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About The Program

Above all else, Smith's Master of Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship launches your career in the innovation ecosystem. For the duration of the program, you will work on the development, design and activation of your innovative ideas through one of two Project Paths. Additionally, you will develop your business acumen through three boot camp style sessions at Smith. As a result, the program may be completed from anywhere in Canada.

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Project Paths

The program provides two project paths – one for entrepreneurs and one for corporate/organizational innovators.

The two project paths enable you to personalize your experience while in the program, based on your aspirations. Within each project path, there are two options, which allow for further personalization. These may be completed as full immersion, virtually, as your side hustle, or any combination. In other words, you may choose to work on your innovation project at Smith or anywhere else. If you are currently employed or working on your own startup, you are not required to relocate to Kingston for the program.

Entrepreneur Project Path

  • Option 1: Start up or scale up your own venture
  • Option 2: Project or role with a fast-rising startup organization

Innovation Project Path

  • Option 1: Complete a project with your current employer, providing great benefit for both you and your organization
  • Option 2: Placement with an innovative organization

Intensive Boot Camp Style Sessions at Smith

The program includes three highly intensive on-campus sessions in which you will develop your business acumen and learn the tools and techniques you need to succeed. There is a 2 week session in August (at the beginning of the program), a one week session in December, and one week in May. During these sessions you will complete six courses, each with corresponding readings and assignments.


Program Curriculum and Schedule

The program schedule consists of three phases.

Phase 1

Preparation work will start immediately with readings and tasks required to be ready for Boot camp #1. (Some of this work can be started in August if preferred.)

First boot camp (August 10 - 25, 2019)
(**these dates may be subject to change)

The first boot camp includes opening sessions for the following courses
Creating Ventures
Systems and Design Thinking
Marketing and Selling the New Venture

For the balance of Phase 1, there will be online workshops, seminars and entrepreneurial speakers. These sessions will be recorded and posted on the program portal.

You will also complete the ideation stage, opportunity analysis and decision stage with the support of your Innovation Coach. Once you have chosen the best opportunity for your project path, you will begin work on your Industry Research Project with the expertise of an industry advisor.

Phase 2 

Second boot camp (November 30 - December 8, 2019)
Virtual boot camp: (January 10 - 12, 2020)

The second boot camp includes opening sessions for the following courses
Managing Technology and Innovation
Innovation in Practice

For the balance of Phase 2, there will continue to be online workshops, seminars, entrepreneurial speakers and virtual team assignments.

You will also work with your coach to complete your Individual Research Project and continue to work on your Innovation Project.

Phase 3

Third boot camp (April 25 -  May 3, 2020)

The third boot camp includes opening sessions for the following courses
Financing the New Venture
Bringing it all Together

During the third boot camp, those on the Entrepreneur Project Path will have the opportunity to make their Pitch Presentation.

Those on the Corporate Innovation Path will present their Innovation Project to the MMIE Program leadership and representatives from their organization or corporation.

The balance of Phase 3 is dedicated to refinement and execution. Working with your mentor, your will bring your Innovation Project to fruition.

Creating Ventures

This course provides an overall framework, with which students can begin to understand the elements, and the complex relationships among them, that lead to both entrepreneurial and innovation success. This course is the first in the program, and will serve to introduce specific topic areas that will be covered in greater depth throughout the remainder of the program. The course will be delivered in a concentrated and experiential fashion at the start of the program, so that students can experience the entire innovation context and use it as a first step in further discovering their specific area of focus within the program. Specific topics include: characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and innovators; business model, business case and business plan development; and structures for innovation. Students will apply each of these concepts during the course as they prepare their first new venture/innovation idea to be presented at the end of the course. In essence, this first course is a kickstart boot camp to set up the rest of the program.


Systems and Design Thinking

Design thinking is an important element of building effective business models for new entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial ventures. At the same time, design thinking lies at the heart of engineering, within the context of understanding the physical world around us. A convergence is emerging between the design approach in engineering, and the design approach in business that draws from an understanding of customers, markets and finance. This course is designed to provide a foundation for design thinking in both contexts, along with insights, skills and tools to deploy this important mindset effectively.


Marketing and Selling the New Venture

This course is designed to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the role of a sales manager. Topics are covered from the perspective of both a sales manager and a sales person. Specific topics include managing the interplay between the marketing and selling functions, setting and evaluating sales strategy, managing the day-to-day sales functions including recruitment, training, compensation and performance management as well as, the evaluation and control of professional selling methodologies and activities.


Innovation in Practice

The objective of the course is to provide students with background knowledge as to the different types of business structures that can be used in bringing a new venture to market, improve communication and team skills and develop or refine skills to negotiate and manage conflict effectively. Topics covered include corporate formation; legal agreements; intellectual property; corporate governance and dealing with partner and shareholder issues; communication strategy, persuasive communication and the development of effective presentation skills (content and style); how to create and maintain a high performance team; and developing an effective negotiation style.


Financing the New Venture

This course provides a detailed examination of the venture capital industry across the entire spectrum of investment, ranging from funding initial rounds of “seed” capital all the way to pre- IPO funding of later-stage companies. Real venture capital term sheets from recently completed deals are examined in detail from the perspective of both the investee company and the venture investor. Different investment structures are discussed in detail, and the process of company selection that occurs inside a venture capital fund is examined.


Managing Technology and Innovation

Innovation takes place when an idea is actually launched and commercialized. This course is designed to enable students to apply the tools that take an idea from inception through launch and implementation. It will also discuss how to maintain a culture of innovation in the firm, while applying various systems and tactics to effectively control and manage the development process. Tools such as stage-gate systems, innovation cycles, product life cycles, probability-based estimating and risk assessment are introduced, as we develop some structures around our innovation process, and give the organization the ability to effectively manage a creative business.


Individual Research Project

In this course, students will have the opportunity to gain a depth of knowledge in a given domain (e.g. mining, oil & gas, social media, etc.). Typically, students choose an area that is related to their area of entrepreneurial interest. Working with a domain expert as an advisor, students will conduct research into specific aspects within the domain of interest, and produce a significant deliverable that demonstrates a deep understanding of the domain that is being examined.


Innovation Project

This course provides students with the opportunity to apply the concepts that they have studied throughout the program and apply them to create a new venture, either within an existing organization or a startup. Students will gain practical experience by integrating what they have learned in the program and to think in cross-functional terms. They will also hone their analytical, writing and presentation skills in the creation of a business plan that identifies a specific problem, a solution, proof of concept via market research, product development and monetization of the product or service.