How to Start a Startup

YEREVAN, Armenia–Starting from June 6 through July 13, every Tuesday and Thursday the Zaven & Sonia Akian College of Science & Engineering (CSE) of the American University of Armenia (AUA) held How to Start a Startup classes led by Dr. Armen Petrosian. Students were encouraged to learn the basics behind starting an internet startup, and focused on how to evaluate ideas, get users, and raise seed funding.  

The class aimed to cover the basics of establishing a startup for students with no prior programming experience or computer science background.  Dr. Petrosian, discussed with those present several methods of generating landing pages for startup ideas and sending traffic to them to see which ones performed well. Dr. Petrosian noted that throughout the course he himself learned a lot.

Lectures were held on Tuesdays and interactive sessions on Thursday. The interactive sessions allowed students to present their progress from the previous week and receive feedback from other students.“These sessions were typically much more engaging and entertaining than the lectures, so perhaps there could be more focus moving forward on Q&A/presentation,” Mr. Petrosian said.

At the end of the course, there were a couple of  projects that stood out and had the potential to turn into fully-formed startups. The students created a Facebook group for themselves  where they were able to share ideas and experiences after the class.

“Ultimately I think the course was a success and could be made better in the future with some updates to the material and format.” said Dr. Petrosian, “I greatly appreciate everyone at the AUA for helping me organize the course and for giving me this opportunity!”

Dr. Petrosian graduated from Stanford University and is the founder and CEO of, an online video platform based in New York with over 50 million monthly viewers. He was previously founder and CTO of PlugShare (acquired in 2014). Over his career, Dr. Petrosian has raised millions of dollars from the world’s top venture capital funds and has launched dozens of web and mobile products.

Founded in 1991, the American University of Armenia (AUA) is a private, independent university located in Yerevan, Armenia and affiliated with the University of California. AUA provides a global education in Armenia and the region, offering high-quality, graduate and undergraduate studies, encouraging civic engagement, and promoting public service and democratic values.