ENGR 1062: Startup Fundamentals is for all Pitt undergraduate students in any school or department and is taught by the director of the Big Idea Center for student entrepreneurship, Babs Carryer. Startup Fundamentals introduces students to the core business concepts behind innovation and entrepreneurship. The class is highly interactive, and students will be required to actively participate in groups and individually. Grading is heavily weighted around participation in the group project which will be ongoing throughout the semester. Guest speakers, who are experts in their fields, will supplement the core teaching by the instructor. Topics covered include: ideation, problem/solution, market opportunity, competitive analysis, customer discovery, pitching, funding, finance, legal issues, team building, and innovation within existing companies.

This course is offered as part of SSoE’s Certificate in Innovation, Product Design and Entrepreneurship, outlined below.

Course Overview

This course will help students develop an understanding of the following:

  • The importance of innovation and entrepreneurship to our society and to their careers.
  • The process associated with innovation and entrepreneurship from originating an idea to bringing it to market as a new product or service.
  • How to describe a marketplace problem and viable solution in a brief, compelling way, and explain its market potential.
  • The key elements of building a business as opposed to a product.
  • How the proposed solution will address the needs of and benefits to stakeholders and customers.
  • How the proposed solution could generate revenue and create value.
  • How to identify potential sources of funding for the project.
  • How to pitch the solution appropriately for different audiences.
  • The lexicon of innovation and entrepreneurship

INFSCI 1023: Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Tech 

Whether you want to start your own company or become an innovation leader within a multinational corporation, this course will introduce you to the core concepts behind innovation and entrepreneurship in the high tech arena.

Course Overview

  • Explore the process from developing an idea to finding funding, to bringing it to market whether in an existing company or a startup.
  • Learn how to identify a marketplace problem, and then to design and promote a solution that will solve the challenge and potentially generate revenue.
  • Investigate market opportunity, competitive analysis, customer discovery, pitching, legal issues, and more.

SSoE Innovation, Product Design, and Entrepreneurship Certificate

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Innovation and entrepreneurship has been credited as being a key driving factor in the US economy.  Even inside the corporation, employers seek engineers with skills to contribute to the rapid movement of products from conception to market.  With this emphasis on minimizing the time to market whether in a startup or a large corporation, it has become essential for engineers to integrate business strategies and customer focus with new product design skills.

The Certificate in Innovation, Product Design, and Entrepreneurship cuts across the Swanson School of Engineering and into the College of Business Administration to offer students the diverse skills to complement their technical engineering focus.  The program offers a comprehensive set of courses that address principles in business, design, and innovation, and takes advantage of state of the art makerspaces. For more information on the certificate program please go here.