The 2022 Summer Edge in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

  • Looking to be a change-maker in business and the world?
  • Want to earn a university certificate in one summer?
  • Need to make your education more marketable to employers? 

2022 Theme: Developing Multi-Contextual Leaders in a Diasporic World

2022 Program Dates: May 9 - August 6

2022 Program Highlights

  • One-Week Immersive Learning Experience in Washington, D.C.
  • African and African-American business leadership networks
  • Curriculum designed for creative and inspired leadership models
  • American Marketing Association - Pittsburgh led skill building
  • Capstone team project with $2000 first prize, $1000 runner up

2022 Program Lead: Prof. Paul T. Harper, PhD,

Prerequisites for Program Enrollment/Who Should Enroll?

This program is open to all Pitt undergraduates (except students in the College of Business Administration).  Normally, students will have completed at least one year of full-time undergraduate work (or its equivalent) before participating in this program.

CBA students should refer to the Certificate Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship site located here

Courses and Course Descriptions

***All courses are designed for in-person learning experiences***

The Summer Edge in Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a residential program that follows the regular 12-week summer session from May 9 to August 6, 2022. The certificate will consist of five 3.0 credit courses. Four of the courses will be delivered within the two regular early and late summer six-week terms. A fifth project-based course will span the full summer session. 

The Entrepreneurship Process - 3 credits 

This course will introduce students to entrepreneurial thinking as well as the process for developing and commercializing new ideas. Topics will include opportunity identification, business model construction, customer development, and risk management. Students will also have the opportunity to learn the case study method through a few case analyses of entrepreneurial firms at critical moments in the start-up phase.

Corporate Entrepreneurship – 3 credits

This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of how currently existing organizations can use the techniques of entrepreneurship for the purpose of renewal and innovation. Students will be asked to think through considerations of organizational change based on entrepreneurial activities related to opening up new markets, such as corporate venturing and new product development. The final project for this class will include a strategic plan for the innovation of a currently existing public corporation.

Social Entrepreneurship – 3 credits 

This course will push students to think about the ways that business institutions can play a positive role in the economic development of regions where there is low per capita wealth or insufficient social and political structures. The utilization of emerging markets as locations for testing technology and business models will be addressed as well considerations concerning the financing of social ventures. 

Law, Entrepreneurship & Innovation – 3 credits 

This practical course is intended to expose students to founders of innovative companies and the legal issues they face. It will take students through the life cycle of a technology start-up company, from concept and formation to exit (IPO or sale), through careful analysis of relevant legal documents and case studies, as well as participation in lectures. The course will provide students with the legal framework and tools necessary to launch and grow a successful technology start-up.

Projects in Entrepreneurship – 3 credits

The capstone experience for the summer certificate will be an intensive experienced-based learning project based on student ventures or consulting projects and will run the entire summer semester. It will also provide a platform for coverage of topics related to professional development, industry knowledge, skills development, and gaining familiarity with the Pittsburgh entrepreneurship ecosystem. Relevant speakers and training will be provided to support the course learning objectives.

Upon completion, students will receive a designation on their official PITT transcript.

Outbound Experience: 7-Days in Washington D.C.

Participants will spend one week in Washington D.C. attending a variety of culturally relevant events, companies, and organizations that support the in-class experience and the overall learning objectives of the program. (Example list of potential visits and events)

  • Visit The Federal Reserve System
  • Visit The World Bank
  • Visit Exxon Mobil, Fairfax, VA
  • Visit Maryland Technology Development Company (TEDCO)
  • Visit Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
  • Visit Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Visit African Union US Permanent Representative
  • Visit Georgetown Slavery Archive
  • Banquet at Das Ethiopian Cuisine Georgetown, DC 
  • Howard University Business School tour and student reception

The 2022 Summer Edge in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Outbound Experience is made possible by the financial support of Pittsburgh's Intercultural Project Foundation and the Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership. 

Special Training in Design Thinking and Innovation

Summer Edge participants will attend a specialized set of skills development training sessions offered by the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Marketing Association. The sessions will include:

  • Introduction to Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Design Thinking
  • Human-Centered Design
  • Emotional Design & Advertising
  • User Experience Design
  • Usability and the Web

Pathway to the M.S. Degree in Management from the Katz School of Business

Students who complete the certificate will earn an application fee waiver for admission to the M.S. in Management degree program. Once admitted, certificate holders can petition to have up to 3 credits of their Summer Edge coursework applied to their M.S. degree credit requirements. 

Information about the M.S. in Management degree can be found here

JOIN Summer Edge 2022!