Announcing: Amol’s Startup School, 2017 Summer Edition.

You may know that I have been working with entrepreneurs and founders for years now, and the last two years I got really serious about it. I’m launching my startup school: Knotel Venture School, with classes beginning May 4th 2017, Thursday from 6-9pm.

Knotel Venture School is taught by me, Dr. Amol Sarva, CEO of Knotel, and you get a certificate at the end signed by me saying what you did at KVS.

About me:

NYC-born, Stuyvesant HS, Columbia philosophy and economics B.A., Stanford Ph.D. in philosophy (dissertation: “The Concept of Modularity in Cognitive Science”).

Co-founder of Virgin Mobile USA (IPO), Peek (acquired by Softbank), Knotable (VC-backed), Halo Neuroscience (VC-backed), Knotel (also CEO, VC-backed).

Mentor experience with Techstars, NYC Seed, R/GA, Columbia accelerators and labs. 50-company angel investor (KeyMe, Coverwallet, Plethora, Gotenna, Marley Spoon, Common, Penrose Hill, Verifly are some). Creator of the 500-founder-strong Founders Roundtable group.

Faculty of Columbia University’s economics offering on business since January 2016 — “Venturing to Change the World” has been offered twice by me and Professor Damon Philips of Columbia Business School.

More at



The approach is Master Class — lots of content, from me, presented for your collective engagement and processing, not a talking club of peers feeling their way through the lessons of the world.

You do get a peer group as part of this, and outside-the-class and dinner hour relationships.

While I’m not a master, I know quite a bit to set you up. But, if you think you know a lot, don’t come. Perhaps you are past the relatively introductory level of material I will present.

Who is it for:

Founder or future founder. You want to raise your game and get ready for “the struggle“.

Startup exec. You are managing a team or hope to be soon, and need to bone up on startups and management at once.

Just kind of curious. You want to figure out how startups work so you can sell to them or invest in them or make your own company more innovative.



10 sessions covering the topics from my past classes, e.g., “Venturing to Change the World” (more information), organized around Entrepreneurial Thinking and Doing. These topics (by course session) include (1) Founders and Personalities, (2) Technological Change and Innovation, Ecosystems like New York and Silicon Valley, (3) Where Good Ideas Come From, Strategy and Vision, Social Ventures, (4) Customers and Marketing, (5) Business Models, (6) Founders and Hiring, (7) Strategy Frameworks, (8) Product Development, (9) Pivots, (10) Funding and Financing, Storytelling.

Throughout are frameworks for management, communication, and analysis.

Maximum size 20 people. Hand-picked by Amol.

Try before you buy — find my videos on Youtube from conferences like SXSW or DLD, and browse the detailed written content of the classes I have previously taught.


Every Thursday from May 4th 6pm to July 6th 6-9pm (the last one we might collectively decide to defer 1 week to July 13th).

Format is 2 hours of lecture 6-8pm then 1 hour of dinner with a guest founder or CEO or Pal of Amol.

Location is at Knotel Union Square at 17th St or Knotel Madison at 23rd St.


Apply to be accepted here before May 3rd



This is the first class so if you drop out before class 3, you can have a full refund.

Knotel companies:

Discounts for people at Knotels.


Half the class will get 100% scholarships based on need. The scholarship need will be handled by a third-party selected by Amol but will be “blind” — admissions and scholarship are separate and Amol will not see any of the scholarship process content.

What you get:

Knotel Venture School certificate signed by Amol Sarva saying what you did. Since there is no accreditation or any particular exam to prepare for, you should know you are getting a structured form of mentorship — not a professional or vocational degree of any type.

Alumni network — the 20 members + the Amol Pals who join + future students + past students of the other classes I teach.