Funding a Business Course

Locations Duration Next Application
San Francisco
12 weeks 09/04/2020
Apply Now


In our Funding a Business course, we guide you through a hands-on process for evaluating funding alternatives, presenting to potential funders and navigating a funding process. This course is 12-weeks long and is well suited for small business owners and startup founders looking to raise the first round of funding for a business with positive community impact.

What members are saying...

What I Didn’t Know Before I Started

We had to look at how much money our businesses needed to grow. And, I just could not fix my mouth to even utter the amount. Through this course, I’ve had the chance to explore my relationship with money. Because of that, I was able to say, "Yeah, I can raise that much money."

April Fenall, Piikup

What I Learned to Help Me Build a Business

I gained clarity and direction specifically in preparation for the BAOBOB crowdfunding campaign. Working with Uptima helped me tame the storm of options and ideas so that I could put one foot in front of the other and lay out a step-by-step plan.

What I Learned to Help Me Build a Business

Crowdfunding was scary to me. I was afraid to put myself out there, ask for money, and take the risk. With the support of the course and an amazing mentor I was able to get through it. Facing those fears is the best thing I could've done for my business. With what I learned in this course, I was able to create a successful Kickstarter and raise over $18,000 for the launch of my product Ebb Filter.

Geana Sieburger, GDS Cloth Goods

What You Will Learn


Topics Covered
  • Explore your relationship with money and how it can impact your perception of raising money for the business
  • Discuss why it is important to get outside funding and what you need to have in place to begin raising funds
  • Assess your current business, business plan and emotional readiness for funding
Funding Needs
  • Review and update your current financial forecast to determine realistic funding needs and use of proceeds
  • Learn how to present your financial forecast and funding needs in a concise way
  • Update your business plan to describe the key drivers of your financial forecast and funding needs
Understanding the Process & Key Terms
  • Learn about different funding alternatives and funders’ processes, timelines and key terms
  • Identify funding alternative(s) that are aligned with the purpose, values and funding needs of the business
  • Develop a plan for raising money and update financial forecast to reflect funding alternative(s)
Identify Potential Funders
  • Identify potential funders to reach out to and build a potential funder prospect list
  • Understand how to reach out to and build relationships with potential funders
  • Conduct informational interviews with a couple of potential funders to understand their processes
Due Diligence
  • Gain an understanding of how funders perform due diligence on potential funding opportunities
  • Learn how to produce due diligence documentation, organize a due diligence dataroom and manage due diligence requests
  • Establish a due diligence dataroom
Executive Summaries & Online Profiles
  • Learn how to summarize your funding opportunity in a one-page executive summary for potential funders
  • Learn about online platforms for listing your funding opportunity, and identify platforms your business should create a profile on
  • Create your executive summary and online profiles
Begin the Funding Process
  • Prepare application, online profile or other documentation to begin the funding process
  • Draft and get feedback on your funding application, online profile or other documentation
  • Begin the funding process by submitting your funding application, online profile, or other documentation
  • Gain an understanding of the key elements of a presentation to potential funders
  • Learn how to craft a story to capture the attention of potential funders
  • Develop a funding pitch for your specific funding source
  • Learn how to pitch the business to potential funders
  • Identify key questions that may arise when pitching to potential funders
  • Hold a practice pitch and receive feedback from an advisor
  • Learn how to use networking events to increase the business’ visibility and enhance fundraising efforts
  • Learn how to initiate conversations and begin cultivating relationships through networking events
  • Present your business at our entrepreneur networking event
Managing the Funds
  • Gain an understanding of how to manage funds received from funders and create reserves to cover payments to funders
  • Create a plan for managing cash flow after funding
  • Discuss how to evaluate and access the next round of funding
Final Presentations
  • Present your funding pitch and progress to your peers and mentors
  • Receive constructive feedback from your peers and mentors to refine your fundraising process


Business must be generating customers/users and partners. Must also have an up-to-date business plan and financial forecast.

Commit to Building Your Business

Average time commitment for our small business and startup courses is 10 hours / week dedicated to building your business, and includes the following weekly activities:


Activity Weekly Commitment
Background Materials
  • Series of required background readings and videos on each unit to be completed online prior to the weekly in-person workshop
  • Describes concepts and their applications in developing a business

1-2 hours / week

  • Weekly in-person workshops led by an expert instructor
  • Lecture and discussion on background materials, group activities, and reflection

3 hours / week

Business Development Activities
  • Weekly activities focused on your business development
  • Apply concepts learned in background materials and workshops

2-10 hours / week

Peer Mentoring
  • Weekly phone meetings with small peer group of other business owners in your class
  • Present weekly business development activities and receive constructive feedback from peers

1 hour / week

One-on-one Mentoring
  • Weekly one-on-one meetings with a mentor
  • Discuss business progress, review weekly business development activity, and connect with resources to meet business needs

30 minutes / week

Meet Your Mentors

Lesa Hammond, Ph.D.

Lesa Hammond, Ph.D.

Lead Instructor & Mentor


Rani Langer-Croager

Rani Langer-Croager

Co-Founder, CEO & Lead Instructor, Mentor

San Francisco

Naima McQueen

Naima McQueen

Lead Instructor & Mentor


Join an Upcoming Course

Our Funding a Business course is offered at the following locations.



Enrollment Period Program Dates Application Deadline
Fall, 2020 September 24 - December 17 September 4

San Francisco

Enrollment Period Program Dates Application Deadline
Fall, 2020 September 21 - December 14 September 4

How Much It Costs

The cost of our Funding a Business Course consists of a course fee of $400 / month over the 3-month course.

We charge a $50 deposit to reserve your space in the class. This deposit is credited against the payment of your course fee, where applicable.

Financial Assistance

Because we believe in entrepreneurship as a means to close the racial wealth gap, we offer financial assistance programs for entrepreneurs of color.

For entrepreneurs of color, we offer financial assistance covering up to 100% of your course fee and payment plans, based on your household income and the number of people in your household.

Accelerate your business.