Through I&E’s experiential entrepreneurship courses, aspiring innovators from across Duke’s graduate and professional schools work on an idea at any stage—from exploration to launch. You can work on your own idea or project, or a faculty project currently underway.

These courses complement your area of study and further your ambitions—whether you want to change the world with an innovation, work toward your dream of someday owning a practice or business, or support a future industry or academic career.

Many additional courses cross-listed under other departments count towards the elective requirements of the Graduate & Professional I&E Certificate. Visit the Certificate page to learn more.

The date, time, and location for each course can be found in DukeHub.

Fall 2023

Instructor: Departmental Staff

Students will engage with social entrepreneurs and other practitioners to learn about and support the design, development, validation, assessment, and scaling up of innovative, sustainable approaches to addressing critical social and environmental problems in Durham and around the world. For the service-learning component of the course, students will work in multidisciplinary teams to gather and analyze data, develop recommendations, formulate implementation plans, and provide other capacity-building support to clients that may include domestic and international social entrepreneurs, social enterprises, funders, public sector innovators, policy makers, and corporate social impact managers.

Instructor: Aria Chernik

Digital technology is not power-neutral; designed by humans, technological devices and systems are encoded with conscious and unconscious biases. In this learner-centered, problem-focused, and project-based course, students will investigate the relationship between how technology is designed and the impact a design has on reinforcing–and sometimes subverting–oppressive power structures in society such as racism and sexism. Students will learn about open design, an equity-centered innovation methodology, and, working in teams, apply it to create a prototype that addresses the problem of unethical technology development.

Instructor: Rob Hallford

The New Ventures Clinic – Healthcare is an opportunity for students to work on commercialization plans for technologies developed at Duke University, in particular in the areas of therapeutics (pharmaceuticals), diagnostics, and medical devices. In most cases, the students will work to define a plan for a start-up that would license the technology from Duke, but other strategies are also possible (e.g., not-for-profit).

The technologies chosen will have been screened by the Office of Licensing and Ventures, so they will all be determined to have commercial potential. The project teams will work in close collaboration with OLV.

Student teams will be assigned one technology to work on. They will have access to the scientist or inventor of the technology, and will also work with an academic and a business mentor. Teams will be interdisciplinary and students will gather and analyze data, develop recommendations, formulate implementation plans, and provide other capacity-building support to clients. Students will work on teams that have relevant business and technical backgrounds. Student teams will follow a structured process to develop a strategy and plan for the venture.

Instructor: Eric S Richardson

The course guides students through the process of human-centered design with the goal of developing a solution to a real-world, unmet need in healthcare. Students will learn to: 1) identify unmet, underserved and unarticulated needs using human-centered qualitative contextual primary research methods such as ethnographic research; 2) apply commercial business criteria in order to select viable business opportunities; 3) use creative and research-based processes to generate and/or identify potential solutions; and 4) document their design process in accordance with regulations. The course blends taught content with practical field application and team-based project execution. Instructor consent required.

Instructor: Eric S Richardson

The course requires extensive team interaction and the direct application of skills in the process of preparing a medical device technology for development and eventual commercialization. Teams assess and develop a strategy for they key areas of regulatory, reimbursement, and determining an appropriate business model. Teams will then work through a development strategy to determine what work will be required to bring their technology forward, as well as the funding requirements and timing to raise capital at key milestones. The course concludes with an investor pitch to an outside panel of seasoned CEOs, VCs, and other members of the community.

Instructor: Aaron Dinin

This course is designed to lead you to a eureka moment by teaching you how to explore the world around you for problems worth solving. Instead of jumping directly into problem solving and solution development—which can often be wasteful without a clear understanding of a given market and customer need—this course focuses on research, exploration, and discovery. It asks students to set aside pre-conceived notions, avoiding some of their own blind spots, in order to do the necessary work of collecting data about market and learning to assess it as objectively as possible. This course is ideal for anyone who wants to excel at finding white space for new innovation and entrepreneurial action.