University of Virginia
Effectuation: Lessons From Expert Entrepreneurs
University of Virginia

Effectuation: Lessons From Expert Entrepreneurs

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

1,898 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Saras Sarasvathy

Instructor: Saras Sarasvathy

Beginner level

Recommended experience

15 hours to complete
3 weeks at 5 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • Lessons from expert entrepreneurs

  • A deep understanding of uncertainty

  • Real-life examples of new venture creation

Details to know

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There are 4 modules in this course

Welcome! In this course, you will see and hear from entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators as you explore four obstacles people commonly face when they think about starting a venture. You will learn the lessons that expert entrepreneurs have gained through their experiences building successful ventures. This week, you’ll explore the first obstacle people often face—how to get an idea—and learn about the five principles of effectuation. Then you’ll begin to identify your own bird-in-hand and use that to come up with ventures you could build.

What's included

10 videos4 readings3 quizzes2 discussion prompts2 plugins

Early entrepreneurs often feel that they don’t have enough resources. This week you will learn not only about resources but the beginnings of productive relationships as you explore the next two principles of effectuation. Affordable Loss is about keeping the downside within your control so you are free to push the upside up. YOU get to choose whether and how much you are willing to lose. The Crazy Quilt principle is about bringing on self-selected stakeholders who will help increase your affordable loss and open up new upside possibilities.

What's included

9 videos2 readings3 quizzes2 discussion prompts1 plugin

The lessons this week will take a deep dive into understanding entrepreneurial success and failure. Then through the Lemonade and Pilot-in-the-Plane principles, you will learn how to effectually manage and even leverage failures and co-create success.

What's included

8 videos2 readings3 quizzes1 discussion prompt2 plugins

In situations of uncertainty, the five principles of effectuation can be applied individually, all together, or mixed and matched in various ways. You can even combine them with causal approaches. By looking at the early histories of most enduring ventures, we can see the principles coming together into an iterative process: an effectual cycle. You’ll end the course with a strong understanding of what expert entrepreneurs do as they start ventures.

What's included

9 videos3 readings3 quizzes1 peer review1 discussion prompt1 plugin


Saras Sarasvathy
University of Virginia
1 Course1,898 learners

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