The I&E certificate coursework is designed so students have the skills and knowledge about what it takes to work in an entrepreneurial venture, start our own entrepreneurial ventures, or take learned innovative ways of thinking to any profession where we will be employed. The coursework includes 4 courses and two-working experiences. The courses are listed below:
Gateway: The Gateway course explores the foundations of entrepreneurial ideas. Courses available to students cover innovation, ideation, and design which are the first steps necessary to create an idea and pursue an entrepreneurial venture. The Gateway courses help us grow our creative abilities, our technical abilities, our collaborative abilities, and our resilience. I am still planning which course to enroll in.
Keystone: The Keystone course covers all the fundamentals of developing strategies to launch a venture. We learn about business plans, financial tools such as pro-formas, types of ventures, marketing plans, and how to analyze if a business is going to be successful or not.
Elective: The elective course allows us to further explore topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship that we find interesting or want to learn more about. Spring semester of 2016 I enrolled in a class taught by Professor Aaron Dinin called Building Global Audiences. Building Global Audiences focused on how to come up with an idea and pitch it to build an audience or customers using social media marketing. I chose this class because I was interested in social media marketing and wanted to learn how to get people to hear about your product, believe in your product, and buy into your product using online marketing tools. This course began with idea pitches from each student, we then voted on ideas and broke into teams for the semester that would work on each idea. The rest of the semester was a mix of lessons about social media marketing from social media sites like twitter, Facebook, Instagram, to online advertising and building customer acquisition funnels while simultaneously learning and preparing to launch our ideas into successful Kickstarter ideas. Although no idea reached the funding goal we were able to apply what we were learning in class directly to our group projects as well as come to our own conclusions about what it takes to create a successful product and build an audience around it.
Capstone Course: The capstone course is the final course that takes everything we have learned and turns it into action. The capstone course has students apply their knowledge and launch a venture.
150 Hour & 300 Hour Learning Experiences: These two experience provide us with hands on learning and knowledge application. The types of experiences can vary depending on what interests us. It could range from working with start ups, interning at an innovative company, participating in civic engagement projects, launching our own venture, or working on individual research projects that relate to innovation and entrepreneurship.