The Edge in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Prerequisites for Program Enrollment/Who Should Enroll?

This program is open to all Pitt undergraduates (except the College of Business Administration students in their last summer prior to graduation), as well as students not attending the University of Pittsburgh. Students should have completed at least one year of full-time undergraduate work (or its equivalent) before participating in this program.

Courses and Course Descriptions

The program follows the regular 12-week summer session from May 11 to August 1, 2020. The certificate will consist of five 3.0 credit courses. Four of the courses will be delivered within the two regular six-week summer terms. A fifth project-based course will span the full summer session. 

The Entrepreneurship Process - 3 credits (Summer I)

This course will introduce students to entrepreneurship as a distinctive area of scholarly thought with a specialized set of tools. Topics will include opportunity identification, business model construction, feasibility testing, and legal considerations. 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. The final project includes a business plan and pitch presentation.

Corporate Entrepreneurship – 3 credits (Summer II)

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 principles of sustainable business will be introduced. The class will be primarily taught through case studies and may include a computer-based simulation. The final project for this class will include a strategic plan for the innovation of a currently existing public corporation.

Social Entrepreneurship – 3 credits (Summer I)

This course will give students exposure to an in-depth analysis of the social entrepreneurship literature and areas of application. 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 questions of using emerging markets as locations for new technology experimentation will be addressed. There will also be a substantial component of financing social ventures.

Law, Entrepreneurship & Innovation – 3 credits (Summer II)

This hands-on, practical course is intended to expose students to founders of innovative companies and the legal issues they face. The course 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, workshops and simulations. The course will cover choice of entity and formation, employee hiring and compensation, evaluation and protection of intellectual property and the development of a comprehensive IP strategy, valuation and financing, licensing and sales, multinational operations, and exit strategies. 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 and will run the entire summer semester. While the course will have the development of a term project as its central feature, 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. The term project will be comprehensive, taking the student from opportunity identification to full online presence. Relevant speakers and training will be provided to support the course learning objectives.

More About the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Students will be admitted into a cohort of up to 30 students and include only non-business (non-CBA) majors. Completion of the certificate requires that all courses be completed in the same summer term and cannot be completed during the regular academic year or via substitution of other courses from inside or outside the CBA. Upon completion, students will receive a certificate designation on their official PITT transcript.

Student Testimonials

Watch students from around campus talk about the range of their experiences in Pitt's entrepreneurship certificate program. 


More about the M.S. 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.