The professional master's degree in Technical Entrepreneurship (TE) is a one-year, full-time, 30-credit mix of design, product development, and entrepreneurship courses. Students from a wide array of disciplines work individually and in teams to develop and commercialize new products while expanding their skills in creativity, prototyping, visualization, and intellectual property creation/management; technology application; team, data, and process management; and business and economic acumen. Projects evolve from three sources:
- In-class creativity and innovation exercises
- Faculty and alumni research
- Local established and startup companies
Creativity methods, anthropological research, painstorming, bisociation, the Kano model, the trimming technique, parameter analysis, decomposition, nonlinear design, DeBono's Six Hats technique, biomimicry, lateral benchmarking, Blue Ocean Strategy, the art of tinkering, and other innovation methods. Hands-on labs, individual and team projects.
Intellectual property issues: confidentiality, nondisclosure, agreement not to compete, founders agreements, patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets both domestic and international.
Visualization techniques, visual thinking and envisioning information as taught by Edward Tufte and others, multimedia tools and methods. Appropriate use of technology as applied to new product development (no programming required).
Generation of mock-ups and looks-like prototypes, electro-mechanical-optical bread-boards design, fabricate, build and test multiple generations of prototypes, computer modeling methods, shop methods, testing, sensors and data collection.
Key issues surrounding company startups, including feasibility analysis, business model development and evaluation, formation of new venture teams, financial forecasts, sources of financing. Readings, financial templates, live case studies and guest entrepreneurs.
Continuation of TE 401, the parallel development of the product, the development of the marketing and manufacturing system, manufacturing and marketing launch, sales, service and customer support. Case studies and semester-long team projects. Prerequisites: TE 401.
Continuation of TE 403, integration of key business components to form and launch your venture: industry analysis, marketing plan and sales strategy; mobilization of the new venture team; operations, including space, legal and insurance consideration; and financial management. Selected topics related to respective venture types (ie. social entrepreneurship, family business, franchising, immigrant entrepreneurs). Lectures, workshops and guest entrepreneurs. Prerequisites: TE 403.
Applying the concepts presented in TE 403 and TE 404, building upong the business model, entrepreneurial team and financing plan developed in TE 405. Developing a comprehensive business plan and investor's pitch, finalize the steps necessary to launch the company and start operations. Prerequisites: TE 403 and TE 405.
Detailed design specification, fabrication, building and testing prototype new products and plan for production, selection and content of the project is determined by the faculty project advisor in consultation with individual students or student teams. Progress reports and final report, oral and poster presentations. Prerequisites: TE 461 and consent of the program director and faculty project advisor.