American University of Beirut

Entrepreneurs and Lean Startups Certificate


​The objective of this program is to provide a world-class learning opportunity in key aspects of the entrepreneurship cycle, and to build a talented pool of aspiring and potential co-founders and early startup employees to drive startup formation and growth in Lebanon and the MENA region. The program emphasizes project-based and applied learning in order to absorb and apply the various tools and strategies that are critical to the startup process.​

​Course Description

  • CELS 101 Ideation and Startup Formation

This course introduces the fundamentals of coming up with and developing a startup concept and business model. These tools include: learning early-stage ideation strategies and tools, developing a business model canvas, building business/revenue models (that focus on scalability), understanding core concepts around the MVP (minimum viable product), and conducting effective market assessments / validation methods. The course also includes an introduction to basic concepts of design thinking and human-centered design. 

  • CELS 102 Marketing and User Acquisition 

This course addresses the fundamentals of developing and launching a marketing campaign using the proper application of lean marketing methodologies. Students will acquire the skills needed to create high-quality tested marketing content for various social media platforms, develop growth hacking techniques, assess key metrics (measurable marketing), and identify influencers and target audiences. Students will launch both testing and real campaigns for an early-stage startup (hypothetical or real, depending on student interest). 

  • CELS 103 Building the Startup Dream Team

The quality, organization, and cohesion of the team is perhaps the most essential element in determining the potential success (or failure) of a startup. This course will focus on developing and managing the right team to develop, launch, and grow a startup. Topics include understanding the key aspects of building a strong team of co-founders from the start, team attributes related to entrepreneurial personality, appropriate human resources techniques, project management tools and strategies, outsourcing, legal/investment considerations as they relate to HR (stock options, etc.), building an advisory team for high growth, and other key issues that can help drive a startup towards success. 

  • CELS 104 Financial and Legal Fun 

​The course will cover fundamental financial concepts that startups will need to fully understand their business model and/or successfully pitch to and raise capital through investors or other funders (angel, venture capital firms, etc.). Core activities will focus on financial frameworks including: financial statements, cash flow projections/ analysis, capital structure, equity/debt options, and critical financial metrics and ratios. Along with a financial overview, we will discuss the essential legal issues that startups face during the fundraising stage with focus on company registration, term sheets and shareholder agreements. The course will also address acquisition trends across MENA and globally. ​​

​​​​​​To submit your full registration, ​​send all filled required documents to or pass by CEC Office. ​​​

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