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Entrepreneurial Negotiations


Course Overview

This online program is led by MIT’s renowned negotiation expert, Professor Lawrence Susskind. Participants in the program will practice negotiation skills via simulations, role-plays, case studies, and peer-provided feedback. They will emerge with a toolkit of negotiation techniques that will prepare them to join the MIT entrepreneurial success story.

Held over the course of six weeks, Entrepreneurial Negotiation

  • Six modules covering four topic areas
  • Assesments to reinforce key learning concepts presented in each module
  • Short case studies and focused readings
  • Four 90-minute negotiation exercises to be completed with a partner of your choice
  • Discussion forums for participants to address thought-provoking questions posed by MIT faculty
  • Wiki for accessing additional resources, suggested readings, and related links

Participants will receive:

  • Program materials: PDFs of faculty PowerPoint presentations and resources presented in the course Wiki
  • 90-day access to archived course materials: Videos, discussion boards, content,  including access to the digital version of Larry Susskind’s book
  • Complete course transcript: Synchronized video transcripts and a compiled transcript of all course lectures
  • Downloadable SIMS from the course

Time Commitment
MIT Professional Education Digital Programs are designed to fit the schedules of busy professionals. That’s why each course is self-paced and available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Each video module is pre-taped, enabling you to complete it any time before the assigned due date. While you may complete all the assignments in rapid succession, most participants find it beneficial to adhere to the weekly schedule and participate in online discussion forums along the way.

The course requires a time commitment of three-to-five hours a week comprised of videos, assigned reading, engaging negotiations and peer-to-peer evaluations.

Please note that the edX platform uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) and four hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). To convert times to your local time zone, please use the following tool:

Browser/Technical Requirements
Access to our courses requires an Internet connection, as videos are only available via online streaming, and cannot be downloaded for offline viewing. Please take note of your company's restrictions for viewing content and/or firewall settings.  You can also view the content on your mobile device.

Our courseware works best with current versions of Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 10 and above. For the best possible experience, we recommend switching to an up-to-date version of Chrome. If you do not have Chrome installed, you can get it for free here:

Key Benefits

  • Equip yourself to negotiate entrepreneurial opportunities while preserving long-term relationships
  • Leverage a toolkit of proven techniques and strategies to find the sweet spot in any entrepreneurial negotiation
  • Take advantage of a convenient, flexible schedule with platform access 24 hours a day, from anywhere in the world
  • Earn a Certificate of Completion and CEUs from MIT Professional Education, and access a private professional alumni group of likeminded professionals and lifelong learners

Earn a Certificate of Completion and CEUs

The Certificate of Completion will be awarded by MIT Professional Education after the course has ended.

Grading: Letter grades are not awarded for this course.

Sample Certificate of Completion

CEUs are a nationally recognized means of recording noncredit/non-degree study. They are accepted by many employers, licensing agencies, and professional associations as evidence of a participant’s serious commitment to the development of a professional competence.

Acceptance of CEUs depends on the organization to which one is submitting them. If your employer requires any additional information, MIT Professional Education can answer questions and provide information, but we cannot guarantee that any particular organization will accept our CEUs.

CEUs are based on hours of instruction. For example: One CEU = 10 hours of instruction.

CEUs may not be applied toward any MIT undergraduate or graduate level course.

Who Should Participate

This program is well-suited for anyone seeking to advance an idea or a product but who does not currently control the resources needed to develop or market what they have in mind and, as such, needs to convince others to support or join them.  

Participants may include:

  • Entrepreneurs and inventors
  • App developers
  • Angel investors or potential partners
  • Intrapreneurs and innovators within large companies
  • Teams charged with creating new products or services

Course Outline

Module one: Introduction and overview of entrepreneurial negotiations

Introduction to the four key elements of all entrepreneurial negotiations:

(1) Creating value: even when you are in a competitive (seemingly win-lose) situation, there are ways to create value, making it easier to reach agreement
(2) Building trust: the success of entrepreneurial negotiations often hinges on building trust
(3) Dealing with emotions and perceptions: the psychological dynamics of entrepreneurial negotiation are often as important at the scientific and technical dimensions
(4) Protecting long-term relationships: it is almost always a mistake to sacrifice long-term relationships in an effort to gain some advantage or “win” in the short term

Building a personal theory-of-practice with regard to the four elements of entrepreneurial negotiation. Diagnosing personal strengths and weaknesses. Getting ready to learn as much as possible from the next four modules – learning by doing – The MIT Way.

Module two: Focus on interests and try to create value 

  • Learn to distinguish between interests and positions.
  • Play the Power Graphics game and use it to diagnose your strengths and weaknesses
  • The key steps involved in creating value

What were the most important things you learned from the exercise about creating value?  What should you reveal about your interests and what should you withhold? What would you do differently if you had to do the same negotiation again with a different person? 

Module three: Use objective standards to build trust

How do you build trust in entrepreneurial negotiations?  Why is trust important? What does it mean to act in a “trustworthy” fashion? How do cross-cultural perceptions impede effective communication and trust-building? How can contingent agreements be used to mitigate uncertainty?

Module four: Recognize that emotions and perceptions (and not just facts) are part of the story

Review the psychological dimensions of entrepreneurial negotiations. Knowing when to walk away from a deal. Coping with financial complexity and figuring out how to calculate the relative worth of competing offers.  Handling issues of confidentiality.

Module five:  Enhancing relationships while winning at win-win negotiation

Review the essentials of win-win negotiation. Explore the ways that the wrong kind of value claiming can undermine relationships.  Focus on the impact that the other “side’s” perceptions can have on the outcome of a negotiation. Understanding the dynamics of venture capital investing.

Module six: Important takeaways 

Review the most important concepts and strategies, including: BATNA;  ZOPA; interests vs. positions; aspirations; value creation (linkage); exploiting differences; back tables; contingent agreements; trustworthiness; coalitions; and relationships.

Learning how to reflect on your own experience so you improve your negotiating capabilities over time.


Who can register for this course?
Unfortunately, learners from Iran, Cuba, Sudan, and the Crimean region of Ukraine will not be able to register for this course. MIT Professional Education does not currently have a license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer this course in those countries. MIT Professional Education truly regrets that US sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

What do I need to do to register for the course?
Go to, click on the course you would like to register for, and click “Add to Cart.” You may be prompted to first register for an mitprofessionalx account if you do not have one already. Complete this process, then continue with checkout and pay for the course. Once you are given access to the course, the first assignment will be to complete the mandatory entrance survey before you can gain access to the videos and other course materials.

How do I register a group of participants?
There are two ways to register multiple individuals at once.

  1. Once the course is added to your cart, you can select the number of enrollments you would like to purchase. You can then pay using a valid credit card.
  2. For a group of 5 or more individuals, you can pay via invoice. To be invoiced, please email with the number of individuals in your group, and instructions to register will be provided. Please note that our payment terms are net zero, and all invoices must be paid prior to the course start date. Failure to remit payment before the course begins will result in removal from the course. No extensions or exceptions will be granted.

How should I pay?
Individual registrants must complete registrations and pay online with a valid credit card at the time of registration. MIT Professional Education accepts globally recognized major credit or debit cards that have a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or Diner's Club logo.

Invoices will not be generated for individuals, or for groups of less than 5 people. However, all participants will recieve a payment receipt. Payment must be received in full; payment plans are not available.

How long is the course?
The course is held over six weeks.

How long will the course material be available online?
The materials will be available to registered and paid participants for 90 days after the course end date, June 7, 2016. No extensions may be granted.

When will I get access to the course site?
Instructions for accessing the course site will be sent to all paid registrants via email by the course launch date. In order to receive these instructions, please add to your “trusted senders” list. If you have not received these instructions by the course start date, please email

Please see our Terms of Service page for our detailed policies, including terms and conditions of use.

How many hours per week will I have class or homework?
There are approximately two hours of video every week. You will spend additional time on multiple choice assessments, readings, and discussion forums. Most participants will spend about four hours a week on course-related activities.

Please note that the edX platform uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is 5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST) and 4 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). To convert times to your local time zone, please use the following tool:

How do I know if this course is right for me?
Carefully review the course description page, which includes a description of course content, objectives, and target audience, and any required prerequisites.

Are there prerequisites or advance reading materials?
There are no prerequisities for this course and no advance reading is required.

I have never taken a course on the edX platform before. What can I do to prepare?
Prior to the first day of class, participants can take a demonstration course on that was built specifically to help students become more familiar with taking a course on the edX platform.

What reference materials will be available at the end of the course?
Participants will have 90-day access to the archived course (includes videos, discussion boards, content, and Wiki).

What materials will participants keep at the end of the course?
Participants will take away program materials: PDFs of faculty PowerPoint presentations, and resources presented in the course Wiki.

Will I receive an MIT Professional Education Certificate?
To earn a Certificate of Completion in this course, participants will have to successfully complete all assignments by their due dates, with an average of 68% percent success rate. This course does not carry MIT credits or grades, however, an 68% pass rate is required in order to receive a Certificate and CEUs.

Will I receive MIT credits?
This course does not carry MIT credits. MIT Professional Education offers non-credit/non-degree professional programs for a global audience. Participants may not imply or state in any manner, written or oral, that MIT or MIT Professional Education is granting academic credit for enrollment in this professional course. None of our Digital courses or programs award academic credit or degrees.

Will I earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)?
Course participants who successfully complete all course requirements are eligible to receive 2.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from MIT.

CEUs are a nationally recognized means of recording non-credit/non-degree study. They are accepted by many employers, licensing agencies, and professional associations as evidence of a participant’s serious commitment to the development of a professional competence.

CEUs are based on hours of instruction. For example: One CEU = 10 hours of instruction.

CEUs may not be applied toward any MIT undergraduate or graduate level course.

After I complete this course, will I be an MIT alum?
MIT alumni status is not granted, but instead, MIT Professional Education alumni status is amongst the benefits PE offers.

Are video captions available?
Each video for this course has been transcribed and the text can be found on the right side of the video when the captions function is turned on. Synchronized transcripts allow students to follow along with the video and navigate to a specific section of the video by clicking the transcript text. Students can use transcripts of media-based learning materials for study and review.

I need to cancel my registration. Are there any fees?
Cancellation requests must be submitted to Cancellation requests received after April 12, 2016 will not be eligible for a refund.

To submit your request, please include your full name and order number in your email request. Refunds will be credited to the credit card used when you registered and may take up to two billing cycles to process. MIT Professional Education Digital Programs and edX have no obligation to issue a refund after April 12, 2016, but if you believe a refund is warranted, please email us at

Can I transfer/defer my registration for another session or course?
Admission and fees paid cannot be deferred to a subsequent session; however, you may cancel your registration and reapply at a later date.

Can someone else attend in my place?
We cannot accommodate any substitution requests at this time. Please review the time commitment section and course schedule above to ensure you are able to participate in the course before you register.

What is the registration deadline?
Individual registrations must be completed by May 3, 2016. For group sales, purchases can take place up until April 25, 2016. Please note that once registration has closed, no late registrations or cancellations will be granted.

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