x201 | Financial Model Design

The VidCo Business Plan Model

will-ferrell 300x241The x201 course is designed to introduce you to the extensive field of financial modeling, which in broad terms involves the design, development, and use of spreadsheet-based tools to forecast business performance for planning and investment purposes.  In this case-based course, you are required to build a financial model for your start-up that will answer the following questions posed by a prospective venture capital investor:

  1. How much money do you need?
  2. How much of the business will she get for this investment?; and
  3. If she agrees to your terms, and if all goes according to your proposed plan, what “return” will she see on her money?

This course presumes you are well-versed in the spreadsheet topics introduced in the x101 course, “Joel Goodson’s Freshman Year Budget“.  Furthermore, on the presumption that you will use spreadsheets regularly in your future work, we’d recommended that you become fluent in the FAST-modeling mechanics introduced in the x102 course, “Give Your Mouse a Rest” (you will see the instructor on this course use these mechanics regularly).

 Course Approach and Objectives

You will learn model design principles and practice modeling skills by developing a business forecast for a new start-up venture (“VidCo”), which is a business that will provide sports training videos to high school students (see VidCo Case Overview).  Upon completion of the course you will have been introduced to:

  1. Fundamental parameters relevant to entrepreneurial finance, e.g. taxation, discounted cash flows, IRR, and basic cash flow valuation approaches
  2. Points of professional financial model design including separation of functional areas by sheet, structured input layouts, and summary presentation sheets
  3. Professional habits associated with keyboard usage, re-purposing of pre-existing logic, good formula writing style, and navigation techniques in a multi-sheet models
  4. Use of modeling components such as date logic and timing flags, inflation factors, and balance corkscrews

Download the “VidCo Business Plan” case setting, get started with Lesson 01, and plan to progress at your own pace.  If this is your first skillsX course, you may wish to read this overview how the site is organized.

Leave a reply