Financing the Product Lifecycle

Provides the essential tools and skills to build a strong financial foundation for designing, developing, and managing new products within startups or established companies and organizations.




12 Weeks


8-10 Hours per Week

This course provides the essential tools and know-how to build a strong financial foundation for a new or improved product. This practical course guides you through important accounting principles as well as methods for keeping firm financial control of your enterprise. Insights are shared on navigating the multitude of financial barriers that may block your success, as well as how to raise the right amount of capital at the right time from the right source, with an emphasis on internal company financing.

What You'll Learn

  • Create and understand financial statements with an emphasis on the income statement and balance sheet.
  • Understand, analyze, and explain the financial performance of a company for managerial decision making.
  • Examine variable costing, cost analysis, cost allocations, and the development of projections for new products.
  • Develop the financial skills for valuation, capital structuring, corporate governance, risk management, and financial modeling.

Who Will Benefit

  • Aspiring product managers working to develop their skills for entry into a product management role.
  • Active product managers seeking to enhance their capabilities to be world-class product managers.
  • Product designers, developers, and collaborators interested in improving their understanding product management.
  • Educators, consultants, and organizational leads desiring to improve their capacity to teach, advise, or empower their constituencies in the product management area.

Course Topics

Module 1: The Finance Spectrum

The investment landscape. The language of finance. The financial spectrum.

Module 2: Financial Statements

What are financial statements? The balance sheet. The income statement. The statement of cash flows.

Module 3: Financial Statement Analysis

Proactive financial statement analysis. Income statement analysis. Understanding financial ratios.

Module 4: Cash Flow Management

Cash flow management. Cash flow forecasting. Managing accounts receivable. Managing accounts payable.

Module 5: Valuation Basics

Valuation basics. What is your product worth? Key factors influencing valuation. Valuation methods.

Module 6: Capital Formation Strategies and Trends

Sources of capital. Understanding private equity markets. Common mistakes in raising capital. Capital formation strategies.

Module 7: Costs

Understand variable costing, cost analysis, cost allocations, and the development of projections for new products.

Module 8: Financial Modeling

Financial modeling approaches. Monte Carlo methods.

Module 9: Anatomy of a Transaction

How do you negotiate terms? Aligning terms with investor concerns. Legal documents.

Module 10: Pitching

What do collaborator and investors want to see? How to create a pitch deck. How to tell your story. The do’s and don’ts of the pitch.

Learning Experience

Asynchronous Lectures

Coaching and Mentoring

Live Office Hours

Peer Interactions and Networking

Project-Based Learning

Real-World Assignments

Learner Testimonials

The instruction and startup coaching that I received from Dr. Green were invaluable to the launch and growth of Squarespace. The skills taught in this course are a fantastic introduction to many of the fundamentals one needs when starting a business.

Anthony Casalena

Founder and CEO, Squarespace


Michael R. Pratt
Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute
University of Maryland

Michael Pratt teaches and mentors students in the University of Maryland's entrepreneurship, innovation, and product management programs. His career spans 35 years in management and finance, in both domestic and international organizations, and almost two decades in startups and venture capital, having raised over $100 million for eleven different startup ventures. Michael is the co-founder and Managing Partner in Select Venture Partners LLC, an early stage, post-seed/pre-Series A investment management firm.

Prior to co-founding Select, he was co-founder and CEO of SpydrSafe Mobile Security, Inc., a mobile application security management platform that safeguarded enterprise data by controlling apps on smartphones and tablets (iOS and Android). SpydrSafe was acquired in February 2014. Prior to SpydrSafe, he was COO of CardStar, Inc., a mobile loyalty company sold to Constant Contact (NASDAQ: CTCT). From 2006 to 2010, Michael was the CFO/COO of Trust Digital, Inc., a venture-backed Mobile Device Management company sold to McAfee (NYSE: MFE). Prior to Trust, he was CFO of Galt Associates, Inc., a venture-backed software company sold to Cerner Corporation (NASDAQ: CERN) in July 2006. His earlier professional experience includes CEO of CrossMedia Networks Corp.; CEO of Point of Care Technologies (sold to Siemens Healthcare in 1999); various senior finance and operating roles with Mobil Corporation, including President and General Manager of three Mobil subsidiaries. Michael began his professional career with Arthur Andersen & Co.

He holds a BS in Finance from East Carolina University, an MBA from Massey University in New Zealand, and an MS in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University.

Take a Peek at Financing the Product Lifecycle