Stanford Graduate School of Business is looking to kindle the innovative mindset of students by launching new courses for entrepreneurs across the world, with support from Silicon Valley experts. The institute will soon launch Stanford Ignite, a part-time certificate programme for Indian entrepreneurs in Bangalore. To be launched in 2013, the theme of the course will be entrepreneurship and innovation.
The highlight is that Silicon Valley professionals would be a part of this endeavour, guiding prospective start-up entrepreneurs in their endeavours.
Stanford Ignite is an eight-week, part-time programme that teaches innovators how to formulate, develop, and commercialise their ideas. Participants will learn core business skills and experience working with a team to evaluate and develop ideas into a business plan.
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Online application will be available from January 2013. Candidates should either be enrolled in masters, post-doctorate students studying non-business fields or professionals with a bachelor’s or equivalent degree from an accredited institution. The programme is intended for those who don’t have a graduate business training.
Apart from Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty, prominent executives and corporate, venture, and angel investors would participate as guest speakers, expert panellists and business mentors to provide candid feedback on team projects. Slated to begin from July 2013, the fee for the course would be approximately Rs 4.5 lakh ($8,350).
Stanford has also launched an online Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Programme. Professionals in India and around the world will be able to access Stanford faculty and Silicon Valley experts as they learn essential skills and effective strategies for working in and managing innovative organisations. An engaging digital experience has been developed by the Stanford Center for Professional Development at the School of Engineering and the Graduate School of Business to deliver the course content. Registration is now open for the first two courses, Marketing Innovations and Leading Innovation. The fee for each course would be approximately Rs 54,000 ($995).
Additional courses will be launched throughout 2012 and 2013. Participants may enroll in just a single course or earn the professional certificate from Stanford by completing any eight of 12 courses on topics including prototyping, marketing, social media, innovation strategy, and entrepreneurship.
The programme is led by faculty directors Robert Sutton, a professor of management science and engineering at the School of Engineering, and Hayagreeva Rao, professor of organisational behaviour and human resources at the Graduate School of Business.
Courses will be taught by Stanford faculty, drawing on instructors from the graduate school of business, the engineering school, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, as well as Silicon Valley industry leaders, using interactive methods.
Garth Saloner, dean, Stanford Graduate School of Business, said, “Online education is a big aspect for us. Though it cannot be a substitute for classroom learning, it is a good opportunity for people who cannot come to Stanford for their education.” Going forward, Stanford Graduate School of Business will look at offering blended programmes, with online components being a part of it.
According to Saloner, innovation and entrepreneurship will be an essential component of the courses. Entrepreneurial mindset is evident among students with about one in six students opting to start his/her venture, rather than joining a company.
According to the dean, Stanford Graduate School of Business, students stand to gain as the innovation moves into Silicon Valley. “We help students take their ideas into the Valley,” he said. Indian students opting for the online course and the offline course in Bangalore will receive the expertise from Silicon Valley, he added.
Then, there is the Stanford Venture Studio for entrepreneurs. Built as a pilot during the summer, and launched in September, it is a collaboration space where entrepreneurial Stanford graduate students practise the skills and concepts they are learning in the classroom. In addition to a robust work and collaboration space, the Studio provides a place for a number of programmes that complement classroom learning and help students practise supporting each other in designing and leading new ventures.
Talking about the entrepreneurial ventures in India, Saloner said that India could improve its entrepreneurial aspirations by improving institutional elements like legal efficacy, infrastructure growth and fund availability. "The key is also having a culture that permits acceptance of failure,” he said.
Stanford Graduate School of Business also has links with corporate alumni in India, who partner the institute in various initiatives. Executive education is offered to Indian corporates by Stanford, both at their US campus and in offices of corporates in India. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has an initiative to fund students going to Stanford Graduate School of Business.
RIL created the Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship to support Indians with financial need in obtaining an MBA at Stanford, which may award up to five fellowships. The fellows will receive full financial support for the two-year MBA programme. Within two years of completing their Stanford MBA studies, Reliance Dhirubhai Fellows are required to return to India for a period of at least two years employment in the public or private sector.
“We look to strengthen the existing partnerships with corporates like RIL and also forge new ones,” the dean said.