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Advanced Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation offers a flexible advanced certificate program that can be taken over the course of the academic year or as a 12-week accelerated summer program.

Program Details

  • 5 MBA-level courses (15 credits)
  • Option to complete all requirements in as little as two months through the accelerated summer program.
  • Immersive and collaborative experiences in problem solving, ideation, design thinking, finance, and business modeling.
  • Access to Iona’s collaborative coworking space (GaelVentures), mentorship, start-up support, and opportunities to present to potential investors.
  • The graduate certificate culminates with a capstone studio course where students are able to launch their entrepreneurial ventures and innovations.
  • Courses can be applied towards Iona’s MBA Program at the AACSB accredited LaPenta School of Business.
Students brainstorm at a white board.

Program Description

The Advanced Certificate in Entrepreneurship & Innovation gives graduate students the opportunity to explore their entrepreneurial potential and help them develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Students take a series of courses that guide them through the development of an entrepreneurial venture including ideation, design thinking, business modeling, and financing. The graduate certificate culminates with a capstone “studio course” where students are able to launch their entrepreneurial ventures and innovations.

Courses (15 credits)

ENT 500: Entrepreneurship & Innovation in the 21st Century

This introductory course engages students in a series of activities to help them discover their entrepreneurial potential. Students will be introduced to the concepts of entrepreneurship and innovation in the 21st century and engage in the development of an entrepreneurial idea from conceptualization to implementation. Over the course of the semester, students will practice entrepreneurship by engaging in a series of ideation, lean start-up, design thinking and business modeling exercises. The course will be highly interactive, collaborative and experiential in nature, and will conclude with a “pitch day” where all student teams will present their entrepreneurial innovations to one another.
3 Credits
Prerequisite: None
Note: Course can be waived if a prior undergraduate entrepreneurship course has been taken.

ENT 601: Ideation and Design Thinking

The purpose of the course is to provide graduate students with solid understanding of the process of innovation and ideation, and a hands-on experience creating innovative solutions to real-world design challenges. Students will work in groups, and experience different aspects of innovative design: from creative solutions to specific customer demands to free-form ideation, market analysis, and broad impact design. The course explores ideation, innovation, and entrepreneurship in different settings - social, arts, STEM, business, etc. The course is highly interactive and requires active student participation in all in-class and outside activities.
3 Credits
Prerequisite: None

ENT 602: Business Modeling

Business Modeling provides the student the framework in which to build a workable, applicable business model based on an original idea generated by student teams. Students are also exposed business model applications to problem-solving, non-profit organizations and other entities not often associated with business. This graduate class provokes the student to consider the place or role of their model business idea in society and culture. There is a heavy emphasis on class participation and group/team work including evaluation by peers as their business model moves through several presentation experiences. In addition to study cases, the class will visit businesses and institutions. The final, successful business model is one that the student will move forward with after their studies.
3 Credits
Prerequisite: None

ENT 603: Financing and Sustaining your Entrepreneurial Venture

This course will develop an understanding of the early stage investment environment for start-up endeavors, considering the differences between private equity and venture capital, while comparing both to public market investments involved in entrepreneurship. Students will discuss identification of funding and the investors, as well as develop an understanding of the main frameworks of and income drivers involved with entrepreneurship. Students will prepare financial statements for investors considering the unique nature of the entrepreneurship environment. Students will discuss the choice of the capital structure, identify the main sources of capital for early stage endeavors and entrepreneurial projects, and identify steps in the funding process. The course will discuss the means to implement the process to raise capital, innovative funding endeavors such as crowdfunding and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), the development of a pitch to potential investors, and best practices to close the round of funding. Students will develop their understanding of the management issues, the institutional vehicles available, and the specific valuation techniques involved in Entrepreneurship.
3 Credits
Prerequisite: None

ENT 702: Studio Course

This course is designed to facilitate the process of developing an entrepreneurial venture, from idea to launch, with the help and support of Iona’s GaelVentures incubator. Students sign-up for this course with an existing idea that they would like to work on. Based on this idea, students will be assigned dedicated work hours at GaelVentures. During these hours, students will work on the development and launch of their business with the support of the instructor, incubator manager, coaches and mentors. In addition, students will be meeting once per week as a group to reflect about their progress, set goals and discuss required resources to help launch their businesses.
3 Credits
Prerequisite: ENT 500
Corequisites: ENT 601, ENT 602, ENT 603
Note: Students are required to apply to the course with an existing entrepreneurial idea.