototyped cheaply and efficiently using 3D printing – or so I thought. After all, even though 3D printing has become a buzz word (we have all heard about 3D printing organs), I realized I actually knew very little about 3D printing.

Fortunately, Coursera happens to have a course that you can audit for free. Notably, free does not mean poor quality in this case. In 10 hours, I went from knowing nothing at all about 3D printing to having a much better idea of its utility, costs, key advantages and disadvantages, terminology, etc. Moving forward, I have at least enough information to point my students in the right direction when it comes to thinking about using 3D printing for their startup. Below is an example of what some of the topics are:

Coursera 3D Printing Course

The moral of the story is: if you think you even might want to know something new, just give it a try! Extra knowledge isn’t going to hurt.

Looking for more information about 3D printing? There is a great community for 3D printing over at Reddit, and I would highly recommend their Wiki page! Interested in learning about a topic other than 3D printing? Get your bright mind over to Coursera and start learning!

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