The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development has made available for free some of its online tutorials for entrepreneurs

While in beta, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development is making its tutorials available for free.

Looking for some free resources to help move your business idea closer to reality? If so, you’re in luck.

The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development has made available for free some of its online tutorials for Top Gun Prep, the online course it offers aspiring entrepreneurs.

The five tutorials, which can be found here, are new and should be considered a beta version, according to Don Gooding, MCED’s executive director.

“It’s a free beta test,” Gooding said on Friday. “So we are — like the entrepreneurs we try to help — testing things and soliciting customer feedback to make sure that this product we’re designing is meeting peoples’ needs.”

While Gooding has taught three online Top Gun Prep programs so far, this is the first time pre-recorded tutorials will be made available for students to consume at their own pace before the actual online class. This will allow more class time to apply the lessons to students’ actual business ideas, Gooding said.

The five tutorials currently available range in length from seven minutes to 21 minutes and represent the first week of Top Gun Prep, Gooding said. They cover challenges first-time entrepreneurs will face (and serial entrepreneurs, as well) and introduce students to such concepts as the “Business Model Canvas” and the “Growth Wheel.”

Gooding expects to record more tutorials in the coming weeks and put those up for free, as well. In the end, he expects there to be more than 40 individual tutorials. However, once the next Top Gun Prep class starts on Sept. 10, most of the online tutorials will be placed behind a paywall (some will likely remain free indefinitely, he said) and be available only to students signed up for the class. Pricing for the two-month-long Top Gun Prep class hasn’t been officially set, but Gooding expects it to cost $100, though students who successfully complete the class will receive a $50 refund, he said. Those interested can register here.

“Our funding is primarily from people who want to see entrepreneurship increase in Maine, and so we want to reward those entrepreneurs who make the effort and learn with all these important tools,” Gooding said.

The online Top Gun Prep was made possible through a grant from Blackstone Accelerates Growth. It expands on the existing  Top Gun program, which is MCED’s in-person training course. So far, 150 students from 11 Maine counties have taken the online class, Gooding said.

So check out those free tutorials and, since it’s a beta version, send Gooding some feedback to make them even better in the future.