Starter U
Online Course

Starter U

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What are you waiting for? Start today!

Free Online Course

The Brian Hamilton Foundation’s Starter U: How to Start and Grow a Business is a free, self-paced online course teaching everything you need to know to start, run, and grow a business. Whether you live in Portland, Oregon or Portland, Maine, work 3rd shift or 1st shift, this course is designed to give you, the entrepreneur, the flexibility to learn according to your schedule.

Our course covers business ideation, marketing, selling, customer service, how to overcome the biggest obstacle stopping you from starting your business: you. Through roughly twelve hours of instruction, entrepreneur stories, quizzes, and discussion topics, we distill everything you absolutely need to know to start your business tomorrow. At the end of the course, you will receive a certification proving you have successfully completed the course. So, what are you waiting for? Start today!

Questions? Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, send us an email at

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Success By the Numbers

Would recommend to a friend
States with registered users
Topics essential to starting a business
Entrepreneurs involved in the making

What's Covered?

This course represents decades of entrepreneurship experience. When asked what information is absolutely necessary to start a business tomorrow, everyone agreed on the following.



Chapter 1 – What is Required to Be An Entrepreneur

Chapter 2 – Reasons to Start A Business

Chapter 3 – Obstacles & Roadblocks/Why Businesses Fail

Chapter 4 – How to Come Up with A Business Idea

Chapter 5 – Launch Considerations & To-Do Items

Chapter 6 – How to Get Your First Customers



Chapter 1 – Hiring

Chapter 2 – Financing

Chapter 3 – How to know if you should expand

Chapter 4 – Legal Infrastructure

Chapter 5 – Strategic Partnerships

Chapter 6 – Money Management

Chapter 7 – How do you sift through buying things?

Chapter 8 – Getting and Using Customer Feedback

Chapter 9 – Getting and Using Employee Feedback



Chapter 1 – Accounting & Finance

Chapter 2 – Branding Your Business

Chapter 3 – Marketing

Chapter 4 – Sales

Chapter 5 – Customer Service & Success

Chapter 6 – Legal

Chapter 7 – Human Resources/Managing People



Frequently Asked Questions


Who can take this course?

Starter U is available to anyone free of charge! While the foundation focuses on those who have the odds stacked against them, this class is for anyone, whether you are thinking of starting business or already have a business and need some additional direction. Start today and begin learning how to launch a business or take your current business to the next level.


Is there a charge for the course?

No, Starter U is offered free of charge.


What does the course cover?

Starter U covers everything you need to know to start, run, and grow a business. There are a lot of entrepreneurship resources out there; Starter U distills everything down to one simple course that will set you up to start your business tomorrow.


Who teaches the course?

Starter U is 100 percent taught by entrepreneurs who have successfully started and grown their own businesses, including some of the nation’s most successful companies. Throughout the course, you will hear stories from over a dozen entrepreneurs who not to long ago were exactly in your spot. Our curriculum was developed by experienced entrepreneurs, so you, the learner, can cut through the entrepreneurship fog and focus on what matters.


What if I have a question while taking the course?

If you have any questions during the course, contact the foundation at


Can I really start a business with less than $1,000?

Yes, and we don’t just say that, we’ve done it. The fact is, the majority of businesses in the U.S. are self-funded. Whether you are starting with $10 or $1,000,000, we will teach you how to take a business idea and build it to reach your end goal.


What’s in it for you?

The satisfaction of helping others. We do not financially benefit from Starter U in any way, and at no point will we try to sell you something. Our founder, Brian Hamilton, has been an entrepreneur all his life. He established the foundation to share what he has learned and to create a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who want to help anyone who has an idea and wants to turn it into a business.