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The information on this page has been replicated from the School of Graduate Studies for your convenience. You may view the original page here »

Innovation and Entrepreneurial Skills Development

Four compulsory enterprise modules will focus on providing the Master's degree candidate basic skills to select an idea with good potential, manage the innovation process, then create and manage the business outcome. The skills will broadly cover all the business life cycle from start, growth and sustainability. The modules will develop an understanding of both the innovation and the entrepreneurial processes through lectures, workshops and hands-on work and will enable the student to fully exploit the potential of the engineering enterprise project.

Each module is considered the equivalent of a half-course as defined by the School of Graduate Studies, but will contain elements of lecture, group work, presentation and other activities as defined in the course outline. The module courses will be delivered in an intensive format; and it is expected that students will take the module courses in sequenced numerical order. The module courses are:

  • SEP 6E03 / Entrepreneurial Opportunity Identification
  • SEP 773 / Leadership for Innovation
  • SEP 753 / Enterprise Opportunity Development
  • SEP 755 / Business Launch and Development

  • All full-time candidates are required to successfully complete:
  • SEP 771 / W Booth School of Engineering Practice Practitioner's Forum
  • SEP 772 / Innovation Studio


Engineering Enterprise Project

The Engineering Enterprise Project will run throughout the entire study period and will result in both a business and a technical plan for an engineering prototype product (ideally with an actual prototype device or software produced) with an identified customer base and a plan outlining the way to commercialization. The project will bring together the two complementary streams of activities, one technical and the other entrepreneurial, to bring an idea to the proof of concept phase. The Entrepreneurial course stream, which will run coincidentally with the advanced engineering studies, will guide the technological work performed in the research laboratory so that the concept becomes, by the end of the degree, the nucleus of a business proposition. The Engineering Enterprise Project will have three phases, which will end with project gate assessments to determine the project's readiness to proceed to the next phase:

Phase 1 - Project Preparation

Market research to arrive at a proposed product or service with clear value proposition; define the market for the intended product or service revealing competitive threat, opportunities, and margins and volumes projections; draw up development plans for the product or service indicating the required resources and estimated investment cost; seek the resources within the university and without; build a team of support that might include a partner.

Phase 2 - Technical Research and the Development of the Engineering Prototype

Develop an engineering research plan, identifying key issues and opportunities (with the assistance of academic technical and business supervisors); conduct technical research and development; implement the engineering research plan within the research group in the host-engineering department; build a development network within the engineering research community; ready the technology for transfer to market; conduct initial market engagement to get customer feedback and reactions.

Phase 3 - Technology Transfer to Market:

Apply for IP protection; develop a path-to-market strategy; develop a business case; present to funding institutions and explore business arrangements; plan for business start-up. Each phase has two equally important components, one technical and the other business:

The Phase 3 evaluation will be a defence of your project in an oral examination to your board (technical mentor, enterprise advisor, business advisor and your business mentor). Candidates are required to complete and pass through each phase in order to graduate.

Peer Evaluation and the Enterprise Project

The ability to effectively work in a team environment is an important learning outcome of team-based project work on the Enterprise project, as in individual learning outcomes developed in a team environment. Candidates will be mentored on their progress in this aspect by their enterprise advisor based on input from their peers in the project team and from assesment of the enterprise advisor. Team member evaluations will be collected in confidence from team members by the enterprise advisor, or their designate, on a six-month basis. Every six months the Enterprise Advisor will review the performance of the individual candidate in the team with the candidate. The enterprise advisor will generate an assessment of performance. To successfully complete the program, the candidate must maintain an average rating of "Good" over the span of the enterprise project in team assesment and demonstrate individual achievement in team experienced learning outcomes.