6 Courses (3 Core, 3 Elective)
How do genes get passed between generations? What is the relationship between the environment plants live in and their genetic makeup? In this course, you will gain an understanding of how plant characteristics are passed between generations by drawing conclusions about plant genetics based on both trait observation and genetic data. You will apply the rules of genetics to determine whether a trait arises from a single gene or multiple genes. Since hemp is a field crop, it is also important to consider the interactions between genetics and the environment. You will discover how to determine whether plant traits vary because the plants have different genes or because they were grown in different environments.

In this course, you will examine the variety of breeding methods and breeding schemes available to help you alter the traits of your hemp crop. Each of these techniques has particular applications as well as benefits and drawbacks, so it is critical to understand when each technique is most appropriate. Once you have mastered the application of these techniques, you'll develop a potential breeding plan that is focused on a single trait of interest. In the real world, your lineage will likely need improvement in multiple connected traits, so you will explore different techniques to achieve this more complex goal. Finally, once a breeding trial has been done, you'll need to evaluate whether or not it is successful. As part of this course, you will use actual data provided by Cornell researchers to evaluate whether or not their breeding trial worked.

You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Hemp Genetics

In some cases, a trait of interest does not exist or is not easily available to the breeder. In this course, you will analyze how new genetic engineering and genome editing technologies can be applied to hemp breeding. Understanding when and how to use new genetic technologies is essential for a modern plant breeder. You will examine these new technologies — one of which, the gene gun, was invented at Cornell University — and practice applying them to hemp breeding. Creating a new hemp variety is a lot of work, and as a breeder you'll want to protect your investment with the appropriate intellectual property (IP) protections. As this course concludes, you will compare the different classes of IP protections and evaluate how they can best be used to protect different types of breeding results.

You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Hemp Genetics
  • Hemp Breeding and Selection
Many new food product and innovation ideas that make it to the market are ultimately unsuccessful, typically because their creators did not take the proper steps to ensure there was a sustainable market opportunity. In this course, you will assess the feasibility of new food product or innovation ideas. This will enable you to invest your time, money, and other resources in ventures with a possibility for success. You will also incorporate consumer research in order to create a food product or venture protocept. Finally, you will use this research to ensure that your protocept is appropriate to take to the next level of product development.

Food innovators often introduce new and exciting quality products to the food industry. While ensuring the quality is right and consistent, food innovators must also ensure their products are safe and that they meet all federal and state safety standards.

In this course, you will explore the different types of safety hazards that can exist in food products that can lead to human injury or illness. Using a hazard assessment tool, you will consider the full food production process and identify the potential physical, biological, and chemical hazards of a food product and how these potential hazards can best be prevented or controlled. Once you have determined the key quality attributes that should be defined for a food product, you will create an initial indication of the metrics for each. By the end of this course, you will be prepared to integrate both food safety and quality consideration into the decisions surrounding product formulation, processing method, packaging material, and product shelf life.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Market Research and Product Development

When envisioning the look and feel of your new food product packaging, it is important to consider not just the design but also the safety and quality needs associated with the food processing and packaging process.

In this course, you will explore the different methods and techniques of food processing and packaging to determine which are appropriate for different food products. You will consider the numerous factors that contribute to a processing and packaging decision such as access, capital, feasibility, shelf life, and market preferences. Leveraging these factors and more, you will be able to determine the appropriate methods for your food product or innovation and map out the specifications needed for your product prototype.

You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Market Research and Product Development
  • Food Safety and Quality

Every startup has an element of risk. Whether you are an entrepreneur or a new investor, you need to be able to articulate a business model and evaluate how it would fit with an investor type so you can identify good opportunities for investment.

In this course, you will complete a strategy framework that will help you assess the viability of a startup. By assessing and evaluating the total available market and served available market, you will conduct a target market estimate to project your product or service's potential market size. You will also create a milestone chart that helps you identify the human and capital resources necessary to launch a startup. Your compilation and review of this work will help you evaluate the specific type of investment your project needs.

In this course, you will learn how to navigate the process of pitching a startup investment opportunity in order to gain investor interest. Through opportunities to both build and evaluate a pitch, both entrepreneurs and investors will gain insight into each other's perspective. In this course, you will analyze a real-world pitch to see how closely it conforms to the recommended format for a great pitch. You will then select three potential investors online and explain why they would make a good fit with your own or a selected opportunity. Finally, you will build a partial pitch deck based on selected key concepts, and then partner with a peer from your cohort to deliver, evaluate, and strengthen those pitch deck slides. By the end of this course you will have the confidence you need to create or assess a startup pitch.

You are required to have completed the following course or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Startup Viability and Funding Options

In order to safeguard the opportunity or investment before the deal is closed, certain steps like incorporation, structuring future investment, and creating a term sheet serve as protection for the interests of both parties. These assets and processes lend structure to the deal.

In this course, you will recognize the tradeoffs, risks, and implications of different legal investment structures and determine the right time and circumstances for switching those structures. Working with a sample startup, you will identify both appropriate and inappropriate forms of incorporation for the opportunity. You will determine the most appropriate legal structures for both non-equity and equity investment scenarios. You will then identify which sources of investment should be sought at the different phases of the business cycle. Finally, you will list the documentation required at each business cycle phase to close the deal.

You are required to have completed the following courses or have equivalent experience before taking this course:

  • Startup Viability and Funding Options
  • Pitching Your Business Opportunity
Working in the technology industry, there are times when you might be asked to review and provide input on certain financial aspects of your business. This may be especially critical when trying to raise capital for R&D or new initiatives. When that time comes, it is important that you are able to comprehend and evaluate the information given to you. By supplying you with foundational knowledge about key financial concepts such as capital structure (equity and debt), net present value (NPV), and the different types of investments, this course will allow you to feel confident when reviewing your organization's financial reports. Not only will you feel comfortable, but you will have the basic understanding of these concepts in order to offer input into conversations about raising capital, structuring the ownership of a company, and investing the company's assets to create value.
Working in the tech field, you will undoubtedly encounter sales and your internal sales team on some level. If you don't have much experience in the field of sales, however, it can feel overwhelming. In this course, you will develop a foundation in core sales concepts to enable you to manage an internal sales process. You will be introduced to the key roles within a sales team, the steps in the sales process, what makes a sales lead qualified or unqualified, and how to identify your target customer persona. From there, you will identify the different aspects of sales negotiations and best practices for them. How do you manage all of the information for your sales? You will explore customer relationship management (CRM) systems, how they help with your sales process, and how best to select and manage one for your needs. Finally, you will delve into how to compensate your sales team, what the roles and responsibilities of the sales team are, and how to keep them motivated.

In any organization, sales and marketing go hand in hand. Like sales, unless you are well versed in the marketing field, it can feel foreign to you. At some point in your career, you may be asked to provide input for your organization's marketing efforts. While just about anyone can give feedback, knowing the core concepts that go into marketing can help your input be more effective and comprehensive.

In this course, you will explore the relationship between an organization's brand and the value of the products it offers. You will examine the product's life cycle and the importance of market research. You will identify the roles within marketing teams and how these can vary based on the size and age of an organization (startup vs. established). From there, you will dive into identifying your customer base and crafting your marketing message.

Once you are ready to go to market with your product, you need to develop your go-to-market strategy and determine how to reach your target customers. When going to market, it is important to consider your product's pricing by exploring the various revenue models and pricing tactics to identify which ones can help you reach your product goals. And how will you monitor the performance of your product once it is on the market? That is where key performance indicators (KPIs) come into play. You will explore their importance and how best to use the information gathered from them.

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