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Columbia University

Corporate Entrepreneurship

Columbia University via edX


In today’s rapidly evolving and ever-changing world, it is critical now more than ever for businesses to continue to develop and innovate as quickly and efficiently as possible to maintain their competitive advantage. Through this course, organizational leaders and senior executives will master the concepts, tools, and application opportunities needed to dramatically enhance the effectiveness of their efforts to create new businesses from within their firms.

The 6-week program features three sections covering the central challenges of corporate entrepreneurship:

  • Ideation : How to find great ideas;
  • Incubation : How to develop those ideas into a business;
  • Acceleration : How to launch this new business so that it can merge successfully with the corporate parent.

Ideation focuses on rapidly finding and vetting great ideas. You’ll learn important concepts such as evaluating ways your organization can be a disruptive player and ways to challenge existing orthodoxies. This section will also provide you with insights and strategies from innovators who have successfully unleashed inspiration in their own organizations and how they have dealt with risk.

Incubation equips you with the tools for nurturing your corporate entrepreneurship, creating a learning plan, and initiating the prototyping phase. You will learn how Design Thinking can help you solve complex problems, receive best practices for A/B testing, and create an action plan for in-market experiences with your prototype. You'll walk away with valuable insights into failing intelligently and prepared for a successful venture launch back at the office.

Acceleration will provide you with a powerful tool kit for innovation proficiency. You'll start the program by identifying your entry strategy. Next, you'll learn how to make critical decisions on pricing, promotional budget, and relationships with ecosystem partners. Finally, you'll tackle the resource question, evaluate your launch team, and develop a strong set of external assets.


Week 1 - Innovation: The End of Competitive Advantage and Filling Your Innovation Pipeline

Week 2 - Ideation: Finding and Evaluating High Potential Options

Week 3 - Building from Ideas to Opportunity Portfolios

Week 4 - Incubation: Discovery Driven Planning

Week 5 - Organizational Politics and the F word

Week 6 - Acceleration: Rough Financials and Investment Readiness

Taught by

Rita McGrath and Patricia Gorman

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