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*NEWS: UCI Gives Green Light to Master’s Degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Imran Currim,
UCI distinguished professor and director, Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a company need not look any farther than UCI. The university has approved a one-year master’s program for innovation and entrepreneurship, which will be offered through the Paul Merage School of Business.

The first classes will start in Fall 2019.

Those interested in corporate entrepreneurship will also be able to get this fast-track master’s degree.

Imran Currim, distinguished professor of marketing and faculty director of the Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, is leading the effort for this new program.

It will provide an opportunity for participants to enter with an idea, or collaborate with others who have ideas, and leave nine months later with an entire plan to start and grow a business.

The program will focus on business aspects including:

  • how to employ leadership principles to strategically build teams, foster collaboration and address conflict
  • how to create new markets and redefine existing markets
  • how to design and market new and desirable products and services
  • how to finance the business, negotiate and grow the business 

“We have found that many entrepreneurs are knowledgeable about the science, technology and engineering aspects of their idea, but have blind spots on the business aspects,” Currim told OC Startups Now.

The master’s degree will fill in the blind spots, plus equip students with the knowledge of capital budgeting, financial statements, venture capital, business law and innovating in the digital age, he added.

The program aims to fill such blind spots, with courses and a “New Venture Competition,” and also with a “heavy dose” of intensive and immersive co-curricular activities and practical workshops.

These will be led by entrepreneurs and innovative corporate leaders drawn from the OC entrepreneurial ecosystem, including UCI Applied Innovation (UCI’s innovation center) and its Wayfinder incubator; the Small Business Development Center; EvoNexus, an incubator in Irvine; OCTANe, a life sciences and tech accelerator in Aliso Viejo; Tech Coast Angels, an angel investment group; and K5 Ventures, a VC firm in Newport Beach.

This new master’s program adds to UCI’s existing portfolio of master degrees offered, including professional accountancy, business analytics and the science of biotech management.

About The Author

Deirdre Newman is a long-time journalist, who's covered OC startups for a few years.

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