Executive MBA Concentration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Facts, dates and background:
- The amount of work required to complete the individual project is the equivalent of two full courses.
- The project is required. Students may not substitute additional elective coursework for the completion of the project.
- Projects in the entrepreneurship concentration are team based. An important part of the process is forming a team to pursue a specific opportunity.
- The project should represent an actual opportunity to begin a new business or a new venture (for profit or not for profit), either as a stand-alone organization or within an existing organization.
- Projects must be proposed and approved by the faculty member assigned to a particular concentration area. All projects have specific start dates, end dates, and milestone requirements. Adhering to deadlines is a strict requirement for receiving credit for completing the concentration.
Preparatory Workshops: Two workshops will be held (one in each of the two final terms of the MBA program) to provide a framework and some tools to assist the student with this concentration.
Project Proposal (Due Oct. 15): Each project proposal will be reviewed and approved by the concentration faculty member. A 2 – 4 page memo covering the following points should be submitted to the concentration faculty supervisor (below). There should be one memo submitted per project (rather than one per student).
- Team members – those people who will work to complete the project (including students outside of Fuqua or non-students, if any.
- Project outline – what is the innovation for which you are creating a plan?
- Context – is the innovation intended to be realized in a new venture or within an existing organization?
- Outline of the final deliverable – what does the team intend to submit in fulfillment of the concentration?
- Outline of a workplan – a high level outline of the plan to create the final document for the project
- Independent Project Statement (general concentration requirement) – each student must provide a signed statement from verifying that the submitted project is neither part of his or her normal job responsibilities, nor work for which the student is otherwise compensated
Faculty review of project proposals: Each proposal will be reviewed by one or more faculty members with expertise in the area of the project. Only project proposals that are complete will be reviewed; a complete proposal contains all elements described above. The faculty member(s) will review and approve or deny the proposal. If the project is denied, the faculty member will, to the extent feasible, provide guidance about its deficiencies and provide an opportunity to revise and resubmit the proposal. While approval of the proposal is necessary to continue as a project, an approved project does not obligate the student to complete the project. Specifically, students may choose to abandon an approved project without penalty; however, in this case, no concentration would be earned.
Interim report: It is not required but highly recommended that students taking the concentration write their final paper in either Entrepreneurial Strategy or Entrepreneurship and New Venture Management on their project. Their write-up should, ideally, cover the strategy as described in the New Ventures 2 (Course 2: Strategy Development) and include material described in New Ventures 1 (Course 1: Opportunity Evaluation).
Final report (Due April): The final project write-up should be a plan document. The specific contents should be agreed with the faculty supervisor as part of the process of approving the project proposal itself. The teams should be guided by the structure of the New Ventures 3 (Course 3: Operating Plan) in creating an outline for their final project report.
Faculty review of completed projects (general requirement for concentrations): Each completed project/paper will be evaluated and graded by one or more faculty with expertise in the area of the project. The reviewing faculty will likely consist of the same faculty who reviewed the proposal, but may include others (or different faculty) conditional on faculty availability and the expertise required by the project. Only completed projects will be reviewed; a complete project contains all elements described above. The final paper for the project constitutes the “final exam” for the concentration. As such, it will be evaluated and scored by the faculty. Students who receive a failing grade on the project will not be provided with an opportunity to revise or resubmit the project, and accordingly, will not receive a concentration.