February 20, 2020 • By Sydney Charles
Starting fall 2020, The UCI Paul Merage School of Business will offer the Master of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MIE) program in a flexible two-year format. In its current inaugural year, the program was offered exclusively as a full-time, one-year master’s degree. This new two-year option provides flexibility so that MIE students can continue working their current job while completing the program.
“People want to have flexibility so they can balance the demands of school with the other demands of their personal and professional lives. This new format will definitely give them that opportunity,” said Burt Slusher, director of recruitment and admissions of business specialty master’s programs.
“We wanted to provide access to people who are working full-time, but still want to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams or move into an innovation-based role at their current company. It’s still our MIE program, but delivered over a two-year time frame so that people can get their master’s degree while keeping their day job,” he continued.
The two-year option is also designed to be more accessible to those working full-time or developing their own businesses.
“Students can nurture their entrepreneurial ideas at the Merage School and still work their full-time job,” said Slusher. “The greater flexibility of the program will allow them to pursue their passion projects with a schedule that meets their needs.”
MIE Faculty Director Chris Bauman expects that the two-year option will enhance the experience for everyone in the program.
“The MIE program is hands-on and highly interactive. Students generate their own business ideas or team up with other students and then develop their ideas with constant feedback from other teams of students, the faculty, and successful entrepreneurs from the community.” Bauman explained. “We expect the two-year option will be especially popular among those who have work experience and/or technical expertise. Adding students with new perspectives and experiences will fuel creativity and increase the quality of the ventures that develop during the program.”
The MIE program is the first of its kind in the UC system, designed for budding entrepreneurs (innovating to form new companies)) and intrapreneurs ((innovating within existing companies). The program provides students with knowledge on core topics on the process of innovation and entrepreneurship, including identifying new venture opportunities through lean startup methodology, developing a business model, preparing a business plan, assembling a team, raising the necessary financing including venture capital, and launching a new business. It is also rich in experiential learning opportunities within the UCI entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Fall applications offering the two-year MIE option will open March 1, 2020.