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Business Schools Begin To Educate More Entrepreneurs

More US business schools are entering the market for training entrepreneurs as more students opt for founding start-ups instead of launching corporate careers.

Silicon Valley-connected Stanford GSB is poised to expand its roster of entrepreneurial training programs, in the latest sign that business schools are entering the market for training entrepreneurs as more students opt for start-ups instead of corporate careers.

Its new Ignite-NYC program, to be launched in March 2015, is targeting students who want to start a new business venture or “intrapraneuers” – those who want to drive entrepreneurial initiatives inside large companies, such as social impact investment funds.

The nine-week program will teach students how to formulate, develop, and commercialize their business ideas. It will be taught part-time so that participants can maintain full-time jobs and develop their ventures on the side.

The Ignite program, which will cost $14,500, was first launched in California in 2006 and is now taught in France, China, India and Chile.  

Its New York base will pitch it against local business schools NYU Stern, Columbia and Cornell Tech – a $2 billion high-tech university that is being built on Roosevelt Island – which have shown signs of increasing their provision of entrepreneurial studies. 

Cornell in particular plans to offer start-up-focused curricula in business and computer science from its swanky new campus. The university beat Stanford in the bid to launch on Roosevelt Island in 2012, a project spearheaded by former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Stanford’s Ignite-NYC program will use distance learning to deliver some of its content. It plans to use teleconferencing to deliver lessons from professors who are in Silicon Valley.

“This is a program for those who are planning to start a new venture as well as for intrapreneurs – individuals who wish to bring innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to their current role within a company,” said Stanford Ignite director Yossi Feinberg.

“It provides graduate students, innovators, scientists and engineers from leading companies the essential toolset for creating impactful ventures.”

Ignite’s participants have launched more than 100 successful companies since its inception eight years ago.

A host of other business schools have launched specialist master's programs in entrepreneurship and innovation, including Michigan Ross and Babson College in the US, and Europe's Rotterdam School of Management. 

Stanford's non-degree program will be held every other week on Friday evenings, and on Saturdays and Sundays. Lessons will include approximately 200 hours of training, including 100 hours spent on participants’ venture projects.

The certificate program, which will accept up to 50 students, will be taught in midtown New York but its exact location has not yet been confirmed.

Stanford has previously hosted its Ignite programs in collaboration with technology groups including Infosys in Bangalore, Cisco in Paris and Microsoft in Santiago.

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