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Lehigh University Offering Part-Time Technical Entrepreneurship Certificate Program

By Colin McEvoy on August 9, 2017

Lehigh University students displayed their products and concepts at the Technical Entrepreneurship Venture Fair earlier this summer.

Lehigh University students displayed their products and concepts at the Technical Entrepreneurship Venture Fair earlier this summer.

For the last five years, Lehigh University has offered a master’s program in Technical Entrepreneurship (TE), providing training in the art and practice of creating new companies and  bringing revolutionary products and services to market.

The program has been a great success, but over those five years, instructors often received feedback from people interested in taking the courses, but unable to commit to a full-time, 30-credit program.

As a result, Lehigh University is now offering a part-time TE certificate program, in which students complete 14 credits over three years through a combination of online courses, and classes offered during nights and weekends.

“I would say for every full-time student we had, we were getting two requests for something part-time,” said John Ochs, director of the TE Master’s Degree.

“This new certificate program is a very hands-on curriculum, but designed for part-time students and full-time employees,” Ochs said. “This way people who can’t commit to the full-time master’s program can still learn the skillsets for product development and creativity, and develop more of an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Classes for the part-time certificate program begin in the fall. Those interested can apply online, visit the campus, or contact TE Outreach Manager Lauren Purdom at lep215@lehigh.edu or 610-758-4824.

The program’s target audience includes practicing engineers and managers. Students can choose from any combination of a set of various courses, which focus on developing both technical skill sets and product development and entrepreneurship mindsets.

Examples of some of the classes include creativity and systematic innovation methods, intellectual property creation and management, methods in visual thinking, integrated product development, and entrepreneurial startup process.

Ochs expects to have about 25 students per class in the certificate program. A total of 108 students have graduated from the full TE master’s program over the last five years, and there are 18 students in the current cohort.

Additionally, Ochs said if larger companies in the Lehigh Valley are interested in having a specialized program of courses for its employees, they can be developed upon request.

“These courses aren’t just for people who want to leave their company and start a new business,” he said. “We want to help engineers and managers learn new techniques to help them think more entrepreneurially and develop more an entrepreneurial mindset for their existing workplace.”

Earlier this summer, the 23 students who participated in last year’s TE master’s program displayed their products, concepts, and prospective startup companies at the Technical Entrepreneurship Venture Fair.

Among them were technique-based swim equipment, footware made by recycling discarded, a tech product that connects users with their yoga mats, a product that helps pet owners train and entertain their pets, and a more efficient way to manufacture vinyl records.

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