Google has launched its new short-duration Tech Entrepreneur Nanodegree program that is designed to help software developers learn how to take their app ideas from the design stage to market.
Google's mini degree program, designed in collaboration with online course provider Udacity, takes four to seven months to complete with a minimum commitment of 10 hours per week. Students who finish the course successfully will receive certification from Google and Udacity while top-place finishers will have an opportunity to pitch their product to venture capitalists at Google.
The goal behind the program is to walk developers through the various steps needed to grow ideas into a scalable business, Google Program Manager Shanea King-Roberson wrote in an Oct. 20 posting on the company's developer's blog.
"We have teamed up with most successful thought leaders in this space to provide students with a unique and battle-tested perspective," on the topic King-Roberson said.
Among those contributing to the program, according to King-Roberson, is Pete Koomen, co-founder of Website optimization service provider Optimizely; Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube; Kevin Hale and Aaron Harris, partners at seed acceleration firm Y-Combinator; and Geoffrey Moore, author of "Crossing the Chasm."
The Google and Udacity "nanodegree" program is made up of five main course modules: product design, prototyping, monetization, app marketing and how to get your startup started.
The product design course will expose developers to Google's Design Sprint development methodology and walk them through concepts like product ideation and validation, user interface design and metrics gathering.
In the prototyping course, developers will have a chance to experiment with Developers will low- and high-fidelity prototyping on the Web and on mobile devices, according to King-Roberson. The monetization and app market courses teach developers the fundamentals on how to monetize their app, how to evaluate the market and potential competition, how to position a product, prepare for launch and acquire customers.
The final module is all about helping developers figure out if they are really likely to need venture funding to get their projects off the ground. Developers will also have an opportunity to learn how to maintain and monitor their startup effectively, King-Roberson said.
Google and Udacity will make the actual content of the nanodegree available for free online. But Udacity will charge $200 per month for providing access to coaches, project guidance, career counseling, testing and the actual nanodegree certificate at the end of the program.
Enrollment for the next program ends Oct. 26. Udacity says that graduates who complete their course in seven to 12 months after starting it are eligible to receive half off their tuition, if they paid for it on their own.
The Tech Entrepreneur Nanodegree program, announced Oct. 20, builds on the list of other similar, intensive short-term courses that Google has co-developed with Udacity. Other examples include the Android Developer Nanodegree and the Full Stack Web Developer program co-created by Google and Udacity in collaboration with AT&T, GitHub and Amazon Web Services.
Udacity, the brain-child of Sebastian Thrun, a former Google Fellow and project lead on Google Glass, offers a few other nanodegrees developed in collaboration with companies like Facebook, MongoDB and Cloudera.